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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Un Reform

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 001893

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; BRUSSELS/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - UN REFORM
PARIS - TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

UN REFORM

(B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

AS THE EU ECONOMIC SUMMIT KICKS OFF IN BRUSSELS, THE THREAT OF
A "NO" VOTE FOR THE REFERENDUM ON THE EU CONSTITUTION
DOMINATES TUESDAY'S HEADLINES. ECONOMIC CENTRIST LA TRIBUNE
LEADS: "THE FRENCH `NO' INVITES ITSELF TO THE EUROPEAN
SUMMIT."

LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION GIVES THE DETAILS OF "CHIRAC'S PLAN"
TO SWAY VOTERS AND ADDS THAT CHIRAC IS "BETTING THE FARM ON
THE REFERENDUM. IT WILL DECIDE HIS FATE AS THE HEAD OF STATE.
IF THE YES VOTE TAKES IT, HE CAN CONTINUE TO DREAM OF A THIRD
TERM IN OFFICE, IF THE NO TAKES IT, HE WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY
AS THE PRESIDENT WHO MADE EUROPE IMPLODE." POPULAR RIGHT-OF-
CENTER LE PARISIEN ASKS "WHAT IF FRANCE VOTES NO?" AND PUTS
FORWARD THE VARIOUS HYPOTHESES ON THE EFFECT THAT THIS WOULD
HAVE ON THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION IN GENERAL AND
ON THE FUTURE OF PRESIDENT CHIRAC AND PRIME MINISTER RAFFARIN
IN PARTICULAR.

COMMENTATORS ARGUE THAT THE BOLKESTEIN DIRECTIVE, OUTSOURCING,
THE REAL ESTATE SCANDAL SURROUNDING THE FORMER FINANCE
MINISTER AND THE STAGNATION OF FRENCH BUYING POWER HAVE LED TO
A SORT OF COLLECTIVE "NO" ON THE PART OF THE POPULATION.
(REGIONAL OUEST FRANCE)

KOFI ANNAN'S PLAN FOR UN REFORM IS ONE OF THE MAJOR
INTERNATIONAL STORIES TODAY. LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION CALLS
THE PLAN "THE MOST AMBITIOUS THAT THE INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATION HAS SEEN SINCE ITS CREATION." ECONOMIC RIGHT-OF-
CENTER LES ECHOS CARRIES AN OP-ED BY KOFI ANNAN ENTITLED: "UN
- A NECESSARY REFORM FOR MORE FREEDOM." (SEE PART C)

LIBERATION CARRIES A FULL-PAGE ANALYSIS PENNED BY THE DAILY'S
CORRESPONDENTS IN BRUSSELS ON THE NOMINATION OF PAUL WOLFOWITZ
TO HEAD THE WORLD BANK. THE TONE OF THE PIECE ENTITLED: "WHY
EUROPE IS SMILING AT WOLFOWITZ" IS A RADICAL CHANGE FROM
COMMENTARIES IN YESTERDAY'S PRESS AND CHRISTIAN LOSSON AND
JEAN QUATREMER WRITE: "AFTER ALL, PARIS IS COUNTING ON THE
U.S. TO SUPPORT PASCAL LAMY'S NOMINATION AS DIRECTOR GENERAL
OF THE WTO."

IN THE REGIONAL PRESS AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA, TERRY SCHIAVO'S
FATE CONTINUES TO PROMPT COMMENTARIES, MOST OF WHICH AGREE
THAT THE CASE IS BEING USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES, GIVING THE
PRESIDENT A NEW OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW HIS ATTACHMENT TO THE
CHRISTIAN RIGHT. "OTHERWISE, WHY WOULD GEORGE BUSH HAVE
RUSHED. TO SIGN A LAW THAT WAS THROWN TOGETHER OVERNIGHT AND
SIGNED IN THREE HOURS TIME BY THE MAJORITY OF THE HOUSE
REPUBLICANS?" (REGIONAL DAILY LE REPUBLIQUE DES PYRENEES) THE
EDITORIAL IN REGIONAL LE PROGRES IS HIGHLY CRITICAL, PUTTING
FORWARD THAT IT IS HEARTENING TO SEE A PRESIDENT WHO "UPHOLDS
THE DEATH PENALTY AND PROMOTES THE RIGHT TO OWN WEAPONS, WHO
IS PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR TWO INTERNATIONAL WARS THAT
CAUSED THE DEATH OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE, SUDDENLY SHOW SUCH A
FONDNESS FOR LIFE."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

UN REFORM

"TIME TO ACT"
PATRICK SABATIER IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (03/22): "AS
WITH EUROPE, THE BLATANT FAILURES AND SHORTFALLS OF THE UN ARE
NOT DUE ONLY TO THE WEIGHTINESS OF THE INSTITUTION, NOR THE
INCOMPETENCE OF ITS OFFICIALS. ITS SHORTCOMINGS ARE REAL. BUT
THE REASONS HAVE MORE TO DO WITH THE POLITICAL RESOLVE OF ITS
MEMBER STATES, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH THE MOST POWER AND MONEY,
THE ONES THAT PAY THE BILLS. THIS IS WHY, ALAS, WE HAVE CAUSE
TO CAST DOUBTS ON THE REALIZATION OF THE REFORMS THAT WERE
PROPOSED YESTERDAY. THE UN MAY WELL BE THE WORST OF THE
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, BUT LACKING AN ALTERNATIVE, IT IS
PREFERABLE TO THE LAW OF THE JUNGLE, OR OF THE STRONGEST."

"KOFI ANNAN: MAN OF THE DAY"
COMMUNIST L'HUMANITE (03/22): "KOFI ANNAN'S REFORM PROPOSAL
FOR THE UN, WHILE STRESSING THE CENTRAL ROLE THAT THE
ORGANIZATION HAS TO PLAY IN WORLD GOVERNANCE DOES NOT
STRENGTHEN THE ROLE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY WHICH REMAINS THE
MOST DEMOCRATIC PART OF THE INSTITUTION. ANOTHER THORNY
SUBJECT IS THE PROPOSAL TO LEGALIZE PREEMPTIVE WAR BY GIVING
THE UNSC TO POWER TO HAVE RECOURSE TO THE USE FORCE, INCLUDING
PREEMPTIVELY. THIS MAJOR CONCESSION TO THE U.S. CASTS A
QUESTIONABLE LIGHT ON THE "MULTILATERAL' NATURE OF THE
REFORM." LEACH

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