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US Month Ends with Kerry - & Hate Speech? - in UNSC, Power in Wings

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 -- As the United States' month as President of the UN Security Council comes to a close, it's time to review it as best as we can. Secretary of State John Kerry came once, on a July 25 day trip, to chair the meeting on Africa's Great Lakes region.

  While there, the Democratic Republic of the Congo's foreign minister said that all rebellions in the region bear the same "genetic signature."

  After diplomats from a number of member states complained this was hate speech, even "genocide talk," Inner City Press asked the US Mission to the UN if it had a comment. Apparently it had none, as least as of yet.

  And outside the US Mission on July 25, after a two hour wait for a 45 second photo op of Kerry and Syria oppositionist al Jarba, Kerry told Inner City Press he hadn't heard the comment. Fine - but it was in the DRC's written speech, and is on UN Webcast.  UN video here at 1:06:20 

 (The US Mission did, we note, provide a response from Kurtis Cooper about cholera in Haiti at the beginning of the month, and from Payton Knopf about the rapes in Minova in November by the Congolese Army near the end of the month, here.)

  Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo handled the presidency ably, held a number of stakeouts; Jeffrey DeLaurentis held one, and answered questions on Darfur. But what's been done on the seven peacekeepers killed there?

  Syria was and is the "big one." Interesting, at the General Assembly session on July 29, the US was humble. While the UK's Mark Lyall Grant and even France's fill-in for Gerard Araud went to the front and inveigh, Ambassador DiCarlo spoke from her seat, later in the meeting. Will this be Samantha Power's approach when, as seems sure to happen, she arrives?

  Among diplomats asked Monday by Inner City Press about Samantha Power, a number noted things she'd said at her confirmation hearing. That the US has nothing to apologize for about the Rwanda genocide struck some more than others as a false note, inconsistent with her book "A Problem from Hell." But what will she do, once at the UN? Watch this site.

Footnote: there are three mandate renewals to be "done" on July 30. Of them, Inner City Press is told that the Cote d'Ivoire renewal might, just might, have "explanations of vote," on the draw-down of peacekeepers and on "ICC issues." Others say it will just fly through without a single explanation. We'll see.


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