What It’s Like to Chill W MLADIC


Contributor

possible
owing to the Law Projects Center possessing United Nations
accreditation as a NGO (non governmental organization) with full
observer status at the United Nations;  I acceded.

        Darko
faxed me all necessary paperwork enabling my application attendance at
this crucial meeting; I filled out the necessary forms and faxed them
to the appropriate United Nations office for approval.     It was an
extremely exciting time for me.  My close friend and colleague, Arnold
Stark (History professor and Columbian University PhD) drove me into
Manhattan walking me through the United Nations main entrance and
security the day of attendance.      Professor Stark himself was an old
foreign service man from way back in the day and he told me I never
looked as professionally sharp as I did on that day; I wore a navy blue
pin striped suit.  I must admit, I looked good.    

    Only
post attending that day did I truly understand the total lapse of 
security existing then at the United Nations in New York City.  I say
this owing to the social fact that the Law Projects Center was indeed
registered as an United nations accredited NGO it is true.  However,
closed meetings of this sort meant attendance was strictly limited to
head ambassadors of valid United Nations member state missions and non
governmental organizations possessing observer status were not allowed.

   
Unto present, I’ve yet understood whereby I gained entrance into this
privy closed meeting consisting of only United Nations  ambassadors,
but I did.  Walking to the basement floor of the United Nations
building that day, I merely wore a visitors badge given to me at the
front desk in no manner indicating that I was an ambassador of a United
Nations mission;  least of all the Bosnia mission as required for
entrance.  Totally unaware I didn’t possess necessary credentials to
enter the meeting, I walked confidently towards the entrance door and
past the guard stationed outside it.  The guard never bothering to 
examine the type of badge I wore around my neck simply said “good day
Madame” and urged me into the meeting; it was just about time to begin.

   
I immediately sensed something wrong once through the door past the
guard.  First, I was uncertain where to sit.  Everyone else had a sign
in front of their seat stating their country of origin. The Israeli
ambassador sat in front of the Israel sign, the Spanish lady sat in
front of the seat indicating she represented, Spain etc.. 

   
I looked fervently around the room seeing no seats indicating seats for
United Nations observers anywhere.  The last thing I wanted to do was
to embarrass myself by taking the seat of an important ambassador; I
noticed a couple of men seeming from some African state grabbing some
meeting paperwork nearby so I inquired of them.

    I told
them I was a newbie and inquired where to sit and what I should do. 
With heavy African accents one of them said, “just grab a bunch of
these papers, sit there and look like you are busy,” so I did.  In
fact, I grabbed as many extra copies as I could without looking
conspicuous when noticing another peculiarity. 

    The
meeting papers indicated they were for restricted for the eyes of state
mission heads’ only (chief ambassadors of countries) and allowing other
persons and/or United Nations employees to view them was a punishable
offense.  Uncertain what to do, and with the meeting beginning, I
merely sat there stunned.  My seat and the one the African gentleman
next to me took seemed extras because they neglected having any
indication regarding country origin in front of them on the table; I
felt safe. 

    As totally immersed and interesting as I found
the topics, the African ambassador seated found boring.  I say this
owing to noticing during the entire meeting he was merely doodling
nonsensical pictures on some legal pad.  I think that no one took more
notes that day than me.  I was especially interested in the interstate
bickering about financing the international criminal court should and
when it came about.  Spain was particularly forceful in vocalizing its
opinion that the countries giving the most monetary contributions to
the court itself ought have more power over both its staffing and its
innocent and guilty verdicts as well as judges appointed.  My
suspicions’ equally shared by scholars such as Noam Chomsky and former
attorney general, Ramsey Clark were now fully justifiably confirmed. 
The court itself was a great travesty of justice and I was actually
witnessing quarrels between countries insofar as controlling the courts
judges and verdicts based on financial contributions rather than on law
and true international justice.  

    The most shocking point
of the meeting for me was when the Israeli ambassador admitted openly
to the other attendees that Israel was indifferent to war crimes,
crimes against humanity and would in no manner support any
international structure limiting its’ ability for practicing war and
peace against any other state and/or party it considered a threat to
its national interest. 

    The ambassador representing the
United States that day strongly and equally explicitly backed the
Israeli position making clear American attendance was more for
information gathering purposes and show than true concern for
international law, world peace and social justice.  When the meeting
ended I slipped quickly out the front entrance of the United Nations;
notes and papers in hand; I would read them in detail later that
evening. When I attended these Preparatory Meetings at the end, the
First Ambassador to the Bosnian Mission in NYC (The Serbian Doctor with
glasses) came in but only stayed a short while as my witness to my
being there.

   
    It must have amazed Darko upon
returning from Serbia I actually gained entrance to the ICC preparatory
closed meeting because within a week he invited me to the city to
attend another important meeting at the United Nations comprised of
diplomats from some very selective and prestigious  NATO member
states.  I don’t recall the date but by his return fully I understood
the definition of a closed meeting.  Upon approaching the meeting door
I became at once  cognizant the meeting stated  “closed meeting,” on
the door.  I did my best to point this fact out to Darko who told me to
go in with him anyway; we did.  Darko obviously

Author

Contributor

From our Partners

Explore YourTango

MOST POPULAR