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On Syria, Russia PR Against Sanctions, Australia PR For, French & US PRs Not Present

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNdislosed Location, June 7 -- When Syria diplomat Bashar Ja'afari took the floor in the UN General Assembly after speeches by Ban Ki-Moon, the Arab League's Araby and Navi Pillay's deputy, the UN Television feed suddenly turned out.

  Last time the Qatari President of the General Assembly ordered this, the blackout continues through out the session. This time is was temporary. In the speeches that followed German Permanent Representative Peter Wittig said Ban Ki-moon found words.

   While the reference was to Ban belatedly acknowledging that the Annan deputy he named, Arab League nominee Kidwa, has predictably been unable to visit Syria. But Ban refused to confirm that when Inner City Press asked. So did his quiet (or silent) diplomacy work?

Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin criticized sanctions on Damascus, and those who are the rebels.

On the other hand, UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant said that Ja'afari is covering up violence by claiming a conspiracy: words reminiscent of outgoing International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's threat this week to prosecute Sudan's Permanent Representative.

Speaking of Permanent Representatives, or Mission's Number 1 Ambassadors, while PRs were present from China, Russia and the UK, it was noted that France and the United States sent their Deputies, Martin Briens and Rosemary DiCarlo. Questions arose regarding both of these.

The Permanent Representative of Australia spoke for sanctions, but that don't hurt people. He is competing with Luxembourg and Finland for two Security Council seats.

Libya's representative Ibrahim Dabbashi said Assad suffers from "Gaddafi syndrome." Dabbashi long represented Gaddafi -- but, as Ocampo twice noted, he defected and disavowed.

Then things turned, before the afternoon's Security Council session at which much of this was directed, speakers ranges from New Zealand, Chile, Mexico, Cuba and Nicaragua. It's a Latin thing. 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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