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For S. Korea in May, Ukraine, S. Sudan & Burundi, Hope for Stakeouts

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 2 -- When South Korean ambassador Oh Joon briefed the media on the Program of Work for his May presidency of the UN Security Council, the Council was already meeting on Ukraine, at the request of Russia.

  Still Oh Joon took some questions. Inner City Press, after thanking him on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, asked about South Sudan and Burundi, on which Inner City Press first published a confidential April 3 UN cable detailing the ruling party arming its youth wing.

  On that, Oh Joon cited a May 14 briefing on Burundi, by video. On South Sudan, Inner City Press asked if the Presidency has received any communications from the Salva Kiir government not only about changing the UN Peacekeeping mission UNMISS' mandate, but also its Status of Force Agreement. He cited a briefing to be held later on May 2.

  Most questions directed to Oh Joon were about North Korea. He cited the March "elements to the press" read out by then-president Luxembourg, and the April human rights session in the "Arria formula." Inner City Press asked to ask if an Arria formula meeting on internally displaced persons will take place in May, but... soon enough.

  Oh Joon was understandably rushing back to the Security Council chamber to speak in his national capacity about Ukraine, so Inner City Press for FUNCA didn't say it but does here: in April, Nigeria as Council president held fully 10 question and answer stakeouts after consultations. South Korea should aim for that, to keep the trend to greater access going. Watch this site.


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