Holbrooke Dodges Drone Questions, Qureshi Says UN Lacks
Capacity, UK & Canada Spin on Cameron & Council
August 19 -- Richard Holbrooke, speaking to the Press
outside the UN General Assembly's meeting on Pakistan floods,
declined to answer a question about US drone strikes in North
Inner City Press asked about the UN's statement that it
is blocked from accessing areas where security operations are
underway by the Pakistani military, such as North Waziristan. If the
UN cannot enter, who will aid be delivered?
“We are too far
in New York from those flooded tribal areas,” Holbrooke answered,
adding the Senator John Kerry is there, and USAID's Rajiv Shah is
headed there on Sunday along with two members of Holbrooke's team.
the US drones
fired into North Waziristan are controlled from as far away as New
York, if not further.
asked Pakistan's Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi
why his country bars the UN and its international staff from parts of
the country, as UN humanitarian coordinator Martin Mogwanja conceded
earlier on Thursday.
Qureshi finessed his answer that the UN doesn't
really have capacity.
Holbrooke and UN's Ban previously: drones and
UN lack of capacity not shown
areas, he said, the National Disaster
Management Authority does a better job.
State for International Development Andrew Mitchell, just back from
Pakistan, told Inner City Press that his many meetings with General
Nadeem of the NDMA” left him assured that aid will reach its
asked about UK Prime Minister David Cameron's assertion that Pakistan
exports terrorism, and whether as alleged by Pakistan authorities
this undercut contributions to the flooding crisis.
emphasized how well Cameron's meeting since the comments had gone
with Zardari. But Zardari's extended European trip after the flooding
began has caused its own problems in Pakistan.
for Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon came to the UN, but not with any
new pledge. Inner City Press asked if this reflects Canada's longer
term strategy, and how it might impact on Canada's desire for a seat
on the UN Security Council, for which it is competing against
Portugal and Germany.
that his country's plan includes
longer term reconstruction, and said the Security Council campaign is
going well. We will have more on this.
observing the GA's session of speeches noted that Denmark is
still trying to make up for the cartoon controversy, and the UAE's
royal family has uses part of the Punjab for hunting. Interest,
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UN Is Denied Access to Areas But Stays Silent, Won't Urge Acceptance of
August 19 -- Amid the fundraising for flooded Pakistan on
August 19, world Humanitarian Day, the politicization of the UN's
operations also became clear.
The UN's Martin Mogwanja provided a
telephone briefing, in which Inner City Press asked about top UN
Holmes' recent statement about parts of the country
to which the UN had no access. Video here,
from Minute 33:41.
insisted that the government has full control of all areas of the
country, how did this square with Holmes statement, and for example
the U.S. drone stikes in North Waziristan?
these were not contradictory, that the government has “full
control” of all areas, but blocks the UN's access due to its
whether the government can be said to control sealed off areas into
which another country fires drone missiles, one wonders why the UN
has not complained publicly about the denial of humanitarian access,
as it complains elsewhere.
asked Mogwanja, as the UN humanitarian coordinator, for his view on
Pakistan's refusal until now of a $5 million offer of aid from India.
Given Mogwanja's and Holmes' statements about humanitarian needs
trumping politics, one expected an answer along the lines of, “aid
should generally be taken, when people are facing death.”
replied that “each government is free to decided what to
contribute, equally each government is free to decide what it will
accept.” He called it a decision for sovereign governments, nor for
a UN humanitarian coordinator.
role of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to
publicly prioritize civilians needs over the dilatory politics of
UN's Ban in Pakistan, denial of humanitarian access not shown
asked about Ban Ki-moon's envoy to Pakistan Jean Maurice Ripert.
Mogwanja insisted that Ripert had returned from his overseas travels
“as soon as the flood took place.”
so. From July
29 -- the date Mogwanja used -- to August 4, Ripert was AWOL. On
August 2, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman where Ripert was.
It's not about an individual, spokesman Martin Nesirky answered. On
August 4, Ban called for Ripert to return to Pakistan. That is one
week, hardly “as soon as.”
in the coming weeks and months the government of Pakistan will hold
events closely coordinated by Ripert. We'll see - watch this site.
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