US embassy cable - 01ABUJA1156

NIGERIAN RESPONSE TO WCAR DEMARCHE (ROUND TWO)

Identifier: 01ABUJA1156
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA1156 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-05-18 14:47:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PHUM SOCI NI UNHRC
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 001156 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/18/2011 
TAGS: PHUM, SOCI, NI, UNHRC-1 
SUBJECT: NIGERIAN RESPONSE TO WCAR DEMARCHE (ROUND TWO) 
 
 
REF: (A) STATE 086714 (B) ABUJA 0967 
 
 
Classified by CDA Andrews, reason 1.5 (B/D). 
 
 
1.  (SBU) In the absence of the Charge from Abuja, Acting 
Polcouns delivered the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) 
demarche on the proposed language on the Middle East for the 
WCAR Declaration.  A/Polcouns spoke with Olusegun Akinsanya, 
Director of the UN 2nd Unit (which among other matters, 
handles human rights issues), and, separately, with Christy 
Mbonu, Minister-Counselor in the UN 2nd Unit, who generally 
takes the lead on human rights issues.  While Mrs. Mbonu was 
non-committal on the demarche, requesting time to review the 
talking points and speak with her colleagues, Mr. Akinsanya 
was both more forthcoming and more sympathetic. 
 
 
2.  (U) Akinsanya broadly agreed on the need to avoid 
distracting and polarizing issues.  "We want to focus on the 
main themes of the conference," he said.  While stressing his 
own wish to review the "harmonized" language of the draft 
Declaration (which he believed might have already dispensed 
with the proposed Middle East language), he said that 
"extraneous" items should be avoided.  "There are more 
important problems and more fundamental issues to address," 
he emphasized. 
 
 
3.  (U)  Unfortunately from the USG perspective, these 
"fundamental" discussions, according to Akinsanya, should 
include reparations and restitution for colonial-era slavery. 
 In this he echoed the sentiments of Mrs. Mbonu in our 
earlier demarche (REF B). 
 
 
4.  (C) Akinsanya finished by stating he would "study" our 
talking points, and looked forward to exploring the issues 
with the USG delegation at the May 21 PrepComm in Geneva.  He 
will not be accompanied by Mrs. Mbonu, probably a plus for 
us, given her sometimes doctrinaire attitude on human rights 
issues of concern to NAM and G-77 nations. 
 
 
5.  (C) Comment.  While the Nigerians may well support us on 
the Middle East language issue, when it comes to the question 
of reparations/restitution for colonial-era slavery, for 
domestic political reasons as well as notions of solidarity 
with other African and third world countries, the GON may 
prove rather intransigent.  End comment. 
Andrews 

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