Sahara, Draft Reports Published as UN Refuses to Take Morocco Q
April 6 -- For days, senior UN officials have been telling
Inner City Press about aggressive lobbying by Morocco about the
specifics of the forthcoming UN report on Western Sahara, a leaked
copy of which Morocco was given from within the UN Secretariat.
4 wrote about the topic -- having also obtained a copy from
diplomatic sources -- and on April 6 repeatedly told Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky that it wanted to ask
a Western Sahara question at that day's noon briefing.
“I have a
question on Western Sahara,” Inner City Press said, ceding first to
another journalist on Haiti. But Nesirky then declared without
explanation he would take only one more question, on another topic.
Inner City Press repeated, “I have a question on Western Sahara.”
But Nesikry stood up, declaring his briefing over. Nor does he respond
to or even acknowledge the majority of e-mailed Press questions.
tell Inner City Press that Ban's final, post-lobbying report
is due out. And so, Inner City Press now published a scanned version
of the draft to obtained, both with Paragraph 119 as urged by Morocco
and a proposal
by the Office for the High Commissioner on Human
Rights, which proposes a human rights mechanism for the UN's MINURSO
Click here and here.
to Ban say that the level of pressure -- which Ban has apparently
given into -- was extreme. At the same time, Ban is closely linked
with France in military action in Cote d'Ivoire.
after French foreign minister Alain Juppe said that UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon agrees that Laurent Gbagbo must sign a letter
ceding power to Alassane Ouattara, Inner City Press asked Ban's
spokesman Martin Nesirky if that is, in fact, Ban's position.
“I don't speak
for the French Foreign Minister,” Nesirky said.
“But you do
speak for the Secretary General,” Inner City Press asked. Is it
Ban's position or not?
answer, saying he would not characterize the Secretary General's
communications with Juppe. Then he refused repeated requests that he
answer a question about Western Sahara.
does the UN
thumbs its nose at transparency and lose credibility, by being used
by France and Morocco, not only in Cote d'Ivoire but Western Sahara
too. Watch this site.
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Western Sahara, Morocco Pushes To Drop Human Rights Mechanism from
Draft, Q of French Standards
4 -- In the run up to the UN Security Council's
regular fight on Western Sahara this month, Morocco has been lobbying
to change Paragraph 119 of the UN's report, about establishing a
human right mechanism within the UN Mission MINURSO, Inner City Press
UN Office of
the High Commissioner for Human Rights has suggested “the
establishment of an effective international mechanism for regular
independent, impartial and sustained human rights monitoring and
reporting... through a component within MINURSO,” according to a
draft obtained by Inner City Press.
according to sources, obtained a leak of the draft from the UN and is
pressuring to change the paragraph to delete any reference to a new
mechanism, and to instead “welcome the commitment of Morocco to
allow unimpeded access to Special Rapporteurs of the Human Rights
have the unquestioning support of France. Some Polisario
supporters call it a contradiction, that France would be bombing
Libya in the name of human rights while blocking the establishment of
a mere human rights reporting mechanism for Western Sahara. But,
these people say, many of France's policies are more explicable in
terms of colonial relations than principle.
Security Council member South Africa invited all 15 Council
members to a session on Western Sahara at its mission last month,
Morocco lobbied many countries not to attend. Attendees included
Nigeria, the US, Russia and the UK. France was notably not present.
Watch this site.