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In UNSC, Chad Protests Australia Sending Out Its Program, Christmas Dispute

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 18, more here -- Amid calls for UN Security Council reform of the powers of the permanent five members, there are also slights among the elected ten members.

With Chad set to take over Presidency of the Security Council on December 1, on November 13 it bristled when this month's President, Australia, circulated a “Program of Work” for December, Chad's month.

Chad's protest, which multiple sources exclusively provided to Inner City Press and which it is publishing here in redacted form, tells the Australian Mission's Political Coordinator Michael Bliss that

Chad is surprised by your email circulating the December POW. The procedure is that the mission assuming the presidency of that month is the one authorized to do so. We think it is a profound lack of responsibility by the Australian Mission. I hope that we will continue to respect ourselves as non permanent members of the Security Council.”

  That is, Chad not only challenged the violation of procedures, but noted that it was one non-permanent member doing it to another.

  The email of Michael Bliss of the Australian Mission angered those who provided it to Inner City Press. In a reference to Bob Geldof's “Do They Even Know It's Christmas,” Bliss wrote that

“in respect to that question asked long ago by Bob Geldof, and friends of some other Africans, the Chadian mission do know that it is Christmas time in the week of 22/12 but, I am told, has resisted SCAD's strenuous attempts to arrange the program so that scheduled work concludes by 19/12.”

  SCAD is the UN Department of Political Affairs' Security Council Affairs Division. On the one hand this seems to be a problem between member states, elected members of the Security Council from different continents, of different religions and different cultures.  Inner City Press reached out to the Australian mission and understands that the joking reference was to wanting a quiet Christmas, and is now to their credit acknowledged as ill-considered.

  But on the other hand, Inner City Press is informed, others up to the level of Permanent Representative wonder who gave Chad's Program of Work to Australia - whose Bliss said it came from "off the back of a truck." Which truck? We'll have more on all this.


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