Freesteel Blog » UN update in the desert

UN update in the desert

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 at 10:08 am Written by:

More time wikipedia-ing UN information. I dipped into a recent Security Council transcripts where there is a satisfying whinge from the ambassador of Costa Rica about just what a stitch-up these resolutions are among the “Group of Friends” (their code name for the Permanent Five):

It is especially difficult for Costa Rica to understand the opposition to including a reference to the human rights component in the text of the draft resolution. During the negotiation process, we proposed two options for incorporating such a reference. Today, to our surprise, the representative of the Russian Federation threatened to exercise a technical veto of any reference to human rights, despite the fact that the issue of human rights is the object of mutual accusations made by both parties, that it has been raised in consultations by various delegations, and that several references are made to it in the reports of the Secretary-General. In his most recent report, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon himself refers to the United Nations duty to uphold human rights standards in all its operations, including in Western Sahara, and to the need to coordinate action in that sphere.

Costa Rica cannot understand the reasons that have been put forward for rejecting a specific reference to the framework of international law when we are calling on the parties to assume a realistic position in the negotiations, nor do we understand the fact that the Group of Friends should sideline the members of the Security Council in the preparation of the texts of draft resolutions and in the building of consensus. In this case, just a week ago the Group of Friends provided us with the text on which we are about to vote and in which my delegation continued to insist that some of its amendments be included.

I did far too much digging back and this incident boiled down to one line in the Wikipedia MINURSO page. The problem is that all the resolutions relating to the UN intervention in Western Sahara appear to tilt towards the Moroccan government, and are cleansed of all references to human rights, which means that the UN is blocked from doing anything about it. So to the outside world they look incompetant, when they are merely working in a framework set out by the major five nuclear armed states (the Permanent Five). I’d like the citizens of those countries to know that.

Also, all the code has been moved to be under the GNU Affero General Public License, due to the recognition that the General Public License is practically obsolete in relation to server side software which you can interact with on someone else’s computer through the all-pervasive internet, yet not have any access to the source code of because you never touch the compiled code.

Also, the General Assembly is finally publishing some post-December transcripts. I hadn’t noticed because the parser ran cleanly without an error.

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