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At UN, Ban's Lawyer O'Brien Sides with P5 Against S5, Says 2/3 Required

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, May 15 -- What is the place of law in the UN? This is a question raised not only by the so-called Small Five's draft resolution about the Security Council, but also the May 14 advisory letter of reclusive chief UN lawyer Patricia O'Brien, which Inner City Press has obtained and puts online here, and how it will be dealt with on May 16.

  Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland, as the Small Five, have put forward recommendations for reforms of the Security Council's working methods. Inner City Press first wrote about the proposal on May 2, then earlier today after being the only media staking out meetings with the President of the General Assembly by the Permanent Five members of the Council, then the Small Five, exclusive article here.

  A member of the Permanent Five told Inner City Press, "This requires a two-thirds vote. We hope they [the Small Five] will just withdraw it."

  Inner City Press asked the PGA's office about the Legal Adviser's letter, but they would not confirm it. The PGA himself told Inner City Press, "we are still going through it," he said, "in the morning."

  When the Small Five, and entourage, came out later from the PGA's office, one of their representatives told Inner City Press with a smile, "We say simple majority and that it will be adopted by consensus!"

  Patricia O'Brien, not surprisingly, sided with the powerful Permanent Five. (O'Brien has repeatedly refused to take questions from the Press, including on the long pending complaint that the UN introduced cholera to Haiti.) One her grounds, the last paragraph in the Annex, has now been taken away by its deletion. But what will happen on May 16? 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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