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On Syria, Ban Takes Center Stage Then Defers to Annan, UN/Acceptable Violations?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNdisclosed Location, June 7 -- Outside the UN Security Council on Thursday afternoon, three separate rostrums were set up. When they emerged, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took the center. But why?

Kofi Annan is the JOINT Special Envoy of the UN and Arab League: Ban and the Arab League's Araby should have been on his two sides. Especially when Ban answered a question by saying, I have much to add to what [Annan] said. One wag muttered, You're right, you don't have much to add.

During the closed door Security Council consultations, Western diplomats were bragging that inside Ban had said that Annan's six point plan is not likely to be implemented. Inner City Press asked a non-Western diplomat who was inside the room, did Annan say that? No, was the answer. And it IS the "Annan plan."

Annan, of course, if far from perfect. When Fox News was given a question, the specter of the Oil for Food scandal was in the air. To ITN, Annan denounced "unacceptable human rights violations." It begs the question: are there "acceptable" rights violations? There do seem to be, at least for Ban Ki-moon in Sri Lanka. Anyone who raises this gets targeted, including for expulsion.

Another discrepancy arose and seemed to go un- or under-reported. Earlier in the week, Inner City Press learned and exclusively reported that after indicating he wanted to have an "informal interactive dialogue" with the Security Council, as for example Thabo Mbeki recently did about Sudan, Araby switched course and said he DIDN'T want to meet with the Council.

Thursday morning a non-Western diplomat exclusively told Inner City Press that Arabi had "changed his mind or was persuaded by someone else" and now wanted an informal dialogue, which was then scheduled for 2:30. Perhaps this was reported in Western big media and it's just not yet in Google News. But as of 6:15 pm on Thursday, it's not there: until now.

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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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