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At UN, Pakistan Plan, Libya Dysfunction, "Moroccan Sahara" Claimed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 30 -- In this UN General Assembly debate, in the fire hydrant spray of words and catch-phrase, some stand out and well as some omissions. Inner City Press will note some of them here, in reverse chronological order.

  On September 30, at night, the speaker for Morocco slipped in a reference to the "Moroccan Sahara," criticizing "plans made in offices." Of course, Morocco has tried to Ban Western Sahara speakers even from the UNTV microphone.

  Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif said, "I want to use the opportunity today to propose a new peace initiative with India, starting with measures that are the simplest to implement: One, we propose that Pakistan and India formalize and respect the 2003 understanding for a complete eeasefire on the Line of Control in Kashmir. For this purpose, we call for UNMOGIP's expansion to monitor the observance of the ceasefire. Two, we propose, that Pakistan and India reaffirm that they will not resort to the use or the threat of use of force under any circumstances. This is a central element of the UN Charter. Three, steps be taken to demilitarize Kashmir. Four, agree to an unconditional mutual withdrawal from Siachen Glacier, the world's highest battleground."

  Libya's "Acting Head of State" Agila Saleh Essa Gwaider used the speech to trash the GNC:

"The House of Representatives, as the legitimate authority elected by all Libyans, has been and still is supportive of dialogue as a strategic option to resolve the political and security crisis in Libya. The House of Representatives made all possible concessions to encourage the extra legitimate authority to disassociate itself from terrorism and join the dialogue table in order to spare Libyans more bloodshed and put an end to the destruction of Libyan cities. However, we notice more intransigence in positions and more misinterpretations of the flexibility shown by the house of representatives. It seems flexibility has been misunderstood, even by Mr Bernardino Leon, the Special Representative of the Secretary General, who tried to bring us back to square one and unravel all that has been achieved in the last months..

  “In case of continued intransigence of the General National Congress by rejecting the agreement, the House calls on its boycotting members to advance its interest and the interest of its constituents on any other measures. They are called upon to participate in the election of an inclusive government of national accord, apart from the terrorist groups"

  On September 29, St Vincent and the Grenadines slammed the Dominican Republic for its ousters to Haiti, and criticized the UN for not taking responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti, and for its peacekeepers' rapes in the Central African Republic (which UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous had linked to a lack of "R&R," here.)

 Yemen's Hadi said Yemenis "thanks" the Saudi airstrikes on them.

 For the UK, UN Security Council "pen-holder" on Yemen, it was Phillip Hammond who spoke. At first, UNlike most other countries other than, for example, Yemen and the US, the UK's speech was NOT sent out by the UN.  After some inquiries, a UK spokesperson said it would come out soon. But should one have to ask so much? We'll have more on this.

 Here's from the UK speech; Australia's is below that:

UK: "as the Prime Minister pledged yesterday, the UK will resume a significant role in enabling peacekeeping operations, particularly in Africa where the UK will support efforts by the United Nations and the African Union to end some of the world’s most destabilising conflicts - conflicts that are prompting mass migration from South Sudan and sustaining terrorist groups in Somalia.

"The UN must strive to represent the new realities of our age, with a reformed Security Council. It must have the best possible leadership, with a transparent system for selecting the next Secretary General, and he (or dare I suggest, perhaps, she?) will have to head a more efficient organization, ensuring that every cent it receives from its members states is used to maximum effect.As a founding member of the UN, and as a permanent member of the Security Council, the UK will champion that reform agenda. And we will continue to promote the ideals that the United Nations represents."

 But is it "rule of law," when none of the French soldiers accuse of rape a year ago in the Central African Republic have had a judicial decision?

Australia's Julie Bishop:

 “All states must uphold their responsibility to protect civilians from the most serious international crimes. Security Council members have a particular responsibility to do so. In that context, we welcome proposals to restrain use of the veto where mass atrocity crimes are being committed. Australia's term on the Security Council in 2013-14 demonstrated that elected members can play an active and constructive role. I am therefore pleased to announce that Australia is nominating to serve again on the Council for the 2029-30 term

  “As a non-permanent member of the Security Council, we experienced first-hand the difficulties the Council faces in responding to the crises and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Mali. Nowhere is the devastation greater than in Iraq and Syria. Daesh is wreaking devastating harm on individuals, families and communities and destroying the world's heritage, in gross violation of international law and basic concepts of morality. It cannot be allowed to prevail.

  “Australia is participating in coalition military action to combat Daesh in Iraq and Syria. We are doing so within the framework of the Charter, and in a manner consistent with international law. Defeating Daesh requires both military and political action. Reconciliation and inclusive governance in Iraq are key to reducing Daesh's appeal and support. We continue to advocate for a political solution that can bring an end to the conflict in Syria, and we support UN envoy de Mistura's efforts towards this end.

  “We do not believe any transition option should be rejected, all permutations of a political solution should be assessed with clear-eyed realism," Bishop said.

  The last speech of September 28 was Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan, who cited the day's attacks and the only belatedly disclosed death of Mullah Omar. Before him, Bolivia's Evo Morales when off script, sub-tweeting Donald Trump, directly asking why and how the UK claims to own an island, Malvinas, “so close to our continent.' Ecuador's Correa trashed Chevron both for pollution and legal chicanery.

  South Africa's Zuma said, “We reiterate our support of the people of Western Sahara and urge the international community to support their struggle for self-determination, freedom, human rights and dignity.”

 Nigeria's Buhari said, “Friends of Nigeria and foreign investor partners will be encouraged to know that the new Government is attacking the problems we inherited head-on.” Apparenlty Bring Back Our Girls (also) means Bring Back Our Investment.

   Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said “Democratic backsliding is a threat in too many places, as leaders seek to stay in office beyond their mandated limits” - but didn't say the word, Burundi, while he did shout out The Gambia.

  Ban also said, “I am deeply troubled by growing restrictions on media freedoms and civil society” - although when his chief of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous had Inner City Press ejected from an “open” meeting, Ban did nothing.

  New General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said, “As President of the General Assembly I will support member states in their ambitions for revitalization and reform – including a new, more transparent process for selection of the next Secretary General.”

 But when Inner City Press has asked him about the process for selection the next head of the UN's refugee agency UNHCR, he has said that he favors his fellow Dane Helle Thorning Schmidt but that it is entirely up to current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

   Before US President Barack Obama's 42 minute long speech, which Inner City Press separately reviewed here, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff spoke of a Palestinian state, low-carbon agriculture, and this:

“The Brazilian government and society do not tolerate corruption. The Brazilian democracy becomes stronger when the authorities recognize the limits imposed by the law as their own limits. We Brazilians want a country where the law is the limit. Many of us fought for this, precisely when laws and rights were violated during the military dictatorship. We want a country where rulers behave strictly according to their duties, without giving way to excesses. The sanctions of the law must apply to all those who committed illicit acts bearing in mind the need to uphold the principle of due process.”

  As Inner City Press asked midday on HuffPostLive, here, for what audience was this meant? Watch this site.


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