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As Uruguay Takes UNSC Presidency, ICP Asks of Burundi, CAR Rapes & Next SG

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 4 -- When January's President of the UN Security Council,  Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay, held his Program of Work press conference on January 4, Inner City Press asked him about Burundi, the UN's report into peacekeepers raping in the Central African Republic and nominations to become the next UN Secretary General.

  Rosselli said discussions continue with Burundi's government for a Council trip this month; he did not confirm what UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City Press earlier in the day, that the UN's Special Adviser would brief the Council in coming days, video here.

Here's a fast transcript from

Inner City Press: On Burundi, it was said today at the noon brieing that there might be a presentation by Jamal Benomar, has anyone made this request? And, on the 19th on protection of civilians, there was a report about sexual abuse in CAR, do you expect this report would be reviewed by the Council?

A: "Thank you. On Burundi, we still donít have any specific requests for presentations or briefings. But as you know, many many situations develop and briefings or briefers are called basically on the spot. So no, there is nothing planned as of now.

On the second question, I will confess to not being totally briefed. But of the many conversations Iíve been carrying on the last few days, it is an issue that I know, itís being considered within the system, but I have not heard that we would be looking at it, at least in the very immediate days. I do not exclude such a possibility."

  Uruguay's open debate, on January 19, is on Protection of Civilians; one expects to at least hear of the report then.

  Inner City Press heard from attendees of Rosselli's earlier briefing to member states that he'd received only one nomination to become Next SG, from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for Srgjan Kerim. Rosselli confirmed this, only one letter as of January 31.

 Where, we ask, are the letters from Croatia for Foreign Minister Pusic, from Slovenia for Danilo Turk, from Albania, Montenegro and others?

  Speaking in his national capacity, Rosselli said Uruguay has a preference for a women Next SG, and that qualification are more important than geography. He answered questions about his country's decriminalization of marijuana but declined, 72 hours into the job, to say if the Permanent Five members of the Security Council take the Elected Ten too much for granted. Give him time.

  Inner City Press asked Rosselli, on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access, to do Q&A stakeouts after the Security Council holds closed consultations.  On January 5 there are consultations on Syria chemical weapons, Yemen, CAR and the Syrian - Turkish border. On January 4 Rosselli took sit-down questions longer than most, so here's hoping. Watch this site.


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