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At UN, Top Official Says Solyndra "Unfortunate... US Makes Own Decisions"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- Climate change was a topic at the UN Monday, in the run-up to the General Debate proper. Inner City Press asked Christina Figueres, Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, about US President Barack Obama having postponed ozone rules, and about the failure of poster-child subsidized gree business Solyndra.

  Figueres called Solyndra an "unfortunate example of not an effective way of doing it." She did not address the allegations of crony capitalism, but rather said that a green economy can increase employment. Video here.

  Why then did Obama cancel or postpone the ozone rules? Figueres did not directly comment on this either, saying that the US makes its "own decisions," then spoke about Montreal Protocol secretariat in Nairobi. How very UN.

Obama previously at UN with Gaddafi ally Treki, plus ca change

  Another example of crony capitalism, this time in UN Peacekeeping contracting, is around the UN this week: Suntech, a company regarding which many questions were left answered by the UN, click here for that. Watch this site.

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As Sudan Breaks Abyei Agreement, Susan Rice Says Obama Will Meet With Kiir, Focus Lost?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 -- When President Obama came to the UN a year ago, the meeting on Sudan was a focus. This year the stated focus is Libya, with elephant in the room in Palestine and a possible US veto of UN membership. But is Sudan in better shape?

  Inner City Press on Friday asked Susan Rice if Obama "that things are better there than they were last year?" Rice expressed concern, then said Obama will meet with the president of South Sudan Salva Kiir. It's sure to be a feel-good moment, but what about Sudan proper?

  Amid bombing in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile state, even the supposed good new in Abyei has fallen apart, with Khartoum negotiator Omar Suleiman saying that contrary to UN claims his country has not agreed to pull out of Abyei by September 30.

  Inner City Press asked Rice and the UN about this. The UN provided Inner City Press with a copy of the agreement, here. Earlier on Friday, Sudan's Permanent Representative told Inner City Press that the Sudanese Armed Forces will only leave once the UNIFSA mission is fully deployed, which the UN denied.

  Rice when asked hearkened back to the underlying June 2011 agreement and advised Sudan to comply. But what's the leverage, especially if Obama's focus has moved on?

From the US Mission transcript:

Inner City Press: On Sudan, I wanted to ask you this. That beyond just the fighting and bombing in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, there was an agreement that was announced by the UN in Abyei that Khartoum and Juba would both pull out, even before the UNISFA mission was fully implemented. And now Khartoum has said that that's not true-they didn't agree to that, that the UN misspoke. I wanted to know what's your understanding of when they committed to pull out. And, two, what-in President Obama's bilateral, what's the place of Sudan. I mean last year it was quite high profile on his visit. Does it remain that? Does he think that things are better there than they were last year? And what's he going to be doing here while he's here on Sudan?

Ambassador Rice: Well, with respect to the redeployment of forces from the Abyei area, the two sides signed an agreement and made a commitment to withdraw those forces, in fact, earlier in the process than we are today, and certainly long before the full deployment of UNISFA.

So we think that redeployment is overdue and needs to be accomplished urgently. And any suggestion that that wasn't in fact the agreement is belied by the document that both parties signed. Obviously, the United States remains very interested in, very committed to peace and security in Sudan, both the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, and we're frankly quite concerned that many of the critical issues that need to be resolved between North and South remain unresolved. Many of the crucial aspects of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement remain unresolved and unimplemented and that, in and of itself, has the potential to be a spark that could ignite underlying tensions.

We're also very, very concerned by what is transpiring in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, where aerial bombardments, attacks on civilians and humanitarian crisis is continuing and intensifying. So that also is of concern, and, of course, we remain very much focused on what is transpiring in Darfur.

So there's no diminution in the U.S. government's focus on, or commitment to what transpires in Sudan. And as was mentioned today at the White House, President Obama will have the opportunity to meet briefly with President Salva Kiir of South Sudan during the United Nations General Assembly.

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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