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UNSC Reform Negotiations Delayed, PGA Ashe's Group of 6 Divided

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 -- On ever-elusive UN Security Council reform, today was supposed to be the beginning of a speeded up Inter-Governmental Negotiation triggered by  President of the General Assembly John Ashe naming a Group of Six advisers.

  Ashe's initial letter did not go online; Inner City Press published it first. (His office said that was a snafu not to be repeated.)

  Then on December 2, Ashe wrote and put online a letter naming December 5 as the beginning of the "IGN" under Afghanistan Permanent Representative Zahir Tanin, and urging flexibility from states, presumably those groupings of states which protested the make-up and mandate of Ashe's advisory group: Belgium, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Sierra Leone, Brazil and Papua New Guinea.

  Ashe on November 6 tried to assuage the critics by saying that, contrary to statements by Brazil and Germany in the Security Council debate on Working Methods, the Group of Six would neither negotiate nor draft.

  Still, France's Deputy Permanent Representative said France looked forward to the Advisory Group drafting.

 Now Ashe has had to write and go online again, canceling today's beginning of Inter Governmental Negotiations and putting it back a week to December 12.

  Sources exclusively tell Inner City Press this is due to even Ashe's Advisory Group being divided after their December 3 session.

   In a General Assembly session on December 4 about revitalization the GA's work, Egypt complained that the UN provided budget for Ashe's PGA Office is too low. This results in the Office being dependent on outside support and secondment. Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access asked for disclosure and transparency in this regard, and continue to await it.

  Among the dozen speakers on GA revitalization were three of the Security Council's Permanent Five members: Russia, China and the US. Inner City Press asked why France and the UK did not speak.

  The UK to its credit responded, that the European Union spoke for both of them. Inner City Press tweet-reported this, but asked and asks: do EU members agree on the Security Council taking up issues in the bailiwick of the General Assembly? Many non-P5 countries protest this.

  The EU statement, which the EU tweeted at Inner City Press, didn't directly address this issue. Some say: agreed position are bland positions. To what degree is the EU dominated by its two P5 members? Watch this site.


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