Rebels Recognized by Contact Group, UN Stance Unchanged
July 18 -- What has been the impact of the Contact Group on
last week deeming the National Transitional Council as the
At the UN, none. A spokesman for the chair of
the Libya Sanctions Committee said that there are not changes to the
sanctions or arms embargo. (In any event, as Inner City Press
covered, France parachuted weapons into the Nafusa mountains.)
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky if the UN would change its
decision to silence the NTC's representatives, Abdurrahman Mohamed
Shalgam and Ibrahim Dabbashi:
Press: with the decision by the Contact Group to recognize the
National Transitional Council as essentially the Government of Libya,
I wonder [what] that changes. I know that the UN Secretariat gave
these courtesy passes to former Ambassador Shalgham and his deputy,
Ibrahim Dabbashi. But then it imposed some conditions that they
couldn’t speak at the stakeout, but they could come into the
building. Does the Contact Group decision about who is the
legitimate representative of Libya change anything about the
Secretariat’s decision on these two diplomats that have gone to the
Not to my knowledge, because the Contact Group is not
responsible for recognizing or otherwise.
Press: Could we get Ian Martin? Is it possible, given Ian
Martin’s now even more prominent role in this, you know, transition
in Libya, to have him either do a stakeout or come to the this room
just to describe what his work is and where it stands?
We can certainly ask.
Watch this site.
Footnotes: while Dabbashi most recently predicted to
Inner City Press that Gaddafi would be "gone by mid-July," it's now
July 18, and he's still there...
A question put to the IMF's spokespeople on Monday,
whether the Contact Group's decision changed in any way the Bretton
Woods institution's previous stance of not working with the National
Transitional Council has so far not been answered. It will be asked at
the IMF's next briefing.
* * *
Stonewalls on Flights of Volunteer Envoy, Confirms Vandewelle
12 -- The UN's engagement on Libya has come slightly
more into focus, though still vague on money. On Monday, the UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Libya Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib
City Press that he is still
a “proud” Senator in his native
Jordan, and works for the UN only as a volunteer.
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm that
Khatib demands and receives UN planes to fly from Jordan to locations
other than Libya, and that he has UN-paid staff in Libya. Nesirky
defended the flights without yet providing information, including if
the planes come of the UN missions in the Congo or Sudan:
At the stakeout yesterday, Mr. [Abdul Ilah] al-Khatib
clarified and said he is now, he is a volunteer and remains a senator
in Jordan. And I just, I don’t want to belabour it, except to say
that some say there is still kind of a… the issue of serving both
the UN and a Government at the same time, they’re not sure there is
a precedent for that and think that OLA [Office for Legal Affairs]
may have criticized it. And also I wanted to know whether in fact
he’s flown, requests or demands a UN plane to fly from Jordan to
various meetings not in Libya and also has UN staff in Jordan. What’s
kind of the cost and what’s the… is the thinking, if he
doesn’t personally receive a salary, there is no possible conflict
of interest with being a sitting politician in a country in the
I think Mr. Al-Khatib can speak for himself on that
particular topic, and evidently did so yesterday. That’s the first
thing. Second is that, of course, a special envoy working on a topic
as high profile and complicated as this one could be expected to have
people supporting him from the Department of Political Affairs, and
that is certainly the case.
his staff is someone that worked for him in the past? Was it a
UN staff member forwarded to Amman? ... Is this a new
let’s not extrapolate from one particular case. This is an
important role that Mr. Al-Khatib has and is carrying out. He is
widely respected in the region; he knows the players in the region
and evidently has access to them, too. And that’s clearly, in the
present circumstances, rather important. He obviously also needs to
travel, not just to Libya but to other countries in the region. And
another one would be, for example, the Contact Group meeting that’s
going to take place in Istanbul. That’s quite normal and
understandable for someone who is working on a topic in a role where
he is precisely supposed to be coordinating and liaising between
different groups and seeking to mediate a solution to this crisis.
Do the planes… just one last thing, do the planes come
from UNMIS [United Nations Mission in the Sudan] or from [MONUSCO in
need to check what planes are used, if any. I would need to
check on that. I don’t know the answer.
hours later, no answer had yet been provided.
Ban meets his envoy, now a volunteer, UN planes
& staff not shown
One answer that
Nesirky's office did
belatedly come up with concerned the UN's hiring of Dartmouth
profession Dirk Vandewelle. Twice Nesirky's
deputy Farhan Haq
declined to confirm the hiring, which a UN source told Inner City
Press was "pathetic."
Tuesday, Nesirky's office belatedly
on Dirk Vandenwalle
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not
Reply [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM
Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com
from last week, we can confirm that Dirk Vandenwalle
is working with Ian Martin's team dealing with the transition in
Libya. He was hired as a consultant.
as what cost? And as some wonder, why would a Special Adviser need
Political Advisers? Watch this site.