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Syria GA Session Monday To Include Resolution, "10% New," Target Tells ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 10, updated -- The General Assembly session on Syria now set for February 13 will, its target told Inner City Press midday on Friday, involve not only a briefing but a draft resolution, with 90% consisting of a resolution passed in the Third (Human Rights) community and "the remaining ten percent is related to new ideas such as proposing to meet again in 15 days, 30 days, asking to appoint a special envoy, ideas like these. They will call for a vote on Monday. We are counter attacking, of course."

  The complaint is that the President of the General Assembly, previously Qatar's Permanent Representative to the UN, is "violating his mandate" as PGA to advance the interests of his own country, Qatar, and those of a subset of the UN's membership "without consulting the plenary... He is doing it at the behest of the UK and Saudi Arabia, the PGA and his office, they are not the mastermind."

  Moments later a BRICS-side country's representative told Inner City Press, "Isn't the timing strange? They say it's an Arab initiative, but they are drafting it before the Arab League meeting [on Sunday]. If they circulate it on Monday, there's no way to get instructions from the capitals and vote that day."

  On February 9 at 5 pm, Inner City Press asked the PGA's spokeswoman to confirm or deny a statement -- on Twitter -- that there would be a GA session on Syria on Friday. She wrote back at 6:30 pm, "About Syria, I am not aware of any meetings at the GA at this point." At 6:51, after a follow up from Inner City Press ("there was a rumor that Syria would be taken up Friday, so I wanted to check"), she wrote right back and specified, "To the best of my knowledge Syria will not be taken up at the GA on Friday."

  At 7 pm Inner City Press learned of an invitation by the PGA to member states to a meeting on Syria on Monday morning. Inner City Press confirmed this with other diplomats and published the news at 9 pm on Thursday. On Friday morning, after confirmation and the promised posting of the invitation letter, Inner City Press asked the PGA spokeswoman when the invitation went out. She replied, "I'll check."

  In this wider debate around Syria, transparency  and accountability by all, not only or even mostly spokespeople but the "masterminds," whether PGA or otherwise, would seem to be called for. This is published in that spirit.

  Less than an hour after first publication of this story, representatives of two Security Council members complained to Inenr City Press that the PGA is operating "without informing the membership," and "for some but not all in the General Assembly."

(c) UN Photo
In the UNSC, Syria huddle, "Qatari" Prez of GA not shown

Ironically, the Security Council ambassadors are scheduled to travel to Haiti, which would have them missing a General Assembly session on Monday or even the next two days, a sort of Second Syria Superbowl.

At Thursday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky the most recent date on which Ban spoke with is previous envoy, to Libya, Jordanian politician and businessness Al Khatib. Nesirky said he would get the date, but 24 hours later and counting it had not been provided. Watch this site.

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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

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