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Ashe's UNSC Reform Group of 6 Slammed by Italy for UfC, Bahrain for Arab Group

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 31 -- The new UN Security Council reform advisory group picked by General Assembly President John Ashe, on which Inner City Press exclusively reported a week ago, has now been criticized in writing by Italy's Mission to the UN, on behalf of the Uniting for Consensus grouping.  Bahrain has also chimed in, for the Arab Group, here.

   Inner City Press is publishing the UfC letter, here.

  The advisory group of six has three European countries -- Belgium, Liechtenstein and San Marino -- as well as Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone and G4 member Brazil.

  At the Security Council's "Working Methods" session this week, Brazil and Germany both said the group would come up with a text to be the basis of inter-governmental negotiations. Click here for Inner City Press report. This made UfC and other member states more angry.

  The UfC letter, signed by Italian ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, concludes that "it is important that the entire membership has the opportunity to review and agree on the composition and terms of reference of the group." It asserts that Ashe's naming of the group violated "Decision 62/557, as well as subsequent decisions of the General Assembly."

  After Inner City Press' first exclusive article, Ashe's spokesperson Afaf Konja explained to the Press that his initial letter hadn't gone onto the UN's website until Inner City Press published it due to an oversight; she insisted that Uniting for Consensus had been consulted with. She wrote:

"On the letter not being up immediately on the PGA website: As openly disclosed, it was a pure administrative lapse which has already been addressed to ensure a more streamlined and full-proof process.

"On the criticism you refer to as 'Euro-top heavy': As explained, the selection is not based on geographic criteria. It weighs more on the experience of nations in peace-building, and an openness to see beyond differences. Essentially, an advisory group that can help see the process forward.

"Please note that the President of the General Assembly met with the UFC group, at their request. They expressed their concerns and they were heard. Moreover, the advisory group chosen is not a negotiated group."

But now, this letter. And Bahrain's for the Arab Group, saying the Advisory Group can't replace the process. Watch this site.


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