Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Follow us on TWITTER


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book


Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Serbia Asks UNSC to Condemn “Unilateral Acts” in Kosovo, Portuguese Compromise's Organ Traffic Explanation?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 -- Just before Thursday afternoon's closed door Security Council session about the Kosovo Serbian border, Serbia's Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic spoke to the Press on the steps outside the Council. He said that the “unilateral actions” of “ethnic Albanian militants” should be condemned by the Council, given its responsibilities for peace and security under Resolution 1244.

  Inner City Press asked Jeremic what he was asking for, an open meeting and a Press Statement? Jeremic said he had asked to address the Council, that would be the first step.

  But in fact the first step is a briefing by outgoing UN Peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy in closed door consultations of the Council, which non-Council members like Serbia cannot attend. Instead, Jeremic is scheduled to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at 4:30 pm.

  Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if Ban had received any request to meet with the new foreign minister of Kosovo, who has also come to New York and has indicated will address the Press. Nesirky, at noon, said that he was aware of no such request.

Vuk Jeremic previously in UNSC, Western SC snarks not shown

  The closed door consultations on Serbia, instead of moving directly to an open meeting, was a compromise suggested by Portugal. On Thursday Balkan sources told Inner City Press that Portugal's positions on Kosovo are different from the EU's.

  Inner City Press asked Portugal's Permanent Representative Cabral about it, and he surmised that the difference was about organ trafficking, on which the EU position is that EULEX can investigate it alone, and Portugal is not sure that EULEX has the capacity (or sufficient jurisdiction) and is open to some non-EULEX involvement, perhaps by the UN.

  In his May 12, 2011 intervention on UNMIK, Cabral said that "as I stated here last February, the seriousness and relevance of this issue demands that we follow it closedly and keep an open mind on any future action that the full pursuit of the investigation may require [including] United Nations' assistance to an independent investigation."

  Could that be among the topics Jeremic will raise to Ban Ki-moon? We'l see.

Footnotes: another compromise being floated is, rather than having an "emergency" open meeting on Friday, to move up a previously scheduled UNMIK debate into early August.

  Meanwhile, given the issues behind the border clash, we aim to have more about Kosovo's tax dispute not only with Serbia, but also Bosnia & Herzegovina -- or at least part of it. Watch this site.

* * *

As Closed Meeting on Serbia Set at UN, Russian Argument Lost in Translation?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- Serbia's letter asking for a emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Kosovo's “seizure” of a border crossing in which at least one policeman was killed caused controversy in the Council Wednesday morning.

  Several pro-Kosovo Western Council members said they didn't have enough information, and opposed an open meeting at which, they said, Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremic could “use” the incident.

  The compromise, which Portuguese Permanent Representative Cabral described to Inner City Press, is to hold a closed door consultation on Thursday morning, with a briefing by UN Peacekeeping, probably by outgoing chief Alain Le Roy. (Former UNMIK chief Lamberto Zannier has left to head the OECD and has not been replaced.)

  While Cabral said the closed door session might lead to an open meeting, another Western delegation said that an open meeting, at least on Thursday, was “highly unlikely,” expressing concern that the buzz about Jeremic flying to New York was an attempt to “force” an open meeting. “He can talk to you, the Press, out here if he want to,” the Western Council member said.

Western sources in the Security Council went further, saying that in Wednesday's consultations about whether to have a meeting the Russian representative “made two mistakes -- first calling it a 'minor incident' then referring to two states.”

Inner City Press asked the Russian delegation about this; they say that the UN mistranslated part of the statement from Russian. “Of course we wouldn't call it two states.” Neither Serbia nor Russia nor the UN recognizes Kosovo as a state.

The Deputy Permanent Representative of a country in the middle -- let's called them Non Aligned -- told Inner City Press that Russia at first called it a “small” incident, then corrected that and that nearly all other delegations agreed it was serious.

  The “two states” reference was apparently, according to the non aligned source, an argument that as with the Thailand Cambodia border dispute, any dispute between two states can trigger a Security Council meeting.

 Since the Western members consider Kosovo a state, how can they oppose a meeting on this issue? And isn't their argument that an open meeting could inflame things precisely the argument others make, cynically they say, about places like Southern Kordofan in Sudan? Watch this site.

* * *

India, Brazil & S. Africa Move Toward Joint Communique on Syria, European Members Grumble at UN

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- As the crackdown has intensified in Syria, the so-called IBSA countries -- India, Brazil and South Africa -- have been under increasing pressure to “do something about Assad.”

  France's UN Ambassador Gerard Araud, for example, wrote an opinion piece in the Brazilian press urging Brazil to support the long pending draft Security Council resolution on Syria circulated by the European members of the Council.

  UN sources have for some time been telling Inner City Press that IBSA has been moving toward taking action.

 Now on July 26 several European members complained to Inner City Press that the action the IBSA countries are moving toward is not through the Council but rather a communication, or demarche, directly to Syria.

  This new development is not unexpected. As the Council's two resolutions on Libya have been cited after the fact as authorizing not only airstrikes but even the parachuting of weapons into the Nafusa mountains by France, opposition to a Syria Council resolution has grown.

  But India, Brazil and South Africa, each for its own reasons, wants to take some action on Syria. Internally, each of the three government faces pressures from some groups to do more about human rights in Syria, and from others not to allow “another Libya.”

  As to Brazil, on a recent Council on Foreign Relations conference call Inner City Press asked, “what do you make of Brazil's position on Syria being portrayed as... obstructionist?”

  Former US Ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinak responded that the

Brazilian congress certainly is playing more of a role. Itamaraty at one time had, you know, virtual monopoly on foreign policy making. Civil society is a lot more vibrant in Brazil in also speaking out on foreign policy. You could do quite well by looking at what players are active in U.S. foreign policy and seeing those same groups reflected in Brazil.”

   How would an op-ed by a French diplomat seeking to impact US foreign policy play out?

Brazil's PR Viotti, India's (3d from left), Araud behind Susan Rice in shades, IBSA letter not shown

  CFR's Latin America director Julia Sweig also replied:

with respect to Syria, there was a great deal of conflict with France over that, but there were a couple of resolutions, I believe, that passed in the Brazilian congress, which is becoming more and more active in weighing in on foreign policy, condemning 1973, that resolution [on Libya], and also a great deal of resistance on the Syria front that I believe Itamaraty is increasingly sensitive to, as our foreign-policy operatives are themselves when they conduct foreign policy. So in foreign policy, domestic politics and voices will impinge.”

Things are not so different in India and South Africa. So for the three to act together is not unexpected, despite the grumbling from European members of the Security Council. Watch this site.

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

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

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -