As Blair Meets Ban, Echoes of Gaddafi & JPMorgan Chase,
March 3 -- When Tony Blair came to the UN Thursday at 6:30
pm to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the first UN official
he greets was former UK minister Valerie Amos. Then Ban and his two
closest advisers, Kim Won-soo and Vijay Nambiar, came in, followed by
the head of the UN Departmen tof Political Affairs bureau on the Middle
small talk about Amos going on Friday to Tunisia, presumably to the
Libyan border -- “Saturday,” she replied -- Blair's UN role is as
representative of the Quartet on development, focused on the Occupied
Palestinian Territories. So what was the agenda?
Blair and Amos, no fly zone over Libya not shown (c) MRLee
had led the rapprochement with Gaddafi, now much under fire in the
UK. So some wonder who or what he was lobbying for at the UN.
Gaddafi's government has written to Ban to oust Ambassadors Shalgam
and Dabbashi for speaking out against him. Which side of that would
we find Tony Blair?
He has been
dismissive of disclosing his outside
business activities and how they might be conflicts of interest.
Kim, Nambiar, Ban, Amos, Horst, across from Blair (c) MRLee
works for JPMorgan Chase, which has said it will close countries'
Missions to the UN's bank accounts at the end of March. The UN
Secretariat has said it was trying to take action on this -- would
Ban raise it to Blair? Watch thi site.
* * *
Will Chair Libya Sanctions Committee, Hopes To Never
3 -- Portugal will chair the Libya Sanctions Committee
of the UN Security Council, Inner City Press is informed. The formal
decision will come on Tuesday, March 8.
source said, is that “it will be a short term committee” and that
“the need for sanctions will disappear.”
had earlier heard, from a UN sanctions source, that the Libya
Sanctions Committee would not even be staffed.
that it take one or two months to appoint a group of experts, and the
hope is that by that time, there will be no need: that is, Gadhafi
will be gone.
Portugal's Perm Rep meets Ban, staffing of
Libya Sanctions committee not shown
process is for the decision to be formalized at the Council's next
session on March 8. Then the chair, Portugal's Permanent
Representative to the UN Jose Filipe Mendes Moraes Cabral, will
consult with other Council members and draft a letter to all member
states about their Libya sanctions obligations.
The process of
appointing experts will begin, but they are hoping it will never be
completed. We'll see.
* * *
Dabbashi Predicts Inaction by UN on Gadhafi's Ouster
Letter, Visa & Shalgam Questions
3 -- Hours after the UN confirmed receiving a letter
from the Gadhafi government to withdraw the credentials of
Ambassadors Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam, Inner City Press asked
Dabbashi what he thought the UN would do.
Dabbashi said. “The regime is already illegitimate.”
senior UN official on Wednesday night told Inner City Press about the
letter and the possibility of referring it to the UN Office of Legal
Affairs for a long consideration, others say it is an open and shut
case. Gadhafi is still viewed the UN as the head of state, and his
government gets to choose who represents him at the UN.
we'd have to hold our nose,” a well placed Secretariat official
told Inner City Press, “the principle is bigger than this one
that each country has one recognized head of state -- even if like
Alassane Ouattara in Cote d'Ivoire they control only a single hotel
-- and that person chooses their representatives.
Dabbashi at UN microphone, Gadhafi's letter not shown
that the United States could try to deny visas for any new
diplomats whom Gadhafi might send. But under the US' Host Country
Agreement with the United Nations, the US has to allow in people
accredited to the UN.
At most the
US can impose resistrictions on
them such as not being able to travel more than 25 miles from
Columbus Circle, or not being able to visit Ground Zero.
Dabbashi's statement, it seems clear that through time, if Gadhafi is
not ousted, Shalgam and Dabbashi will be, from the UN. The US, one
assumes, won't revoke their visas and make them go back to a
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky to
confirm receipt of Gadhafi's letter. Nesirky confirmed it and said it
is being studied. He said he didn't know the date on the letter, since
he hadn't actually seen the letter.
being sought to explain his role in a deal struck between
Italy, Gadhafi and Saddan Hussein, under which Saddam would have been
given asylum in Libya. Shalgam is head to have cut the deal in Rome.
Then, the US is said to have intervened with Gadhafi to stop it.
Might this give Shalgam some leverage? Might he want to talk about it
more at this time? Watch this site.
* * *
from Bangladesh Trapped, Gadhafi
Asks for UN Seats Back
2 -- The fighting in Libya resonates through the UN in
New York, not only in the Security Council and General
in talks between Missions and UN agencies and even at receptions.
Abulkalam Abdul Momen told Inner City Press
on Wednesday night that his country has 70,000 citizens still in
Libya, and doesn't have the resources to get them out.
He said the
the UN refugee agency UNHCR told him they can do little more than ask
Egypt and Tunisia to let people in.
said that if Saudi Arabia faces protests, it will be much worse for
Bangladesh, which has 2.7 million of its national working in Saudi
Arabia. In Libya, the Bangladesh embassy has only three Bengladeshi
staff members. The local hires, Momen said, don't come in to work
Inner City Press went to speak the Belgium's Permanent Representative
Jan Grauls. His country had only 70 of its national in Libya. Fifteen
of them, he said, were dual Libyan citizens who decided to stay. The
rest have been evacuated.
“They have the
money to do that,” Momen whispered.
government has written to the UN to strip the credentials
of Ambassadors Shalgam and Dabbashi, who both denounced the Colonel,
Grauls mused that this raised interesting legal issue since Gaddafi,
or at least Libya, has now been referred to the International
Momen & Ban,
assistance to Bangladesh's
trapped in Libya not shown
al Bashir has been indicted for genocide by the ICC, but still names
his ambassadors to the UN. Will the UN now have to disbar Shalgam and
Dabbashi, whose speeches have been called so courageous and moving?
Watch this site.
matter Bangladesh's Permanent Representative Abulkalam
Abdul Momen bemoaned to Inner City Press the international
community's interference in venerating and defending the Grameen
Bank's Muhammad Yunus, who he said evaded taxes and is past
not supposed to do anything, because it
has important friends,” Momen said, wondering whatever happened to
the call for the rule of law. What about the high interest rates?
* * *
Insistence on ICC Exclusion Shields
Mercenaries from Algeria, Ethiopia
a compromise Libya
resolution by the UN Security Council on Saturday night, Inner City
Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud if
mercenaries aren't let off the hook by the sixth operative paragraph,
exempting personnel from states not members of the International
Criminal Court from ICC prosecution.
said the the United States had demanded
it. He said, “No, that's, that was for one country, it was
absolutely necessary for one country to have that considering its
parliamentary constraints, and this country we are in. It was a red
line for the United States. It was a deal-breaker, and that's the
reason we accepted this text to have the unanimity of the Council.”
to the UN in 2002 threatened to veto a UN
resolution on Bosnia if it did not contain a similar exclusion, the
Obama administration has maintained this insistence on impunity,
which in this case applies to mercenaries from Algeria, Tunisia and
Ethiopia, among other mercenary countries.
(In the case
there are allegations of official support for Gadhafi).
able to ask UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about the
exclusion for mercenaries from non ICC countries, US Permanent
Representative Susan Rice did not take a question from Inner City
Press, and none on this topic, despite having mentioned mercenaries
in her speech.
Obama, Hillary & Susan Rice: mercenary impunity not shown
Gadhafi, diplomat Ibrahim Dabbashi came out to take
questions, Inner City Press asked him which countries the mercenaries
used by Gadhafi come from.
Algeria, Tunisia and Ethiopia
-- highlighted by NGOs as non ICC members -- as well as Chad, Niger,
Kenya and Guinea. So some mercenaries could be prosecuted by the
ICC, and not others, under language demanded by the US Mission to the
UN. Watch this site.
or former officials or personnel from
a State outside the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya which is not a party to
the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court shall be subject
to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State for all alleged acts or
omissions arising out of or related to operations in the Libyan Arab
Jamahiriya established or authorized by the Council, unless such
exclusive jurisdiction has been expressly waived by the State.
Footnote: Araud blaming
the US position on
some a way to try to blame a decision by Obama's
executive branch on the Republicans who recently took over the House of
Representatives. But it was an Obama administration decision. More
nuanced apologists blame the Defense Department for pulling rank on
State. But the result is mercenaries firing freely.
Click for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
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
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
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.