Excerpts: Next UN Secretary General. Israel charges 7 re spying for
Hizbullah. ‘King to receive international peace award in Germany.ICC Gaza
probe October 07, 2016
+++SOURCE:Al Arabiya NewsBy Ismaeel Naar Al Arabiya EnglishThursday, 6
SUBJECT: Antonio Gutterres officially nominate next UN Sec.General
FULL TEXT:Antonio Guterres, the former Portuguese prime minister and United
Nations refugees chief, has been officially nominted to become the next UN
Secretary General after a vote at the security council.
During a surprise show of unity on Wednesday[5 Oct], all 15 ambassadors from
the security council emerged from a sixth straw poll to announce that they
had agreed on Guterres, who was UN high commissioner for refugees for nearly
“Today after our sixth straw poll we have a clear favorite and his name is
António Guterres,” Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, told a group of
eager reporters with his 14 council colleagues standing alongside him.
Guterres, 67, would replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea, who will step
down at the end of 2016 after serving two terms. For Guterres to be formally
recommended to the 193-member General Assembly for election, the Security
Council still needs to adopt a resolution behind closed doors. The
resolution needs at least nine votes in favour and no vetoes to pass.
Analysts and former diplomats told Al Arabiya English that it was a
combination of several factors that led to Guterres’ as the favorite choice
to lead the United Nations, mainly his experience both at the governmental
and non-governmental fields.
“His striking combination of having been a head of government in Portugal,
which reflects political talents that are extremely important for the job.
Secondly, he headed up a multi-lateral agency with widespread praise for his
actions, including his repeated engagement in crises by negotiating with
other governments and actors to try and find solution [to the global refugee
crisis],” Former UN Assistant Secretary General Michael Doyle told Al
‘The race for the UN’s top job has not been an easy ride for most vying
candidates, especially Guterres. The Portuguese was not generally considered
a frontrunner at the beginning, given the calls to appoint a woman and the
informal practice of regional rotation.
The UN has never had a woman in the top job. Of the 13 candidates this year,
seven were women. Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
Helen Clark and Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres were considered the
top female choices early in the race before polling low during previous
“Guterres was not the only qualified candidate, but he clearly brings a
wealth of experience at the UN, regional and government level to the post,”
Natalie Samarasinghe, executive director of the United Nations Association –
UK (UNA-UK), told Al Arabiya English.
While many observers are praising Guterres for his role in championing the
rights of refugees worldwide, but many say his confirmation is still
“Bitter: not a woman. Sweet: by far the best man in the race. Congrats
Antonio Guterres! We are all with you,” Costa Rican diplomat Figueres, an
early frontrunner and who recently lead the historic Paris Agreement on
climate change, tweeted as soon as the secret ballot result on Wednesday[5
Oct] was announced.
“After 70 years of men I think the world should have been ready! Many UN
member states and civil society groups campaigned for a woman to be
appointed,” Samarasinghe said.
“I too would have loved to have seen a woman on the 38th floor but felt it
was important that the decision be based on candidates’ merit, which I
strongly felt should include a visionary feminist agenda with concrete plans
for implementation. I very much hope Guterres will deliver on this,” she
Tackling the global refugee problem
When Guterres first started his tenure as the High Commissioner for Refugees
in 2005, there were about 25 million refugees in the world. That number has
more than tripled when he left at the end of 2015, mainly due to the tragic
Syrian civil war.
Compared to his predecessor, Guterres is known not to keep silent on
pressing issues, especially when it comes to transparency and handling of
sensitive issues, among them the cases of sexual abuse by peace keeping
“Sometimes the United Nations doesn’t act in the best possible way. We’ve
unfortunately had very tragic situations like the peace-keeping forces.
Sometimes huge confrontations can happen between nation states but I managed
to be truly independent and to fully abide by the humanitarian values
accepted,” he told Al Arabiya News Channel’s New York bureau chief Talal
Observers say that it is no coincidence, despite reservations, that both
Russia and China voted either “encouraging” or “no opinion” during the
secret straw poll after they were resistant to outspoken activists in top UN
posts in the past.
“The issue of refugees is the most dominant challenge facing the collective
work of the United nations. It is also a unique challenge to the European
Union. Guterres has both the experience and the backing of Europe to start
tackling this issue from day one in office,” UN expert and Burea Chief of
Alquds Alarabi at United Nations, told Al Arabiya English.
