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At UN, Jeremic Pitches for Budget for His Office, Urges Action Before Xmas

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 16 -- Serbia's Vuk Jeremic made a pitch for a budget for the President of the General Assembly, the position he won in a contested election with Lithuania's candidate during the summer.

  As Inner City Press has pointed out in the past, the UN budget for the PGA is only partial, which gives more affluent countries like Bahrain, Switzerland and most recently Qatar an advantage, and forced Nicargua's Miguel d'Escoto Brockman to hold his own fundraisers, in Los Angeles and elsewhere.

  Skeptics might point out that Jeremic has his own reason for feeling the pitch, as after a change in government in Serbia the budget he was to receive from his country fell into question.

  But whatever his reasons, if the Fifth (Budget) Committee moves forward on the proposal, it would make things more fair and less unseemly in the future.

  Jeremic also encouraged the Budget Committee to bring its work to a conclusion as early as possible.

  Often, as Inner City Press has covered in person, the Committee worked until Christmas eve, staying up all night as the documents are finalized to be adopted in the General Assembly hall at dawn.

Eritrea's incoming member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions gave a speech last December, how the endgame working conditions of the Budget Committee were "like Occupy Wall Street," with people sleeping standing up or sitting, as was then required in Zuccotti Park / Liberty Square in lower Manhattan.

   The UN's Vienna Cafe was full of pizza boxes, and later liquor. We'll see what happens this year.

The Second Committee, by contrast, has booked time in the UN's North Lawn Building this weekend, to try to finish its work so members can "go to Doha" for the climate meeting there. Conditions in Doha i Qatar are hardly Occupy Wall Street. In fact, Qatar is close to occupying Wall Street for real.

   The US' Budget Committee Ambassador Joe Torsella was to his credit Tweeting on November 15 about the report detailing the UN's failures in Sri Lanka. But will he, Jeremic, the US or any other member state push for accountability? Watch this site.

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