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Small 5 Have Support Ranging from S. Africa to Norway But May Withdraw

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 16, updated 10:50 am -- As Permanent Representatives poured into the General Assembly on Wednesday morning for the expected fight on the Small Five's draft resolution recommending changes to the Security Council's working methods, Inner City Press began taking an informal poll.

South Africa's Permanent Representative Baso Sangqu expressed support for the S5, as did for example Norway and G-4 member Japan.

Others in the UfC said it is "too important an issue" to divide the membership, and urged withdrawal of the proposal, citing the legal opinion letter of Ban Ki-moon's reclusive top lawyer Patricia O'Brien, which Inner City Press obtained and put online yesterday.

After that story, some in UfC pointed out to Inner City Press that even though the Permanent Five wanted that opinion from O'Brien, so did they, and that there are "some Davids" in the UfC, not only the P5 Goliaths.

In fact, the P5 was advised to take a backseat or less visible role, but chose not to. Likewise the P5 were offered an informal process of conferring on working methods, a large Latin country says, but the P5 rejected it.

Still, by 10:15 am Permanent Representatives from Africa and Latin America emerged and told Inenr City Press the buzz is that the Small Five would give a speech and withdraw their proposal.

If not, a UfC Perm Rep told Inner City Press, there would be a no-action motion, and if that failed, a push by the Small Five to lower the requirement to 50% from the O'Brien dictated two-thirds.

Update of 10:50 am -- a Small Five Permanent Representative who had been fiery on Tuesday now tells Inner City Press, we are going to meet with the PGA. O'Brien's letter sure to figure. Meanwhile there's talk of the African Group asking for a deferral. Watch this site.

Update of 11:12 am -- a Small Five dip has said they will withdraw, not just defer. Still no formal confirmation.

Update of 11:50 am - after a long speech, live Tweeted here, the Swiss Perm Rep said "S5 withdraw" the resolution. Fin.

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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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