Friday, March 4, 2011

At UN, As Blair Meets Ban, Echoes of Gaddafi & JPMorgan Chase, Amos

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 3 -- When Tony Blair came to the UN Thursday at 6:30 pm to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the first UN official he greets was former UK minister Valerie Amos. Then Ban and his two closest advisers, Kim Won-soo and Vijay Nambiar, came in, followed by the head of the UN Departmen tof Political Affairs bureau on the Middle East.

While Ban made small talk about Amos going on Friday to Tunisia, presumably to the Libyan border -- “Saturday,” she replied -- Blair's UN role is as representative of the Quartet on development, focused on the Occupied Palestinian Territories. So what was the agenda?

Blair and Amos, no fly zone over Libya not shown (c) MRLee

Blair, in fact, had led the rapprochement with Gaddafi, now much under fire in the UK. So some wonder who or what he was lobbying for at the UN. Gaddafi's government has written to Ban to oust Ambassadors Shalgam and Dabbashi for speaking out against him. Which side of that would we find Tony Blair?

He has been dismissive of disclosing his outside business activities and how they might be conflicts of interest.

Kim, Nambiar, Ban, Amos, Horst, across from Blair (c) MRLee

For example, Blair works for JPMorgan Chase, which has said it will close countries' Missions to the UN's bank accounts at the end of March. The UN Secretariat has said it was trying to take action on this -- would Ban raise it to Blair? Watch thi site.

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