Holds Hostage Funds for Abkhazia Process, Sources Say, Western P-3
Media Strategy Misleads
March 4 -- In belated backroom follow up to the cancellation
of the UN's Observer Mission on Georgia, a budget letter is needed
from the Security Council so that the General Assembly's budget
committee can vote on funds for the so-called “joint incident
prevention and response mechanisms” of the Geneva process on
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Inner City Press has learned.
letter, on a topic that the United States and its British and French
allies say is important, has turned out to be a problem.
March 2 while
the Council met in consultations on its program of work for March's
Chinese presidency, the deputy chief of UN Peacekeeping Atul Khare
arrived, surrounded by staff members. He emerged half an hour later
stern faced and strode quickly off.
Inner City Press, the only media then in front of the Council
chamber, that the “awkward” visit concerned Georgia. But what
Press asked Khare directly, “What about Georgia?”
Georgia, he said. It's about the joint incident prevention and
Ban Ki-moon made a proposal a year ago that the Council hasn't moved
on, and now the budget committee needs a letter from the Council.
While many would assume that it would be Russia, which vetoed the
continuation of UNOMIG, that was blocking this letter, it is not,
Inner City Press has learned.
has put a hold on the letter.
would like to use the UN's need for this letter as an opportunity to
have the Council meet about Georgia, which it hasn't done since
Russia's veto. It is slowing the process of funding the replacement
mechanism in order to try to bring this about.
the sourcing for this report, Inner City Press can say it is not the
United States, nor the UK, nor France. Each of these countries has in
the days following Atul Khare's abortive visit to the Council held by
invitation only press briefings for Western media.
off the record or on background, it must be said that this issue was
In Council, P5 Plus 1 Perm Reps, private spin not reported
sessions were used in part to spin the
UN's screw up of publicly alleging the delivery of helicopters from
Belarus to anti-Western Laurent Gbagbo in Cote d'Ivoire, to claim
that despite UN Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy's public admission of
a mistake, the Western intelligence was in fact “all true.”
spin continues of topics of even wider concern such as Libya. As
simply one example, while UK Permanent Representative walked away
from a filmed General Assembly stakeout when Inner City Press asked
if the UK thinks that Security Council approval would be required to
legitimate a no-fly zone over Libya, the UK Mission to the UN
confined its answer on this public question to a private, off the
record briefing for UK selected journalists.
public doesn't know the real UK position on this, nor on the Cote
d'Ivoire helicopter intelligence, a topic on which the US is stealthy
very active, or the UN and International
Criminal Court indictees on Darfur, Omar al Bashir and Ahmed Haroun.
Mission to the UN, in fact, held its English language off the record
briefing by Permanent Representative Gerard Araud at the same time as
formally met about Abyei in Sudan, to which the UN flew Ahmed Haroun,
an issue the French say they care a lot about. Only two reporters
covered that Council meeting, due at least in part to the French
Security Council's deliberations on the Libya resolution last Saturday,
from among the Western P-3 came much off the record trashing of the
positions of other Council members. When some of those attacked issued
on the record denials, the trash talkers disappeared into the Council
woodwork without explanation -- or accountability.
Western Permanent Three members accomplish by this and by limiting
briefings to media already supportive or inclined to believe their
positions? They attempt to control reporting from the UN without
leaving any finger prints. Does this assist the truth, or even better
public understanding of their positions? No.
the reasons for the call to reform or even disband the UN Security
Council. Click here
for a “BloggingHeads.tv” debate of these
issues, this week, featuring Inner City Press.
seems likely that the letter will in the end issue, and the money be
allocated. Nearly invisible UN representative to the Geneva talks
Antti Turunen will plod along, as will the apparently coordinated
media strategy of the Western P-3. And what will be accomplished?
Watch this site.
* * *
Will Chair Libya Sanctions Committee, Hopes To Never
3 -- Portugal will chair the Libya Sanctions Committee
of the UN Security Council, Inner City Press is informed. The formal
decision will come on Tuesday, March 8.
source said, is that “it will be a short term committee” and that
“the need for sanctions will disappear.”
had earlier heard, from a UN sanctions source, that the Libya
Sanctions Committee would not even be staffed.
that it take one or two months to appoint a group of experts, and the
hope is that by that time, there will be no need: that is, Gadhafi
will be gone.
Portugal's Perm Rep meets Ban, staffing of
Libya Sanctions committee not shown
process is for the decision to be formalized at the Council's next
session on March 8. Then the chair, Portugal's Permanent
Representative to the UN Jose Filipe Mendes Moraes Cabral, will
consult with other Council members and draft a letter to all member
states about their Libya sanctions obligations.
The process of
appointing experts will begin, but they are hoping it will never be
completed. We'll see.
* * *
Dabbashi Predicts Inaction by UN on Gadhafi's Ouster
Letter, Visa & Shalgam Questions
3 -- Hours after the UN confirmed receiving a letter
from the Gadhafi government to withdraw the credentials of
Ambassadors Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam, Inner City Press asked
Dabbashi what he thought the UN would do.
Dabbashi said. “The regime is already illegitimate.”
senior UN official on Wednesday night told Inner City Press about the
letter and the possibility of referring it to the UN Office of Legal
Affairs for a long consideration, others say it is an open and shut
case. Gadhafi is still viewed the UN as the head of state, and his
government gets to choose who represents him at the UN.
we'd have to hold our nose,” a well placed Secretariat official
told Inner City Press, “the principle is bigger than this one
that each country has one recognized head of state -- even if like
Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire they control only a single hotel
-- and that person chooses their representatives.
Dabbashi at UN microphone, Gadhafi's letter not shown
that the United States could try to deny visas for any new
diplomats whom Gadhafi might send. But under the US' Host Country
Agreement with the United Nations, the US has to allow in people
accredited to the UN.
At most the
US can impose resistrictions on
them such as not being able to travel more than 25 miles from
Columbus Circle, or not being able to visit Ground Zero.
Dabbashi's statement, it seems clear that through time, if Gadhafi is
not ousted, Shalgam and Dabbashi will be, from the UN. The US, one
assumes, won't revoke their visas and make them go back to a
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky to
confirm receipt of Gadhafi's letter. Nesirky confirmed it and said it
is being studied. He said he didn't know the date on the letter, since
he hadn't actually seen the letter.
being sought to explain his role in a deal struck between
Italy, Gadhafi and Saddan Hussein, under which Saddam would have been
given asylum in Libya. Shalgam is head to have cut the deal in Rome.
Then, the US is said to have intervened with Gadhafi to stop it.
Might this give Shalgam some leverage? Might he want to talk about it
more at this time? Watch this site.