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UN Peacebuilding Capped by Sudans, Swiss Want In, Australia Ponies Up

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 12 -- The UN Security Council's "thematic debates" often garner little to no media interest, and Thursday's session on peacebuilding was no different. After a side meeting on Syria broken up, the stakeout area was empty as South Sudan and then Sudan spoke.

  Afterward Sudan's Permanent Representative Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman told Inner City Press he had added two elements to his speech, after hearing South Sudan: a reply on why oil production was stopped, and a line about corruption.

Asked by Inner City Press about the oil, South Sudan representative Francis Nazario told Inner City Press, "Nobody in the world can justify theft." It was on that basis that South Sudan stopped pumping oil.

  Rwanda's Permanent Representative Eugene-Richard Gasana, who will join the Security Council in January, stay all day for the debate.

  "You have to be responsible," he said, "This is Rwanda." He said that the Council shouldn't be putting out statements now, even as other statements are prepared in Addis Ababa. "I think we have to calm down," he said.

  A decidedly lower key conflict, if one can call it that, was between Australia which pledged $12 million over four years for the peacebuilding fund, while Norway pledged $5 million a year on 2011 and again in 2012.

  Australia's pledge, it would seem, is in the context of its race against Luxembourg and Finland for two seats on the Security Council for the Western European and Other Group states. Luxembourg's Permanent Representative spoke on Thursday, genial pitching "national ownership." Finland did not speak.

Ireland, interestingly, referred to "questions accumulating about aspects of UN peacekeeping." Armenia spoke with nary a direct reference to Azerbaijan.

Swiss Permanent Representative Seger made his Small Five point, that he and other peacekeeping configuration chairs should be allowed in Security Council consultations. Burundi also said this. If we don't even say it, it will never happen, Seger told Inner City Press.

  Sweden spoke about Liberia, where the Swede Karin Landgren has been named SRSG. Colombia's foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin chaired the meeting; at the stakeout Inner City Press asked her if the PBC could help Yemen, or even Syria. She replied the Council is working hard for a resolution.

  Japan was represented by former UN controller Jun Yamazaki. In fact, the Wikipedia page about him still, as of July 12 at 4 pm, listed him as working for the UN.

  Thomas Mayr-Harting spoke for the EU, and afterward told Inner City Press that the EU is getting more active every day. He said it's not about where you sit -- in the back in the Arms Trade Treaty -- but what you do.

  By contrast, when on the evening on July 11 Inner City Press asked the Permanent Representative Nicholas Emiliou of Cyprus, heading the EU, about the EU's role at the UN. He said he was disappointed to find some at the UN not appreciating that the EU is "sui generis," with a lot to offer. The African Union is "sui generis" too, some feel. This is a peace that must be built. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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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