Friday, 18 March 2011

That UN no-fly zone resolution

The text of the resolution and the discussion preceding it can be found in full here.

The list of angels and villains is intriguing, with the following non-permanent members pro-ban:  Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, Gabon, Lebanon, Portugal, Nigeria, South Africa.  Plus us, France and the US.  I do wonder whether the Gabonese are getting value for money from their man in Turtle Bay, Franck Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet (for it is he), as he had nothing to say in the debate, although he did vote.  Maybe he was tongue-tied, maybe he could not think of anything useful to say, maybe, well - who know?  Mind you, he has had his moments:  "Amidst discussions regarding the creation of a United States of Africa in early 2008, he suggested that Gabon's place in the proposed continental state could be comparable to California's place in the United States. Acknowledging with amusement that Gabon was not comparable to California in size, he then suggested that it might instead be comparable to Los Angeles".  

Meanwhile, back at the plot, the abstainers were Russia, China, Germany, Brazil and India.  And here are some weasel words, evasions, excuses etc:

Peter Wittig (Germany): "The aim should be to promote political transition in Libya, stop the violence and begin a true political process.  “The people of Libya who have so clearly expressed their aspirations for democracy should be supported,” he said, adding that the Interim National Council was an important interlocutor in that regard"....Germany had decided not to support the resolution and would not contribute its own forces to any military effort that arose from its implementation.

Hmm, if NATO aircraft are attacked, might that not trigger the 'all for one and one for all' collective defence?

Hardeep Singh Puri of India manages to say almost nothing:  "explaining his abstention, expressed great concern over the welfare of the population of Libya and supported the appointment of the Secretary-General’s Envoy.  The report of that Envoy and that of others had not yet been received.  As a consequence, today’s resolution was based on very little clear information, including a lack of certainty regarding who was going to enforce the measures.  There must be certainty that negative outcomes were not likely before such wide-ranging measures were adopted.  Political efforts must be the priority in resolving the situation".    

Maria Viotti of Brazil would appear to be from some other Brazil, perhaps one near Alpha Centauri: 

"regretted that the “strong message” sent by resolution 1970 (2011) had note yet been heeded.  The Brazilian Government had earlier condemned the violence being carried out by Libyan authorities and had called on them to uphold and protect the right of free expression of the protesters and to seek a solution to the crisis through meaningful dialogue".

(QG holds his head in his hands and rocks back and forth)

Li Baodong of the 'People's Republic' of China: "the United Nations Charter must be respected and the current crisis must be ended through peaceful means.  China was always against the use of force when those means were not exhausted.  His delegation had asked specific questions that failed to be answered and, therefore, it had serious difficulty with the resolution".

Or in other words, let Gadaffi finish the job, and no-one mention Tibet, Inner Mongolia etc etc.


  1. The news this morning reports bombing in Bengazi, but 'no-one knows its origin'.

    A veritable puzzle, indeed.

  2. Indeed, one to test the wisdom of the ages.