Asia, UN Office Ignores Human Rights While Presiding Over Car
September 7 -- As the UN bragged of counter terrorism on
Tuesday, its envoy to Central Asia Miroslav Jenca dodged questions
about use and misuse of the label of terrorist in Uzbekistan and
Kyrgyzstan, and the first suicide car bombing in Central Asia, last
week in Tajikistan.
asked Jenca what he and his Regional Office in Turkmenistan are doing
to protect the rights of ethnic Uzbeks
chased by pogroms into
Uzbekistan, only to be detained by the government of Islam Karimov
could reply, the UN's helpful director of Counter Terrorism Jean-Paul
Laborde cut in to
remind that human rights are the domain of High Commissioner Pillay,
and Jenca need not answer. He did not. Video here.
of human rights, on paper, is the Fourth Pillar of the UN's “Counter
Terrorism Strategy.” Of course, the UN can't even define terrorism.
But they sense a freight or gravy train moving on the concept, and so
they get on board (or Laborde, as one wag put it.)
months the UN
had dodged on the question of whether Jenca and his office are
involved in the investigation of the causes of the violence in
southern Kyrgyzstan. Tuesday Inner City Press asked Jenca himself. He
said this is beyond the mandate of his office.
UN's Ban and Jenca,
is hardly involved in the major issue of water wars between
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, what exactly is he doing? Watch this site.
* * *
Uzbeks Swept Under UN Carpet of Jenca's Boilerplate, Franco-American
& P-5 Indifference
5, updated -- The UN's and its Security Council's temporary
interest in the ethnic cleansing of Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan
appears to have dissipated. The UN's Central Asia envoy Miroslav
Jenca, only behind closed doors, is briefing the Council this
boilerplate Press Statement, little different than the one
issued like clockwork every six months, has been circulated, as if
nothing happened in Osh and Jalalabad. Never again?
are pushing back, trying to get more substance into the Press
Statement. One which held the Council Presidency during some of the
violence is particularly interested. But not only this month's
Russian presidency, but also the U.S., which has appeared publicly to
call for accountability, seem to prefer not using the UN on this
issue, leaving the Council's statement vague and “decaffeinated,”
as one non Permanent member put it.
to include France,
whose minister called the pogrom a crime against humanity. A French
diplomat leaving the Council at 10:45 am predicted the Press Statement
will be adopted "as is." What about follow through on the crime against
already a statement about that, back when it happened, he answered. But
what about follow through? And what
about such non P-5 speakers on human rights as Austria? Even with the
Permanent Representative away, the positions should not change.
questions is what role the UN will play in investigations into the
causes of the pogrom. Inner City Press has been asking about this for
UN's Ban and Jenca, investigation and pogrom follow
through not shown
From the UN
noon briefing transcript of July 26:
Kyrgyzstan, the OSCE [Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe] Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative,
Kimo Kiljunen, he said there’s going to be an investigation
conducted by his organ… by a commission, international commission,
of the violence in southern Kyrgyzstan. And he also said that the
United Nations would be involved in the commission. So, I wanted to
know, is that the case? What will be the United Nations role in an
international investigation of the causes of violence in southern
me find out. Just a general point, the OSCE
Parliamentary Assembly is not the same thing as the OSCE itself, as
I’m sure you understand. So we would need to see precisely what
the composition, the intended composition, would be. But the other
more general point is that we’ve said already that there should
be an independent investigation into the events that took place in
Osh and Jalalabad and in the south of Kyrgyzstan. So let me get
back to you on that, okay?
Inner City Press asked
said you would find out, and I wanted to ask
whether you have. One is, what is the UN’s role in any possible
investigation into the causes of violence in southern Kyrgyzstan?
I mentioned to you, that is a work in progress
amongst different international organizations. It is being actively
looked at, and I know that my colleagues in the Department of
Political Affairs are keeping a close eye and talking to their
colleagues, as is Mr. Jenca, the Special Representative for Central
Asia, Miroslav Jenca. No firm words yet. But, as I’ve said to you
before, this is an area where we have been very closely watching. And
not just watching, but involved in bringing people together,
monitoring and reporting what’s been happening...
