At UN, South Africa Wants to Hear
from Tony Blair, Saharan Christopher
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, September 3 -- In
Gaza, the sister in law of the UN's Envoy to the Quartet, Tony Blair,
by Israel's blockade. In the UN Security Council, the question has
arisen, raised by South Africa: who does Tony Blair represent? South
Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo told Inner City Press that his request that
provide a briefing to the Council had run into opposition. For Blair to
the opponents say, the other three members of the Quarter will have to
Both the U.S. and Russia are said to be opposed. The
views of JPMorgan
Chase, which pays Blair
$1 million a year, are not known at this time.
As the Council met Wednesday morning over breakfast
about its program
for the month, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Alejandro Wolff
that the Blair issue's been raised, "by South Africa," he said. He
said it was not yet clear if Blair will brief the Council.
Another participant in the morning's closed
door debate told Inner City Press that it had been "surreal."
Blair is described as the UN representative on the
Quarter -- but which UN?
Blair ready to brief -- but not the Security
Council, maybe JPMorgan
General Assembly? Only Ban
Ki-moon? As one non-Permanent Council diplomat told Inner City Press,
cannot operate on his own without a mandate. Ban unilaterally imposed a
sanctions on Hamas without any direction from the Council, the diplomat
continued. Perhaps the issue of Blair's
employments, including with JPMorgan Chase, will arise. Tellingly,
when Inner City Press has asked Ban's Spokesperson what safeguards are
given Blair's multiple employers, the answer has been "Ask Tony
Blair." But it is a UN question, isn't it?
The secondary issue in Wednesday's Council
consolations was when Javier
Solana should provide his briefing. At the margins, questions arose
will replace Peter Van Walsum as the UN's mediator on Western Sahara.
sources tell Inner City Press that the frontrunner is none other than
Christopher. We'll see.
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