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On RECs, AU Urges Contributions, Maged Abdelaziz AU Vetos, FUNCA Briefing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 1 -- After a UN session on African Regional Economic Communities there was a press conference involving Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the UN, Maged Abdelaziz, UN Special Adviser on Africa, and the Free UN Coalition for Access, which challenged the closing and privatization of the UN Press Briefing Room.

Click here for video of RECs briefing, here for FUNCA on HuffPo Live.

In the 32nd floor conference room of the Special Adviser on Africa, Inner City Press asked how the work of the RECs related to the African issues on the agenda of the Security Council, for example in South Sudan.

Tete Antonio said, “You know our fight, we are trying to convince the Security Council to have assessed contributions to make sure the AU or the RECs on behalf of the international community is very successful.”

Maged Abdelaziz spoke of Agenda 2063, issues raised by Egypt and Cape Verde including “Silencing the Gun” dealing with the economic and the governance components.

Near the end of the session, after responses by several of the RECs including ECOWAS on its work in Guinea Bissau and Mali, Abdelaziz said in his personal capacity, not as a UN official, that Africa deserves two Permanent seats on the Security Council, with veto. This, he said, would have prevented what a number of speakers called the foreign interference in Libya. This is an ongoing theme. Watch this site.

Footnote: After the UN session on African Regional Economic Communities held on the morning of October 1 in UN Conference Room 2, there was a press conference scheduled for 1 pm on the second floor. This conflicted with an event of UNCA, now known as the UN's Censorship Alliance; the African press conference got canceled. Inner City Press went down to Conference Room 2 and urged, on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, that the briefing be reinstated.

 But up on the second floor, the UN Spokesperson's office said this would be difficult. The UN Press Briefing Room, previously taken over by the French delegation, was locked. Finally it was decided to conduct the session up on the 32nd floor, in what we'll call a FUNCA briefing. Video here.


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