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At UN, Serbia Complains of UNMIK Budget Cuts, Russia Speaks of Law

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- In a rare mix at the UN of the work of the Security Council and the Budget Committee, Serbia has put onto the Council's April 16 agenda “the fact that the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo budget proposal for the next financial year provides for extensive cuts.”

  In an April 15 letter to Council president Claude Heller of Mexico, not made public until this article and upload, Serbia argues that the proposed budget cuts would jeopardize UNMIK's ability to carry out the work Serbia and Russia say its has under Council Resolution 1244 (1999), and criticizes UN Envoy Lamberto Zannier for failing to sign the laws adopted by the Assembly of Kosovo. Such signing would not, it seems, require money.

UNMIK's Zannier, under Russian eyes, signing of Kosovo laws not shown

Kosovo and its supporters, of course, disagree. Kosovo loudly said that it no longer needs UNMIK. Earlier this week, the Kosovar delegation walked out of a meeting of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) held in the Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, because it was told that the law required it to be represented by UNMIK, or under the name of UNMIK and not Kosovo. (The Serbian letter refers by name to CEFTA). The incident in Montenegro sparked something of a name-plate war, less gruesome than the renewed reports that the Kosovo Liberation Army took and traded in organs during the war, charges that EULEX now says there is not enough evidence to investigate.

Nothing so messy is on the Council's Thursday agenda. A Western diplomat told a handful of reporters that it involved a budget matter. Inner City Press later asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin if this was accurate. No, he said, it is about respect for the Security Council and its resolutions, about respect for international law. Could it also be about the name-plate? And how will the Council deal with a complaint about one of its Mission's budgets? Watch this site.

  Click here for a new YouTube video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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