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As UNSC Reconvenes, Six Members Head to Timor, Qs of P5 and Ladsous

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 31 -- After the UN Security Council held a short but historic meeting Wednesday, chased out of its of its normal Chambers by Hurricane Sandy, it emerged that at least some Council diplomats will head November 1 halfway around the world to Timor Leste.

  Earlier in October the Security Council canceled or postponed planned trips to Afghanistan and Yemen, both on safety grounds. Timor Leste is considered safer; in fact, the UN is about to pull its peacekeeping mission out.

  A Council source told Inner City Press on Wednesday, "Seven were supposed to go but Moroccan Perm Rep Loulichki is stuck. So it's only six, and none of the Permanent Five."

  The head of UN Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous alluded recently to the close down of this mission. "I don't know why he refuses to answer Press questions," one of the diplomats said, echoing another. "It just makes Ladsous look unprofessional."

  During the meeting Wednesday the Security Council extended the mandate of the Somalia mission for seven days, putting off more substantive decisions.

  Outgoing Council president Gert Rosenthal of Guatemala read out a long Presidential Statement on Women, Peace and Security. The head of UN Women, Under Secretary General Bachelet, was on the podium but did not give a speech.

   Also in the room was Under Secretary General for Safety and Security Greg Starr. Outside in the North Lawn building hall was USG Yukio Takasu, the head of Management. Both will address the press on Thursday at 2 pm. Watch this site.

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