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In UN Election, As Slovenia Criticizes Process & Quits, Azerbaijan Wins

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 24 -- After 17 rounds of votes with Azerbaijan with a Security Council seat, Slovenia withdrew late Monday, criticizing the way the election was held. Even after that, though Azerbaijan won with 155 votes, there were 24 abstentions, 13 votes for the withdrawn Slovenians and one for Hungary.

  Inner City Press asked Azerbaijan's foreign minister what he thought of the abstentions, about his country's position on Palestine and whether it would put its dispute with Armenia about Nagorno - Karabakh on the Council's agenda.

  He replied that Azerbaijan follows the line on Palestine of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation and of the Non-Aligned Movement: that is, supporting full UN membership for Palestine.

  Prior to Slovenia's withdrawal, it was said that both Azerbaijan and Slovenia currently favor Palestinian membership in the UN -- but it was argued that Slovenia' government might change, "like Portugal's."

  The Azeri minister said putting Nagorno-Karabakh on the agenda depends not only on it but on the US, Russia and France. (Of France, a European Deputy Permanent Representative told Inner City Press of French Ambassador Araud, "Gerard didn't do Slovenia any favors with his translation games on Friday" -- click here for that story.)

Regarding the 24 abstentions, he said you'd have to ask those countries. Inner City Press did ask a representative of Slovenia for that Misssion's position and will publish it upon receipt.

Many delegates emerged from the General Assembly midday on Monday with two competing swag bags. Is Slovenia alleging more than that?

(c) UN Photo
Ban Ki-moon greets Azerbaijan, misconduct allegations not shown

 Forgotten now are Kyrgyzstan's purple bag, and Mauritania's framed picture of birds.

Numerous insiders of the Security Council noted that the current head of Security Council Affairs is from Armenia; what impact if any that might have won't be known until January. As they say at the UN, they are all international civil servants. 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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