By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 7 -- After Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the UNtweeted canned congratulations from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, under a photo of Ban making a mobile phone call from a plane (to his successor Antonio Guterres).
The Colombia process leading up to the referndum loss is described below. But the Ban back story? Inner City Press has for years been told not only that Ban Ki-moon harbored the dream of a Nobel prize to give him momentum into his run for South Korean president - but also that he left a MOONlighting official to use a UN post because of his promise to “get” Ban the Nobel Peace Prize.
While Ban allowing his mentor Han Seung-soo to be a UN official while on the boards of directors of UN bank Standard Chartered and of Doosan, a South Korean firm that sells equipment to the countries Han gives “UN” speeches to is worse, Terje Roed-Larsen's moonlighting has been notable.
While holding Ban's Resolution 1559 mandate on Lebanon -- and traveling to Gulf countries ostensibly for the UN -- Roed Larsen also ran the International Peace Institute, raising funds from the same Gulf countries. There is more to be said about Roed-Larsen, some of it laudatory.
But this type of two-timing the UN, and allowing the UN to be used by those who promise benefits to the Secretary General, should not be allowed by the Next SG, just ascensorship, eviction and manipulation of press corps access for positive coverage, in which Ban and his USG Gallach specialize, must end. We'll have more on this.
Back on August 19 Colombia's High Commissioner for Peace Sergio Jaramillo spoke with the Press in New York. In the sit-down portion, Inner City Press asked him about criticism of the accountability provisions in the government's deal with the FARC, and of the status of talks with the ELN.
Jaramillo said the criticism is unrealistic; they had to negotiated with the FARC, and got them to agree to trials for grave crimes like rape and other war crimes. But others get softer treatment. Jaramillo said implementation will be the key.
Jaramillo said FARC has agreed, no illicit activity to fund their organization. The UN mission would be storing weapons in containers, as it did for example in Nepal. But would it have any drug or illicit activity role?
On the ELN, Jaramillo said as long as they hold hostages, talks cannot proceed.
Colombia's President Santos will speak at the UN General Assembly on September 21; there may be an event for bankers or investment bankers. Watch this site.
On Colombia back on March 11, even with the deadline for an agreement between the government and the FARC being pushed back, Germany's Special Envoy on Colombia Tom Koenigs spoke with the Press.
He had, he said, met with UN Under Secretaries General Feltman, Mulet, Ladsous and Khare, about the upcoming UN mission to be headed by Frenchman Jean Arnault. He noted the history of cultural exchange between Germany and Colombia," saying that "Germans read a lot of Garcia Marquez."
Inner City Press asked Koenigs about the cost of the peace process - and how much Germany would contribute - and about impunity, including in relation to the process, such as it is, in Sri Lanka.
Koenigs among other things said:
To Inner City Press' financial question: "Germany has close relations to Colombia and is ready to support the peace process politically and through technical cooperation in a number of areas. Loan of 300 million Euros by German KfW Development Bank. In addition: 50 million in technical and development cooperation, plus approximately 1 million EUR per year for bilateral demining programs. Also: science and technology transfer through cooperation of universities in the two countries."
To Inner City Press' impunity question: "Those responsible for war crimes have to be brought to justice. Colombia is establishing a transitional justice system and is also a party to the Rome Statute. Impunity is not an option. However, prisons are not the only possible method of corrections. There may be alternatives which could be explored."
Inner City Press had and has some questions about those not part of the FARC negotiations in Cuba - more on that in another story.