On Gaza, UN Council President Meets Arab League, 10 pm
Consultations to Follow
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 27, 7:15 pm, then updated
-- With over
225 dead from air strikes in Gaza, the doors of the UN Security Council
remained closed with a bicycle D-lock at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Inner City
e-mailed the office of this month's Council President, Croatia, to ask
"Presidency of the Security Council has received any request for
Council meeting about, or any other communication concerning, the
Gaza in the past two days." The Croatian mission's
Subj: Re: Press question(s) on
From: Croatian Mission Spokesman
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 12/27/2008 6:54:37 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Matthew, The Presidency will be
meeting with the representative of the Arab League this evening at 7.30
have been advised that an emergency meeting may be called for, but the
of this meeting is yet to be ascertained [it will be either this
tomorrow]. I will inform you on developments as soon as I know.
already public that the Arab League had been asked to demand an
meeting. For comparison's sake, Russia got a 1 a.m. Council meeting the
night of the South Ossetia war with Georgia.
Update of 7:30 pm
- following Croatia's Neven Jurica, the Ambassadors of Egypt, Syria and
Lebanon, along with the Permanent Observer of Palestine Riyad Mansour
and the Arab League's representative, walked into the now-unlocked
Council. A diplomat told Inner City Press: consultations at 10 pm, with
Libya requesting an open meeting thereafter.
Update of 8:08 pm
- the 10 pm consultations are confirmed by the UN, but there's no UN TV
on the scene when four Ambassadors speak, entirely in Arabic, at the
stakeout. A member of the Croatian mission notes that upstairs on the
34th floor, "there is no one." The countdown begins.
Update of 8:21 pm
- the Egyptian Ambassador has put on his overcoat to leave. Still no
sign of the U.S., France, UK, Russia or China -- nor of the UN
Secretariat. A representative from Djibouti, though, it here. When
Inner City Press asks what the French and U.S. bases in Djibouti do, he
laughs. "You should ask them," he suggests, "how their bases help
Update of 9:08 pm
- UN TV, at least the hard working sound man, has shown up, and
pitchers of ice water have gone into the chamber. Iran has circulated a
letter, as has Israel, through a staffer in the Office of the
Spokesperson. The former doesn't refer to "Zionist;" the latter speaks
of self-defense. A UN conference officer who appeared in the film Fort
Apache, The Bronx has gone into the chamber. The stakeout microphone is
being set up. The UN's "Marie Okaba,"
through Deutsche Presse-Agentur, says that Ban Ki-moon is coming to
the 10 p.m. meeting...
Update of 9:43 pm
-- The U.S. spokesman has arrived, the Chinese political officer, and
now the Council's president Jurica has returned. It is known in advance
that there will be no output from the meeting. But let it begin!
Croatia's Ambassador at the mic, ICC
prosecutor looks everywhere but Gaza
reported, Israel's UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev on December 23 met
with Ban Ki-moon. Inner City Press asked Ban's Deputy Spokesperson
at that day's noon briefing, what the meeting had been about. That the expiration of the cease fire in Gaza
would have been discussed seemed obvious. The question was intended to
whether any statement as to timing had been made by the Israeli
"We'll get you a readout," Ms. Okabe said. Video here.
December 23, Ban's Spokesperson's Office sent Inner City Press the
To: Inner City Press
Sent: 12/23/2008 3:31:10 P.M.
Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Your question at noon
Regarding the Secretary-General's
meeting with the Israeli Permanent Representative today, it was purely
"Purely a courtesy call"? That is the phrase used
diplomats who are leaving the UN visit the 38th floor for a final photo
opportunity with the Secretary-General. We'll see.
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
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
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 Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
Reporter's mobile (and
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]