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At UN Amid WikiLeaks, of Brazil & Iran, Uribe & Other War Criminals, ICC & Sandwich 2ble Standards: UN Odds & Ends

By Matthew Russell Lee, News Muse

UNITED NATIONS, December 11 -- Amid UN news of Sudan, Haiti and Cote d'Ivoire there are smaller or happenstance happenings we'll try to cover at week's end. Yet another round of fumigation for bedbugs began in the press area on Friday, so this is written in exile.

At week's end on December 10 a diplomat with the Indian Mission to the UN said that Brazil's pro-Iran work with Turkey was a Lula project, not supported by the new president. This is like much of the info in WikiLeaks: second hand but interesting.

On December 8 a European nation's Permanent Representative was telling Inner City Press, a propos of WikiLeaks, that he assumes he is being spied on, that all countries do it. Then when his cell phone rang he showed it to Inner City Press. “I have to take this, the ASG is calling me,” he said referring to an Assistant Secretary General from his country. Who is spying on whom?

Smallest but most telling event of the week was during an International Criminal Court state parties side event on December 9. The organizers offered sandwiches out in the hall, to draw a crowd: surprisingly peppery chicken salad, roast beef or a fast disappearing vegetarian option.

  A sign on Conference Room 8 said not to bring the sandwiches or other food in. But when Inner City Press looked inside, there were sandwiches everywhere, the plastic wrappers loudly opening, erudite attendees chewing. One wag remarked, here they are at the UN talking about the rule of law and they can't even enforce the rule written on the door.

At the ICC meeting Inner City Press met again Costa Rica's Jorge Urbina, previously Permanent Representative to the UN, now ambassador to the Hague. Much was made of the presence of President Santos of Colombia. But his predecessor Uribe does not seem any closer to prosecution.

Others noted that Uganda's ambassador to the Hague is in fact Dutch, just as Palau's Permanent Representative to the UN is not, in fact, from Palau. He pitched Inner City Press again last week about protection of sharks, hard to argue with that argument.

Beatrice le Frapper Du Hellen, ICC, Uribe and sandwiches not shown

  One who lost an argument, about the ICC Prosecutor's Office (non) sharing of evidence with the defense in the Lubanga trial, Beatrice le Frapper Du Hellen, has resurfaced with France's Mission to the UN. Some are noticing changes in France's positions on the ICC and its prosecutor. If the law is in fact what the judge ate for breakfast, France's speeches are whoever gets into the kitchen last.

Back to the rule of law: at the weekend, the former prime minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader was arrested for corruption. He was a sponsor of now UN human rights official Ivan Simonovic, appointing him as Justice Minister in 2008. How can one of the UN's top rule of law officials be so affiliated with a minister arrested for corruption, as well as with Franjo Tudman, accused post mortem of war crimes? But so it goes at the UN.

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At UN, Condi Got Gambari Fired from Burma, Similar Suck Up to Sudan Still Unacted On

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 11 -- UN official Ibrahim Gambari was targeted for firing by the previous US administration, for being too close to the military government of Myanmar, to which he was UN envoy, a cable Wikileaked this week has shown:

Mr. Gambari's inappropriate claims of success regarding peripheral issues, and his unwillingness to press the regime more forcefully for progress have caused us to conclude that his continued involvement undermines the good offices mission and should therefore be ended... USUN is asked to demarche SYG Ban or Ambassador Kim to seek Gambari's dismissal as SRSG for Burma. This demarche should occur as soon as practical.”

  What happened next is telling: the overly dictator friendly Gambari was transferred by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to cover Darfur in Sudan.

 There, Gambari has gone out of his way not to investigate or report on killing by the government of Omar al Bashir.

On December 9, Sudan's Ambassador to the UN praised the UN Mission in Darfur and the “seasoned diplomat” who is in charge -- Gambari.

   What has the US Administration of Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice done about Gambari? So far, nothing.

  During the Security Council's October 2010 trip to Sudan and Darfur, Susan Rice had multiple opportunities to give the Administration's view of Gambari's performance, but did not.

Gambari in Darfur with Susan Rice et al., Oct 2010, action not shown (c) MRLee

The Wikileaked cable, in which Condoleezza Rice directed a demarche to Ban or “Ambassador Kim” that Gambari should be take off the Burma file, resulted in that action. If the argument is that the current US Mission to the UN is working behind the scene on this, so far no results have been seen.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel 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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