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On R2P, ICP Asks UN Duo of Burundi & S Sudan, Failure in Sri Lanka & Critique

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 8 -- Responsibility to Protect was the topics of a UN press conference and debate, or series of speeches, on September 8, even as the UN said nothing about the Saudi coalition's airstrikes on Sana'a and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did not mention Burundi in his prepared speech, much less Sri Lanka.

  Inner City Press asked UN officials Adama Dieng and Jennifer Welsh at their joint press conference about both Sri Lanka and Burundi, as well as South Sudan and the critique by Venezuela and others of R2P in the UN.

   Dieng called for the release of the African Union's report on crimes in South Sudan; he called Burundi a political problem and Welsh spoke of preventive diplomacy. 12 minute video here.

  Welsh acknowledged that the UN's response to crimes in Sri Lanka has been a failure; she paid some respect to Venezuela's and Cuba's objections (though back in the afternoon's session, she disagreed with Venezuela's argument that R2P divides states into those who are “responsible” and those who are not).

  In the final 24 minutes there were 12 speakers; Myanmar got cut off (it had not used the work Rohingya) for the next speaker, Iran; Dieng uses his prerogative to give out some more time. Inner City Press believes, on both Burundi and South Sudan, that the UN when it wants to uses deference to regional organizations to turn away from its R2P claims, while it didn't defer to the African Union on Libya. And so it goes.


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