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At UN, Spain Calls Push for Top Women's Post Delicate, Ghana on Oil but not Nigeria

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 3 -- Ghana and Spain sent officials to brief a total of three journalists about the two week meeting of the 46 members of the Commission on Social Development. Inner City Press asked Ghana's Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian how his country intends to distribute its new found oil wealthy. Fairly, he said, taking best practices from other countries.

  Which countries, Inner City Press asked, Nigeria? Ambassador Christian said he could not talk about other countries. He used to serve on the Security Council, which routinely talks about countries from Sudan to North Korea. But once off, diplomacy returns.

  So too with Spain. Inner City Press asked Francisco Moza, Secretary General for Social Policy of Spain's Ministry of Health and Social Policy to explain his country's efforts to get immigrants to go back to Africa, by paying them. Is that social inclusion? He replied that his ministry does not cover immigration; he talked about Spain's historical and linguistic ties to North Africa. Video here.

  Is Spain pushing UNIFEM's Ms. Alberdi to take over the UN's forthcoming women's agency, to be started on March 1? Francisco Moza called this "delicate," something that should not be spoken of. One wag in the audience translated this as "yes."

DSG Migiro with Spain's Alberdi, Vice President,
Amb. Yanez-Barnuevo

  Now with the UN press corps placed over the library on 42nd Street, and meeting like the CSD taking place in the temporary "UN-KIA" building between 46th and 48th Streets, CSD gets even less media coverage than before.

  But the Spanish mission came to document its moment in the development spotlight. After the financial crisis, Spain has less money to try to buy good will and posts in the UN. Last time, Spain's Alberdi got a job most involved NGOs said should have gone to a candidate from India. And now? Watch this site.

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As Russia Denies Paulson's "Dump Fannie Mae" Story, Chinese Tricks Explored

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 2 -- Buried in the just released memoir of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is the allegation that in August 2008 Russia asked China to join with it in dumping on the market the securities of Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac.

  While Paulson does not draw the connection, it was in August 2008 that Russia's conflict with Georgia about the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia flared up into a war. The U.S. Administration jumped to Georgia's defense, at least verbally, and according to Paulson, Russia try to lure China into a "dump the GSEs" campaign. As it turned out, Russia did sell its over $60 billion stake in the two mortgage giants.

  Inner City Press asked a senior Russian representative to the UN about Paulson's story on February 2, as the Security Council met about its program of work for February. "I don't think so," the diplomat said.

  Why then would Paulson tell the story? "We are getting closer with the U.S.," the diplomat said. "People get jealous." He went on, "We don't have a good relationship with China right now. The U.S. does not have a good relationship with China." He shrugged. "People don't want Russia and the U.S. to get along."

  Paulson sources his story in "On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System" to the Chinese, bragging perhaps that they hadn't gone along with Russia's urging. So, in this view, was China trying to drive a further wedge between Russia and the U.S.?

Paulson, China: Russia's "dump Fannie Mae" strategy not shown

  At the time of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia conflict, through which Russia recognized both territories as countries independent from Georgia, China expressed unease. What if Tibet or Taiwan, or even Uighur Xinjiang Autonomous Region, were similar recognized by another state?

  If Chinese officials did in fact pass dirt about Russia along to the U.S. Treasury Secretary, perhaps the disagreement about recognizing breakaway separatist states explains it. It's something that should be expected to be covered more in the media, as Paulson hawks his book. It is may arise further at the UN -- watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

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.

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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

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