On August 3, Inner City Press asked incoming Council
president Vitaly Churkin if the August 5 consultations would include a
discussion of UN involvement in an investigation, and if Russia
believes that Council blessing would be required for the UN Secretariat
to do that, as Russia as argued in the case of Sri Lanka war crimes.
Let's see, Churkin answered. Yes, let's see. Watch this site.
Update of 11:09 am -- the US, it seems, is happy with
the boilerplate, saying it will "support Jenca" who has "worked hard."
Even the main proponent of caffeinating the Press Statement with more
substance about human rights and accountability for the Kyrgyz pogrom
appears to have given up. They raised it, the P-5 shrugged, they left.
If it was an egg attack on P-5 peacekeepers, though, the Council would
act. And so it goes.
* * *
Ban Does Not Raise Border Closure or Maxim Popov, Omitted
-- With tens
of people seeking to flee
attacks in Kyrgyzstan blocked at the Uzbek border, UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon spoke on June 16 with Uzbekistan's strongman
Islam Karimov. Ban did not, however, ask Karimov to open the border.
This was confirmed on June 18, when Inner City Press asked Ban
himself if any request had been made to open the border. Ban's two
minute answer included no such request. Video here,
raise to Karimov, when he visited Tashkent in April, the plight of
UN-funded AIDS educator Maxim Popov, who was sentenced to seven years
in prison for blasphemy. Inner City Press has twice asked Michel
Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, about Popov.
June 9, Sibide
told Inner City Press that "I personally tried to be sure the
Secretary General during his trip to Uzbekistan was able to raise
this issue" of Popov. Video here,
10:02. Inner City
Press then asked Ban's Spokesperson's Office if Ban had raised it,
Ban directly on June 18, saying "the head of UNAIDS said
you were prepared to raise this issue of Maxim Popov, in jail for
seven year." Ban did not answer this part of the question, so
Inner City Press repeated it. Video here,
"United Nations relevant agencies will continue to work to
address that issue." Not only is the logic circular -- UNAIDS
says they prepared Ban to raise the issue, then Ban says "agencies"
will be the ones to raise it -- when at 6 p.m. the
UN put out their transcript of the press encounter, they omitted Inner
City Press' Maxim Popov question, and called the follow up
"inaudible." Compare video
to UN transcript,
UN's Ban and Karimov, border closure and Popov not
to UN transcript--
mentioned the people that are waiting to cross the
border out of Kyrgyzstan. When you spoke with President [Islam]
Karimov of Uzbekistan, did you ask him to open the border? Also, when
you were in Uzbekistan, were human rights a part of your conversation
with President Karimov of Uzbekistan?
a telephone call with President Karimov just two days ago,
I appreciated his willingness to accommodate 80,000 refugees who have
crossed the border. I know that there is a serious difficulty in
accommodating these 80,000 people and also in feeding them, providing
necessary assistance. He told me that their capacity would run out in
three to four days. That is why I have immediately spoken with the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other
United Nations agencies in mobilizing all humanitarian assistance.
UNHCR has delivered more than 200 tons of immediate, urgent food
assistance. Now it is important that borders are open, but at the
same time, I know I know that there is concerns on countries in the
region of how to manage this border security when addressing all
these tens of thousands of people at one time. I will continue to
discuss this matter. [Special Representative] Mr. Miroslav Jenca is
on the ground in Bishkek talking to all the neighboring countries and
he is closely coordinating with the Special Representatives of the
European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation and Shanghai
corporation organizations and other individual countries. I
understand that you have been briefed by Mr. Jenca, by the way, at
this afternoon's noon press briefing. So we will closely monitor what
will be the best way to address this humanitarian issue including
this border management.
not into microphone]
relevant agencies will continue to work to
address that issue.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
are listed here,
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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