Debate Ends with a Flush and a Cough, Last One Turn the
UN, Serbia's Long Shot Request for more UNMIK Before ICJ Rules Foretold
July 6 -- As Serbian president Boris Tadic finally began
speaking in the UN Security Council, five days after the deadly
grenade attack in Mitrovica which triggered the “emergency”
meeting, what he would say had been foretold. Radio
before the meeting, reported that Tadic had asked for a UNSC
condemnation of the attack.
office opening in Mitrovica, which the Radio Srbija story calls
“illegal,” is the real issue. Will it be opened before the
International Court of Justice rules on Kosovo's Unilateral
Declaration of Independence?
Tadic in January 2010, dark tie and dark days not shown
mission, whose shrinkage foreshadowed that of MONUSCO in the Congo,
step forward to perform a peacekeeping role? At 10:55 a.m., Foreign
Minister Vuk Jeremic told Inner City Press that the meeting would be
open. At 11 a.m., Tadic began.
Watch this space.
Update of 11:15 a.m.
-- Tadic's speech closely tracks Radio Srbija's foretelling, or vice
versa. He calls the ICJ case the "largest in history."
Update of 11:19 a.m.
-- Tadic says that no democratic government in Serbia will ever accept
UDI. He emphasizes, at always, that the fight back is diplomatic. It
brings to mind today's taking hostage of UN staff in Colombo by a Sri
Lanka government minister and mob...
Update of 11:28 a.m.
-- Lamberto Zannier of UNMIK runs through an account of the grenade
attack, asking the Council to join him in expression of concen for the
shot Serbian MP Petar Miletic.
Update of 11:33 a.m.
-- EU speaker also describes the grenade attack "600 meters from the
office." Also speaks of Petar Miletic. Says
EULEX has been threatened in Northern Kosovo.
Update of 11:38 a.m.
-- "Kosovo is sovereign, determined to exercise its authority,
regardless or ethnic or religious background." Kosovo says the "violent
protest" obviously had the support of Belgrade.
Update of 11:47 a.m.
-- Kosovo says its office in Mitrovica "will continue."
Update of 11:50 a.m.
-- those hand grenades were most probably thrown from the very
protesters, Kosovo says.
Post meeting update:
after the meeting was over, and Tadic and Jeremic left without speaking
with the Press, Skender Hyseni of Kosovo came to take questions. Inner
City Press asked him to respond to Tadic's statement that the office in
Mitrovica is unpopular. It's very popular, he replied.
Why not wait until the ICJ rules? There is no
connection between the office and the ruling, he replied. We'll see:
watch this site.
* * *
Take Up Kosovo, Access Reconsidered, LRA Ignored,
2 -- Hours after a pro-Serbian demonstrator was killed
in Mitrovica in Northern Kososo, the UN in New York could not speak
about the incident, or why its UNMIK peacekeepers had not been
City Press asked UN Associate Spokesman
Farhan Haq what the UN's role had been in the planning and protection
of the opening of a Kosovo government office in Mitrovica. Haq said
he would have to check with the UNMIK Mission.
sent this to Inner City Press:
on Kosovo at the Spokesperson's Noon Briefing on
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
To: Inner City
Date: Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 2:26 PM
your questions on Kosovo at the Noon Briefing today,
we're still awaiting some more information from colleagues at UNMIK,
but in the meantime, I wanted to tell you that the UN condemns the
violence which led to the loss of life and supports all efforts to
find those responsible for the explosion. In addition, UNMIK and its
office in Mitrovica will remain engaged with all communities to
encourage pragmatic dialogue and help address their concerns.
City Press asked incoming Security Council president Joy Ogwu of
Nigeria if the Council would take the matter up. Yes, she said, there
will be a meeting on July 6, with the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations briefing. High officials will come. But what will
asked also Ambassador Ogwu about the access of the UN Spokesperson's
office to Council consultations, about elections in Burundi and
Guinea, and about the Lord's Resistance Army. She and her political
coordinator asked two or three of the four questions, leaving the LRA
off. Video here.
Joy Ogwu, and DPKO's Alain Le Roy, action on
Kosovo and answers on LRA not shown
Nigeria's political coordinator said these are only interim rules,
and vowed to work on the issue during the month. On elections,
Ambassador Ogwu said the UN should learn from each situation, and
referred several times to the planned referendum in Nigeria. On the
LRA, she had no answer, like teh UN and the Council. And on Kosovo,
we'll find on July 6. We'll be there, watch this site.
* * *
Says Whatever ICJ Rules, Kosovo Is Independent, Rule of
22 -- The UN invited Martti Ahtisaari to speak in its
new building on June 22. Inner City Press asked him for his views on
the implementation of his plan for Kosovo,
the legality of which is
now being weighed in the International Court of Justice. Video here,
from Minute 10:56.
that Kosovo has joined the International
Monetary Fund and World Bank, saying that their funding will be
necessary to mine "energy resources" and tackle
conclusion, Ahtisaari said it is important that "everyone
understand that whatever happens in the international court, Kosovo
is an independent state and will remain an independent state."
purpose of the ICJ, its its possible ruling are dismissed in advance
by one such as Martti Ahtisaari? One wonders what Serbia and Russia
will think of this. After Ahtisaari's comments, the stakeout was
Ahtisaari and UN's Ban, first vs ICJ, latter vs. internal justice?
