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UN Week – 7/18/2011

July 21, 2011

 This blog is written by members of our blogging community and expresses those experts’ views alone.

by John and Douglas Carey, Editors, www.unweek.blogspot.com

Contents of this issue: a new nation is born; a new committee is seven.

          With the birth of South Sudan and its rapid acceptance as the 193rd member of the UN, it bears repeating just how this process is accomplished. This is especially important in view of the prospective attempt to seat a Palestinian entity in the UN.

          Article 4 of the UN Charter provides that: “1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are willing and able to carry out these obligations.

          “2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

          US Ambassador Susan Rice was in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, on July 9th, even before it was voted on in the Security Council. There, she cut a ribbon officially transforming the US Consulate General into the US Embassy in the new Republic of South Sudan. She made a broad commitment that, “we will be here, as always, as partners.”

          On July 13th, at a Security Council debate on South Sudan and Sudan, Ambassador Rice noted that: “After a half-century of war, at a cost of more than two million lives, the Republic of South Sudan can now finally determine its own future. . . . After so many years of bitter conflict, South Sudan’s independence occurred peacefully and democratically through referendum —  a heartening way for the world’s newest nation to be born.”

          Rice also noted that: “On July 8, this Council unanimously authorized a new UN peacekeeping mission in the Republic of South Sudan, UNMISS will assist the government as it builds a new nation, including on issues of peacebuilding, development, security and protecetion.”

          Also on July 13th, Rice told the press that, :”many important aspects of the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] remain unresolved, including issues of the border, of revenue sharing, of citizenship, of Abyei, and indeed the situations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile which are very much a part of the CPA.”

On July 11th, Ambassador had told the Security Council that: “The United States deeply regrets the necessity to vote on this resolution to end the UNMIS mandate. We call on the Government of Sudan yet again to reconsider its demand that UNMIS cease its activities in the Republic of Sudan effective July 9. The mission has a critical role to continue to play in regional stability, especially in the Two Areas.

“The United States is sending a clear message along with other Council members that it wants the United Nations to remain in the Two Areas, especially at this critical juncture. With this resolution, the Council has made clear that it is ready to authorize continued UN operations in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to support new security arrangements, and we will continue over the coming weeks to urge the Government of Sudan to accept this. It is in their interest to do so. We hope others in the international community will continue to encourage Khartoum to accept this. It is critical that the Government of Sudan cooperate fully with UNMIS as it begins the process of withdrawing.

“We continue to be deeply concerned about the fighting in Southern Kordofan, the displacement of civilians, and the ensuing humanitarian crisis. The Government of Sudan and SPLM-North must return to the negotiating table in the coming days and agree to an immediate cessation of hostilities. We call on the Government of Sudan as well to work actively on agreements to bring peace and stability to the border, and in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states.”

A new committee is seven.

          The Advisory Committee to the UN Human Rights Council will hold its 7th session next month. Its agenda has been published in document A/HRC/AC/7/1. Eleven substantive areas are listed. The Advisory Committee is the successor to the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, on which I served for 25 years as Alternate US Member.

          That’s all for this July 18th issue of United Nations Week: News and Views. We’ll be back with the next issue. Meantime, send us your own views on these or other UN-related issues, to www.unweek.blogspot.com

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