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March 1, 2011: Libya

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On Libya, As UN Martin "Did Nothing" & Needs Extension, Western Priority Meetings

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 28 -- The UN's Libya envoy Ian Martin buzzed around the Security Council Friday morning, meeting with a number of Western ambassadors. Inner City Press has learned the purpose of his selective bilateral meetings: "he cannot set up UNSMIL in three months, he needs a rollover" -- that is, more time for the UN Support Mission in Libya.

  But three non-Western Permanent Representatives consulted by Inner City Press not only had not met with Martin, their Missions to the UN had not even received any request from Martin for a meeting. This included a Permanent Five member of the Council.

  Chinese Permanent Representative Li Baodong, not aware of any request from Martin, smiled and told Inner City Press, "That's a good point." The Permanent Representative of an African Union member said no contact had been made by Martin, despite statements that Africans and the African Union would be kept involved.

(c) UN Photo
Martin, Ban & disappeared Khatib, Euro-centric meetings not shown

  Sources on the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions say that Martin has requested to meet with them.

As Inner City Press previously reported, there is a $10 million cap on funds that can be expended without going to the full Fifth (Budget) Committee, yesterday the scene of a fiasco in which the European Union's insistent request to speak second was resolved, against the EU, by a coin flip - click here for that story.

   "One third of Martin's mandate is gone and he did nothing," a Council diplomat told Inner City Press. "We all know he needs a roll over. But why do his meetings in this order?"

  In fairness, UNSMIL is barely getting deployed. Martin briefed the Council by video not from Tripoli but Malta. But he or some other knowledgeable person about Libya in the UN needs to take and answer questions - and not only friendly questions, like friendly delegations.

  Friday's buzzing around, yet another Council diplomat told Inner City Press, "shows who Martin's friend are."

Analyis: the irony is that that Council's non Western members see UN primacy in Libya as an alternative to NATO and its members. But then the UN, that is UNSMIL and Martin, should be evenhanded. The initial line up of leadership, and this, is "not the UN," as one Council diplomat put it to Inner City Press.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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