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On AU & Kenya Request for ICC Deferral, UNSC Meets Oct 31, Minister in Town

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 28 -- The UN Security Council will meet October 31 on the African Union and Kenya letters to Council asking for deferral of the International Criminal Court cases on Kenya, Inner City Press can report.

  Inner City Press, having obtained the letters, exclusively a week ago published the full letters here (AU) and here (Kenya). Now it can report that Kenya's minister, in town, will be speaking before the Council considers the request on Thursday.

   This session wasn't, for example, on UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant's summary of the week to come (then again, neither was the UN's role in renewed fighting in Eastern Congo, put on the agenda.) Would the UK support the AU Kenya request?
   Back on October 18 amid conflicting reports about a forthcoming request to the UN Security Council to defer the International Criminal Court's Kenya case or cases, Inner City Press asked French Permanent Representative Gerard Araud what France's response would be to such a request.

  Earlier that day Kenya's Permanent Representative Macharia Kamau told Inner City Press that it was not a move by Kenya, but by the African Union, not yet formally filed by the AU.

  Also earlier on October 18 in The Hague, ICC judges excused Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta from "continuous presence" at his trial, to begin November 12 (presiding Judge Kuniko Ozaki dissented).

  When Inner City Press asked Araud for France's position on a request to defer ICC prosecution of Kenyatta, he stopped and exclusively told Inner City Press, "Frankly that's not the question. The ICC granted the request. In a sense, we won't get to the step you describe."

  Inner City Press reported: "the answer is appreciated. But is it certain that the request for full deferral won't be made?"

  Now Araud's prediction has been disproved. What will the UN Security Council do next? Watch this site.

On October 14, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesikry:

Inner City Press: there's a report that says that the Secretary-General called a number of the Presidents in attendance [at the AU] and told them that he would use his position to amend the Rome Statute... it also includes the response of one of the Presidents, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, saying that the Secretary-General has no ability to amend the Rome Statute. Is it? Could we get just a factual readout of who he called in connection with that AU summit?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I will check. What we will be able to say: the Secretary-General certainly did make a number of telephone calls, but I donít think that we will be going into the details of those calls.

Inner City Press: What about just WHO he called?

Spokesperson Nesirky: I can tell you that a number of telephone calls were made, and not just by the Secretary-General.

The Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info believes that as a matter of transparency, such calls by the UN Secretary General should be disclosed. Selectively disclosing some but not all calls to heads of state turns the UN (further) into a House of Spin. Watch this site.


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