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As Palestine Delayed in NY Under Weak SSR Pretext, UNESCO Vote in Wrong Venue

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 5 -- As Palestine's bid for full membership in UNESCO moved forward on Wednesday, in the UN Security Council Palestine's application is being delayed.

  On October 4, this month's Security Council president Joy Ogwu of Nigeria said that the Council's Committee on Admission of New Members was meeting "at the expert level" as quickly as possible -- on October 7.

 She explained that October 6 has a meeting about Abyei, Sudan, and October 5 had a meeting to negotiate the Presidential Statement on SSR, or Security Sector Reform.

  But Inner City Press went to cover the October 5 session on SSR, held in a windowless conference room in the UN's North Lawn building.

  The Council representatives who went in, many of them genially greeting Inner City Press, did not appear to be the experts who are considering Palestine's application. This was multiply confirmed to Inner City Press.

  So why didn't the Security Council's committee meet about Palestine's application some time before the final day of this week? The excuse given, it seems, doesn't wash.

  Meanwhile in Paris at UNESCO, "forty of the 58 countries on the executive board voted in favor of the recommendation, while four -- the United States, Germany, Romania and Latvia -- voted against and 14, including Spain and France, abstained, sources said."

Abbas & Sarkozy, support for Palestine membership in Paris-based UNESCO not shown

  In New York, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban had any comment on the UNESCO vote, as he'd just had comment on the Security Council's vote on Syria (Ban "regretted" the vote.) Nesirky said Ban had no comment.

  In Paris, French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero explained France's non-support of Palestine's membership: "We don't think UNESCO is the appropriate arena," he said. Maybe Paris is not the appropriate arena for UNESCO. Watch this site.

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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

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