We can safely assume that China, Russia and perhaps others resisted any stronger decision, on the familiar if discreditable grounds that the council has no business in the "internal affairs" of states. But even I was shocked to learn that the meeting only took place because the Libyan deputy representative at the UN, who had announced his refusal on Monday to serve his "genocidal" government, had requested it. Not one member of the council itself made that request.
In other words, had the diplomat not defected there would have been no meeting at all.
People are being killed in Libya. Every member of the UN has declared its commitment to protect civilians, including in circumstances where they are being attacked by their own government. In 2005, every member state signed onto the so-called "Responsibility to Protect" (which you can see here), which states, among other things, that all countries must prevent mass killing. The UN Security Council itself endorsed this principle in its own resolutions, including on Darfur and in its resolutions on protection of civilians (including this one). What is happening in Libya is the true test of such declarations, and it is for every UN member, including the UK and US, in their positions as permanent members of the council, to declare loud and clear – and now– that this principle must be respected, and if it is not, that consequences will follow.
I spent four and a half years negotiating resolutions on the Middle East at the UN Security Council. When it wishes, the council can make decisions in hours. We agreed a resolution condemning the 9/11 attacks in less than an hour, the morning after the attacks took place. Time is of the essence. The only message that Gadaffi will understand is one of real substance and force. Such a resolution should state, at a minimum:
• The demand that all violence cease immediately, and that if lethal force continues to be used, the government will face consequences. At this point, such consequences do not need to be spelled out (and would unlikely be agreed) but imply sanctions, and, in extremis, force.
• Immediate freezing of all assets and an explicit travel ban on members of the regime, until all violence is halted and has been fully investigated.
• Since Libya is not a party to the International Criminal Court, the Council can and should refer Libya to the ICC for an immediate investigation into possible war crimes.
• Demand that there be an immediate transition to a representative government, involving consulting civil society and all relevant political actors.
• The decision should be taken under chapter VII of the UN Charter, recognising that events in Libya are an international threat to international peace and security (there are already refugees flowing out of Libya), and requiring all UN members to comply (this reference also implies the threat of military enforcement action).
I would love to see the council agree a no-fly zone or exclusion zone, to prevent air attacks on civilians. However, unless someone is prepared to enforce such a ban, it is meaningless. Realistically, only the US has this capability and such a call would risk playing into Gaddafi's hands in his specious claim that foreign forces are behind the unrest.
Such a resolution can be drafted and tabled very rapidly. All right-thinking countries should urge its immediate adoption.
Robert Orr needs a Chinese Visa to enter UN's DC2 building
Rio+20: GreenPeace Statement
Greenpeace International Executive Director has released a statement on his views of Rio+20. "The future we want has gotten a little further away today. Rio+20 has turned into an epic failure, It has failed on equity, failed on ecology and failed on economy" were Kumi Naidoo frank comments after the text for the outcome document was adopted. Please click here for the full statement.
UN Policy Coordination on the Road
DESA's Telecommuting Assistant Secretary General
Sha Zukang's behavior not appropriate...
Sha's behavior was not appropriate as a senior advisor. And he also knows that his behavior has embarrassed most of the [other] senior advisors at that time.
Mr. Chance (buy this book now)
Click on the picture and purchase this book now. It's already a best seller. It shows the coward Ban Ki Moon and his Korean team in action.
Chinese Social Affairs Department
"UN needs complete leadership overhaul"
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, who asked Ashdown to carry out the report, said the government would give its response in about six weeks.
Czech President Klaus
"...this is the time for international organizations, including the United Nations, to reduce their expenditures, make their administrations thinner, and leave the solutions to the governments of member states"
Sha Zukang Disrespectful of UN Rules
UN staff rules require employees to uphold and respect the principles set out in the Charter, including faith in fundamental human rights. They prohibit U.N. employees from accepting instructions from any government or from any other source external to the organization. UN staff should avoid any action and, in particular, any kind of public pronouncement that may adversely reflect on their status, or on the integrity, independence and impartiality that are required by that status.
Barack Obama on UN Reform
Obtain Refund of Funds Owed to the U.S. by the U.N.
CLICK ON VOTE - to save approximate $180 million in one time savings
Get ready U.N. !!
Let's raise our voices
The following months are critical. Changing DESA is in your hand. Speak up now and share our message with all colleagues.
NyTimes disavows Ban Ki Moon
"The United States, meanwhile, should think hard about whether it wants to support Mr. Ban’s re-election" NyTimes Editorial - Nov 03, 2010
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UN at 65
State Department Spokesperson P.J. Crowley
"Sha Zukang seems to be cranky at lots of folks. It will not affect our relations with China."
UN STAFF RESOLUTION ON BAN KI MOON
If SG Ban Ki-moon fails to take immediate steps towards real reform to address these urgent systemic issues, Staff Union will consider a vote of NO-CONFIDENCE
Backstabbing for Beginners
Backstabbing for Beginners is at once the darkly comic tale of one man's political coming of age and a stinging indictment of the hypocrisy that prevailed at the heart of the world's most idealistic institution.
Hacked Emails Show Blatant Climate Change Fraud
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What will this successful Chinese Diplomat do different?