of German UN Month, of Israel and Serbia, Nubans & N. Korean Nukes
July 27 -- A specter hung over the Germany end of Security
Council presidency on Wednesday night, or perhaps three or four
specters: Vuk Jeremic of Serbia, the dead Nubans of Southern
Kordofan, a visiting North Korea minister and disputes in the Middle
East including Israel, whose Permanent Representative Ron Prosor was
in the house.
house in this
instance was the German Ambassador's residence, off Fifth Avenue in
the Seventies, with rooms large, even too large, one of the residents
told Inner City Press.
for his part
opined that if Israel were to speak in favor of a Council resolution
on Syria is would “just help the regime” of Bashar Assad.
is the US letting
the Council's European members take the lead on
Syria? Good question, he said.
Susan Rice was not present, as she has not been this week. Deputy
Rosemary DiCarlo was there. The French, it seemed, dispensed not only
with Permanent Representative Araud but also his deputy, leaving
their political coordinator to represent La France.
seen the night previous, closer to the UN at the farewell of an Asian
permanent representative, furiously pitching the Elysee's position on
the injury to six French peacekeepers in Lebanon, which resulted in
statements from the UK and US Missions, Alain Juppe and at day's end
the UN Security Council.
was hard not to
note that in Darfur, for example, the death and injuries to UN
peacekeepers from the Continent gives rises neither to a Council
press statement nor a meeting.
political, of course. Take for example the request of Serbia,
supported by Russia, for an open meeting on Kosovo's closing of the
border. Western members said they needed more information, that an
open meeting might just inflame. That this is the same argument they
oppose when opposed to places like Ivory Coast did not seem to bother
decision that Thursday's session would be closed, Serbian Vuk Jeremic
headed to New York from Beirut, and will meet with UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday.
will get an open meeting in
the Council Friday, depending on what the Secretariat says behind
closed doors on Thursday. Some say the information will come from
K-FOR. But if the UN is spending money on UNMIK in Kosovo, shouldn't
it have its own information?
presidency is not over, already Ambassador Peter Wittig easily
surpassed the number of press stakeouts of May's presidency, France,
at only three.
did not substantially answer questions
asked. But he stood and listened to them, and this reporter missed
his stakeout about the Lord's Resistance Army - though only after
Wittig merely circulated a press statement about the Central African
Republic earlier in the month. Call it a draw, and hope that it's
Wittig & his able spokesman at July's beginning, end not yet seen
often made is that while "some delegations" at the beginning of July
vowed there would be no outcome to the German's climate meeting, in
fact there was one. One Deputy Permanent Representative Wednesday night
took particular credit, perhaps not unfairly. Another E-10 delegation
claimed credit for the Kosovo compromise and this was confirmed, though
also criticized on timing.
Wednesday night, the Chinese mission was full of military men and
women celebrating the People's Liberation Army. Many in attendance
were just there for the food -- which was excellent, featuring duck and
jellyfish -- but in the crowd stood Democratic People's
Republic of Korea ambassador Sin Son Ho, eating dumpings and cherries
and spring rolls.
Press asked him
when his Minister Kim's talks with the US will happen, and what he
hoped from them. We'll see in the next two days, he answered, saying
even he hadn't yet been told the list of US attendees. Stephen
Bosworth? Human rights rep King? This too was a specter. Watch this
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Africa Move Toward Joint Communique on Syria, European Members
Grumble at UN
-- 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.”
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.
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.
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
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.”
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?”
Brazil Donna Hrinak responded that the
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.”
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
America director Julia Sweig also replied:
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.”
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.
* * *