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At UN on Syria, "Differences of Approach," Kofi's Box of Consultants Contains Michel & Others, Guehenno Confirmed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 20, updated -- As on Syria UN Security Council Permanent Representatives, or most of them, gathered at the Council on Tuesday afternoon, India's Hardeep Singh Puri told the Press there were "differences of approach" on the pending Presidential Statement.

  When France's Gerard Araud was asked what the difference are, he told the press to "guess."

  South Africa's Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu told Inner City Press that "this mandate was a mandate of the General Assembly, now the Security Council want to take it over." He said, "it's not balanced, Kofi Annan is engaging the government but also engaged with the opposition."

Update of 5:30 pm -- when the meeting broke up, French ambassador Araud told the press that new drafts of the Presidential and Press Statements will be circulated, with a silence procedure running to 9 am on March 21. If no one objects, they can be adopted and read out at 10 am, another diplomat said. We'll see - watch this site.

At Tuesday's UN noon briefing, Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo Del Buey belated answered some of Inner City Press' questions, specifying that Alan Doss, who left the UN amid a nepotism scandal but then reappeared with Kofi Annan in Cairo and Damascus, is no longer with the Mission.

  Del Buey would not answer, however, on the status of former UN chief legal officer Nicholas Michel, who left the UN amid his own scandal.

   Tuesday afternoon just before the Council began meeting at 3 pm, Inner City Press spoke with another former UN official Ahmad Fawzi, as the spokesman for the Joint Special Envoy. He confirmed that Deputy Nasser al Kidwa cannot go to Syria due to his identification with the Arab League. Kidwa is in Geneva, where now fellow deputy Jean Marie Guehenno arrived today.

  After Fawzi said it had already been announced, the UN in New York at 3:40 pm said Guehenno is a co-deputy with Al Kidwa.

Fawzi told Inner City Press there are two political officers from the Department of Political Affairs, former UN-er Lamine Sisse as chief of staff, and two secretaries, one from the Palais where the operation is based.

Nicholas Michel, it emerges, is an a "box" of consultants. There are others in the box, who will be disclosed as they are used, Fawzi told Inner City Press, while taking as a question, one hope for answer soon, whether the Kofi Annan Foundation has in the past three years solicited funds from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the UAE, or government-affiliated businesses or businesspeople in these states. It's a start. Watch this site.

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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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