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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 01:31 GMT
UN split over peacekeeping probes
By Susannah Price
BBC News, United Nations

Chinese peacekeeping in Haiti
Developing countries say it is a matter for the General Assembly
A row has broken out between developing countries and powerful nations ahead of UN Security Council meetings on fraud and sexual abuse in UN peacekeeping.

The G77, a group of developing countries plus China, has accused the Security Council of encroaching on General Assembly matters.

This is being seen as a power struggle between the two bodies.

The Security Council will discuss alleged financial irregularities in peacekeeping on Wednesday morning.

Another meeting on sexual abuse is scheduled for Thursday.

'Overstepping its limits'

The announcement that the Security Council will be discussing allegations of fraud and sexual abuse in peacekeeping led to a storm of protest from developing nations.

The G77 group has protested that the Security Council, chaired this month by the United States, is overstepping its limits.

The G77 argued these are General Assembly matters, particularly as it was the General Assembly that originally asked for a review of allegations of corruption in peacekeeping.

The G77 make their voices heard mainly through the General Assembly, where each of the UN's members has a vote.

South Africa's ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, who is the current chairman of the G77, said peacekeeping issues should not be restricted to the 15 members of the Security Council.

The council is seen as being dominated by the United States.

The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, emphasised that his government paid more than a quarter of the peacekeeping budget.

He added it was obvious the Security Council, which decides on peacekeeping missions, had a role in discussing waste and fraud.

However, he said the debate would not be restricted to Security Council members and would be open to any UN government who wanted to speak.


SEE ALSO:
Nepal troops jailed for sex abuse
22 Jul 05 |  South Asia
UN sexual allegations double
06 May 05 |  Americas


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