As Heller to Meet S.Korea, No Questions on Africa, 70% of Council
June 2, updated -- South Korea will meet with this month's UN
Security Council president Claude Heller on the afternoon of June 2,
about the sinking of the ship Cheonan. This was the news that emerged
from Heller's 45 minute press conference earlier on June 2,
describing the Council's
program of work for June.
accounts for 70% of the items of the Council's agenda, no a single
question about Africa was posed or taken at Wednesday's press
conference. Afterward, two of Heller's aides put the onus on the
press corps. "Africa is not news," a mainstream reporter
told Inner City Press, when asked.
has his role. As chairman of the Somalia Sanctions Committee, he
traveled to Yemen, Eritrea and other African nations recently. But he
never briefed the Press upon his return. Inner City Press sought to
ask about Somalia -- after, to be fair, asking two other questions --
but could not get the question in.
conference, Heller told Inner City Press he will belatedly brief the
Council about his Somalia related trip "in July." By then,
though, the news is stale. And what about getting food aid back into
Claude Heller and his able spokesman, Somalia not shown
to travel to Afghanistan this month, but Heller wouldn't give the
date, presumably for safety reasons. One assumes that Taliban will
know about the trip if it happens.
On June 14,
all of the UN system's
heavy hitters on Sudan will come to the Council: Ibrahim Gambari,
Haile Menkerios, Djibril Bassole and Thabo Mbeki. What will they say,
including about Sudanese president Omar al Bashir turning himself in
to the International Criminal Court in The Hague?
that topic, after clarification(s) from the Office of the
Spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-moon-- who will, it is now
confirmed since the first Inner
City Press report this morning, be
speaking to the media at 5 p.m. on June 2, after meeting with the
Permanent Five members of the Security Council. Watch this site.
Update of 3:42 p.m.
-- And 40 minutes after the Press set up at stakeout, Heller and two
aides walked into the Council suite of rooms. But where are the South
3:52 p.m. -- As S.Korean minister enters with two aides, he's
asked, "do you have a message" for the Council? We have
"nothing yet," he replies as enters. Hmm.
3:58 p.m. -- Choi Young-jin, who among other things is Ban
Ki-moon's representative to Cote d'Ivoire, rushes into the Council.
It seems doubtful that Laurent Gbagbo is his topic. So who is Choi
representing? Watch this site.
4:22 p.m. -- for the record Choi Young-jin, who among other things
is Ban Ki-moon's representative to Cote d'Ivoire, tells the Press
that he his business in the Council WAS Ivorian. "Tomorrow,"
he says. "The letter?" one reporter asks. Another says,
"What a coincidence." Maybe it is.
4:31 p.m. -- Choi Young-jin has come back, and back into the
Council. Is THIS trip about Cote d'Ivoire?
4:40 p.m. -- Vice minister Chun Yung-woo emerges from Council. He
tells the Press South Korea is trying to find the right time for the
Council members to begin deliberations. "That is not true!"
one reporter yells. "You can bring your letter any time you
want! Why don't you have your letter in your hand?"
cracks a smile. South Korea's Deputy Permanent Representative leads
him away. We have other appointments, he says. And just after, Choi
Young-jin emerges from the Council. It's a wrap -- onward to Ban
Ki-moon's 5 p.m. presser. Watch this site.
* * *
Flotilla Meetings with Ban, Iran Sanctions Said to Proceed,
June 2 -- The question of who will do the investigation
the assault on the flotilla to Gaza, called for in the UN Security
Council Presidential Statement adopted after 12 hours of meetings
Memorial Day, will be discussed if not determined at the UN on June
Ban Ki-moon will meet with the Ambassadors of Israel and Turkey and
with the Arab Group. Then he will meet with the Permanent Five
members of the Council. Ban's office has asked UN communications
personnel to be ready for a stakeout appearance at 5 p.m. on June 2.
But of course that could be canceled.
Council chamber on morning of June 2, Inner City Press asked
Ambassadors and diplomats about who will do the investigation.
Council president Claude Heller of Mexico joked back: "you!"
