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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


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As UNSC Methods Reviewed, PGA Ashe's Euro-Heavy Reform Group Says It's in Charge

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 30 -- During the all-day debate Tuesday in the UN Security Council, ostensibly of its Working Methods, the recent naming by President of the General Assembly John Ashe of a six-country advisory group on Council Reform was the elephant in the room, or Chamber.

  What was this group, first reported on by Inner City Press, set up to do? Why are three of its six members European, along with Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea and Brazil?

  Some have complained to Inner City Press that Sierra Leone didn't attend the first, "slapped together" meeting. A second meeting, they say, was held yesterday October 29 -- again, sans Ashe. (In fairness, Inner City Press published Ashe's office's response, here.)

  Brazil came out and said: the group, which is it on, will come up with a text which is to be the basis of inter-governmental negotiations. Another G-4 member, Germany, echoed this in its speech (which as we noted, also mentioned the growing role of Twitter, which the German Mission told Inner City Press in context includes media tweets, here.)

Later Tuesday evening yet another G4 member told Inner City Press they like this process. United for Consensus? Not so much.

Japan of the G4 said that even the current Elected Ten members weren't consulted on Syria. (In fact, despite UK calling in Valerie Amos and France calling in Saudi-sponsored rebel Ahmad al Jarba, it's largely down to Russia and the US, which even envoy Lakhdar Brahimi seems to be chafing against.)

Many points were made by members of ACT, and some surprising ACT supporters. Here's another one, on issues of needed transparency: the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info.

  And here's an example: even the question of which media could cover the "Council's" recent Africa trip was decided, without transparency, by a single colonial member, France. African members, and others, weren't consulted. It's time to ACT up.

  New Zealand recalled that the Secretary General, under Article 99 of the Charter, can put urgent matters in front of the Council. But as Inner City Press reported, daily at the time, on Sri Lanka Ban Ki-moon never did that.

  He has a report saying that should happen in the future -- but his Office of the Spokesperson told Inner City Press the report, already leaked to Inner City Press by a UN whistleblower, may or may not exist. And so it goes in this UN. Watch this site.


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