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On Post 2015 Text Omitting SIDS, Age & Migrants Rights, ICP Asks Facilitators

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 3 -- After multiple postponements and back-room deals, the Post-2015 development agenda was declared "officially adopted" or agreed to at 6:25 pm on Sunday by Kenyan Ambassador Macharia Kamau, with the Group of 77 and China asking for a later "technical change" to included Small Island Developing States.

 On August 3, Inner City Press asked Kamau about G77's statement on the omission of SIDS from Goal 13.B, and about migration status and age being dropped from human rights paragraph 19. Video here.

  Kamau ascribed the SIDS issue to the OWG, and noted that migrants are mentioned elsewhere in the text, as Irish Ambassador Donoghue said. Kamau specified: 14 times. But what about age?

  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came to the press conference and read a speech, then left before taking any questions. Inner City Press asked his spokesman Stephane Dujarric why:

Inner City Press: the Secretary-General, he’s going to be here at 1.  Why can’t he stay to take a few questions?

Spokesman Dujarric:  Well, he’s here.  He’s going to speak to… he’s going to speak, obviously, to the… to the agreement that was… that was taken.  Ms. Mohammed, USG Wu will be here to answer your question.  This is something we’ve added on and squeezed into the SG’s schedule at the very last minute.  And that’s the way it’s organized.

   But watch Ban Ki-moon brag to US President Obama on August 4.

  On August 2, the US joined consensus while saying it would later raised issues it left unspecified.

  Also on August 2, the Permanent Representative of Benin, who early Saturday morning lashed out at the document and process for selling out the Least Developed Countries, now said he liked the document.

  Sudan for the Arab Group joined consensus; as Inner City Press reported on Saturday, the main Sudanese focus was to ensure that criticism of unilateral sanctions remained in the text (it did).

  Bangladesh's Permanent Representative Monem, to his credit, questioned the omission of migrants from Paragraph 19 (see below). Mexico joined in this criticism. Who speaks for age? Why was Secretary General Ban Ki-moon not present, represented by his chief of staff?

Human rights for migrants and by age were dropped from the "final, final" draft Post-2015 development agenda text released at 2 am on Sunday, to be debated or even gaveled and approved at 11 am Sunday.

  Among many most involved in the process there was an outcry, even after the bland logic for the omission emerged: to stick to "previously agreed language." If that's all that's being done, sticking with the past, why do it?

  Inner City Press, which previously covered the omission of debt sustainability language, got replies from various Permanent Representatives including some who watched Shakespeare in the Park -- New York's Central Park -- on Saturday night.  At the same time, #RacingExtinction projected images of vanishing species onto the Empire State Building, including Cecil the Lion. @InnerCityPress Periscope video here for next 12 hours.

  Some asked, Where is Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General whom one can imagine bragging about the text when he holds a photo op with US President Barack Obama on August 4? He or his spokesman invited only friendly correspondents to cover that "gaggle," at which these questions will almost certainly not be asked.

  Back on July 31 - August 1, already past the deadline for the Post-2015 development agenda text, Kenyan Ambassador to the UN Macharia Kamau kicked off what was support to be the past session, saying it would take a couple of hours.

   South Africa for G77 began, saying for example that debt sustainability should go back in. The Maldives for AOSIS and Belize for CARICOM also spoke for re-inclusion.

   The European Union followed, calling for the deletion of Paragraph 44 saying the International Monetary Fund should “respect the policy space of each country.”

   Benin upset the apple cart, for the Least Developed Countries, saying that the LDCs were being sold out, through-out the UN system. Ambassador Kamau stayed cool, joking “what would I do without you?” There is not enough laughter at the UN.

  Before the session started, Inner City Press spoke with some who stayed to defend Paragraph 29 against unilateral economic measures -- sanctions -- and others opposed (and others for) Paragraph 33 on foreign occupation. Could this deal be reached? Watch this site.


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