The sense is that at least one of the non-US Western P-5 members did
not hold out for the word "independent" being in the PRST;
this member seems to think that Hillary Clinton has moved toward the
UN doing in the investigation.
Americans speak for
America," Inner City Press was told when seeking confirmation.
And the Turks, clearly, are unhappy with the Obama administration's
US position in pushing for Iran sanctions despite the Brazilian and
Turkish deal with Iran on "confidence building measures"
around the Tehran Research Reactor's uranium. On that, a well placed
Council source told Inner City Press that only yesterday another
meeting of the 15 members' experts took place.
"present but not engaged." The P-5 has yet to share any
annex with the non Permanent members. Still and all, more than one
Council member predicted the adoption of Iran sanctions in two weeks
On flotilla Memorial Day, scrum, meetings with Ban not shown
Wednesday morning was to adopt the month's program of work. It
includes a Council retreat in Istanbul, from June 24 through 26, and
perhaps a trip to Afghanistan before that. The UN's top humanitarian
John Holmes will brief the Council about Chad and Sudan on June 3,
then the Press on those topics and others the next day.
conflict appears to be the Mexican's thematic debate, on June 16. And
the sure to be picante End of Presidency reception is set for June
29. The Mission of Mexico, in a show of class, put out tamales and
repostreria for the Press on June 2. Call it a confidence building
* * *
Assault, UNSC Statement Leaves Vague Who Will
1 -- The UN Security Council adopted a vague
Presidential Statement at 2 am on Tuesday, in the wake of Monday's
assault by the Israeli Defense Forces on the flotilla to Gaza.
Afterward, Inner City Press asked first the new President of the
Council, Mexico's Claude Heller, then US Ambassador Alejandro Wolff,
what the provisions means. Their interpretations were entirely
Statement calls for an investigation which is "prompt,
impartial, credible and transparent." US Deputy Permanent
Representative Wolff told Inner City Press this means that Israel can
the other hand, only Council President for less than three hours,
said that it should be an independent investigation panel, named by
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Heller also told Inner City Press that
the PRST's reference to "the use of force" and "those
acts" were both directed at the Israeli military. But the US and
Israel, apparently, have another reading.
live-blogged the twists and turns of the day's Council action from
just outside it, here.
US' Alex Wolff, investigations by Ban Ki-moon not shown
Riyad Mansour ended by saying the Arab Group
and the Non Aligned Movement will be lobbying S-G Ban Ki-moon.
Presumably the US will be lobbying the other way...
Aligned Movement earlier this year lobbied Ban to say that he had no
authority to name a panel, even to advise himself, about
accountability for 30,000 estimated civilian deaths in Sri Lanka. Ban
has vowed that he will never the less name that panel, which he
announced on March 5. We'll see.
STATEMENT ON THE RECENT INCIDENT IN THE EASTERN
deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries
resulting from the use of force during the Israeli military operation
in international waters against the convoy sailing to Gaza. The
Council, in this context, condemns those acts which resulted in the
loss of at least ten civilians and many wounded, and expresses its
condolences to their families.
requests the immediate release of the ships as well
as the civilians held by Israel. The Council urges Israel to permit
full consular access, to allow the countries concerned to retrieve
their deceased and wounded immediately, and to ensure the delivery
of humanitarian assistance from the convoy to its destination.
takes note of the statement of the UN
Secretary?General on the need to have a full investigation into the
matter and it calls for a prompt, impartial, credible and transparent
investigation conforming to international standards.
stresses that the situation in Gaza is not
sustainable. The Council re-emphasizes the importance of the full
implementation of Resolutions 1850 and 1860. In that context, it
reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza
and stresses the need for sustained and regular flow of goods and
people to Gaza as well as unimpeded provision and distribution of
humanitarian assistance throughout Gaza.
underscores that the only viable solution to
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the
parties and re-emphasizes that only a two-State solution, with an
independent and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace
and security with Israel and its other neighbours, could bring peace
to the region.
expresses support for the proximity talks and voices
concern that this incident took place while the proximity talks are
underway and urges the parties to act with restraint, avoiding any
unilateral and provocative actions, and all international partners to
promote an atmosphere of cooperation between the parties and
throughout the region.