Libyan Courtesy Passes Echo Yemen and Rwanda, French Out
March 22 -- After the Gaddafi government in Libya
the UN to say that diplomats Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shamgam not longer
represented the “Libyan authorities,” the UN decided to switch
Dabbashi and Shalgam to “courtesy passes,” UN spokesman Martin
Nesirky said on March 21.
asked Nesirky on March 22 what this means: can Dabbashi and Shalgam
speak at the UN Television stakeout in front of the Security Council?
Are their passes still associated with Libya? Or are they like
haven't seen the passes.” Asked for any precedent for this, he
could not cite one. He would not even answer who made this decision,
saying first “the UN” then, when Inner City Press followed up,
saying “the UN Secretariat.”
placed sources in the Security Council, no fans of Gaddafi, have said
this is a strange precedent, and that at a minimum the Secretariat
should say who made the decision and on what basis.
week the UN
Ambassador of Yemen, previously the chair of the Group of 77,
reportedly quit after killings by the long time ruler of that
country. But Nesirky could not say if the Ambassador has been
replaced, or given a courtesy pass.
Dabbashi previously at UN, courtesy pass STILL not
shown or explained
to speak at
the UN TV stakeout have been contested: as Inner City Press
exclusively reported, when a representative of Western Sahara's was
speaking at the Security Council stakeout, the cameras went dead,
cutting him off. An NGO representative was investigated and barred
from the UN after speaking at the stakeout, meant only for member
provided no precedent, a long time UN watcher told Inner City Press
it is similar to the representation of Rwanda during the genocide of
1994, when Rwanda was on the Security Council. For a time, the RPF
forces of Paul Kagame could only come as non-governmental
Ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimse was dismissive of the RFP.
Then weeks later after Kagame's forces took Kigali and the Council
seat, Merimee spoke of “my dear colleague from Rwanda.” Only at
a UNU event this week about multi-lingualism, a Francophone
Rwandan activist told Inner City Press that Kagame's switch to
English is devaluing education and training received in French.
UN Peacebuilding meeting about Guinea Bissau was held in Portuguese
-- there is money in that budget, it's said, to get Lusophone
translators. But not so for the Libya Sanctions Committee, which has
yet to meet due to lack of interpreters. It's not about Portuguese,
Inner City Press is told.
* * *
on Libya, the UAE, Norway, Spain, Ukraine & Belgium Give Notice of
Russell Lee, Exclusive
March 22, updated -- The United Arab Emirates, Norway, Spain, Ukraine
and Belgium have
provided notification to the UN they intend to take action in Libya
Council Resolution 1973, Inner City Press is reliably
1973 requires countries taking action on Libya to give prior
notification to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Ban's spokesman Martin
Nesirky did not answer repeated e-mail requests in the days after the
resolution passed for a list of notifying countries. Even at the noon
briefing of March 21, he did not have the list.
3:30 on Monday
afternoon his office sent out an email listing “United Kingdom,
France, United States, Denmark, Canada, Italy and Qatar” and saying
that “those notifications have been transmitted to the Security
involvement in the military campaign in and over Libya is one of its
attractions for some, it would seem the UN should more quickly and
transparently disclose the notifications to the public, and describe
the “coordinating” role assigned to Ban Ki-moon in Resolution
Council Affairs unit worked hard over the weekend, but they are not
the Spokesperson. They have not yet set up their own web site to make
disclosures. But the Spokesperson's Office is lagging behind.
Inner City Press
can now report that Spain, Norway, UAE,
Ukraine and Belgium have provided
notifications to the UN under Resolution 1973.
-- was that
Update 1: to his
credit, UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant rattled off the
twelve names (the seven named yesterday, and five coming after.) This
was confirmed by another P-5 country. A non permanent member's
Permanent Representative was amazed that the names are not better made
Update 2: regarding
Ukraine, it's worth nothing that it took weeks for Ukraine's parliament
to authorized attack helicopters for the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire,
leading to the question: how fast can or will Ukraine move after giving
Press has suggested to a P-5 Council member that a sign board be
erected in front of the Council with the number -- and names -- of
Libya notifiers under Resolution 1973. "Good idea," the P-5
representative said. But will it happen?
