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In UN Legal Com'te, Syria Slams Qatar, Sudan ICC, Koreas Duel with US Quiet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 14 -- In the UN Legal Committee on Monday, Syria took on Qatar, Sudan took on the International Criminal Court, and North Korea took on South Korea and the US, for mis-using the UN blue helmets as part of the so-called UN Command.

The US, for its part, dryly observed that the third state impacts of sanctions was no longer a fruitful topic for the Special Committee on the Charter.

  Unlike South Korea, the US did not do a "right of reply" to North Korea's questions. It was, we note, the Columbus Day in New York with the US government shutdown still in effect.

Sudan said that the just-concluded African Union summit in Addis Ababa had decided that the International Criminal Court should not put on trial sitting African leaders, and to open a "dialogue" with the UN Security Council on this.

Some have said there is already a draft resolution to this effect. Western and non-Western Security Council members on Monday told Inner City Press they've heard nothing of such a resolution.

At the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky to list which African leaders Ban called to lobby them to stay in the ICC, reportedly promising them to use his position to change the Rome statute.

  Nesirky would not list these calls, along in other instances Ban's contacts with heads of states are not only disclosed but bragged about. Nesirky abruptly ended the noon briefing; his Office declared that "the lid is on" while the Legal Committee was still going on. It increasingly seems Ban deals with the Permanent Five not the Elected 10 much less General Assembly committees.

   Back in the GA Legal Committee, Syria slammed Qatar for supporting terrorism, not only in its country but also Mali, Tunisia and Egypt. It attributed this to the UN's Libya experts' report (North Korea cited statements from Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General, but not the current one Ban Ki-moon, previously South Korea's foreign minister.)

As Syria spoke in the Sixth (Legal) Committee on Monday afternoon, the UN TV webcast cut to a test pattern. This it has done before as Syria spoke, as noted by the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info. This time, after a tweet the test pattern disappeared and the images from inside the Trusteeship Council Chamber came back.

The only rights of reply were two rounds between the Koreas, with North Korea saying that the long-ago resolution about the Peninsula are invalid as the Soviet Union was not present, and South Korea saying everything is valid, including the strange UN Command.

  North Korea said South Korea is not the real party in interest, the US should be responding. Outside, First Avenue was relatively quite. It was, after all, Columbus Day. But the UN continue on. Watch this site.

Footnote: chairing the UN's Legal Committee was no other than Palitha Kohona of Sri Lanka, which has yet to apply the "rule of law" to the slaughter of 40,000 civilians in 2009.

 While these debates went on, Inner City Press exclusively published the UN's bureaucratic proposal in that wake, for Human Rights to take over the Rule of Law positions. Yes, the UN continues on.


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