+++SOURCE:Naharnet(Lebanon)7 Oct.:”Israel Charges 7 Accused of ’Plotting
Hizbullah Attacks”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: Israel charges 7 re spying for Hizbullah
FULL TEXT:Israel has charged seven residents of a divided border village of
spying for Hizbullah, Israeli police said Thursday[6 Oct.].
The seven suspects were arrested last month after a bag containing explosive
devices was discovered near the town of Metulla in northern Israel, police
They were accused of spying for Hizbullah, contact with foreign agents and
trafficking weapons and drugs, spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Israel’s public radio said a Hizbullah member had allegedly ordered the
suspects to carry out bomb attacks in the northern Israeli city of Haifa.
After an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the United
Nations drew up a blue line in the disputed border region between the two
The line divided the village of Ghajar, with its northern part falling
inside Lebanon and the south becoming part of the Israeli-annexed Golan
Ghajar’s residents are Alawite Muslims of Syrian origin.
SourceAgence France Presse
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 7 Oct.’16:”King to receive international peace award
in Germany”,by JT
SUBJECT: King to receive international peace award in Germany
FULL TEXT:AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah is scheduled to start a working
visit to Germany on Friday [7 Oct], during which he will meet German
President Joachim Gauck, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other senior
His Majesty’s talks will focus on enhancing Jordanian-German friendship and
cooperation, as well as addressing the latest regional and international
developments, according to a Royal Court statement released on Thursday.
At a ceremony to be held on Saturday[8 Oct] in Münster City, King Abdullah,
in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Rania, will receive the Peace of
Westphalia Prize in recognition of his endeavours for peace and
international security and stability.
The Peace of Westphalia treaties were signed and sealed in Münster and
Osnabrück on October 24, 1648, according to
They ended a battle for political and religious supremacy in Central Europe,
which had lasted for 30 years and resulted in unimaginable suffering,
particularly for the German population.
The Peace of Westphalia imposed international law. It was the first time in
European history that a war had been ended via diplomatic channels at the
negotiation table, as opposed to military action on the battlefield, the
The prize, launched in 1998, has been awarded to European and international
political leaders and senior figures
+++SOURCE:Jordan Times 7 Oct.’16:”Palestinians say Gaza probe a ‘serious
test’ for ICC”,by Agence France Presse
SUBJECT: ICC Gaza probe
FULL TEXT:RAMALLAH, Palestine — Palestinian officials on Thursday[6 Oct]
welcomed delegates from the International Criminal Court (ICC) and said they
hoped it would open a war crimes investigation against Israel.
Officials from the world’s only permanent war crimes court are visiting
Israel and the Palestinian territories this week against the backdrop of a
probe into the 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza.
But chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the trip is not linked to her
on-going initial enquiry on the war.
She said the visit is for “outreach and education activities” to raise
awareness about the ICC and her own office.
The official schedule does not include a visit to Gaza.
“Palestine is a serious test to the ICC and I don’t think they can afford to
fail it,” said Ammar Hijazi, a Palestinian foreign ministry official.
“If they fail Palestine’s test the whole ICC and the whole international
criminal system will collapse,” he told journalists.
At the request of the Palestinians, Bensouda’s office opened an initial
probe into alleged war crimes by both sides during the July-August 2014
Some 2,251 Palestinians, including 551 children, were killed during the
Israeli aggression on Gaza Strip, according to UN figures.
The Palestinians have also given the ICC files on Israeli settlements and
what they say are forcible population transfers.
Israel, which is not a party to the treaty that governs the court,
vehemently opposes any ICC investigation.
Officials have however said they will cooperate with the body to convince it
of the competence of Israel’s own courts.
Israel controls all access to the occupied West Bank and to the Gaza Strip —
except its border with Egypt — meaning the ICC visit is dependent on Israel’s
The officials, who arrived on Wednesday[5 Oct] and leave Monday[10 oct],
will visit Tel Aviv, occupied Jerusalem and Ramallah.
They were expected in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Saturday and
Hijazi said he hoped the ICC would move the case forward by the end of the
“There is no lack of evidence and we believe that the office of the
prosecutor should have been moving much faster,” he said.
Sue Lerner – Associate, IMRA