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Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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At UN, Russia Puts UNDOF Syria Resolution Into Blue, Organ Envoy Floated

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 23 -- Russia put a draft resolution on Syria, the UN mission UNDOF, “into blue” on Thursday afternoon, three diplomats told Inner City Press.

  A Western diplomat expressed frustration, saying that especially with the earlier draft resolution condemning violence in Syria stalled, the UNDOF resolution should “reflect events on the ground” in a way that the Russian draft does not.

  US Ambassador Susan Rice earlier on Thursday told the press that “we think that there needs to be a credible renewal of the mandate of UNDOF and that that mandate renewal needs to account [for] recent developments on the Golan Heights and on the area between Israel and Syria.”

  But at the UN, going “into blue” connotes that a vote can be called in 24 hours. “Russia is forcing their hand,” a third diplomat said.

  At the same time, Russia circulated a resolution on the issue of alleged organ trafficking in and by the leadership of Kosovo. As described to Inner City Press, the resolution calls for a UN Special Representative on the organ trade issue, who could either coordinate or do his or her own investigation. Click here for Inner City Press coverage last month of the organ issue.

Ban & Assad, UN Panel of Experts Report not shown but here

  An opponent of the organ resolution said of Russia, “they are trying to connect the two.”

   A proponent noted that there's a certain Republika in which the resolution may be popular.

Thursday afternoon's session ended abruptly without the planned “Any Other Business” segment on the pending Libya Presidential Statement. We will have more on this.

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At UN, “Going Through Motions” on Syria Resolution, Attending Just to Listen

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 17 -- When UN Security Council experts met Friday morning about the long pending Syria draft resolution, China and Russia attended, unlike on Saturday, June 11. But China said they are not prepared to negotiate about the text, “just listen,” Inner City Press is informed.

  The Permanent Representative of another Council member told Inner City Press, “With two veto threats, the West is just going through the motions.”

  Three hours later outside the Security Council's so-called “horizon briefing” at which Syria was one of five agenda items, a Western Council member's representative told Inner City Press that in the closed door meeting, comments were made that the refusal to engage of “certain members” made the Council look bad. This did not seem to much impact those with a veto.

   Rather, the resolution's proponents are now openly calling out those whose foreign ministers have made comments about the resolution, to come and negotiate around specifics in the text.

  South African's foreign minister this week told the press that a Syria resolution could “insinuate regime change.” The response seems to be, show us where in the text the insinuation can be found. But the concern may not be only or even mostly textual.

   Ban Ki-moon has been in Brazil, but his spokesperson's office's read-outs of meetings with the president and foreign minister do not mention any discussion of Brazil's position on the resolution. Ban is seeking a vote on a second five year term as Secretary General on June 21. Watch this site.

Footnote: the non-attendance at last Saturday's meeting on the draft Syria resolution was explained as a matter of worker's rights: only work on weekends if necessary, and since no change of voting Monday or Tuesday, why meet Saturday? So further weekend sessions, at least on Syria, seem unlikely.

* * *

On Syria Draft Russia, China & India Won't Engage, S. Africa
Won't Without Them

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 3 -- At a UN meeting Thursday about the draft Syria resolution, Russia, China and India said there was no reason to begin word by word negotiation: they overall oppose the resolution. Then the European sponsors tried to reach out to South Africa and Brazil, to see if they would engage in negotiations without the nay-saying three. They were rebuffed.

  As South Africa's Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu put it to Inner City Press on June 3, “We are in solidarity with the E[lected] Ten, we will not go into some cocoon of the Security Council. If they won't negotiate, either will we.”

  Also on June 3, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Pankin asked Inner City Press, “Why a new resolution -- for more bombing?” The reference was to what NATO has done in Libya after Russia and China, along with non veto wielding India, Brazil and Germany, abstained on Resolution 1973.

  The Europeans' draft resolution still refers to a statement by the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to which the OIC has objected in a letter it sent to the Security Council president for May, Gerard Araud of France.

At this stage, Inner City Press is putting a copy of the draft resolution online, here. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

 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.

* * *

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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