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In Saudi Leaks, FUNCA Asks UN of $100,000 for HRC Seat, UNCA Leaks

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 22 -- Among the documents released in the first batch of Saudi cables by Wikileaks is one allocating $100,000 for Saudi Arabia's run for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, here.

 On June 22, Inner City Press for the Free UN Coalition for Access asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this allocation -- he said to "ask the General Assembly" -- and about SaudiLeaks more generally (he declined to comment). Video here.

  Inner City Press asked Dujarric about another document about Saudi Arabia "seconding" officials to the UN.  Dujarric insisted that all who work for the UN are paid by the UN. We'll have more on this.

    One also wonders, how much then was the UN Security Council seat that Saudi Arabia “won,” then relinquished, worth? (Click here for Inner City Press story on the relinquishment.)

   Many of the documents are mundane: the scheduling of trips to the Kingdom by then-Yemen envoy Jamal Benomar, for example, and by Terje Roed-Larsen. There is a receipt for a contribution to the UN Mission in Burundi, and back and forth on the secondment of Al-Sadoon.

  On the financial front there is a “To Whom It May Concern” memo by the UN Federal Credit Union recounting how UNFCA made a loan to a Sudanese national, through a Saudi bank, to build a house in Sudan, then a mention of applicable US sanctions.

  Incongruously, there is a newsletter about the French forces in Gabon, here.

  At least in the first batch, a search for "blogger" or "Badawi" results in a single document: an email from Swedish classical guitarist Celia Linde urging that he not be flogged.

  On the purchased media front, there is now to begin with a memo about the UN Correspondents Association, how its members can be invited to cover conferences in the Kingdom. We'll have more on this.


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