UN, US Susan Rice Confirms Stealth Myanmar Briefing, Speaks on Sudan
Sit-Reps, Darfur Mission "Impediments"
December 2 -- While military ruled Myanmar was on the
November agenda of the UN Security Council, albeit in a footnote, it
was removed from the agenda for December, during which the United
States has the Council Presidency.
2, Inner City Press was told that China had opposed the inclusion of
Myanmar in the Program of Work, even as a footnote. It was agreed
that, without giving the session a name, UN envoy Vijay Nambiar will
brief the Council on his Thanksgiving weekend visit to the country on
the afternoon of December 6, under “Any Other Business,” the
Council's catch-all phrase.
Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice came to brief the press on the
month's agenda at 1 pm, the Program of Work distributed to journalist
had in the footnotes between “Non-proliferation” and Somalia a
blank spot, the length of the word “Myanmar.”
on December 6,
the Program listed only the tribunals for Rwanda and the former
Yugoslavia. Inner City Press asked Ambassador Rice along with
questions on Sudan to confirm that there would in fact be a briefing
on December 6, and whether the obviously deleted footnote had been
said that yes, Mister Nambiar will brief on December 6, and said that
her copy of the Program of Work reflected that. She did not explain
the missing footnote. Q&A
here, from Minute 16:04.
she was more
responsive than many in the press corps had expected. When her
briefing was scheduled for 11:30, some UN correspondents speculated
that it was so that no or few questions could be taken before the UN
it turned out,
Rice and the rest of the Council remained in session until 12:30,
meeting “in real time” as one of them put it to Inner City Press
on the crisis in Ivory Coast.
Inner City Press is told that
of the elections commission contacted the US and France
to ask for protection to get to the airport. When Inner City Press
asked UN acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about this, and why there
seemed to be doubts not only about the chairman's safety but also
about UNOCI, Haq said he would not answer.)
briefing, Inner City Press asked about recent incidents in Sudan: the
killing of students by the Sudanese authorities in South Darfur in
connection with a meeting with joint UN mediator Bassole, and
Khartoum's bombing of Northern Bahr al Ghazal state in South Sudan,
which even UNMIS confirmed.
said that all
Council members get “sit-reps” from the UN, and can ask for more
information. Inner City Press followed up, does UNAMID in Darfur
under Ibrahim Gambari do enough to verify reports of attacks?
Susan Rice where she'll be this month: stakeout. Results to be seen
answered diplomatically that since UNAMID is one of the largest UN
missions and has protection of civilians in its mandate, she has to
assume that when UNAMID doesn't go and check, there is some other
would such impediments be
Sudanese government prohibitions, or Gambari's proclivities?
Wikileaks scandals had to be asked about, and were. But they were
initially asked about in a way that certainly pleased, if not was
negotiated by, some surmised, the US Mission: did the leak hurt
Ambassador Rice's work? To the same questioner, she said that she
will go to the correspondents' association's dinner and fundraiser,
but there better be good music. We'll see.