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On UNSC Reform, Ashe Issues "Non-Paper" and San Marino PR Letter

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 10 -- On UN Security Council reform, President of the General Assembly John Ashe today sent a "non-paper" and letter from San Marino ambassador Daniele Bodini to Afghanistan's Ambassador Zahir Tanin as chief of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations.

  Inner City Press has obtained the letters and non-paper, which are not yet online on the UN's website, and publishes them here.

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

  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.

   On Friday, December 6 Inner City Press was the only media staking out a meeting of the Advisory Group, including PGA Ashe and his colleague Ambassador Noel Sinclair, in Conference Room A in the UN basement.

  Brazil's Ambassador Patriota, when Inner City Press asked if reform is just around the corner, laughed and said "but we don't know how far the corner is."

  Ashe back 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.

 Ashe had to write and go online again, canceling the December 5 beginning of Inter Governmental Negotiations and putting it back a week to December 12. Now Inner City Press publishes the non-paper here.

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