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Exclusive: On UNSC Reform, Ashe Names "EU-Heavy" Group, Debate Up Amid Complaints

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Must Credit

UNITED NATIONS, October 23 -- The possible reform of the UN Security Council, made higher profile this month by Saudi Arabia's rejection of a seat due to dysfunction, is the subject of a letter by President of the General Assembly John Ashe, not yet put on his PGA website.

  Inner City Press has obtained the letter, and multiple complaints from UN member states, and puts the exclusively puts the letter online here.

  In it, John Ashe who was and perhaps will again be the Permanent Representative to the UN of Antigua and Barbuda announces a new "Advisory Group" on Security Council report and the speed-up fo the GA debate from December up to November 7-8.

  Some UN member states tell Inner City Press that Ashe is "acting for his own country which bodes badly" - but is of course not without precedent.

  Ashe's advisory group will be composed of the Permanent Representative of Belgium, Liechtenstein, San Marino (Ban Ki-moon's golf partner), Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea and Brazil, its former foreign minister.

  Several states complain that the list is "top heavy with Europeans -- three out of six -- and as one Latin country put it, is being "led by the G4."

  The perspective of Inner City Press and the new Free UN Coalition for Access focuses on transparency -- if the PGA website has a section of "Letters," why on the evening of October 23 is this letter not it. It is published here, exclusive must credit -- but this should not be necessary.

  Inner City Press and FUNCA have previously asked that Ashe's office disclose which staff members are seconded from which missions, and any and all non-UN budget funding to the office. Ashe is a genial diplomat, who quoted Justin Timberlake in his most recent press conference. But transparency is key. We will have more on this. Watch this site.


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