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At UN, Stonewalling on N. Korean and Palestine, Kim with DPRK, O'Brien

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 8 -- As Joseph Deiss delivered his swan song as outgoing President of the General Assembly on Thursday, including an evening reception of Permanent Representatives, the work and intrigue of the United Nations continued.

  While Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was still out of town, his senior adviser Kim Won-soo worked the crowd, including a lengthy discussion with the Permanent Representative of North Korea. Earlier in the day, without answer, Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesman Eduardo del Buey:

"Can you confirm that the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, will be visiting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea, and if so, is that, I believe that is taking place, I would like confirmation of that and whether Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who spoke a lot about the issue and rapprochement on the peninsula, had any role, has had any communications with [the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] regarding this visit by the Emergency Relief Coordinator?"

Del Buey didn't answer, or email any answer, but later than evening Kim Won-soo was deep in discussion with the DPRK Permanent Representative.

Kim Woo-soon & DPRK Perm Rep, Sept 8, 2011, Amos not shown

  Also at the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press and then others asked repeatedly for a briefing by Ban's top lawyer Under Secretary General Patricia O'Brien, including on the issue of how filings by Palestine will be handled by the Secretariat.

  No answer was given, no briefing has been offered, but O'Brien was spotting Thursday night chatting with Mr. Kim and Department of Field Support deputy Tony Banbury. We'll have more on this.

The Press-shy Patricia O'Brien in GA Sept 8, Palestine not shown

  More informed Permanent Representatives to the UN told Inner City Press that the statement on the Durban III review conference is under "silence procedure" until Friday at noon.

  There was a meeting of the Security Council's Permanent Five members, on topics ranging from Syria -- China and Russia "reiterated their positions," one attendee told Inner City Press -- to Libya, on which Inner City Press will be publishing a story later on Thursday. Watch this site.

Footnote: At Deiss' last press conference on Thursday morning, Inner City Press asked him if receiving housing and other funds from Switzerland had been a conflict of interest, and if such funding limited the President of the General Assembly post to rich countries like his successor, Qatar.
  Deiss said no, and noted that he received seconded staff from countries. But doesn't THAT mean that richer countries have more say? To his credit, Deiss said that the failure to fund "protocol" for the PGA is a problem. We'll have more on this.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

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