Posts Tagged ‘UNSC’

Sweden tries to buy votes for Security Council place

April 5, 2016

Five UN Security Council places (non-permanent) come up for election in June 2016. Sweden is competing against Italy and the Netherlands for the “Western European and Others” place.

The elections are for five non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council for two-year mandates commencing on 1 January 2017. The five members will serve on the Security Council for the 2017–18 period.

No doubt there is heavy lobbying going on. A UNSC place is seen as a strategic – and ideological – objective by the Social Democrat /Environment party government. The Social Democrats especially see the UN as a minor God and they have already canonised themselves as Saints. (Their sanctimonious self-image has been dented lately as they have been forced to take less than “friendly” actions in stopping the influx of “refugees”).

In any event, the Social Democrats were faced with the problem of how to fund their lobbying activities while not seeming to bribe “poor” countries for their votes and tarnishing their own self-righteous, self-image of propriety. So they chose a round-about method of inviting 27 UN ambassadors of “poor countries” to an all expenses-paid jaunt in Sweden under the guise of an “environment seminar”. They funded the whole business through a number of intermediary institutions to hide the fact that the money was coming from the Foreign Aid budget and that the whole “bribery tourism” was organised by the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry arranged the “gift packages ” for the UN ambassadors (note that those invited were not environment ministers but UN ambassadors). It is not often that UN ambassadors get their business class air tickets and five-star hotel bills paid for by a foreign country. What exactly was contained within the “gift packages” is not known. The environment seminar, just for these 27 country ambassadors, was an attempt by Sweden to cash in on its “environment credentials” just before the Paris conference. A similar jamboree was also arranged in March 2015.

By FIFA standards, the Swedish bribes were just small potatoes and normally I would expect Italy and the Netherlands to have provided more. But a  UNSC place is probably of more prestige value to the Social Democrats in Sweden. There is nothing wrong, I think, in lobbying. It is trying to hide it which is despicable. The sanctimonious, self-righteous facade which covers Swedish foreign policy is always despicable but it has reached new heights (or should it be depths) with this government. If it was all for the interests of the country it wouldn’t matter much, but for the Social Democrats, ideology often overrides country interests (Palestine, Saudi Arabia, the PKK ….).

(I observe that the left parties in Europe and including the Social Democrats in Sweden, in their ideological zeal to support the Palestinians often come close to being anti-semitic. And they get into a tangle when supporting a Kurdistan).

Kronprinsessan och Prins Daniel tillsammans med ambassadörerna.

Crown Princess and Prince Daniel with the Ambassadors. Photo

Swedish Television:

Ambassadors from 27 island nations and poor countries were treated to a free trip to Sweden in August. The official reason for the visit was a climate seminar. The bills running into millions were sent to the  Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, who in turn received 14 million kronor of Sida’s aid money.

The common factor for the visitors was that they each have one vote in the UN General Assembly, which in June will appoint new members to the Security Council.

To get a seat in the UN Security Council has been one of the current government’s major foreign policy goals. …..

After the disclosure the government … writes that aid money was also used at another opportunity to invite UN Ambassadors on a trip to Sweden. On March 10,  27 representatives of several small island states met the Aid Minister Isabella Lövin (MP) and Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (S), during a visit to Sweden at the invitation of the Dag Hammarksköld Foundation. ….

…… Niclas Kvarnström Manager of the Security Council candidacy, said that the UN ambassadors’ visit was a collaboration between the Foundation and the Foreign Ministry. …..

During the visit, the ambassadors lunched with Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, had coffee with Aid Minister Isabella Lövin and had dinner with Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. 

But the program was not mentioned publicly …. and they made no press releases.

The UN ambassadors also met Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel who received them at the  royal palace.

The Social Democrats together with the Environmental party makes for a dangerous mix. They are particularly good at “Do as I say and ignore what I do”


Obama in India: Day 3: Supports India as permanent member of UNSC, criticises India for being too soft on Burma

November 8, 2010

Sify NewsLauding India’s growing role in global bodies, US President Barack Obama Monday said the US welcomed India as it prepared for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. ‘We welcome India as it prepares to take a seat at the United Nations Security Council,’ said Obama in an address to members of the two houses of parliament. “That is why I can say today-in the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed UN Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,’ he said to loud applause from over 780 MPs.


Houses of Parliament, Delhi: image


Hindustan Times: ‘Bahut dhanyavad’. This is how US president Barack Obama thanked people of India for the warm welcome and hospitality he and American First Lady Michelle Obama received during their India visit. The ‘thank you’ in Hindi during his 35-minute address at the Central Hall of Parliament was received by thunderous applause by the law makers which included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and top BJP leader LK Advani.

“At every stop, we have been welcomed with the hospitality for which Indians have always been known.  So to you and the people of India, on behalf of me, Michelle and the American people, please accept our deepest thanks. Bahut dhanyavad,” he said. The American President wound up his speech by saying ‘Jai Hind’ which was also received by the MPs with cheers.

AFP: US President Barack Obama criticised India on Monday for failing to condemn rights abuses in Myanmar, saying democracies with global aspirations could not ignore “gross violations” in other countries. “When peaceful democratic movements are suppressed, as they have been in Burma (Myanmar), then the democracies of the world cannot remain silent,” Obama said in an address to the Indian parliament. “Faced with such gross violations of human rights, it is the responsibility of the international community, especially leaders like the United States and India, to condemn it,” he said. “If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often shied away from these issues,” he added.

Earlier in his speech, Obama had, to sustained applause, given his backing to India’s push for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Times of IndiaThe United States and India on Monday signed six agreements besides a plethora of business deals inked separately during US President Barack Obama’s trip to India.

  1. India-US agreement to set up a joint Clean Energy Research and Development Centre. It will be backed by 50 million dollars by both sides over five years and work to complete joint research in solar, biofuels and energy efficiency.
  2. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. US will cooperate in India’s plans for a nuclear centre, to promote nuclear security and address threats of nuclear terrorism.
  3. MOU to establish an India-US Energy Cooperation Programme. It will mobilise private sector expertise and resources to address clean energy-related issues in India and the US.
  4. Agreement on technical cooperation to study India’s annual monsoon rains. Cooperation on weather forecasting for India’s crucial annual monsoon.
  5. MOU between India and the US on shale gas resources which will see US technology used to assess shale gas resources in India.
  6. MOU on establishing and operating a Global Disease Detection Centre in India, which will set up a laboratory in New Delhi designed to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Hindustan TimesIndia and the United States will set up a $10 billion infrastructure debt fund to help develop India’s physical and social infrastructure, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Monday. “The Governments of India and the United States have agreed in principle to set up the fund on the recommendation of the India-US CEO Forum,” Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the US-India Business Council in New Delhi. Sharma said India planned to invest $1 trillion in the infrastructure sector in the next five years and a substantial part of the investment would come from the private sector and overseas investment.

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