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Syria Aid Text May Not Reach Raqqa, UK Denies P5 Rule As France Picks Scribes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 2 -- A Syria humanitarian access Presidential Statement was adopted by the UN Security Council on Wednesday that establishes some positive precedents while having holes in implementation.

Inner City Press asked Ambassador Sylvie Lucas of Luxembourg, which along with Australia drafted the statement, if she thought that armed groups like ISIS, threatening aid workers in Jarabulus and in al Raqqa, will listen to the statement. Video here, from Minute 7:55.

  Lucas said that Valerie Amos, the UN's top humanitarian who was standing next to the stakeout, could answer on with whom the UN is in contact. Lucas also said that, contrary to reports, no one had "broken silence" on the draft statement. (Several Western-side media reported Russia had broken silence.)

Inner City Press asked Valerie Amos about the ISIS threats in Jarabulus, which were confirmed to the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info by Amos' EU counterpart Kristalina Georgieva, and if the UN has any access to al Raqqa. Video here, from Minute 5:28.

  Amos said that UN humanitarians reach out as much as possible, where they have a presence.

  But does the UN yet have access, Inner City Press followed up, to al Raqqa?

  Amos conceded, we do not have a physical presence there. Video here from Minute 6:42. So what is this Presidential Statement's effect there?

Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant about this statement having been drafted by two non-Permanent members. Video here from Minute 3:50.

  Lyall Grant said this was a good thing, and that "contrary to popular opinion, the Permanent members" encourage the non Permanent members to take the lead.

  But this has NOT been true on the Security Council's Africa trip to the Great Lakes, starting tomorrow. For that, Inner City Press which went on such trips in 2008 and 2010 was rejected this time; UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky admitted on camera that the decision was made by (Permanent member) France, as the "mission in the lead on the whole trip." Inner City Press channel YouTube video here, from Minute 0:41.

So colonial powerhouse France was allowed to hand-pick the scribes for what is now called its Genocide Joyride: Reuters (whose bureau chief has spied for the UN) and Voice of America. But the work of Australia and Luxembourg as drafters must be praised -- as must Azerbaijan's, as amended.

  Inner City Press asked October's Council president Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan to confirm that the addition, from the September 28 draft to the October 2 adoption, of a line about the territorial integrity not only of Syria but all of "all other States affected by the Syrian conflict" was his country's doing, referring to Armenia not re-settling Armenians from Syria in Nagorno-Karabakh.

  Mehdiyev and his deputy said yes, it was, and that they got another change. And that... is a change. France's sleazy handpicking of scribes for its Genocide Joyride is a blast from the past, and the silence or acquiescence of other Council members bodes badly. We will have more on this.

Footnote: Inner City Press asked Lyall Grant why the provision for cross-border aid had not been applied, despite two years of requests, to Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan in Sudan. He replied that there are "blockages" and perhaps this Syria statement might change that. We'll see. Watch this site.


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