in April, As Colombia Pitches Haiti Some Say Not Ready for Prime
March 31 -- As Colombia takes over the UN
for April, there are more questions than on-the-record answers.
Colombia's thematic debate, as Inner City Press reported a month ago,
will be about Haiti, and take place on April 6.
President Santos will
come to New York, along with Bill Clinton. It is understood that the
GRULAC Latin Group has told Ban Ki-moon that he cannot name Frenchman
Bernard Kouchner to succeed Guatemalan Mulet as UN envoy in Haiti.
relations with the rest of GRULAC, especially the ALBA or White
Group, is less clear. Whereas Lebanon was the conduit for Arab League
views on the Council's Libya resolutions, GRULAC members tell Inner
City Press that Colombia is too standoffish, and its Permanent
Representive, former coffee executive Nestor Osorio “out of his
Osorio & Ban Ki-moon, oversight not shown
points for April, according to non-Colombian sources who've seen the
program of work, including an April 8 briefing on Darfur, Sudan, and
the “horizon” briefing by the Department of Political Affairs on
Bachelet of UN Women will speak on April 12 -- one
hopes at the stakeout -- and Margot Wallstrom on sexual violence on
arms will be
discussed on April 25, and the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will
accompany Council members on a retreat on April 28-29.
the horizon are
two or three trips: at the end of May, France's month, to the African
Union, and maybe a junket to China. Russia's proposal for a Middle
East trip does not appear to have moved forward, due to US
members and other member states have wondered if Colombia will be
independent in its month. We will keep an open mind as long as we
can. Watch this site.
* * *
d'Escoto on Libya, Grumblings About Free Speech & Precedent
31 -- Barely an hour after Susan
Rice of the US said
Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann would find his tourist visa under review if
he purported to represent Libya or any foreign government at the UN,
End of Security Council Presidency reception
seven block south of the UN was abuzz about the standoff.
expressed shock to Inner City Press that d'Escoto
conference scheduled for March 31 at 10 am had so quickly been
canceled or “postponed.”
Press was told that the when
the UN Secretariat received the complaint, rather than point out that
other press conferences have been held by non diplomats they moved to
cancel Brockmann's “show.”
has gone too far,” a Latin American diplomat told Inner City Press.
“Maybe the UN should be moved to Brazil.”
Representative, this time of a country on the Security
Council, told Inner City Press about a Council credentials rule that
if a citizen of one country seeks to represent another, he or she
needs letters from both countries.
repeatedly now, is of an Irish national who was an expert working for
Austria when it was on the Council. He could not get a letter from
Ireland and so was not allowed in the Council, at least not for
Brockmann could easily get a letter from Nicaragua, and he has a
letter from Musa Koussa when he was Gaddafi's foreign minister,
before his reported defection.
pointed out to Inner City Press that the Musa Koussa
letter is undated, and said the US and UN will use that.
D'Escoto & Ban, previously: March 30
reception & March 31 presser not shown
result is that
the US, by invoking immigration rules, “mocking” as one Latin
diplomat put it to Inner City Press its duties under its Host Country
Agreement with the US, is blocking the UN press corps from hearing a
perspective that the US doesn't like.
of the Chinese hosts of Wednesday's reception, some mused
back to the case of Tiananmen Square activist Shen Tong, whom China
and then Boutros Ghali blocked from entering the UN to hold a press
protested and went (just) outside the UN's gates on
First Avenue to hear the canceled briefing. And at that time, notably,
the US is said to have sided with the right of the UN press corps to
invite and hear from whomever they wanted, inside the UN. Watch this
many attendees commented on it, so will we: the food at
China's reception was amazing, from roast duck to fish spiced with
chiles. Afterward DVDs were given out about minorities in China.
Council observers praised China's diplomacy as President for
March, for example circulating two letters from Libya without
obsessing about where they'd come in from. Now Colombia takes over
for April; they are already preparing an end of April reception,
Colombian music at a museum. But we'll have more soon on their
program of work. Watch this site.