11th Hour Africa Union Proposal, Russia Says Too Late,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 27 -- In the UN
budget committee, the day before its
session on peacekeeping is to end, a proposal for a $10 million
office in Addis Ababa was turned in. The African Group immediately
"regret[ted] the timing of the submission of the report... the
afternoon of the day before the scheduled last day of the second
resumed 64th session of the General Assembly."
administration has seven months to prepare and submit the proposal,
but waited until the 11th hour.
Russian delegate said perhaps we will not even be able to discuss
this proposal, there are other issues we must address before the end.
These include a proposal to restructure the Department of Field
that, Inner City Press has learned, because of the proposal to
decentralize procurement of services including air services. Russia
has cornered that market while the contracts have been doled out in
New York; it would be less certain if decentralized.
delegates say Russia's
position on the Addis Ababa office might not be unrelated to its
fight to retain control of UN air contracts. But the Ban Ki-moon
Administration's inept late submission was making this gambit easy --
UN's Ban and Maurer: one's out of town, the other
leaving, budget in flux
for the Ban Administration was Taye-Brook Zerihoun, who recently
replaced, if only temporarily, Haile Menkios on this day represented
the UN at the inauguration of Sudan's Omar al Bashir, indicted for
war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
than addressing the delay to the penultimate day of the Ban
Administration's proposal, apologized for his boss Lynn Pascoe not
being there. He had planned to be present, Zerihoun said, but had to
rush a few hours ago to go with Ban on his trip to Africa.
was that although the UN's actual plan for Africa was slapped
together at the last moment, Ban's flight to Africa shows his
commitment. He will play soccer with Yoweri Museveni and Nicholas
Cage in Uganda -- where students are preparing to protect his and the
UN's and ICC's inaction on human rights abuses -- and later to
attended the opening of the World Cup in South Africa.
is this proposed
merged office in Addis Ababa nothing but a political football?
Department of Field Support restructuring proposal is also, for now,
being opposed by large troop contributing countries Pakistan and India.
DFS chief Malcorra is said to be arguing that it is not worth trying to
do the reforms piecemeal. So perhaps nothing will be passed.
meeting was Peter Maurer of Switzerland, who has been moonlighting
this month as a Swiss minister. He ended the meeting by saying he
will"consult with the Bureau" given the views expressed. As
he left the Conference Room, Maurer chatted with Zerihoun. Why turn
in an ostensibly important proposal so late? Watch this site.