As UN Council Meets on Georgia,
Pandora's Box Is Open, Kosovo's Ghosts
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
August 28 -- As the Security Council met
on Georgia on
Thursday's afternoon, Pandora's box was open and on display. Outside
Security Council, UK Ambassador John Sawers tried to distinguish
of South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's declarations of independence from his
some other European Union countries' recognition of Kosovo earlier this
over the objections of Serbia and Russia. We tried for ten years to
Kosovo within Serbia's borders, Sawers said, adding that Russia took
South Ossetia and Abkhazia "in three weeks."
point out that both areas have been out
of Georgia's administrative control since the early 1990s, with the UN
Mission in Georgia in place since 1993. It is true, however, that the
un-froze suddenly this summer, opening Pandora's box.
Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, on his way into
Council's 3 p.m. meeting called by Georgia, recounted how the U.S. had
an Abkhaz representative seeking a visa in April 2007 to travel to the
New York, alleged saying the visa would be granted if language of a
under consideration in the Council were changed. I don't control
Abkhaz Foreign Minister replied. At the
time, Inner City Press asked if a complaint would be filed with the
Committee on Relations with the Host Country. The answer was yes, but
appears the complaint was never filed. (The Host Country committee has
moved to close its meetings to the Press.)
UK Amb. Sawers at UN, Kosovo's ghost and
Pandora's box not shown
Sudan's Ambassador, speaking to Inner City
Press outside the Council, said that the conflict and controversy in
helps take the pressure off his country. Inner City Press asked if
be recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. That
how the Kosovo dossier works out, he answered. Inner City Press asked
will be supporting Serbia's request that the General Assembly ask for
advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the
Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence. Yes,
Sudan supports that, he said.
The UN confirmed on Thursday that its previous
Western Sahara mediator
has not had his mandate extended. Will Russia recognize the
Western Sahara? Of Kashmir? When will Cuba, Syria and others join
recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia? Pandora's box is open...
The Security Council meeting because with briefings
on UNOMIG, and
speeches by Georgia and Russia. France said it would like to send human
monitors; South Africa said, among other things, that the Abkhaz
and South Ossetians should be able to attend.
Update of 4:29 p.m. -- U.S.
Ambassador Alejandro Wolff says Russia has "violated the integrity of
the Security Council" by going through a security zone in Abkhazia
patrolled by UNOMIG, and that Russia should allow the full [re]
deployment of UNOMIG. Good luck.
Update of 4:50 p.m. -- Russia's
Vitaly Churkin lashed out at perceived hypocrisy on NATO's 1999 bombing
of Serbia, and the 2008 recognitions of Kosovar independence, from the
U.S. to (even) Costa Rica. He said, however, Russia will holds to the
Six Principles of the Sarkozy Agreement. He reminded the Council of
Russia's draft resolution, saying he doesn't understand why
"colleagues" don't vote for it.
site. And this (on