UN, Araud of France on Chad and Guinea but not Myanmar, Francophonie
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 2 -- With France taking over the Presidency of the
UN Security Council for February, Ambassador Gerard Araud told the
Press on Tuesday that Myanmar is not on the agenda, because no member
had raised the issue. Video here,
from Minute 34:12.
previous impassioned statements about Burma by both France and the UK
-- the U.S. now seems to reply on Senator Jim Webb -- and other
Council member told Inner City Press that the idea is that Myanmar
can be raised "as needed." The UN's policy, too, is on
auto-pilot, with envoy Ibrahim Gambari having left the post
temporarily in the hands of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's titular
chief of staff Vijay Nambiar.
advisor, deputy chief of staff Kim
Won-soo, recently told South
Korean outlet JoongAng that he and UN political chief Lynn Pascoe
will travel to North Korea starting February 9. Since North Korea
not even in the footnotes of the program of work Araud presented on
Tuesday, Inner City Press asked if Araud expected Pascoe to briefing
the Council upon his return.
informed of the mission of Mr. Pascoe and his team to Pyongyang,"
Araud answered, adding that a briefing after the visit was expected.
Then why wasn't it in the program of work?
group of experts about the UN Peacekeeping mission in former French
colony Chad. Inner City Press asked Araud about Chadian President
Idriss Deby's statement that the UN Mission mandate should not be
renewed past its March 15 expiration. Video here,
from Minute 8:01.
"As you have said, I think it is right, the president of the
Republic of Chad has signaled his will to see the force withdrawn
after 15 March. But the Secretariat has sent a mission to N’Djamena,
therefore there are high level contacts between the Secretariat and
N’Djamena and we are waiting for the result of this mission."
City Press that in the closed door Chad experts meeting, the U.S.
told the UN Peacekeeping Department DPKO to not make any commitments
while in Chad, but to return to New York for instructions. When
leadership of the MINURCAT mission passed from the European Union to
the UN, Deby used it as a chance to charge more money. And now?
Araud on Feb. 2: this
is not acceptable, where are your helmets?
Inner City Press asked Araud about the finding of Guinea's national
commission exonerating Dadis Camara for the killings on September 28,
2009, Araud responded with procedural notes about the Council
supporting the political process, and praise for Burkina Faso's
What about Dadis
Camara's war crimes? What about a human
rights component being added to the MINURSO mission in Western
Sahara? It should be an interesting month. Watch this space.
Araud began the press conference in French, then stopped, to wait for
non Francophone reporters to get their "helmets" or
translation headsets. When this was delayed, Araud demanded, "C'est pas comme ca," it's not like
that, not acceptable, saying, I
don't speak English! Video here,
from Minute 1:55. Araud said
several times, I meet often to the press. Inner City Press has
inquired into this, and will be testing it this month.
* * *
of US Thinks "Highly" of Menkerios, Ghost Tweets by UN
Council, Bosnian Chaos
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 1 -- It's a new month and a new day at the UN. With
France taking over the presidency of the Security Council from China,
on the morning of February 1 other Council members met one by one
with the presidency to discuss the month's agenda or program of work.
It was not a formal or even listed Council meeting, and therefore the
stakeout area was dark, with no other journalists present.
Ambassador told Inner City Press, "You're all alone out here." U.S.
Ambassador Susan Rice, on her way out, slowed and took a
question from the Press.
U.S. think of Mr. Menkerios, the new chief of the UN Mission in
Sudan, UNMIS?" (Click here for
Inner City Press' story over the
weekend about the nomination.)
Ambassador Rice said. Inner City Press asked, "Haile?" --
it is Menkeios' first name. There was laughter in the half light.
Ambassador Rice had been taking fire of light, including for not
being present and accessible enough at the UN and Council in New
York. Perhaps this is a new beginning.
Susan Rice, Stevie Wonder and UN's Ban: faux
response to the
criticism, signed by Ambassador Rice's spokesman Mark Kornblau, has
online. After Mr. Kornblau unleashed buckshot at flock of
"canards" -- a l'orange? one
wag wanted to know -- a snarky
"How much do you get paid to 'pump up' her
IMAGE! obviously she isn't doing anything. if she was, then reporters
would write what she was doing. instead, she has her assistant write
a PR piece."
with Ambassador Rice's exit from the Council, two tweets were posted
in her new Twitter feed, noting two resolutions passed in January,
and the handover to the French. Does she tweet and walk at the same
time? Or, like Ban Ki-moon, is someone tweeting for her?
Other Ambassador greeted going in to consult with the French were
those of Austria and Russia -- one wanted to ask about portions of
Henry Paulson's memoir, more on this soon -- but not Croatia. The
Mission of Bosnia is embroiled in controversy. The new Ambassador
Ivan Barbalic is said to have requested the removal or reprimand of
his deputy, Mirsada Colakovic.
Ms. Colakovic pulled rank, and
made her putative boss withdraw the request. Meanwhile the Bosnian
Mission pays more rent in New York than its Balkan counterparts. If
you can't run your Mission, how will you be effective on the Council?