Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Follow us on TWITTER


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book


Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At UN, Watered Down Climate PRST, Water Rising, Ecocide in ECOSOC?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20, updated -- After 6 pm on Wednesday, the German presidency of the Security Council read out a Statement on climate change, eight paragraphs long.

It goes out of its way to say that the General Assembly and ECOSOC have primacy. It asks Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to slip climate information into the reports he already files with the Council. The Council does not remain “seized of the matter.”

An hour before the statement came out, Bolivia gave a speech saying that the Security Council is not the venue for climate change, since the biggest polluters have veto power. Instead Bolivia proposed an “International Tribunal for Climate and Environmental Justice,” to hold polluters guilty for “ecocide.” One Council wag dubbed it the “Ecocide in ECOSOC” speech.

Given the opposition to earlier drafts of the Statement, including Russia “breaking silence” on Wednesday morning, how did Germany get agreement?

Merkel, Ban Ki-moon and guard, climate PRST deals & reporting not shown

A well placed Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle spoke with this Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to seal the deal. While seeking confirmation, it is significant that is the perception: that a deal was cut.

German Ambassador Peter Wittig was said to be prepared to take question, in connection with an unrelated Council press statement on Serbia's arrest of Goran Hadzic, indicted for war crimes in Croatia in 1991 and 1992. We'll see.

Update of 7 pm -- while Ambassador Wittig, when Inner City Press asked if the diplomacy went "above the Permanent Representative level," merely said the process was "includive," it's been confirmed to Inner City Press that this PRST did come up in discussions between Westerwelle and Lavrov this week. So as the initial source on this asked: what deal was cut?  Call it diplomacy. We'll continue on this.

* * *

On Climate, Russia “Broke Silence” on UNSC Statement, Deal Still Sought

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- As more than sixty countries gave speeches about climate change in the UN Security Council on Wednesday, behind the scenes the German presidency of the Council tried to negotiate with Russia, and to some degree China, to get agreement on a watered down statement on the topic.

  As Inner City Press reported July 19, there was a range of opposition to Germany's draft in the lead up to a re-drafting meeting that afternoon. The result went into so-called “silence procedure” to see if it was acceptably to all 15 Council members. Russia broke the silence procedure.

  But Russia is not the only doubted. The Non Aligned Movement, for example, has opposed the Germans' proposal. On July 20 Egypt's Permanent Representative Maged Abdelaziz told Inner City Press that NAM does not want the Council to take any action on climate. “That is for the General Assembly and UNFCCC,” he said.

  He said NAM wouldn't oppose there being a Special Representative on climate change, but it should be created by the General Assembly, not the Security Council.

  But NAM's representative or coordinator in the Council, Colombia, has had its concerned allayed by the German's re-draft. Brazil's Permanent Representative Viotti told Inner City Press that the amendments she had proposed had all be taken, but “they keep talking with Russia and China.”

  Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Sasha Pankin told Inner City Press that he has worked on the climate issue and it is complex.  He asked, what would the Council actually do about it?

  Proponents of the statement pointedly ask how Brazil got support for their thematic meeting's statement, on development and security, but now climate change and security is a problem. Others wonder how HIV / AIDS can be in Council statements, but not climate change.

  But even the Association of Small Island States meeting on the morning of July 19 was inconclusive. There is philosophic or turf-based opposition to the Security Council “taking over” the issue of climate change.

  Even though the Germans have changed the language to address this so-called “encroachment” fear, it remains. So will the Security Council “remain seized” of climate change and security? Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Climate, Russia Says Complex, China Speaks of Blue Seats in GA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19, updated -- If there is a climate change Presidential Statement in the Security Council on July 20 it will be “so weak as to be meaningless,” several sources told Inner City Press midday on Tuesday.

They described a contentious closed door consultation that morning which began with China saying its position had not changed, it wanted no outcome from the meeting.

  Afterward, Chinese Deputy Permanent Representative Wang explained to Inner City Press that China does not want the Security Council taking over issues from the General Assembly. He said there are already “blue” or empty seats throughout the General Assembly as it loses power.

  Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Pankin told Inner City Press that climate change is complex and the Germany presidency has not made clear what it proposes the Council do about the issue: send peacekeepers to close down coal mines?

  Brazil's Permanent Representative Viotti told Inner City Press her country was willing to negotiate and had put forward proposed amendments, to limit encroachment and narrow the scope from what had been proposed. But they have not yet included our amendments, she said.

  Colombia is the Non Aligned Movement's representative or coordinator on the Council this month, and conveyed NAM's opposition to the Presidential Statement.

 Colombia in its national capacity proposed amendments. Another source told Inner City Press Colombia said it too suffers from climate change, but nevertheless has these concerns.

  The United States is understood to be favoring the Security Council adopting some Statement on climate change. The Germans remain hopeful, preparing another draft for an experts level meeting at 3 pm on Tuesday.

  But with Russia and China expressing opposition, and Colombia, Brazil and others forwarding amendments, even a weak Presidential Statement is by no means assured. Watch this site.

Update of 1:30 pm -- sources tell Inner City Press a "bare bones" re-drafted PRST has been circulated in advance of the 3 pm meeting. Inner City Press asked German Ambassador Peter Wittig as he came out of the Council after the Iraq meeting -- SRSG Ad Melkert briefed but did not take any press questions -- about the chances for the climate PRST. Anything is possible, he said.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -