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At UNSC, South Korea In But Rwanda Still Excluded, No DRC Response, Nordic Diss

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 12 -- Since five new Security Council members were elected on October 18, at least one of them has been going in and out of Council consultations.

  It has not been the new member which has been whispered about in the Council -- Rwanda -- nor the one that sent its foreign minister to seek Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's good offices on a dispute (Argentina, about Ghana's seizure of its frigate).

  Rather it has been South Korea, not for the reason some thought, but because it will take up the Council's presidency earliest in 2013 and therefore is receive more or earlier access to how the Council works.

  So Rwanda was not allowed to attend the Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions committee meeting in Conference Room 7 of the UN's North Lawn building on Monday. That's one thing. But Inner City Press has been told that Rwanda's letters to the sanctions committee have not been responded to.

  That should happen, whether or not Rwanda had won a seat on the Council starting on January 1. That is has won such a seat should change DRC Sanctions dynamics, from January 1 at the latest.

  The five new Council member go on the so-called Finnish retreat later this week, and after that all five can attend consultations. Finland's sponsorship of this event continues, even after they lost their race against Australia and Luxembourg on October 18.

Now that Sweden has lost, too, for the Human Rights Council, a well placed UN source tells Inner City Press that "something is wrong with goodwill of the northern group -- after all they act as a group and should have an advantage on other candidates not a disadvantage. It seems they have to change the way they interact with other UNMS and drastically since fundamentally something is very wrong."

  That seems harsh -- Norway, as simply one example, has drawn kudos for its committee work on Palestine. There are other examples, so we'll see -- watch this site.

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