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 AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Home -

Follow us on TWITTER

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


ICP on YouTube

Video on NY Times

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

Churkin on Russia's UN Veto, Its Use in Zimbabwe & Myanmar, "Minority Defense"

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 -- With Syria the main topic in the UN Security Council, many have focused on Russia and its veto, when it would use it and why.

  Inner City Press learned last week that in a closed door meeting last month on Security Council reform Russia's Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin said that his country didn't win UN veto power in "a lottery, but as a result of battle."

  Wednesday Inner City Press asked Churkin about his statement, and push back by an African country that they too had suffered in World War Two. "I'm sure they did," Churkin said, "in different ways."

Churkin paused, then continued, "I hope people understand, some of them argue with all due respect without realizing the consequences for their own national interest for stripping us of the veto powers. When they find themselves in a hot spot without anyone being able to exercise the veto, they will come to regret it. Things happen."

Asked about previous vetoes, Churkin told Inner City Press that since he's been at the UN, Russia has cast only four vetoes.

"Two had really nothing to do with our national interest," Churkin said. "On Myanmar ASEAN was saying it was wrong. On Zimbabwe, the African Union was saying it was wrong. I had Ambassador [Dumisani] Kumalo next to me saying that if it was adopted he'd have thousands of refugees. So we just vetoed it." He added, "Now Myanmar is progressing peacefully."

He did not go into detail on the other two vetoes: the end the UN observer mission in Abkhazia, and on the last Syria resolution -- and next the next one.

(c) UN Photo
Churkin and South Africa's Sangqu, Kumalo and World War Two not shown

  Instead, Churkin paused before issuing a sort of aphorism on the veto, calling it "about the protection of the rights of minorities in the United Nations."

  There are sure to be many views of Churkin's statements. But for now one can say: while the work of some in the Council and in their capitals seems directed at guilting Russia into not using its veto, Russia can articulate a counter-narrative, of "heroic vetoing" to "protect the rights of minorities." Alawites might be minorities -- but Assad is decidedly in a "hot spot." Watch this site.

Footnote: as simply one example, France during this time frame abstained from a Security Council resolution purely to protect the commecial interest of one of its banks. We'll have more on this.

Share |

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

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

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, 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]