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Ban Wants “Decisive Action” in Syria, Amid UN Decay in Peacekeeping

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 24 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made his General Assembly speech, the elephant in the room was the airstrikes on Syria that began two days before. Should UN Security Council approval have been sought?

  As he has increasingly done, Ban called for “decisive action” -- that is, airstrikes. While Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric has repeatedly told Inner City Press that Ban does not favor more arms flowing into Syria, he has not directly criticized the US move to arm and train Syrian rebels.

  In terms of UN Peacekeeping, Ban in his speech said he is setting up a review. Inner City Press has heard from source that Louise Arbour is slated to head it -- with many grumbling about it, including previous colleagues at the International Crisis Group. Is she the right one to review the failures of UN Peacekeeping under Herve Ladsous?

  Most recently those failures include ordering peacekeepers to surrender to the Al Nusra Front in the Golan Heights -- so more for “decisive action” -- and not implementing Ban's supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy, by including the DR Congo Army, a UN listed child soldier recruiter, in the mission in Central African Republic, after never suspending UN support for DRC Army units which committed 130 rapes in Minova in November 2012.

  Ladsous refuses Press questions on all of this, video compilation here, UK coverage here. What would Arbour - or another - do about that?

  Ban touted his own “Rights Up Front” plan, without mention it was meant to make up for his failures on Sri Lanka in 2009 and since.

  Ban cited his Climate Summit, at which coal mining funders Bank of America and Barclays were celebrated. While corporations use his UN for blue-washing, yesterday the French delegation tried to privatize the UN's Press Briefing Room, ordering all non-French journalists to leave. Inner City Press for the new Free UN Coalition for Access refused this privatization, video here, and will continue to work to make the UN live up to the principles it was supposedly founded for. Watch this site.


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