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Amid Diplomacy & Double Standards, Fond Farewell to India's DPR Manjeev

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- Amid the chaotic whirl of the UN's diplomatic holiday party season, some farewells cannot be missed. Thursday night's for India's Deputy Permanent Representative Manjeev Singh Puri was one such event.

  There were hurdles to surmount: his goodbye meeting with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, listed for 4:40 pm, was postponed for a photo op of Ban receiving Ake Sellstrom's second Syria chemical weapons report (Ban took no questions). Manjeev said bye to Ban at 5:40; Ban but not bloggers later appeared at the Bahrain national day.

  Then, crossing Second Avenue to the Indian mission on 43rd Street, an African Permanent Representative told Inner City Press he was supposed to "go to Francophonie first" -- but decided "Manjeev is more important." Despite other actual superpower events, this priority was shared.

  Inside the Indian mission, Under Secretaries General like from the Department of Political Affairs (recounting travels in Syria before his Lebanon posting for the US government made this no longer comfortable) and other African Permanent Representatives noshed on spicy meat rolls.

  Making an appearance was Hardeep Singh Puri, heading back to India, and his successor as Permanent Representative Asoke Mukerji. Manjeev's successor, who he's been showing around the UN, was there: B.S. Bishnoi.

  Afghanistan's Zahir Tanin told Inner City Press that from his perspective, the Inter Governmental Negotiation on Security Council reform held earlier in the day had gone better than expected.

  As Inner City Press note, it began with less the forty countries signed up, down from a previous ninety, due to dissatisfaction with President of the General Assembly John Ashe's Advisory Group of six and their recent "non-paper" supplemented by a memo from San Marino's Permanent Representative Daniele Bodini, one of Ban Ki-moon's golf partners.

Recently another Permanent Representative went to ask how he, too, could golf with Ban and was told he'd have to find out which clubs to join. That too is how the UN goes, double standards everywhere -- but with Manjeev Singh Puri going, some laughter and sharp analysis will be lost. Watch this site.


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