UN earlier this year sent two top envoys, Ibrahim Gambari and Haile
Menkerios, to the inauguration celebration of Omar Al-Bashir, subject
to an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile
the Secretary General appeals virtually every ruling against him in
the UN's internal justice system. On June
17, Inner City Press asked:
the Shabaan Shabaan USG case...how long do these appeals
take? What’s the status of that appeal? It was ordered that he
pay $20,000 to this allegedly wronged… Has that money been put in
escrow? How long, when does the UN anticipate a ruling on that
don’t comment on individual cases. If you want to know
precisely what the schedule is, you can ask the Registrar.
And I wanted to know, because there is sort of growing, I
guess, misunderstanding from your point of view, of the
Secretary-General’s approach to the rule of law within the UN, this
seems like a topic on which Patricia O’Brien might want to give a
briefing, just to explain not individual cases, but what the thinking
is. See, normally when judges have said, “Please bring documents,”
I guess these articles are saying it’s kind of contemptuous not to
provide the documents at all, and then to wait for a ruling, and then
appeal it. Like it seems, and especially when there has been no
decision on any of the appeals yet. So I am just wondering, this is
a request that OLA, or Mr. Ban tomorrow, but that OLA explain how
this is consistent with the rule of law to simply ignore judges’
orders to produce evidence.
is one fundamental point here, that this was an initiative of
the previous Secretary-General, and then it was further pushed by
this Secretary-General. So to suggest that somehow the
Secretary-General is ducking his responsibility is rather odd. As I
have said, he is fully committed to upholding the system of
administration of justice that is prescribed by the General Assembly.
* * *
Serbian Cell Phones in Kosovo and Transport Corruption,
17 -- "Kosovo cannot tolerate any longer so much
lawlessness, " Skender Hyseni, Foreign Minister of Kosovo, told
the Press on Monday. Inner City Press has asked Hyseni about this
government's move last month to disable the repeaters of Telekom and
Telenor, two Serbia-based cell phone companies, from providing
service south of the Ibar River.
a license will be duly considered and eventually
honored," Hyseni said. Video here,
cell service is a
politically charged issue. Currently, according to Hyseni, 68
countries recognize the unilateral declaration of independence of
Kosovo. He predicted the number will grow after the International
Court of Justice rules on Serbia's case, which he said will be soon.
that regulating telecommunications should still be the responsibility
of the UN, under Resolution 1244. After a Security Council meeting
Monday about Kosovo, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin came out
smiling. "Resolution 1244," he told the Press as he passed.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic to, like Hyseni, take
questions at the stakeout. Jeremic shook his head. "It was a
good session," he said, gesturing back at the Council. Last Kosovo
debate in January, Boris Tadic similarly declined to take questions.
Hyseni on May 17, Zennier in background, cell phone
regulation not seen
might have been
asked about the mass grave recently found in Southern Serbia, or
whether Kovoso's participation in the upcoming EU - Wester Balkan
conference in Sarajevo connotes increased recognition of the UDI.
would have wanted to call for the ouster of Kosovo
transportation minister Fatmir Limoj, whose office was recently
raided by EULEX. Hyseni when asked by Inner City Press declined to
speak on this, saying that the judiciary in Kosovo is independent,
and that questions of corruption should be kept separate from
"projects." Video here,
But if the
alleged corruption was in the
procurement for the project, how can they be separate? Watch this
* * *
22 -- When Kosovo
comes before the UN Security
Council these days, each time it is with more and more of a whimper.
President Boris Tadic, in the Chamber, spoke darkly of
a "final solution" being imposed on northern Kosovo. But he
declined to speak to the press when he emerged.
prepared to leave, then turned back into the UN. When the Press tried
to follow the entourage into the now empty Delegates' Lounge, a Serb
Mission staffer stood in the way. You cannot come in, she said, later
clarifying that Tadic was only using the bathroom. "Then he has
to leave, to come to our party then fly back to Belgrade."
Hyseni, after lowering the UN microphone to his
height, ridiculed Tadic's arguments. Inner City Press asked about
Tadic's statement that elections not called by the UN Mission, UNMIK,
are illegal. Hyseni said that the authorities in Belgrade have also
opposed any election called by UNMIK. Video here,
Tadic in Council in 2009, flush out of press not yet shown
about Tadic's remark that the International Civilian Office
under Peter Feith is trying to impose a "final solution."
Hyseni wouldn't repeat the phrase, calling it a "final
whatever," and saying it would be "irrational" to
comment on that. He said the ICO is a "European accredited
mission to Kosovo." Then, coughing, he left the stakeout. The
UN's Special Representative never appears, and no Council member came
and spoke to the Press.
of Kosovo is pending in the International Court of Justice,
three more countries have recognized the unilateral declaration of
independence of Kosovo: New Zealand, Mauritania and Malawi.
Tadic put it,
that still means that 127 nations respect Serbia's territorial
integrity. But for how long? Especially when Serbia doesn't make its
case to the press? Minister Vuk Jeremic was there in the entourage,
fresh from profile in the Grey Lady, but didn't want to upstage his
President. But he shouldn't have let Hyseni upstage him either.
Council debate, multiple references were made to whether
Serbs in northern Kosovo pay their electricity bills, and to whom.
The privatization of Kosovo Electricity, however, was not
discussed.... In the emptying UN, last one here, turn the lights out.
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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.
* * *
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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
UN, NY 10017
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