Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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

Follow us on TWITTER


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book


Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At Uzbek UN Bash, Talk of Libyan Oil, US on Palestine, No Tears for Bonnafont Losing DPKO Post to Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 6 -- As Uzbekistan celebrated its 20th anniversary of independence on a rainy Tuesday night in New York, the talk was of the fight for oil in Libya, and Palestine's possible moves at the UN later this month.

"American oil companies were and will be big in Libya," one Security Council diplomat told Inner City Press between bites of Central Asian plov. "Of course Sarkozy is interested. But there's no way France is getting anywhere near 35% of Libyan oil."

  Also regarding France, major troop contributing countries marveled at Herve Ladsous taking the post UN Peacekeeping post over Jerome Bonnafont.

 "Ladsous was the chief of staff," one troop contributor put it, "he could step in at any time and did." Of the French Mission to the UN not knowing it was Ladsous and not Bonnafont he said, "Ban Ki-moon told the important people, in Paris."

  Around the bar in the Czech Bohemian National Hall on Manhattan's 73rd Street, diplomats marveled at how the Obama administration is trying to put pressure on the Palestinians to "stand down" at the UN in September, certain not to ask for UN membership in the Security Council. "A Quartet statement won't be enough," a well placed Ambassador put it.

  Present to hear the single speech by the Uzbek Permanent Representative, and music from an Uzbek classical group flown in from Tashkent for the occasion were the Permanent Representatives of not only Central Asian states but also, among others, Bosnia, South Africa, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Japan, , the Democratci People's Republic of Korea a/k/a North Korea, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Syria, Costa Rica, Cuba and many others, including Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro.

  Uzbek Permanent Representative Murad Askarov greeted the guests as they came in, and then gave a short speech saying his hoped that in the next twenty years, Uzbekistan will have its own building twice his size. He spoke of peace with neighbhors; in the background are water fights with Tajikistan, and upcoming elections in Kyrgyzstan that may exclude the ethnic Uzbeks.

Uzbek musicians at Sept 6 reception, Bonnafont blues not shown (c) MLee

  The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan, quite respectfully, noted that her country will celebrate its 20th anniversary of independence in December. She noted that her president will be coming to the General Debate, one of eight heads of state invited by Ban Ki-moon to speak about nuclear safety. And Obama, she said, has written to her head of state about an upcoming summit on the same topic.

  "We had missiles that could have hit the United States," she said, "and we were the only Islamic country to have them. You can imagine the pressure. But we gave them up."

  And so the UN's high season begins, with Permanent Representatives getting ready to greet their ministers and heads of state. Watch this site.

* * *

UN Top Peacekeeping Post Given to Herve Ladsous, "The Other Frenchman," Despite or Due to Bonnafont's Bragging

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 2, updated -- After leaving the UN's top peacekeeping job vacant for four weeks, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday as expected named a Frenchman to the post, but not the Frenchman who had been bragging that he had the job, Jerome Bonnafont.

   Inner City Press had been the first to name Bonnafont, and quoted Indian diplomats to whom Bonnafont bragged he had the job.  Even in front of the Security Council on Friday morning, the departing spokesman for the French Mission to the UN was unaware of dark horse candidate Ladsous.

  So were others in the French political world. On August 20, Inner City Press published a card of congratulation directed to Bonnafont at the UN in New York from French Senator Jean-Marie Bockel.

  But at Friday's noon briefing, the name read out was Herve Ladsous. Inner City Press asked Ban's new deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey to describe the selection process, and whether any of the finalists had not been French. His answer was general, that all UN selections like the one through which he got his job are transparent.

  But the top peacekeeping job, and most Under Secretary General jobs, are different. Kofi Annan "gave" DPKO to France as part of being Secretary General. From Jean-Marie Guehenno the post went to Alain Le Roy and now to the third Frenchman in a row.

   Owning UN Peacekeeping is useful to France: just this week in Paris, Nicolas Sarkozy bragged of his country's military action in Cote d'Ivoire as well as Libya. As reflected in documents exclusively obtained and published by Inner City Press, France has no problem using DPKO to advance its economic interests, click here for examples.

  Who is Herve Ladsous? He was French ambassador to Indonesia, then a spokesman and diplomat in Paris, then Ambassador to China.  He appears in a 2006 Wikileaks cable about Sri Lanka, telling the US that he is angling to get appointed to an Ambassadorship in India -- where Bonnafont went -- or China. He does not appear to have any military experience.

  Tellingly, he was France's "deputy ambassador to the United Nations in New York."  We'll have more on this.

Ladsous, Bonnafont and selection process not shown

Here is the referenced Wikileaks cable from 2006:

"French MFA A/S equivalent for Asia, Herve Ladsous. Ladsous said that the GoF had no objections in principle to forming the two working groups, though, he added, France would probably not insert itself into a leadership position. He said that the GoF would support the formation of both working groups and noted that the group charged with examining LTTE financing would be of particular interest to the GoF given France's significant Tamil population... Ladsous mentioned that he was angling to become the next French Ambassador to China or India."

  And the rest, as they say, is history. We'll have more -- watch this site.

Click for July 7, 11 re Sudan, Libya, Syria, flotilla

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

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2011 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -