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On Palestine, UN Memo Confirmed Its Name & Rights to Participate

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 15 -- The legal status of Palestine is addressed in an internal UN memorandum dated December 21, 2012 but not made public until today, by Inner City Press, here.

  In the memo, by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's top lawyer Patricia O'Brien, it is said for example that the State of Palestine, following the General Assembly vote of November 29, 2012, should be able to fully participate in all UN conferences under the “All States” or the “Vienna Formula.”

  Inner City Press has exclusively reported on Palestine's bid to be a vice chair of the upcoming Arms Trade Treaty talks, a status that sources say was advised against by the Secretariat in closed door consultations.

  Finally Palestine withdrew its candidacy, and told Inner City Press it seeks to sit not between Palau and Panama, which did not vote for its upgrade, but rather Sri Lanka and Sudan which did. (We've dubbed this, ICC corner.)

  The name plate “State of Palestine” to which US Ambassador Susan Rice objected in the Security Council was permitted by the O'Brien memo

  The memo, directed to Ban and top UN system officials such as Herve Ladsous of Peacekeeping and Jeffrey Feltman of the Department of Political Affairs, states that it is “not for distribution to member states or to the media.”

  Don't member states OWN the UN? By what right did O'Brien seek to keep this legal ruling private?

  Recently, Inner City Press has repeatedly requested an explanation of the legal basis for the UN's ruling that claims that it brought cholera to Haiti were “not receivable.”

  But no explanation has been provided. O'Brien has been named Ireland's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva. But this memo on Palestine stands, we are exclusively making it public here. Watch this site.

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