UK Schizophrenic on
Human Rights, But Says No Impunity for LRA's Kony
Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
2 -- The UK, which holds the UN Security Council presidency this month,
demonstrated incongruous positions on human rights in recent days. On
along with France and the United States, it opposed requests to include
rights in the Council's resolution on Western Sahara. On the morning
May 2, it
agreed to a Presidential Statement on Myanmar which dropped any
reference to Nobel
Prize-winning Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi.
Ambassador John Sawers
glossed over both issues when asked about them at a press conference
the day. But when asked by Inner City Press if the UK would agree to
the International Criminal Court indictments of Joseph Kony and other
of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army, Amb. Sawers said that the UK would
the Council doing that. "The indictments of the ICC should stand," he
said. "It would be for the ICC to determine if the trial arrangements
particular country for someone they indicted" are an appropriate
substitute for proceeding with the indictment. Video here,
from Minute 30:42.
Amb. Sawers on May 2, Aung
San Suu Kyi not shown
On the issue of accountability
within the UN, the UK is not so strong. Inner City Press asked Amb.
about charges, widely publicized including in Britain, that UN
the Democratic Republic of the Congo engaged in trading of gold and
that the UN's Office of
Internal Oversight Services essentially covered-up
these crimes. "I have no comment on that," Amb. Sawers said.
One analysis has it that since the
UK punches above its weight through the UN, it is hard pressed to
Organization no matter what it does. We'll see.
Footnote: well-placed diplomatic
sources told Inner City Press on Friday night that the background
to the Myanmar statement was that Ibrahim Gambari had asked the Council
off, to allow him to travel to Myanmar and deliver these points in
the regime. But when he was denied entry, he gave the green light to
Council. China, in this account, demanded that any statement tip its chapeau to
Myanmar's sovereignty, the UN's loose "good office" role, and that
any solution must come from the Burmese -- well, Myanmarese, or
people themselves, and that Aung San Suu Kyi's name must come
the US and UK agreed, and then agreed to cover it up and dodge
so it goes...
* * *
These reports are
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
here 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 National
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA
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