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Cablegate: Unga: President Agrees Not to Accelerate Timeline

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OO RUEHTRO
DE RUCNDT #0960/01 2961748
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O 221748Z OCT 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5154
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHTA/AMEMBASSY ASTANA IMMEDIATE 1896
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C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000960

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2018
TAGS: PREL EFIN KUNR UNSC UNGA IN BR PK IT JP GM
SUBJECT: UNGA: PRESIDENT AGREES NOT TO ACCELERATE TIMELINE
OF UNSC REFORM NEGOTIATIONS; MOVING AHEAD ON GLOBAL
FINANCIAL CRISIS PANEL DISCUSSION

REF: A. USUN NEW YORK 927
B. USUN NEW YORK 840

USUN NEW Y 00000960 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d
).

1. (C) Summary: Ambassador Khalilzad told the President of
the UN General Assembly (PGA) October 20 that the PGA's
decision to accelerate intergovernmental negotiations on UN
Security Council expansion had alienated a number of
significant countries including the U.S., which had helped
facilitate the compromise decision and timeline during the
last session. The PGA said he had not realized the
significance of the dates in the decision document and said
he would "soft-pedal" his previous decision and not formally
launch negotiations November 21. The Afghan Perm Rep who has
been named by the PGA to chair the negotiations told
Ambassador Khalilzad October 20 that he would make the
November 21 meeting a short preparatory meeting only. The
PGA confirmed he plans to hold an Interactive Panel on the
Global Financial Crisis, October 30, with five experts who
will discuss the subject and take questions from member
states. On the Saudi-proposed High-level meeting scheduled
for November 12-13, the PGA confirmed that he expects at
least 30 heads of state, including the Pakistani president.
End summary.

UN Security Council Reform
--------------------------

2. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad raised in an October 20 meeting
with the President of the General Assembly (PGA) Miguel
d'Escoto Brockmann his concern that the PGA's decision to
accelerate intergovernmental negotiations on UN Security
Council expansion (ref A) had alienated a number of
significant countries. Ambassador Khalilzad described the
role he had played September 15 in facilitating the
compromise decision (62/557) and the importance of the
timeline in those negotiations (ref B). He urged the PGA to
signal to the Uniting for Consensus (UFC) bloc that the
Open-ending Working Group (OEWG) should make every effort to
come to an agreement on framework and modalities by February
1, 2009, and that if there is no agreement, then
intergovernmental negotiations will start no later than
February 28, 2009. Ambassador Khalilzad strongly suggested
that the PGA tell the membership that formal negotiations
will not start until after the February 1, 2009 deadline for
the OEWG's discussions.

3. (C) The PGA replied that he had not been aware of the
significance of the dates until the Egyptian Perm Rep met
with him on October 17. (Comment: We find it hard to believe
that the PGA did not grasp the importance of the dates
contained in the decision. However, this expression of
naivete may be his way to save face. End comment.) The PGA
said that he would "soft-pedal" his previous decision to
launch intergovernmental negotiations on November 21.
Ambassador Khalilzad pressed the PGA to reassure the
membership in the November 11 OEWG meeting of his commitment
to the timeline expressed in decision 62/557 and that the
November 21 informal GA plenary would be a preparatory
meeting and not a formal launch of intergovernmental
negotiations. (Note: According to a readout PolOff received
from her Chinese counterpart, the Chinese DPR met October 21
with the PGA's Chef de Cabinet Ambassador Norman Miranda who
confirmed that intergovernmental negotiations would not be
launched until February 2009 and described the November 21
meeting as a "consultation" with member states. End note.)

4. (C) Afghan Perm Rep Zahir Tanin, who the PGA named to
chair the intergovernmental negotiations, told Ambassador
Khalilzad in a separate meeting October 20 that he has also
been lobbied hard by member states upset with the accelerated
timeline and had approached the PGA at his own initiative on
October 17 to relay the membership's widespread displeasure.
Tanin agrees with the need for a period of
confidence-building over the next several months before
intergovernmental negotiations are launched in February.
Tanin told Ambassador Khalilzad that he plans to hold a short
preparatory meeting November 21 to report to the membership

USUN NEW Y 00000960 002.2 OF 002


that there is still a need for further preparations before
launching intergovernmental negotiations.

Interactive Panel on the
Global Financial Crisis
------------------------

5. (C) The PGA said he was continuing to plan for the
October 30 Interactive Panel on the Global Financial Crisis
which he viewed as a service to the membership. The format
would be a panel discussion followed by questions from the
membership with no speeches from member states. He noted
that the Secretary-General had asked him not to schedule the
panel for October 24 when the Secretary-General would be
hosting World Bank and IMF visitors at the UN, including
World Bank President Robert Zoellick. Ambassador Khalilzad
urged the PGA to select a panel with a broad perspective.
The PGA said that he had wanted a panel that included more
than just economists so there could be a discussion of the
human impact of the crisis. The PGA said the panel would be
composed of the following five members: Joseph Stiglitz (US)
- chair of panel; Sir John Eatwell (UK); Pedro Paez
(Ecuador); Prabhat Patnaik (India); and Francois Houtart
(Belgium).

Saudi-proposed Inter-faith
High-level Meeting
--------------------------

6. (C) The PGA relayed that the Pakistani President had said
he would come to the Saudi-proposed inter-faith high-level
meeting November 12-13, as well as at least 30 other heads of
state. The PGA said he is open to any further input or
documentation for the meeting. Ambassador Khalilzad promised
to send him a copy of the Astana Declaration from the recent
Common World Forum in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Khalilzad

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