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At UN on Palestine, As SC Ambassadors Get Update, Questions of Format

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 17, updated Nov 10 -- With a Palestine update to UN Security Council Permanent Representatives due from Council president Joy Ogwu on October 18, a question has arisen of in what format the Permanent Representatives will be meeting: as an informal gathering of the Committee on the Admission of New Members, or in a formal meeting?

  At 5 pm on Monday sources indicated that "Western members' argument" that the update should be only an informal session, with no record, had prevailed.

  That those members which want to slow consideration of Palestine's application are now focusing on format is emblematic of the let-down so far after Mahmoud Abbas submitted the application with such fanfare on September 23.

  After Western spokespeople called it a mere update, Inner City Press asked South African Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu about it. He said things were going too slow at the expert's level.

  Last week, Palestinian Observer Riyad Mansour predicted to Inner City Press that "this process" will be over within the Nigerian presidency, by the end of October. Sangqu on Monday said he agreed with that. But how?

Abbas launches bid on September 23, stall on format not shown

  Permanent Representative Haroun of Pakistan, a prospective 2012 - 13 Council member if as expected it beat out Kyrgyzstan for the seat, told Inner City Press he does not expect Palestine's application for UN membership to still be actively pending in the Council on January 1, 2011.

  Then on October 14, Moroccan Permanent Representative Loulichki said that "of course" Morocco would support Palestine for UN membership. Guatemala, another presumptive incoming Council member, took a reservation from the Group of 77's pro-Palestine position. We'll have more on this.

  It is now understood that in the last experts' level session of the Committee on Admission of New Members, South Africa proposed that with 14* minutes left, consideration should turn to the criterion of whether Palestine is "peace loving."

  While one of the European countries identified as a delayer joined in this request -- perhaps to counter to identification -- it was not granted, virtually ensuring that at the October 18 session the experts' work will be said to not be completed.

Footnote: in the Security Council's closed door session Monday afternoon, sources tell Inner City Press that Russia raised the issue of Kosovo. Watch this site.

* - on November 10, a participant in the meeting sought out Inner City Press to say that it was FORTY minutes, not FOURTEEN. We note that there.

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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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