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UN "Irrelevant" on Egypt, Calls a "Failure," African Coup Verdict Overruled

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19, updated -- On the crisis in Egypt, why is the UN so irrelevant? In the Egyptian presidency's hour long press conference on August 17, the UN was absent. In the US State Department briefing on August 19, a question about the UN was answered by referring to Secretary of State John Kerry's telephone calls.. with the European Union.

  Inner City Press has interviewed a range of knowledgeable sources on this, including since being first to report on August 15 that former US official, now head of the UN Department of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman had been arranging a trip to Egypt before the killings of August 14.

  The UN first on the evening of August 15, after Inner City Press' exclusive report, called it a rumor, then spoon-fed confirmation just before the August 16 noon briefing to Reuters, which simply retyped it without adding Feltman's previous US role or that his trip was planned before the killings. (The flow goes the other way too, as noted.)

  Now Inner City Press can report the following: calls by the UN Secretariat of Ban Ki-moon and his deputy Jan Eliasson to current and just-resigned Egyptian authorities are described by knowledgeable UN sources as failures, garnering responses that "Egypt does not need the UN, it has enough expertise" and that Morsi was being held for his own protection.

  Within Feltman's UN Department of Political Affairs, Egypt is not part of the Middle East but rather of Africa. And, sources tell Inner City Press, the African unit of DPA viewed the ouster of Morsi as a coup, as the African Union views it. But they were overruled.

  Now, they ask, how long will Feltman really be working on his pre-planned trip to Egypt? [Update: Egyptian diplomats tell Inner City Press: two days.] Who will meet with him? Will the UN be transparent? Will they make Feltman's schedule at least as public as Ban's or Eliasson's?

  Some who question why even UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Navi Pillay has not been more forceful point, in the OHCHR bureaucracy under her to "a Coptic Christian view against the Muslim Brotherhood, like, look the other way for now."

Is this how the UN system is supposed to work? Watch this site.


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