Sahara, Not Answering on Morocco Lobbying, UN Decries
Leaks to Press
April 7 -- A day after the UN
refused to take questions
about its draft Western Sahara report, on April 7 Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky had a written statement ready.
about Morocco lobbying the UN Secretariat to ensure no human
rights monitoring mechanism for the MINURSO peacekeeping mission,
what Ban's position was:
Press: There is a report that’s due of the Secretary-General
on the situation on Western Sahara. Various leaked copies of
circulated. And I have heard that there was some extensive lobbying
of the Secretariat by Morocco to have paragraph 119 not ask for human
rights monitoring mechanism but rather for, welcome Morocco
in special rapporteurs. So, I wonder if you could describe, some of
these accounts come from within the Secretariat; could you describe
what the communications, what the process is for creating such a
paragraph? Who the Secretary-General has spoken to and what his
thinking is on having a human rights mechanism in the MINURSO [United
Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara] mission.
Nesirky: Well, what I can tell you is that we are aware that
an internal working document pertaining to the situation in Western
Sahara was leaked and published electronically. This document is not
a final report. It has not been endorsed by the Secretary-General
and, therefore, it has no status. The United Nations finds it
regrettable that internal working documents of the Organization have
been leaked and published. Thank you very much.
Press: Are you being lobbied by Morocco, as someone inside the
Secretariat has told me? I mean, just yes or no?
Matthew, I said one last question and you’ve asked
another question. I have answered your question.
question, which Nesirky refused to take on April 6, was about the
lobbying of the Secretariat and its Department of Peacekeeping
Operations that Morocco is allowed to do -- and Nesirky still hasn't
Ban and Nesirky in North Lawn, Morocco lobbying
& answers not shown
Press has now learned from multiple sources, after Inner City Press
left the briefing room Nesirky stayed loudly complaining about Inner
City Press somehow “speaking over” him. But Inner City Press had
said it had a question to ask about Western Sahara - and the lobbying
Ban allows, at least from one side - and will continue to ask the
question until it is answered.
the UN's Western Sahara report was slated to be released on
April 6, by 6 pm on April 7 it had still not been released. Watch
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Draft Reports Published as UN Refuses to Take Morocco Q
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.
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
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.
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.
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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