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Viewing cable 09TRIPOLI589, QADHAFI'S CAUSE DU JOUR - UN REFORM

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TRIPOLI589 2009-07-21 16:04 2011-01-31 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tripoli
VZCZCXRO2652
PP RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN
DE RUEHTRO #0589 2021649
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P R 211649Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5061
INFO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0210
RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5600
C O N F I D E N T I A L TRIPOLI 000589 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/MAG 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  7/21/2019 
TAGS: PREL AORC PINR AU UNGA LY
SUBJECT: QADHAFI'S CAUSE DU JOUR - UN REFORM 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Joan Polaschik, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)

1.(C) Summary: Director of the MFA's International Organizations Department, Mahdi Al-Majribi, elaborated July 21 on the UN reform agenda laid out in Qadhafi's July 15 speech at the NAM Summit. Absent NAM agreement on the way forward for expanded UNSC membership, Al-Majribi expected Qadhafi to call for the addition of an African Union seat to the UNSC as an "interim" plan until the UNSC is ready to add seats for other nations or groups of nations representing the developing world. xxxxxxxxxxxx Al-Majribi appears to be one of the principal Libyan players on UN reform issues. End summary.

UNSC EXPANSION AT TOP OF LIBYA'S UNGA AGENDA

2.(C) During a July 21 meeting with the CDA and P/E Chief, Director of the MFA's International Organizations Office, Mahdi Al-Majribi, hinted at Libya's likely agenda for the UNGA presidency. Prefacing his comments by saying that the UNGA agenda is not set unilaterally by the UNGA president, he noted that UN reform would likely be a top priority for the 64th General Assembly. He said that he had been studying UN reform for several years, and had "contributed information" on the UN reform process to various parts of the GOL.

3.(C) Al-Majribi pointed to Qadhafi's July 15 NAM conference remarks and their focus on UN reform -- and expansion of the Security Council -- as indicative of Libyan goals for the UNGA. Al-Majribi, who accompanied Qadhafi to the NAM Summit, said that although the NAM countries agreed in principle on the need for expanded UNSC membership, they had not arrived at a consensus regarding the proper representational breakdown - whether it be individual representatives of each continent or groups of nations represented by regional organizations such as the African Union (AU). As an interim solution, Al-Majribi said that Qadhafi proposed adding an AU seat, the representation of which would be decided within the AU secretariat. Al-Majribi hinted repeatedly that he found the prospects for an AU seat on the Security Council to be unrealistic, pointedly noting that the UN Charter did not call for regional organizations to be represented on the Security Council.

4.(C) Al-Majribi underlined Qadhafi's belief that the UNSC was comprised of World War II winners, none of which understand the contemporary positions and needs of the developing world. As such, Al-Majribi believed that Qadhafi would press for the UNSC to add seats, first for the AU, then for the rest of the developing world - which Al-Majribi specified as Latin America and Asia (outside of China). Mjribi likened the UN to a still lake, which needed to be stirred in order for life to resurface - though he offered a pragmatic assessment that true reform of the UN, whether on the order of the GA or SC, would be a long-term process.

ANOTHER AU SUMMIT - MAYBE, BUT LIKELY

5.(C) Although Al-Majribi did not have specific information regarding GOL plans to hold a second extraordinary AU Summit on the margins of the 40th Anniversary of Qadhafi's September 1 Revolution, he did say that if a summit were to take place, it would most likely be a day-long event in Sirte. [Note: This information correlates with what Ali Treiki told the Ambassador July 15 and with rumors we have heard from other interlocutors (septel). End note.] Al-Majribi stated that the AU Secretariat may have to endorse the idea of holding another extraordinary summit.

6.(C) Comment and Bio Note: While reluctant to divulge too much information, Al-Majribi seemed to be an intelligent, skilled interlocutor on UN issues. He said that he has spent 30 years working on multilateral issues for the Libyan Government, including 9 years in multilateral missions abroad, including Vienna. Given the depth of his comments on UN reform and his detailed knowledge of the UN Charter and structure, he is likely one of the principal players within the Libyan bureaucracy on UN reform. Although he struck an extremely pragmatic tone in his discussion with us, he also was very careful to parrot and elaborate upon the points Qadhafi made in Sharm El Sheikh. It will be interesting to observe how much of Al-Majribi's pragmatism makes it into Libyan negotiations during UNGA. End comment. POLASCHIK