UN Stonewalls on Flights of Volunteer Envoy, Confirms Vandewelle
July 12 -- The UN's engagement on Libya has come slightly
more into focus, though still vague on money. On Monday, the UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Libya Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib
City Press that he is still
a “proud” Senator in his native
Jordan, and works for the UN only as a volunteer.
asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm that
Khatib demands and receives UN planes to fly from Jordan to locations
other than Libya, and that he has UN-paid staff in Libya. Nesirky
defended the flights without yet providing information, including if
the planes come of the UN missions in the Congo or Sudan:
Press: At the stakeout yesterday, Mr. [Abdul Ilah] al-Khatib
clarified and said he is now, he is a volunteer and remains a senator
in Jordan. And I just, I don’t want to belabour it, except to say
that some say there is still kind of a… the issue of serving both
the UN and a Government at the same time, they’re not sure there is
a precedent for that and think that OLA [Office for Legal Affairs]
may have criticized it. And also I wanted to know whether in fact
he’s flown, requests or demands a UN plane to fly from Jordan to
various meetings not in Libya and also has UN staff in Jordan. What’s
kind of the cost and what’s the… is the thinking, if he
doesn’t personally receive a salary, there is no possible conflict
of interest with being a sitting politician in a country in the
Well, I think Mr. Al-Khatib can speak for himself on that
particular topic, and evidently did so yesterday. That’s the first
thing. Second is that, of course, a special envoy working on a topic
as high profile and complicated as this one could be expected to have
people supporting him from the Department of Political Affairs, and
that is certainly the case.
Press: his staff is someone that worked for him in the past? Was it a
UN staff member forwarded to Amman? ... Is this a new
Well, let’s not extrapolate from one particular case. This is an
important role that Mr. Al-Khatib has and is carrying out. He is
widely respected in the region; he knows the players in the region
and evidently has access to them, too. And that’s clearly, in the
present circumstances, rather important. He obviously also needs to
travel, not just to Libya but to other countries in the region. And
another one would be, for example, the Contact Group meeting that’s
going to take place in Istanbul. That’s quite normal and
understandable for someone who is working on a topic in a role where
he is precisely supposed to be coordinating and liaising between
different groups and seeking to mediate a solution to this crisis.
Press: Do the planes… just one last thing, do the planes come
from UNMIS [United Nations Mission in the Sudan] or from [MONUSCO in
I’d need to check what planes are used, if any. I would need to
check on that. I don’t know the answer.
hours later, no answer had yet been provided.
Ban meets his envoy, now a volunteer, UN planes
& staff not shown
One answer that
Nesirky's office did
belatedly come up with concerned the UN's hiring of Dartmouth
profession Dirk Vandewelle. Twice Nesirky's
deputy Farhan Haq
declined to confirm the hiring, which a UN source told Inner City
Press was "pathetic."
On Tuesday, Nesirky's office belatedly
question on Dirk Vandenwalle
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not
Reply [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Jul 12, 2011 at 10:03 AM
Matthew.Lee [at] innercitypress.com
questions from last week, we can confirm that Dirk Vandenwalle
is working with Ian Martin's team dealing with the transition in
Libya. He was hired as a consultant.
as what cost? And as some wonder, why would a Special Adviser need
Political Advisers? Watch this site.
* * *
UN “Volunteer” Envoy Khatib Dodges Arms Drops, Waits
July 11 -- After briefing the UN Security Council on Libya
for more than two hours, Ban Ki-moon's envoy Abdul Elah Al-Khatib
take questions from the press. After he read three points from note
cards, Inner City Press asked him about France's
admitted arm drop of
weapons into the Nafusa Mountains, and if he is still a Jordan
senator while functioning as the UN's envoy.
Khatib to his credit took
this question first, saying “since it has been troubling you,” he
wanted to clarify that he is a “volunteer,” he is not a UN staff
member but it still a “proud” Senator of Jordan.
he called these rumors. Inner City Press followed up that France has
acknowledged dropping weapons into Libya. This is up to the Security
Council, he said, he is looking for a political solution.
Press asked the spokesperson of a Western Council member if in the
closed door consultations how Khatib works -- or does not work --
with the UN's full time Special Adviser on Libya Ian Martin had come
up. Apparently it did.
despite Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office refusal to confirm it,
has hired Dartmouth professor Dirk Vandewalle as a “Political
Adviser.” Some says the UN's engagement on Libya lacks coherence.
Who's running the show: the full time Adviser with the part time
unacknowledged political adviser, or the volunteer?
broke up, French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud was asked,
“the Libyan rebels are saying there's been a change of heart by
France.” He didn't turn, didn't say a word. He was asked, “Is
that a no comment?” No response to that, either.
Representative Mark Lyall Grant stopped and said that Khatib told
Council members he is waiting to hear back from those he met with in
Tripoli. Watch this site.
* * *
Weapons into Libya is Criticized, UN Committee
Does Not Act: Not "Masochistic," Chair Says
-- During an hour-long meeting of
the Libya Sanctions
Committee of the UN Security Council behind closed doors on
afternoon, France's admitted dropping of weapons into Libya's Nafusa
Mountains was criticized by Council members including Russia, South
Africa and India, as violating the arms embargo in Resolution 1970.
Inner City Press asked the Committee's chairman, Portugal's Permanent
Representative Cabral, if the committee's requirement of consensus
means that France could block any formal condemnation of its actions,
Cabral said “we're not a kind of masochistic society.”
representatives criticizing France, who told Inner City Press that on
this topic four spoke against France and three to varying degrees in
support, said that “if a Permanent member violates sanctions, what
can you do?”
pointed to paragraphs 13-16 of Resolution 1970 and said that if
France thought that its provision of weapons into Libya was legal, it
had a procedure to use, but didn't.
saying that France “parachuted” weapons in, not
knowing if they might fall into the hands of Al Qaeda, and asking,
“why not weapons of mass destruction, too?” This representative
said of Cabral, “He has to be serious, this is a precedent -- if
you are not going to enforce them, why even have a committee on
Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative what had been
accomplished in the meeting. Pankin distinguished between
interpretation -- “legal stuff” -- and the practical, that
objections were voiced and “I hope we will not have such a [case]
again, that's the most practical.” We'll see.
for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
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.
* * *
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Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
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