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On Lebanon, ICP Asks Kaag of World Bank & White Phosphorus, Delattre of Killed Peacekeeper

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 17 --  When the UN's Special Coordinator on Lebanon Sigrid Kaag emerged from the UN Security Council on March 17, she said that the "UN family" stands ready to help with Lebanon's development.

  Inner City Press asked Kaag if the World Bank, which considers Lebanon a middle income country and won't make grants to it, is part of the "UN family." Inner City Press also asked Kaag about the use of white phosphorus by Israel, cited in Paragraph 10 of the underlying 1701 report.

    On this last, Kaag said to ask the UNIFIL spokesperson - done.

(On the killing of a Spanish UNIFIL peacekeeper, of which Inner City Press asked the Security Council's president for March, Francois Delattre of France, Delattre make a point of answering, saying that the investigation is ongoing but to check that with the UN Spokesperson - to be done).

  Kaag said there is a debate about the financing for development implications of "middle income" status, that Lebanon is not the only country facing humanitarian issues which faces this problem. The question remains, how will the "UN family" address it?

   “It is absurd that Lebanon has no access to World Bank grants because it is considered a middle-income country,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres' prepared remarks to the UN Security Council on Syria on February 26 said.

   When he delivered the remarks, he added in Jordan. So Inner City Press, when Guterres came to the Security Council stakeout after that meeting, asked him about this addition, and if he -- and UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Kyung-wha Kang beside him -- would be pushing for a change at the World Bank, which is official a part of the UN “family.”

  Guterres replied that development assistance should taken into account this new world, where Lebanon and Jordan but also Chad, Niger and Cameroon with respect to Nigeria, and Ethiopia and Kenya with respect to Somalia, are the “first line of defense for global collective security.” Video here.

  Lebanon's Ambassador to the UN Nawaf Salam told Inner City Press, "This is unfortunate indeed," here.

 But what will be done? Watch this site.


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