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At Nigeria House, Rice on Occupy Wall Street, Cabral on NP183, UK on UN Flights

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- With three full days of October Security Council meetings still to go, Nigeria held its End of Presidency reception Wednesday night 21 stories above Second Avenue.

  The month has been an active one, with Palestine's application for UN membership still pending, NATO's campaign in Libya belatedly winding down, and the rare double veto of the European resolution on Syria.

  The turn out was impressive, with Permanent Representatives Rice of the US, with spouse, Lyall Grant of the UK, Churkin of Russia, Messone of Gabon, Viotti of Brazil, , Sanqu of South Africa, Salam of Lebanon, Barbalic of Bosnia, Cabral of Portugal and many more.

   Amid the snaps of mostly African photographers, Nigeria's Joy Ogwu greeted them, posed for pictures, gestures to the spicy meat and chicken wings.

   The talk ranged from Occupy Wall Street, with the host country's first (UN) couple to Eritrea sanctions with the sartorial sage of Libreville. (China's deputy Wang guess the topic.) The UN's failure to monitor flights of janjawiid militia from Darfur to Blue Nile state bubbled under the surface, with answers still to be given.

Next month's president is Portugal, whose Ambassador Cabral this month struck a blow for the non-elected ten, even for what we'll dub the "Non Permanent 183 of the UN" -- NP183 -- by refusing to appear for a Council meeting on Yemen while the General Assembly was preparing to meet to elect new Council members.

Some DGACM staff were also present, recounting the difficulties of that vote and the General Assembly to date. The former secretary of the Fifth Committee chatted with Ambassador Rice, also advising the Press to keep an eye on budget deliberation which pursuant to a push by Rice's management ambassador Joe Torsella may be televised.

Amb. Ogwu, Rice & Sangqu, a range of views (c) MRLee

(The US to its credit was all-in on the reception, with Ambassadors Rosemary DiCarlo and Jeffrey DeLaurentis in the House, along with other staffers. French Permanent Representative Gerald Araud, by contrast, was nowhere to be seen. French head of Peacekeeping Ladsous was not seen, not Ban Ki-moon or his North Korean envoy Kim Won-soo.)

Amb Ogwu & Messone of Gabon, Viotti of Brazil, (c) MRLee

The US wants to cut costs, but wants money to be spent to televise the cutting process. It is a circle, with the Council's social circuit, on which Slovenia and Mauritania will miss out, while Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Guatemala, Morocco and Togo will join. We'll be back on the substance tomorrow, and even more next year - watch this site.

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

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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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