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On Ukraine's Request for DPKO, UN Said No Formal Request - But Feb 23 Letter

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 -- When UN Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman addressed the UN Security Council about Ukraine on March 6, he told the members about

“President Poroshenko's February 17 statement noting that Ukraine will be requesting a possible deployment of a UN-mandated peace mission to Ukraine. Subsequent to that, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin held discussions with the Secretary-General, Under Secretary General Ladsous and myself on this issue. We informed the Foreign Minister that it was a decision for the members of this Council and that the Secretariat would be guided by its decision. To date, no formal request has been received from Ukraine.”

  But on March 13, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, of Ukrainian statement that they HAVE requested UN peacekeepers

"there was a letter sent to the Secretary General on February 23. Our reaction to that letter is what we've been saying publicly, that the deployment of UN peace operations  requires a resolution and decision by the UN Security Council."

  So the UN didn't disclose the February 23 letter requesting peacekeepers because they wouldn't grant it, so it wasn't a "formal" request?

  Inner City Press asked Dujarric on March 13 about his statement, and Feltman's on March 6. Dujarric said he would check the dates.

  Beyond militating for a Freedom of Information Act for the UN, the Free UN Coalition for Access believes that the UN or at least its Office of the Secretary General should presumptively disclose such letters that it receives, at least unless the submitted requests confidential treatment. We'll have more on this.


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