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At UN, Illicit Flows Range from Azawad to Child Organs, Wrong Organ Alleged

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 25 -- When the US scheduled a debate on so-called Illicit Flows for near the end of its month as President of the UN Security Council, several other Council members expressed confusion to Inner City Press about both the name and purpose of the session.

  "It sounds like a disease," one Permanent Representative joked. Another, more seriously, said this was a matter for the General Assembly, not the Security Council.

  This latter point was repeated Wednesday during the debate (now re-named "cross-border trafficking and movement," not flows) by India's Deputy Permanent Representative, who called the Security Council the wrong organ.

  After the 14 other members of the Council spoke, US Ambassador Susan Rice read out first here statement -- in fairness we link to it here -- then the agreed on Presidential Statement.

   In the Security Council reform debate, several have argued that such PRSTs should not be read, or even agreed, until after the Council hears from member states which are not on the Council. But that did not happen Wednesday.

  As the debate proceeded, the flow of Gaddafi weapons into Mali and beyond was a recurrent theme. Deputy Permanent Representative Briens of France, which air dropped weapons into Libya's Nafusa mountains, denounced illicit flows, apparently without irony.

  Later, Libya's Ibrahim Dabbashi denounced the Azawad formation in Northern Mali, saying it was created by people who had been armed, trained and even in some cases given Libyan citizenship by Gaddafi.

South Africa's Baso Sangqu also mentioned the flow of weapons out of Libya, but as a critique of the unintended consequences of the NATO campaign in Libya.

  Notably, when the French Mission to the UN promoted the upcoming NATO meeting in Chicago via Twitter, it emphasized Afghanistan, "Smart Defense," Balkans, Iran and Syria -- not even mentioning Libya, much less any inquiry into the killing of civilians including rescue workers in Majer, Libya.

  Earlier in the week, Inner City Press asked Israeli Permanent Representative Ron Prosor about Turkey blocking Israel from attending the NATO meeting in Chicago. He said he didn't have the details.

  Israel's speech on illicit flows drew a response in the afternoon from Iran -- whose Ambassador stopped afterward to muse to Inner City Press that the issue of Abu Mousa island, owned by Iran "for 2,500 years before those others were even countries," should have been raised by the United Arab Emirates, not as happened from Saudi Arabia.

(Their explanation is that they speak at the UN for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which designed the still controversial immunity deal for Ali Saleh in Yemen.)

  The last speaker on illicit flows, previously unscheduled, was a Syrian diplomat who ended at least as translated by saying that now gangs led by Israelis are trafficking children's organs. Immediately after that, the US diplomat chairing the meeting said, there are no further speaker inscribed on my list, and gaveled the meeting closed.

  What did it all come to? We'll say at the end of the month, when we'll also compare the number and content of Ambassador Susan Rice's stakeout to those of Mark "Gold Standard" (for now) Lyall Grant the month before.

  Then we'll welcome in Azerbaijan as Security Council president for May. Will there be an Azeri "Horizon" debate by the Department of Political Affairs, with will the new American -- likely Jeffrey Feltman -- by installed at DPA in May? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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