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To G8 in Lough Erne Ban Ki-moon Wasn't Invited, UK Tells ICP, UN in Decline

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 26 – During the recent G8 meeting in Lough Erne, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde and World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim were both there.

  But where, Inner City Press asked, was Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations?

Physically, he was in China. But the question was, had Ban Ki-moon even been invited to the G8? The question was asked at the UN, of Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey.

  He said he didn't know, he said he would check; there was never an answer. This seemed to imply Ban had not been invited – particularly since the meeting touched on Syria – but it seemed to make sense to ask the host, the United Kingdom.

  The UK Mission to the UN's spokesperson, Iona Thomas, told Inner City Press she didn't know but would ask “the capital” but that it might take time. On Wednesday morning, Inner City Press asked again. She indicated that maybe now that the dust had settled, an answer might be possible.

  And then it came. Wednesday afternoon at an otherwise empty Security Council stakeout as the Council's meeting on the long delayed Sahel report by Romano Prodi started up, Iona Thomas of the UK told Inner City Press that No, Ban Ki-moon was not invited. So there you have it.

  What does it mean?

  Often people critique not only the G8 but also the G20 for being unrepresentative, contrasting it to the G193 of the General Assembly. The UN Secretary General could be a bridge, and it seems to some that previous Secretary General Kofi Annan might well have been invited.

  So what is happening to the UN? As another UN official pointed out to Inner City Press, even on Mali, a case right in the UN's wheelhouse, it was not the UN brokering the deal -- not Prodi or Bert Koenders or Said Djinnit -- but Blaise Campoare of Burkina Faso. Would he have been invited to the G8? Watch this site.

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