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At UN, Palestine Still Left Out of 194 Participants on Names, Lost in Sea of Japan

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 9, updated below -- More than a week after Palestine took its seat as a full participant in the UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names, as first reported by Inner City Press, some snafus still remained late Thursday.
   In the morning, Palestine's Riyad Mansour -- not referred to here as the Permanent Observer -- pointed out to Inner City Press an error and correction by the UN Journal.

  The Journal had referred to Palestine as Observer -- but since it joined UNESCO, in meetings held under the so-called Vienna format, Palestine is a full participant. And so the Journal was fixed.
   But late Thursday, along with issues of the Sea of Japan versus the (Korean) East Sea, and on the Romanization of names, Palestine had been excluded from the list of 194 participants in Paragraph 121.

   Another participant -- not Palestine -- told Inner City Press, "the editor in chief is the USA, what do you expect?"

  Who is the 194th, you ask?  The Holy See, of course.

  In early July Palestine asserted the same right regarding the Arms Trade Treaty talks, as first reported by Inner City Press. But after much back and forth, under the resulting compromise Palestine sat in the front row beside the Holy See.

Following Palestine's joining UNESCO as a full member, it followed suit as Inner City Press reported at the Law of the Sea, to which the US is not a party.

  At Thursday's Geographic Names session the Palestinian representative -- against, not an Observer -- told Inner City Press this would be worked out, "they are just not used to us yet, but they will be." 

  The seriousness of the Sea of Japan issue to that country's mission was represented by who they sent to the meeting: Jun Yamazaki, former UN Assistant Secretary General and Controller.

  Ban Ki-moon may have named former Japanese Permanent Representative Yukio Takasu to the Department of Management post he first offered to South Africa if they would sell out Navi Pillay -- click here for that exclusive story from Inner City Press -- but this Sea issue is one on which Japan and South Korea are in direct conflict. 

 And Ban is headed to South Korea tomorrow. Watch this site.

Update of August 10 -- Palestine got correctly listed the next day, in what became Paragraph 122...

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