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At UN on Eve of Election, Azeri Lunch and Latin Grumbles, Mauritania Gets Ready

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 20 -- On the eve of elections for the UN Security Council, Azerbaijan hosted a lunch in the UN's Delegates Dining Room, giving out crystal tea glasses and a 12-page pamphlet touting its contribution of peacekeepers to "Kosovo (KFOR), Afghanistan (ISAF) and Iraq."

  Some noticed that none of these were UN Peacekeeping missions as such, but rather NATO, whose KFOR troops are clashing with Kosovo Serbs and dismantling their border posts.

  Nevertheless Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin attended the Azeri lunch, as did the US' Rosemary DiCarlo, diametrically opposed on Kosovo and KFOR.

   Azerbaijan is facing off with Hungary and Slovenia for the single Eastern European group seat on the Security Council for 2012-13. Back in June, Inner City Press interviewed Azeri foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov, who argued that Hungary and Slovenia would be bound, under EU rules, to follow the same policies as France and the UK - click here for that.

  At the Azerbaijan event, a well-placed Latin American Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that Guatemala is running unopposed because of a series of deals leading to a set line up of who will get the seat "until 2024." But, the Permanent Representative said, the deals are often broken because "the big countries don't want to wait ten years."

  Pakistan is understood to have received written commitments sufficient to guarantee victory over Kyrgyzstan. But, a Pakistan diplomat cautioned using the term "cautiously optimistic," it is a secret ballot.

Azeris in GA, back in the day, Oct 21, 2011 vote not shown (c) UN Photo

  Meanwhile at an event simultaneous with Morocco's get-out-the-vote reception Wednesday night, a close observer told Inner City Press that Morocco had "dissed" the African Union by running for the Africa Group seat against AU endorsed Mauritania.

  But, the source said, the AU is now under-funded after the fall -- now death -- of Gaddafi in Libya, and is not fighting back. He described an AU event in Uganda not long ago with signs from the airport to Kampala saying, "The Ugandan People Thanks Col. Gaddafi."

  Now that funding is gone. Morocco held its reception at the Waldorff Astoria Hotel; Mauritania is getting ready for its event in the UN Delegates Dining Room, which is an area of the UN cafeteria set apart by black curtains. Togo held its event there earlier in the week. Either Togo or Mauritania seems to many to be destined to lose: but which one? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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