Israel Protests General Assembly Meeting on Gaza,
Which PGA d'Escoto Then Postpones, at Other States' Request, He Says
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 8, updated -- Hours
scheduled General Assembly meeting
on Gaza called for by GA President Miguel
d'Escoto Brockmann, Israel's Ambassador Gabriela Shalev delivered a
protest to d'Escoto. Inner City Press has obtained a copy of the letter
puts it online
here, and below. Subsequently, d'Escoto cancelled the meeting --
Subj: URGENT MEDIA: PGA Special
Session 5.30 POSTPONED
From: [PGA spokesman at] un.org
Sent: 1/8/2009 5:41:36 P.M.
Eastern Standard Time
Note to Journalists -- The President of the
Assembly, at the request of Member States, has decided to defer the
5:30 PM meeting of the 10th Emergency Special Session, in light of the
decision of the Security Council on a resolution on the Gaza crisis.
"We will closely analyze the
resolution and determine whether it is serious, and contemplates the
measures – both to ensure the immediate ceasefire and the unimpeded
the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people," said President
d'Escoto this afternoon.
In light of
Amb. Shalev's letter, which argues that the meeting would be contrary
Charter and previous GA resolution, and asks for cancellation, some now
which "request[s] of member states" d'Escoto was referring to. At a
Thursday 1 pm press conference, d'Escoto refused to say which member
requested the meeting. Later, Inner City Press was told that while
Indonesia were among the requesters, they later asked for postponement.
Thursday at 8 pm, Inner City Press
went to the Office of the President of the General Assembly to seek a
comment on Amb. Shalev's letter. In the hall outside the PGA's office
were several members of Israel's mission, who asked Inner City Press
about d'Escoto's refusal to answer some questions at his press
conference. The PGA was not in, but his spokesman stated that he got
the letter minutes before the press conference, and does not yet have a
reaction. It is unlikely the GA meeting will be held on Friday. But he
provided a quote about the resolution, that it "outsources enforcement
to unnamed and unaccountable member states." We read this as France and
Gabriela Shalev speaks to UK's David Miliband, protest to d'Escoto not
Here now is
the text of Amb.
I refer to
your letter, dated 7
January 2009, in which you issue a call to resume the 10th
Special Session of the General Assembly.
reconvening of the 10th
Emergency Special Session represents a violation of the mandate of the
Assembly and the established procedures of the United Nations.
invitation to convene the
Emergency Special Session takes place as the Security Council is
seized upon the current situation in southern Israel
and the Gaza Strip. In fact,
a draft resolution is currently being considered by the Security
Council. I am
confident that you are well aware that according to UN General Assembly
resolution 377, emergency special sessions of the General Assembly are
to act only when the Security Council “fails to exercise its primary
responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and
that the Security Council remains engaged on this matter, it is beyond
mandate of the president of the General Assembly to resume the convene
such a meeting.
addition, the 10th
Emergency Special Session was initiated due to the inability of the
Council to take action on the issue of settlements. The current
nothing to do with this subject matter. Furthermore, your letter notes
several Member States have requested the resumption of this emergency
session. However, no such requests were attached to your letter.
Given these aforementioned facts, Israel requests the
me, Excellency, to renew to
you the assurances of my highest consideration.
Maybe now d'Escoto will answer who requested the meeting, who asked for
it to be postponed, and his response to the letter above. Watch this
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