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Cablegate: Un Host Country Committee Meeting October 5, 2007

VZCZCXYZ0012
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0860/01 2851914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121914Z OCT 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2775
INFO RUEHAB/AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN 1068
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0914
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0942

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000860

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT. FOR IO/UNP - S EDMONDSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OFDP UNAUS IT SU IV
SUBJECT: UN HOST COUNTRY COMMITTEE MEETING OCTOBER 5, 2007

1. (U) The 19-member UN Committee on Relations with the Host
Country held its
234th meeting on October 5, 2007. USUN Counselor for Host
Country Affairs
represented the United States. Over a dozen non-Committee
Member States
participated as observers. There were no requests for
specific items to be
placed on the agenda prior to the meeting.

Sudan FM delayed on arrival at JFK
----------------------------------

2. (U) Sudan MUN complained that on September 20, its Foreign
Minister,
Lam Akol Ajawin, was detained upon arrival at JFK airport in
a private
room for secondary screening for about thirty minutes. Sudan
alleged that it
had taken the necessary steps to inform the United States
regarding the FM's
arrival. USUN Host Country Counselor informed the Committee
that this was the
first time Host Country had heard of the incident, that USUN
would look into the
matter, and that it would have been helpful if Sudan had
informed the US
Mission when the incident occurred rather than wait until the
next scheduled
meeting of the Host Country Committee. As Sudan's complaint
was the only one
raised at the meeting, USUN Host Country Counselor noted that
it spoke well
for the Host Country to have only one formal complaint before
the Committee, given
the large number of Heads of State/Heads of Government,
Ministers, VIPs, their
families and entourages that came for the opening of the UNGA
over the past two weeks.

3. (U) Comment: USUN has no record of Sudan communicating a
request for the
FM's arrival to USUN. In USUN's briefing delegations, USUN
strongly cautioned
against MUNs submitting requests that bypassed USUN, and that
any requests that
Missions submitted directly to Washington or through a
country's embassy in
Washington needed to be sent also to USUN so that USUN could
monitor and follow
up on the request, as needed.

Gasoline tax exemptions in New York
----------------------------------

3. (U) Italy MUN requested clarification about a letter it
received from the Office of
Foreign Missions/NY regarding changes in gasoline tax
exemptions in New York for
diplomats. The letter informed the Mission that tax
exemptions would no longer
automatically be given to individuals using oil company
credit cards due to the
companies' interpretation of a recent NY tax law ruling.
USUN Host Country Counselor
informed the Committee that two representatives from OFM/NY
were present and
could answer spcific questions relating to this matter after
the meeting ended.
He also suggested that while the issue was being resolved,
Missions should
retain their gasoline receipts.

UN compliance with fire code
-----------------------------

4. Committee Chair Mavroyiannis (Cyprus) briefed the
Committee on his meeting
with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon to discuss the UN
compliance with
NY City fire codes. The Secretary-General assured the
Chairman that he had been
following the issue closely and the matter would be resolved
as expeditiously
as possible ensuring the highest degree of safety and
security possible as the
Capital Master Plan is implemented.

New Comittee Vice-Chair; next Committee meeting

--------------------------------------------- --

5. Guillarme Bailly-Niagri, Counselor at the Cote d'Ivoire
Mission, was elected
to replace Coe d'Ivoire MUN's Marc Banny as Vice-Chairman of
the Committee. The
next HCC meeting will be held on October 31 to adopt the
as-yet-unwritten annual
Report of the Committee before it is forwarded for adoption
by the Sixth Committee
and then the GA.
KHALILZAD

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