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In UN's August, of Korean Seas & African "Nothing," Olympics & Police

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 6 -- As August settles in at the UN, with France in charge of the Security Council, schedules are mostly loose and the buildings put to other use.

  On Monday August 6, what passed for news was a speech in the North Lawn denouncing Japan's use of the term "Sea of Japan," delivered by South Korea's Ambassador at Large for Geographic Names, Mr. Chang Dong-hee.

  His prepared remarks described meetings in which "Japan sticked [sic] to its existing position and showed no flexibility to consider any other option than the sole and exclusive use of 'Sea of Japan.' This has prevented the two countries from having meaningful discussions on this matter."

  Also, Canada once against denounced Palestine's participation and how it described itself. (Click here for Inner City Press' exclusive report last week on Palestine getting seated).

  Elsewhere in the North Lawn there was a scheduled meeting of the "Special Advisory Committee on Central Africa," slated to start at 3 pm. Inner City Press staked it out expectantly.

  But by 3:07 pm mid-level representatives of only four member states had entered. One of them, when Inner City Press asked "what is the meeting about?" said "nothing, absolutely nothing. It's Central Africa."

  A meeting that was listed on the blue sign as "DESA" was separately labeled as "International Police Executive Symposium." Inside a Power Point slide long on the screen talking about mapping sexual violence.

  Across the hall was another non-UN event, "GYLC," the Global Youth Leadership Conference.

  Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is setting sail on Friday, to the Expo in his native Korea and them to Timor L'este. He will be out of town as the UN mission in Syria is, by all accounts, allowed to expire.

  Despite the stated focus on Syria, there were tubbleweeds blowing through the UN on Monday, figuratively and almost literally, as wrappers from the Policy Symposium's free lunch accumulated on the North Lawn Building's cement floor.

   When a European spokesman came into the Vienna Cafe, even this was not for news, at least not UN news. The London Olympics are being shown live on two big screen TVs by the Vienna Cafe; it has to be serviced, and NBC's tape-delay defeated. And so it goes at the UN.

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