UN Council, Iran Rises to Second Footnote, Sudan as Truce,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 2, updated -- As the UN Security Council's work program for
March emerged to the Press as this month's president Gabon served
muffins and fruit salad, what struck correspondents was a footnote.
The second footnote, to be exact: "Non-proliferation." The
Iranian nuclear issue, so much discussed in the press, has risen to
be the second footnote of the Council for March. "Maybe by May
it will actually be on the schedule," snarked one jaded
breaking development not reflected on the program of work -- which
Inner City Press is putting online here, two hours
unveils it at a press conference -- is that Chad's Idriss Deby has
agreed to an extension of the MINURCAT peacekeeping mission for two
months, to May 15. So there will be a meeting of Troop Contributing
Countries about the mission.
developments in Darfur, the deal between the Omar al Bashir
government and Khalil Ibrahim's JEM rebels, the public praise by the
Secretary General and Security Council, and even US envoy Scott
Gration, is contradicted in private meeting of the Permanent Five by
U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, according to inside sources. They say Ms.
Rice calls it a mere "truce," not an agreement, between
"two Islamist factions."
would like to
ask Ms. Rice to speak on this, but she was not seen at the Council's
Tuesday morning breakfast. Some correspondents are invited to her
reception for Committee on the Status of Women delegates on Wednesday
evening at the U.S. Mission. Perhaps more will emerge from there.
As Gabon got election to Council in Oct. 2009, not seen since
March 12, the
Council will consider the periodic report on Resolution 1701,
regarding Lebanon and Israel. Pro-Hezbollah sources tell Inner City
Press that while UN envoy Michael Williams gave assurances to the
Lebanese that the report would confirm that a shepherd captured and
interrogated by Israel had been on Lebanese territory, in New York
Lynn Pascoe was responsible for changing the report to say that
UNFIL's investigation is not complete.
face for Williams, the
source says. And so it goes.
when the program of work was issued in final form, as predicted it
included a "private meeting of MINURCAT TCCs," on Tuesday
March 9. It also included on more footnote: ICTY judges. Inner City
Press asked Gabon's Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet about the footnote on
West Africa - could it include the coup in Niger -- and about
Myanmar, why it is not even a footnote for the month. Video here,
from Minute 13:28.
replied that by West Africa being a footnote, the Coucnil "remains
vigilant," including he said on Niger. But does Myanmar not even
being a footnote mean the Council is not vigilant?
* * *
Sex Abuse by
Peacekeepers UN-Solved Amid CSW Shindigs at UN
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 1 -- With the UN teeming with participants in the
Conference on the Status of Women, Inner City Press on Monday asked
the personal representatives of the president of the Congo and of the
prime minister of Morocco about UN peacekeepers charged with sexual
abuse or exploitation.
"In the DRC," the Moroccan
representative said, "there were accusations proven to be
false." Video here,
from Minute 23:30. The Congolese
representative stared at her.
even as to the
Congo, when a UN peacekeeper is accused, the most that is done is to
repatriate the soldier back to his home country. After that, it is
never clear if there is prosecution or punishment. Inner City Press
asked the Moroccan representative about the case of more than 100
Moroccan soldiers repatriated from the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire,
UNOCI -- where they ever prosecuted?
am not sure, was
the answer, then a reference to one person being prosecuted. The
representative said that in Morocco the army and gendarmes take this
seriously, the police less so. But where is the showing of what was
done with the repatriated peacekeepers? The UN provide obscurantist
statistics, saying the Troop Contributing Countries don't want to be
representative said that the repatriation is the most that can be
done. Inner City Press asked about charges that Joseph Kabila, whom
she represented, has done too little about rapes committed by his
army, particularly by the units that came in from the CNDP. Video here,
from Minute 19:45. This question was not answered. On this, and
other UN system sleaze in Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this
week. Watch this site.
CSW meeting in UN on March 1, accountability
for UN sex abuse not shown
the CSW as not only filled the UN cafeteria, so recently the site of
an anthrax scare, but at a more elite level has given rise to a
string of receptions. On Monday, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant has
invited heads of CSW delegations to the UK mission, while Egypt's
Maged Abdelaziz makes a similar invite to his country's Art Deco
mission on 44th Street..
Heraldo Munoz invites delegates and Permanent Representatives to his
residence on East 57th Street. This competes with the EU reception on
72nd Street and Madison Avenue. On Wednesday March 3, Ambassador
Susan Rice invites the same crowd to the U.S. Mission. Many parties,
little accountability. Again, on this, and other UN system sleaze in
Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this week. Watch this site.