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At UN, As Ban Puts Welsh on R2P, Sidestepping Genocide, Cote d'Ivoire, Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 12, updated July 17 -- After the invocation of Responsibility to Protect to bomb Libya until Gaddafi was killed, among UN member states in the General Assembly the controversy over “R2P” only grew.

  Outgoing UN Special Adviser on R2P Edward Luck told Inner City Press he was only paid one dollar a year “and some say I'm not worth it.” For more than a year he was not replaced.

  But at the UN noon briefing on Friday, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky announced that Jennifer Welsh of Canada would succeed Luck, adding that she would “work under the overall guidance of Mr. Adama Dieng, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, to further the conceptual, political, institutional and operational development of the responsibility to protect concept, as set out by the General Assembly in paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome document.”

  Inner City Press immediately asked if Welsh will be paid, and if so how the controversy about whether the R2P mandate was agreed to and funded had been addressed by Ban Ki-moon.

  Nesirky said to look at the whole announcement. But even there, on the fly on laptop, the question was not directly answered by the announcement. Inner City Press asked if the phrase “ under the overall guidance” of Dieng meant that R2P is now a sub-set of the Prevention of Genocide. It is still not clear.

  Nesirky gave as his example of successful Responsibility to Protect the case of Cote d'Ivoire.

  Many would disagree: while UN Peacekeeping, now run four times in a row by a Frenchman most recently Herve Ladsous, and the French “Licorne” mission intervened, perceived supporters of Laurent Gbagbo were killed, for example in Douekoue and Nahibly, in the latter case with UN peacekeepers standing by.

  There was no accountability; in fact, after UN envoy Bert Koenders essentially covered up the UN's deed and omissions in Nahibly, he was rewarded with the higher profile posting atop Ladsous' mission in Mali. Somebody is being protected - but who?

  It seems clear that supporters of R2P think that they are on the side of the angels, and not without some reason. But in the UN system, slipping in Assistant Secretary Generals, especially if they are paid -- this has not been answered -- should be run through the member states, the General Assembly and the Fifth Committee.

  If not, how can the UN preach rule of law? Then again, how can it preach it after so tersely dismissing claims it brought cholera to Haiti? And not answering on its (and Ladsous') support to units of the Congolese Army depicted in the Group of Experts report the full text of which Inner City Press exclusively put online on June 29? How is this consistent with Responsibility to Protect? Watch this site.

Update of July 17: This came in:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 4:59 PM
Subject: Your question on Ms. Jennifer Welsh
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Further to your recent question on Ms. Jennifer Welsh, her contract is indeed a one-dollar-a-year contract.


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