Votes On Durban III & Iran Sanctions Panel, R2P & Staff
December 22/23 -- With the UN Budget
committee at work at
2:30 am on December 23, the number of issues on which a contested
vote would be called was whittled down to two, or three at most. The
main achievements, though, would be under or unreported, committee
members complained to Inner City Press.
some, Iran is still calling for a vote on the funding of the Panel of
Experts of its Sanctions Committee. On the other side of the coin,
the Durban III event in September will be voted against by, among
others, Canada -- which has already said it won't participate.
at 2 am is a merger of functions of the offices for the Prevention of
Genocide and of the Responsibility to Protect. The opponents of R2P
say it has never been approved, and oppose the merger.
Committee members mill around past midnight, with bottles of wine and
pizza boxes on tables, a deal is said to be near on R2P, while votes
are predicted on Iran's Panel of Expert and on Durban III.
Committee members bemoan the lack of coverage of the bigger ticket
items: continuing contracts and so-called common system. As one
heart felt developing world committee member told Inner City Press,
staff are 70% of the UN's costs and therefore its major asset.
need to be given security, especially working in some of the most
dangerous places in the world. And to pay funds and programs staff
more than Secretariat makes no sense. This too, they say, will be
part of the package.
votes, it is
predicted, still come December 23. Watch this site.
* * *
Sanctions Group, UNICEF
21 -- The UN budget committee has begun its ritual
of all night meetings to finish before Christmas. This year the
global financial crisis has finally hit home, as one delegate put it
to Inner City Press, in the discussion of the “common UN system”
or “harmonizing contracts.”
are additional political issues
around the UN's funding of a Durban conference review day in
September, and Iran trying to defund the Panel of Experts of its
contracts has been a theme since September in the budget
committee. UNICEF came and argued that it should be allowed to pay
its people more, since it needs “better” people in order to
attract private sector support.
UNHCR and the
World Food Program,
among others, came to make the same pitch. The phrasing, and the
arrogance, troubled many.
grew more subtle with example of staffers leaving UN peacekeeping
missions in order to work for UNICEF to earn more money. There are
also examples of seeming UN peacekeeping officials, like Alan Doss
when in Liberia and the Congo, secretly being under better paid UNDP
avoid at least
some of these scams, the proposal is to harmonize contacts, with some
sort of a phrase in or grandfathering period. This may raise costs,
and countries which are cutting back pay to their own workers are
hard pressed to vote increases for UN system staff.
Permanent Representative of Tunisia recently admitted to Inner City
Press that his country's announced plans for a Youth Conference have
fallen through due to lack of funding. Still, a deal is predicted for
December 22 or 23.
complaining about Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat not doing enough of the
heavy lifting on “continuing contracts,” leaving Missions like
Singapore having to do the calculations.
recorded vote is
predicted on funding the Durban III day in September, and perhaps on
Iran's proposal to defund its Sanctions Committee. Why aren't North
Korea and Sudan, for example, making the same proposal to undercut
their Sanctions Committee?
Tuesday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's acting Deputy
Spokesman Farhan Haq for any comment from Ban about Durban III. "The
member states decide," he said.
UN's Ban and Controller Yamazaki, (not) taking the 5th
referred from the Third Committee is the question of Myanmar. Despite
evidence that staff time has been redevoted from Myanmar to other uses
in the Department of Political Affairs, nothing has yet been done.
the North Lawn, the new venue for budget committee rituals, included
two diplomats from Cote d'Ivoire chatting nervously with the Press. Earlier
Ban Ki-moon urged the General Assembly to disaccredit
Permanent Representative Djedje. What would this mean for others in
the Ivorian mission? Their budget expert just keeps working. It is
the Fifth Committee ethic. Watch this site.
* * *
Decertify Gbagbo Diplomat, Le Roy Reconfirms Mercenaries
-- After Cote d'Ivoire's UN Ambassador was
targeted in a General Assembly speech by Secretary General Ban
Alain Le Roy again told Inner City Press that
Laurent Gbagbo is using mercenaries, and the ports of Abidjan have
Le Roy if the UN is asking other member states, like Nigeria or
others in ECOWAS, to help break the blockade, as Ban implied. Le Roy
said there is a Friday meeting of ECOWAS at which response will be
spoke about state media preaching hate and attacking on UN
peacekeepers. Inner City Press asked if the UN would move to shut
down the radio, as some in the UN say should have been done in Rwanda
in 1994. Le Roy answered by contrasting a speech by Gbagbo
ostensibly calling for peace with what the media is doing.
Le Roy to confirm that UN Peacekeepers have shot and killed at
least one Ivorian. He said only that they had responded
appropriately, but that there are more threats.
was Le Roy's second
confirmation to Inner City Press of Gbagbo's use of
mercenaries. After the first one, still Ban's acting Deputy
Spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday at noon that it had NOT been
confirmed. Video here.
But Le Roy
confirmed it again four hours later. Why did
Haq deny it?
UN's Ban & Gbagbo, mercenaries and blockade not shown
the hall of the
UN's North Lawn building, Sudan's Permanent Representative greeted
Ban and his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, and then the Ambassador of
Nigeria and ECOWAS, and Le Roy. At the stakeout, Inner City Press
asked Le Roy about Sudan's destruction of IDP camps in Darfur. We are
aware of that, Le Roy said. UNAMID is on the scene. We'll see.
interviewed Cote d'Ivoire's Deputy Permanent
Representative both before and after Ban's speech. Before, when Inner
City Press asked if he would speak, he said “nous ne sommes pas
mandate.” Afterward he said Ban's speech was only about the
Permanent Reprentative Djedje, and that the new Ouattara Perm Rep Mr.
Joseph previously represented Gbagbo: “He's a career civil
servant.” Oh, diplomacy.
* * *
Rice of Bashir's $9 B in Lloyds, What Was Done?
-- Sudan's Omar al Bashir has stashed $9 billion
overseas, in Lloyds, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has told last
year by International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.
2009 meeting was memorialized in a cable Wikileaked over the
weekend, see below.
Ambassador Rice did with this information. While Lloyds responded
that it is unaware of such Bashir accounts, in January 2009 US
authorities fined Lloyds $350 million for concealing the origins of
wire transfers from Sudan, Iran and Libya in violation of US
sanctions against the countries.
surmise that Ocampo chose to name Lloyds to US Ambassador Rice
because of this US fine of the company, only two months before his
meeting with the US Mission.
But Lloyds so
recent fine, for
concealing the source of money from Sudan, would have given Rice and
the Obama Administration leverage to get Bashir's accounts confirmed
or denied by Lloyds at that time. Did they?
Susan Rice & UN's Ban, action on ICC report of
Bashir #9 B not shown
issue is not
only corruption by a leader indicted for war crimes and genocide:
under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, oil profits were to be split
between North and Southern Sudan. Southerns have alleged that the
Bashir government had improperly kept and hid revenue.
have been the money? Or just a story Ocampo tried to float? What did
the US Mission to the UN, State Department and Obama administration
do to find out? Watch this site.
cause major problems for Ocampo with the ICC. This explains
Ocampo's fast December 18 press release putting his spin on the cable.
Court does not hold a hearing on it, credibility will again be at
issue. What do the Court's supporters have to say? The holiday seasons
is no excuse.
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.