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Nigeria Says It Will Be "Fully Involved" in W. Sahara, Ukraine as Footnote

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 2 -- After Nigeria and its Ambassador Joy Ogwu assumed the UN Security Council presidency on April 2 Inner City Press asked Ogwu about Ukraine being a footnote in the month's Program of Work, and about the predicted fast approval of a new mandate for the MINURSO mission in Western Sahara. Video here, from Minute 21:21

  In the Program of Work the "consultations" on Western Sahara are set for April 17 and adoption of the resolution on April 23. Inner City Press asked if this means it is in the hands of the "Group of Friends," which does not include any African member.

Ogwu replied, "we expect to be fully involved." Given that the African Union position on Western Sahara, will that mean that a human rights monitoring mechanism for MINURSO, as exists in other peacekeeping missions, will be seriously considered?

  Will the US, which proposed such a mechanism last year, push forward again? Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting both Morocco and Algeria early in April. We'll see.

  On Ukraine, Inner City Press asked if the expect report of UN human rights deputy Ivan Simonovic will trigger a meeting or consultation of the Security Council. Ogwu replied, with due regard for strategic planning, that bridge will be crossed when reached.

  As the second question -- why there is a claim of tradition of UNCA, often the UN's Censorship Alliance trying to get others thrown out of the UN and blocking access to documents on the Internet, automatically getting the first question is and will be addressed elsewhere -- the new Free UN Coalition for Access encouraged Ambassador Ogwu to hold question and answer stakeouts, even brief ones, after closed door consultations, as Luxembourg did (14) in March.

  Ogwu noted the invitation. With agenda items on the Middle East, Central African Republic, Darfur, South Sudan and it seems North Korea, in Arria formula style, such stakeout should be useful. Watch this site.


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