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For UN GA Chairs, Germany Takes Budget, Indonesia & Latins Fill Others

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 21, updated -- In the fight to chair UN General Assembly committees, Germany had grabbed the Fifth (Budget) Committee from Sri Lanka in an August deal, Inner City Press has learned.

  Asia now gets the First Committee, but it will be Indonesia and not Sri Lanka. Source say that the African Group, in the shape of Gabon, is taking the Fourth Committee.

  The Latin American and Caribbean Group, GRULAC, has is getting two chairs, Second and Third, for Suriname and Guyana.

  And it's said the Eastern European Group, which could not get it together to vote between Serbia's Vuk Jeremic and Lithuania for the next President of the General Assembly -- Jeremic won -- will chair the Sixth (Legal) Committee.

  In a strange proviso, it's said that Germany will chair the Fifth Committee at the Deputy Permanent Representative level: that is, Ambassador Berger rather than Peter Wittig.

Update: Berger confirmed this to Inner City Press, explaining that Germany will still be on the Security Council until the end of 2012, and that he (Berger) has worked on budget issues in the past.

  Back in July, Sri Lanka was said to have "bagged" the Fifth Committee. Inner City Press wrote about it, and questioned it in that Sri Lankan Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona is named in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's own Panel of Experts report on the killings in May 2009, just as Sri Lanka's Deputy Permanent Representative Shavendra Silva's battalion is named.

  Silva managed to squeeze onto Ban Ki-moon's and DPKO chief Herve Ladsous' Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations. While Ban Ki-moon never commented on the irony, telling Inner City Press it was a decision of member states, much opposition was expressed after detailed reports.

  Now the idea of Sri Lanka chairing the Fifth Committee appears to be dead. Germany will want to save money.

  There is a separate fight for seats on, and the chair of, the Advisory Committeee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, as Inner City Press exclusively reported, with the able Botswanan chair Collen Kelapile wanting to stay on, but Eritrea and then Kenya clamoring for a rotation to the North which didn't in the past take place.

   Senegal and Benin are said to be vying for another seat. Watch this site.

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