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UK In November Made UNSC More Secret With Pierce Formula Sofa Talk No Cameroon Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos, Periscope

UN GATE, Nov 30 – With the UN Security Council presidency for November having been taken over by the UK Mission and its Karen Pierce, things are scarcely better at month's end. It is just as bloody in Cameroon; the UN has killed one or more civilians in Beni. Pierce bragged in her 1 November 2019 press conference that the UK would have a lot of meetings about Africa. Video from presser here. And what was accomplished?

  Tellingly, the main innovation by the UK is to try to make the UNSC even less transparent, with so-called "Sofa Talks." In a public meeting this month, Pierce reminded the other ambassadors they needn't speak on the open chamber, there would be consultations afterward. Sofa Talk goes one step more secret. It's like a colonial parlor game: can we agree how to sweep this or that aspiration under the rug?

  Since Pierce not only didn't oppose but functionally has supported Guterres' roughing up and banning of the Press, it is perhaps fitting that this new move to secrecy is being called the "Pierce formula." In the past, the Arria formula acted to open the UNSC to NGOs and others. Now the Pierce Formula will make this private and censorious. Many government have Open Meetings laws. The UNSC is moving in the opposite direction - and fails even more than most governments. Today's UN is failing, and is moving in the wrong directions, under Guterres and, for example, Pierce. Still banned Inner City Press will have more on this.

   Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Allen did a pal-sey stakeout about the DR Congo, on which Guterres also refuses questions - but it it is not even on UNTV archive. It's as if it never happened. So too Karen Pierce's dodging apparently off camera evasion on North Korea later on November 13.

  On Cameroon as it turns out, just as Liam Fox bragged about New Age oil's deal with Biya, now London-based Tower Resources is bragging about its "in" with Biya's ministry: "Tower Resources said it had hired Geoquip Marine Operations to conduct a site survey of a planned well location at its Thali block in Cameroon.  The contract provided for investigator to arrive in Cameroon between 15 November and 30 December, subject to all relevant permits and the requisite license extension being received from the Ministry of Mines, Industry and Technological Development...  'We are looking forward to getting the site survey underway, which should be the final operational step before commencing drilling operations at Njonji,' chief executive Jeremy Asher said.  'We are still awaiting the formal extension from the ministry, but we are confident that this will be in place in good time for the survey.'"

   The UK has denied Inner City Press' FOIA request on its role in Cameroon, and its Mission and Pierce did nothing when UNSG Antonio Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up and banned now 485 days amid its questions about Guterres' Budget Committee deal with Biya's Tommo Monthe, procedural favors for silence.

  By Africa Pierce apparently meant only those countries where neo-colonial UK still wants to have a role, if only by getting its national appointed to UN roles, like Somalia and Libya.

  While there were mostly softball questions about rugby and, from Chinese state media, on the UK's supposed love of mediation and/or reconciliation, Pierce pointedly and repeatedly demanded to know who one questioning journalist was, and his media.

 Apparently Inner City Press which would have her, as it did Jonathan Allen, about Cameroon was not enough - she wanted only friendly questions. She said UK diplomacy is alive and well. That's not the story that FOIA, and the Mission's continued support of Guterres' ban on Inner City Press, tells.

 The UK has have a debate on Africa on November 4, and reconciliation on the 19th. There's Libya on the 18th, and Somalia no less than twice (but no Somaliland, Pierce made clear). November 22 is Yemen, on which Pierce took a question from a Saudi media she often pals around with, Jamal Khashoggi notwithstanding.

  Cyprus, of course, on November 25 - and Big Tony's Big Lunch on November 20. Inner City Press will cover as many of these as it can, including from the Delegates Entrance Gate where the UK Mission watched and did nothing, or worse, as censorship of Press took place right in front of them. Watch this site.


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