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Pinheiro Won't Compare Syria to Myanmar, Annan Might Not Include Rights?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 23 -- Amid talk that the situation is Syria is the most deadly or brutal, Inner City Press on Friday asked the head of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria Paulo Pinheiro to compare it to Myanmar, on which he previously reported. Pinheiro refused, saying comparison is "not useful." Why not?

Inner City Press earlier on Friday asked Joint Special Envoy (JSE) Kofi Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi a series of questions, including

"yesterday outside the Security Council's Arria formula meeting with the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, a number of Permanent Representatives told me of calls that the JSE should both insist that any monitoring mechanism include human rights monitoring and reporting AND that the JSE should be pushing the Assad government to allow entry into Syria by the International Commission of Inquiry. Please respond."

Spokesman Fawzi told Inner City Press, "the JSE is considering all options for the monitoring mechanism."

Unclear if that meant Annan would insist on a human rights component, which is for example missing in the recent UN mission to Abyei UNISFA, and in MINURSO in Western Saharan, Inner City Press asked all three Commission of Inquiry members if they think human rights must be included.

Pinheiro said he wouldn't tell Annan what to do. Yakin Erturk disagreed, saying the human rights must be a part of every mission in Syria.

Inner City Press asked asked Annan's spokesman Fawzi:

is there any answer yet to the question of whether the Kofi Annan Foundation has solicited (and if so, if it has received) funds in the past three years from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the UAE or government aligned business interests or businesspeople in these three countries?

Can you disclose any more of the individuals in the JSE's box of consultants, even if not yet deployed or paid, but certainly if deployed or paid? What is Mr. Nicolas Michel's status?

Fawzi replied

"I do not have access to any information about the KA Foundation. Please contact Ms. McCoy for any questions about the KA Foundation. Let me stress that Mr. Annan has nothing to do with the KAF in his role as JSE. They are completely separate. No consultants at the moment. Nicholas Michel is not with the Mission at the moment."

But when Inner City Press asked Ms. McCoy, she referred the question to the UN, which has in turn referred it to Fawzi. This is getting circular. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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