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UNSC Silent on Gaza, Vague on Congo, As P5 Paralyze Their Powerhouse

By Matthew Russell Lee - Sunday skeptic

UNITED NATIONS, November 18 -- The UN and its Security Council have so devolved that they can only act on relatively lower profile conflicts, in which at least one Permanent member has an interest, usually colonial, and no other Permanent member is so interested as to block.

  This was clear on Saturday, November 17. Amid worldwide news and protests about Gaza, when the UN Security Council scheduled an emergency weekend meeting, many assumed it would be about Gaza.

  But France, which requested the meeting, clarified that its subject would be the Democratic Republic of the Congo, specifically the advance of the M23 mutineers on North Kivu's capital Goma.

  Inner City Press went to cover the emergency meeting, which resulted in a press statement telling M23 to stop, and yet another refusal to answer Press questions by Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to head UN Peacekeeping.

  Then it was was said that the Security Council would turn to Gaza, under "Any Other Business." But this meeting broke up quickly.

  Later Arab diplomats came to the Security Council, outside which Inner City Press was writing its story, but could not get in. One told Inner City Press to follow, to what turned out to be a desultory meeting of Arab Ambassadors with Security Council president for November Hardeep Singh Puri.

Outside India's Mission to the UN, Palestine's Permanent Observer Riyad Mansour told Inner City Press that dissatisfaction had been expressed to Puri, but no Council meeting had been scheduled.

  Developments in the Congo are of course troubling -- although the UN's own involvement remains murky. Why did the UN fly Congolese officials to meet with the Mai Mai militia?

  Did the UN know about, or even participate in, Congolese army operations which M23 says broke the month-old ceasefire?

  Inner City Press asked the head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous, "Who broke the ceasefire?" But he refused to answer.

  Ladsous was France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide in 1994, and has refused to answer Press question about how that might relate to his current position(s) on the Congo.

  The UN claims to be protecting civilians in the Congo, but fails more often than not. Last week a UN report showed that the UN failed while tens of thousands of civilians were killed in Sri Lanka in 2009. The Security Council never even had a formal meeting about that; the UN Secretariat concealed casualty figures and worse.

  A skeptic or Sunday cynic might say, if this UN failed so badly on Sri Lanka, what to expect of it on Gaza? But even where the UN does act in some fashion, as in the Congo, its head man won't even answer basic questions. These are problems. Watch this site.

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