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For UNSC, Luxembourg Portends Openness, Somalia & Child Soldiers Debate

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 -- As Luxembourg takes over presidency of the UN Security Council for March, they've set a debate on March 7 on Children and Armed Conflict. Ambassador Sylvie Lucas is chair of the Working Group on the topic.

  Inner City Press on March 4 asked her about a UN-listed child soldier recruiter, Chad, being part of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, MINUSMA.

  Lucas replied that it is really a question for Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous, and that he had addressed it "at another event." While Lucas is open with the press, for example after closed door meetings of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea sanctions committee which she also chairs, Ladsous refuses to answer Press questions in the UN.

  After at the "other event," at IPI across First Avenue from the UN, Ladsous left early after only nine minutes of questions. So we will keep asking.

  On Somalia, Inner City Press asked Lucas about the controversy in which Uganda says it will send the 410 soldiers for a UN Guard Unit, but not through the African Union's AMISOM mission.

   AMISOM has complained, and cited "secret" talks between Uganda and "the UN." Inner City Press asked Lucas if the Security Council has a role in resolving this.

PR Sylvie Lucas at March 4, 2014 briefing, photo by Matthew Russell Lee

  Lucas cited the upcoming interactive dialogue on Somalia. We will be there.

Footnote: On behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, Inner City Press also asked Lucas to do question and answer stakeouts after Council meetings, particularly closed consultations. She noted that she did a stakeout after the Ukraine consultations on Saturday, March 1, but thought it was not necessary after the March 3 open meeting. That seems reasonable. This month has a lot of consultations; we'll be there. Watch this site.


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