Sahara, Delay As UN Says Report “Has Rights Language" - But No
April 13 -- Though the UN's Western Sahara report and
resolution are only once a year, this April the UN is in
it blames the leak to and publication by Inner City Press of the UN's
draft report on Western Sahara.
report was due
April 6, but after publication of the leak -- and the UN refusing to
take Inner City Press' questions on the topic -- it was delayed. Then
meeting of the Troop Contributing Countries of the UN Mission
MINURSO, set for April 12, was postponed.
Press is told, the consultations scheduled for Friday, April 15 have
also been postponed. Morocco and Algeria are trading arguments. In
the “Group of Friends” on the resolution, France is fighting off
not only a proposal for a human rights monitoring mechanism, but also
to distribute the draft Security Council resolution on a timely basis
to the Council members, including South Africa, which are not in the
Group of Friends.
UN noon briefing on April 13 -- the day after the UN claimed it
hadn't misled about Ban Ki-moon's panel meeting with Sri Lanka
officials -- Ban's acting deputy spokesman was asked (by BBC) about
the leaked, published and delayed report:
Can you tell us what’s happened to the report on Western Sahara? I
heard that it might be published today. And also can you tell us
why it is being delayed for a week? Because according to our
schedule, it was supposed to be published last Wednesday.
Spokesperson Haq: It took some time to finalize the report. Sometimes
over the drafting process there is editing and approval and
I believe — although I’d need to check — but I believe it is
being finalized now. So hopefully it will become a document shortly.
I’ll just check when it will be a document.
Can you just respond to allegations from the Polisario that Morocco
managed to get a copy earlier on and has been lobbying with French
support to change some of the language, particularly on human rights,
on a human rights mechanism for MINURSO [United Nations Mission for
the Referendum in Western Sahara]?
Spokesperson: Well, first of all, once the report is out, you
can see for yourself the language about human rights. There is
language on human rights in the report, and I would simply refer you
to the language used in the report. As for changes and whether a
copy had been leaked, I am aware that there was a draft version,
which I believe Martin [Nesirky] had mentioned. It was simply a
draft with no official status which had been leaked, and you can
probably see it on the website
of one of your colleagues.
But the question, really — sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear — is
that the allegation is that’s the reason for the delay in
publication; that the Secretariat has come under a lot of pressure to
change some of the language in the report.
Spokesperson: No, no; with any number of reports on any
number of topics, different countries will seek to talk to the
Secretariat and influence the language of a report one way or
another. But ultimately, the Secretariat makes its own evaluations
and writes its own language. And you will be able to see for
yourself what language is, but there is human rights language in the
rights “language” -- but is it
for a monitoring mechanism, or
merely what Morocco and France want, a welcoming of Morocco allowing
in special rapporteurs? Watch this site.
* * *
Not Answering on Morocco Lobbying, UN Decries
Leaks to Press
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.
City Press asked
Morocco lobbying the UN Secretariat to ensure no human
rights monitoring mechanism for the MINURSO peacekeeping mission,
what Ban's position was:
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.
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.
Are you being lobbied by Morocco, as someone inside the
Secretariat has told me? I mean, just yes or no?
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.
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
* * *
Reports Published as UN Refuses to Take Morocco Q
-- 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.
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
Office for the High Commissioner on Human
Rights, which proposes a human rights mechanism for the UN's MINURSO
Click here and here.
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.
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?
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.
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.