reason for the dysfunctional relationship between the
Spokesperson's Office and Security Council Affairs is that the
Spokesman was ejected from Council consultations, and did little more
to oppose this than a conciliatory and ineffective letter from Ban's
chief of staff Vijay Nambiar. Now when Security Council Affairs gets
information of global interest, the Spokesperson's Office does not
report it in anything like real time. Thus the UN decays. Watch this
* * *
As UN Council Punts Until Thursday, Mystery of Courtesy
Passes, Lamamra, Spain & Norway
March 22 -- With bombs, and at least one US plane, dropping
on Libya, the UN Security Council on Monday declined to “take
cognizance” of a letter from Gaddafi's foreign minister Moussa
Koussa, putting off the matter until a briefing by Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon in three days.
is supposed to
be coordinating enforcement of the No Fly Zone provided by Council
resolution 1973. At the UN's noon briefing on Monday, Inner City
Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to describe the
coordination he is giving.
that he attended Nicolas Sarkozy's meeting in Paris on March 19, and
is taking in notifications of the countries doing the bombing and
transmitting these to the Security Council.
Spokesperson's Office squawked that seven countries had thus far
provided notice: the US, UK, France, Denmark, Canada, Italy and a
single Arab country, Qatar.
of the list seems to have omissions, like Norway and Spain which is
providing refueling. But what of Jordan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia?
Are the last two too busy in Bahrain?
Security Council kept Moussa Koussa at arms length -- and Russian
Ambassador Vitaly Churkin admonished a Western spokesman for spinning
the press about it, click here for that story -- the Council held a
closed meeting about Sudan.
Press asked Sudan's Ambassador for his country's position
on the action in Libya. We are members of the Arab League, he said,
we support that position.
also a member of the African Union, which has criticized the bombing,
and couldn't even get into the country as provided for in the
resolution? We are a member of both, Sudan's Ambassador said, leaving
the UN microphone.
the African Union position there is not only the money and support
Gaddafi threw around the Continent for so long -- there is also the
under reported role on the AU Peace & Security Council of Ramtane
Lamamra of Algeria, a country which has strongly supported Gaddafi.
On Monday, Lamamra apparently lost his cell phone, as he didn't
answer repeated media calls seeking his comment or explanation.
UN, for its
part, did not explain the meaning of the “courtesy passes”
spokesman Nesirky said that Ibrahim Dabbashi and Shalgam have been
Press asked a lower ranking Libyan diplomat,
who said “at least they still have passes.” He added that it is
Shalgam who will decide who will speak for Libya on Thursday.
Watch this site.
* * *
on Libya, Churkin of Russia Tells Western Spokesman Not to Spin the
Press, "This Is Where Distortions Come From"
March 21 -- Outside the UN Security Council on Monday
afternoon, a Western Council member's spokesman was telling reporters
that as he had predicted, the Council had declined requests for any
meeting about the military action in Libya
Vitaly Churkin came out of the Council chamber and
apparently heard this. He stopped on the steps up to street level,
turned back and said, “I must say to that young man, the President
of the Council is supposed to brief the media.”
pointed at the
Western spokesman and asked, “You are from which delegation?”
spokesman answered. (Since these spokespeople say they are speaking
on background, for now the answer is being withheld.)
“Double check with your Ambassador. It's really impolite
and rude. It's the President who is supposed to brief the media.”
went upstairs, there was speculation about what had triggered the
confrontation. On March 16, Churkin had complained about being
portrayed as an obstructionist.
Press later on March 16
asked US Ambassador Susan Rice about what Churkin had said about
Russia's ceasefire in Libya proposal. She said the proposal did not
go far enough.
Churkin came back. “Now we know where all the distortions come
suggested to him that the Russian Mission's spokesman should brief
the media more often.
Churkin previously speaks to press, spokesman not shown
seems to be the consensus among most
of the stakeout press corps, others note that some delegation's
spokespeople are more likely that others to tell reporters about
other countries' positions, while demanding off the record treatment.
during the first Council resolution on Libya earlier
this year, when Portugal
was accused off the record of being “weak”
on the referral of the case of Libya to the International Criminal
were urged to “ask Brazil” if they were making problems with the
ICC referral. In fact they were, though not at the spinner had
implied. Rather, Brazil objected to the US demanded
carve out from
the ICC referral for countries that are not members of the ICC: not
only the US, but such countries as Algeria and Ethiopia, which are
not members of the ICC.
“Now we know
where all the distortions come from”? Oh that it were so. Watch
Click for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.