Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In UN Middle East Debate, Feltman on Palestine Status, Syria on Mali, of Post-Nobel EU

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 15, updated -- Day long UN Security Council debates on the Middle East happen every three months now. Still half way through Monday's debate a Permanent Representative complained to Inner City Press, "there's nothing new this time!"

  But around the edges there were some differences, inevitably. The European Union's Nobel Peace Prize, for example, was raised by Bangladesh's Permanent Representative Monem, who said that after the prize the EU bears more responsibility for peace in the Middle East.

  This apparently had an impact, at least in the Security Council. After Sri Lanka Permanent Representative Palitha Kohona finished, the Council Presidency said thank you to "the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh," and then corrected.

  Pakistan's new Permanent Representative Masood Khan said that Palestine should retain its primacy in these UN debates and not be sidelined. The next speaker, Gerard Araud of France, began "First, Syria."

  Syria's Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari ended the morning session with a flourish, accusing the Council of double standards in acting against terrorists in Mali, but for them in Syria. But the Council is not really acting on the take-over of north Mali, anyway, at least not yet.

  Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman began the morning saying, among other things, that with Palestine asking for Observer State status and Israel opposed, the issue should be dealt with "constructively."

  Inner City Press went to the noon briefing and asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to unpack this: is it entirely up to member states, as Team Ban has said on other things, or does the Secretariat disfavor Palestine's proposed upgrade in status?

  Nesirky acknowledged that it is up to member states. One continues to wonder about the word "constructive," then.

  Egypt's Permanent Representative Mootaz Ahmadein Khalil went though six points -- the sixth was about Syria -- and said "we expect the General Assembly to adopt a resolution during its current session to upgrade the status of Palestine to become a 'non-member observer state,' as a first step towards reaching full membership."

   Palestine's Riyad Mansour said the request for status upgrade will be made "as soon as possible;" on Friday, a diplomat in the UN's North Lawn building said that will be in later November, "after the US elections."

   Israel's Ron Prosor called for "constructive solutions, not destructive resolutions." Neither spoke before UN Television at the stakeout.

   Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative called on the "Finnish facilitator" to hurry and send out invitations for the prospective Nuclear Free Middle East conference, so it can happen this year.

  (After his speech, he told Inner City Press that there are issues about both Israel and Iran, but the the Finnish facilitator should just send out the invitations, it is already late.)

One wondered if the nationality of the facilitator, and now doubts about the conference, might have any impact on Thursday's Security Council elections, in which Finland vies with Luxembourg and Australia for two two-year seats.

Australia's Permanent Representative arrived to speak at 5 pm, when the above was published. He was the only one of these three contestants on the speakers list. Turkey's outgoing Permanent Representative Apakan also arrived.

Update: Turkey's Apakan cited, among other things, the Russell Tribunal on Palestine. After their session in New York earlier this month, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky for comment or response, but there was none.

  Before Turkey's Apakan spoke, Pakistan's new Permanent Representative Masood Khan returned to the Security Council chamber. The explanation given to Inner City Press was "Pakistani - Turkish cooperation." Another delegation explained it goes back at least to the 1950s... Watch this site.

Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2012 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]