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WWI Marked by Citation to Gandhi & Sykes-Picot But Not ISIL or Gaza

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 13 -- To commemorate World War I and the founding of the (doomed) League of Nations, the UN Security Council this week traveled to the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.

  Not leaving New York, dozens of UN Permanent Representatives on August 13 viewed photos of that memorial and others, from Tanzania to Jamaica, Egypt to Iraq, in an event sponsored by India's Mission to the UN.

Indian Permanent Representative Asoke Mukerji read a quote from Gandhi in 1914, the Indians' voluntary military service for Empire was linked to them receiving the privileges due them afterward: “our desire to share the responsibilities of membership of this great Empire, if we would share its privileges” -- it did not happen.

Egypt's Permanent Representative cited the Sykes-Picot Agreement, now mocked by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syrian Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari was present, next to Sri Lanka's Palitha Kohona. Under Secretary General Vijay Nambiar, previously India's Ambassador, was there, along with USG Ameerah Haq and Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Edmond Mulet.

The Permanent Representative of New Zealand, as aspirant to join the Security Council as Australia leaves, was present, as was Permanent Representative Patriota of Brazil.

The Deputy Permanent Representatives of fellow-BRICSA South Africa was there, along with the Deputy of Lebanon and the Democratic People Republic of Korea. It was a UN event, full house in the Dag Hammarskjold Library Auditorium.

There was barely a reference to Gaza, and a single mention of Ukraine. The Permanent Representative of Greece said that the Indian cemetery is in Macedonia, as she put it.

 Nigeria's Permanent Representative, resisting speaking from her seat and making others turn around to listen, strode to the podium and noted, among other things, that 944 Nigerian soldiers lost their lives in World War I. There was a reference to the UN being the pinnacle of multi-lateral diplomacy. But how much has really improved? Watch this site.


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