Monday, October 31, 2016

On Syria Walk Out France Tells Inner City Press It Was Spontaneous, UK Supports Yemen Open Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 27 -- After the failure of two resolutions on Syria on October 8, New Zealand on October 13 circulated a draft resolution, which Inner City Press published that day, here.

On October 26 the Security Council's session with UN Relief Chief Stephen O'Brien turned into theater, including when Syria's Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari took the floor the latest walk-out by the Ambassadors of the UK, France, US and Ukraine. Inner City Press rushed to the photo booth to film it, then back to the stakeout to ask about it.

   Spain's Román Oyarzun Marchesi spoke briefly off-camera, then Russia's Vitaly Churkin, the Council's president for October (as  Oyarzun Marchesi will be in December) spoke at more length on the steps. Inner City Press asked him about the walk-out and he said, it is a tool in the hands of diplomats -- in the absence of other tools.

  He said the Yemen session on October 31 will be open, and that Stephen O'Brien should speak about Yemen. YouTube of Periscope here, with analysis at end.

On October 27, along with asking UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft if the UK supports the October 31 session on Yemen being open - Yes, he said, swan song Vine here - Inner City Press also asked French Ambassador Delattre about the walk-out.

   He said it was spontaneous, he didn't want to hear what Ja'afari had to say. Inner City Press pointed out that the UK, US and Ukraine also walked out. “France is an independent country,” Delattre said. Video here. And Inner City Press' photo of the walk-out shows that Rycroft and US Deputy Michele Sison were standing up and Delattre was still sitting down. We hope to have more on this.

   On October 27 at noon former UK prime minister, now UN Special Envoy Gordon Brown called for the referral to the International Criminal Court of the school bombing in Idlib. Inner City Press asked Brown about the bombing - by UK supported Saudi Arabia - of schools in Yemen; Churkin was asked about what was said by Gordon Brown. After asking, perhaps in jest, Gordon Who, Churkin said the UK is a member of the ICC and should have its files there. On Yemen?

 (Inner City Press earlier in the month asked incoming Secretary General Antonio Guterres about Yemen, story hereBeyond the Vine video here.)