Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Um, Madam Ambassador...

Sometimes, this author simply can't understand how people who are supposed to be experts in what they do say things that are patently wrong... and misleading. Perhaps it was an honest mis-statement. Perhaps. Maybe the transcript is wrong. Maybe. Sure looks like an effort to mislead the media on the "value" of whatever agreement the UNSC reaches on the North Korean Missile question, though.

Dr. Susan Rice, AFRICA EXPERT, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, speaking in an interview with FOXNews yesterday (times given match the interview recording; text quoted as written):
14:52:24 [Re: statement by senior State Department official not to get "hung up on" the form of a UN Security Council response, be it formal resolution or less binding statement]
14:53:23 I wouldnt say you're seeing a lowering of expectations. I think what you're seeing is addressing reality. 14:53:29 The fact is we believe that the most effective and most appropriate ponse, response to this would be a United Nations Security Council resolution. 14:53:40 but there are many ways for the Council to speak, including for example through a presidential statement that are nonetheless still binding. 14:53:49 But because this was a violation of a previous Security Council resolution, we think it would be most appropriate that it would be treated in a subsequent Security Council resolution 14:53:57. But our aim is not only the form it is the substance.
Bold added to highlight, by me.

Um, Madam Ambassador...

Only Chapter VII resolutions are indisputably binding. Even Chapter VI resolutions are in doubt as they lack enforcement clauses.

Any Presidential Statement issued by the UNSC is *intentionally* non-binding. It is a message of the sense of the Security Council when the issue is one not able or desired to be resolved as a formal Resolution.

If all you get out of the UNSC about North Korea's intentional violation of UNSCR 1718 is a Presidential Statement, then in fact nothing has been gained by the process.

Note: Our friends at FOXNews were alerted to this yesterday, but have made no reply as yet as to whether the interview verbatim was somehow in error. If such clarification comes, I shall amend this thread. Until then, this stands as written.

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