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As UNSC Talks Working Methods, New PGA Speaks As Old PGA's Indicted

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 20 -- When Spain as Security Council President for October held its “Working Methods” debate it tried to practice what it preaches: it did not propose an outcome to be adopted before hearing the 64 speakers.

   UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft posed questions, including “How can we bring more transparency, how can we improve participation?” (Inner City Press replied, “Fewer closed consultations, let UNSC hear from broader range of briefers, require USG Q&A #Ladsous,” the last being a reference to Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous who refuses Press questions, then linked rapes to R&R, here.)

   Russia's Vitaly Churkin questioned why the US, UK and France are allowed to “usurp” (as UN translated) the top UN posts for Political and Humanitarian Affairs and Peacekeeping. He called some Arria formula meeting little but propaganda, paid for by all the UN's members.

  France's Francois Delattre talked up his country's proposal on veto restraint; he did not address what was called earlier this month France's “implicit veto” for example against any human right monitoring by its Ladsous' DPKO in Western Sahara.

   Angola delivered a joint statement for itself and five other members (Chile, Jordan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Spain); Venezuela, like incoming Uruguay, called for a more inclusive Council process. (Venezuela added that the threat of the veto has kept Palestine from full membership.) 

  Rwanda near the end asked why those impacted - Africans - can't at least share penholding duties; the pens France holds, for example at Burundi, are striking.

  Nepal suggested that elections for Council seats be held a full year in advance, to allow time to prepare. One of those running, now in June 2016, is the Netherlands, whose Ambassador was asked online for this country's view of the UN's response to date to the John Ashe, Ng Lap Seng and Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF) scandal.

  There was a lot of talk about the process for selecting the next Secretary General, but it remains unclear when a joint letter will go out from the Presidents of the Council and of the General Assembly, who spoke, including that a woman SG should be considered. That's good; Irina Bokova for example should explain her role in a GSF event giving out awards to businesspeople, just last month in the UN Delegates Dining Room.

  As the debate ended without any rights of reply, news broke of the formal indictment of John Ashe, Francis Lorenzo and Ng Lap Seng, who provided funds not only to South South News but through them to the UN Correspondents Association. The need for reform runs throughout the UN. We'll have more on this.


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