[discuss] Other News - Developing Nations Seek U.N. Retaliation on Bank Cancellations

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Fri Apr 11 15:50:34 UTC 2014

A news that needs to be read closely for those discussing ICANN's 


> *Developing Nations Seek U.N. Retaliation on Bank Cancellations*
> **
> */By Thalif Deen/*
> UNITED NATIONS, Apr  2014 (IPS) - The 132-member Group of 77, the 
> largest single coalition of developing nations, has urged 
> Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide, "as soon as 
> possible...alternative options for banking services" in New York City 
> following the mass cancellation of bank accounts of U.N. missions and 
> foreign diplomats.
> The draft resolution, a copy of which was obtained by IPS, is an 
> "agreed text" which has the blessings of all 132 countries, plus China.
> Responding to a demand by member states for reciprocal retaliation, 
> the G77 requests the secretary-general to review the "U.N. 
> Secretariat's financial relations with the JP Morgan Chase Bank and 
> consider alternatives to such financial institutions and to report 
> thereon, along with the information requested."
> Currently, the bank handles billions of dollars in the accounts 
> maintained by the United Nations and its agencies in New York City.
> The Group expresses "deep concern" over the decisions made by several 
> banking institutions, including JP Morgan Chase, in closing bank 
> accounts of mostly developing countries, and diplomats accredited to 
> the United Nations and their relatives.
> The resolution, which is subject to amendments, cites the 1947 U.S.- 
> U.N. headquarters agreement that "guarantees the rights, obligations 
> and the fulfillment of responsibilities by member states towards the 
> United Nations, under the United Nations Charter and international law."
> Additionally, it cites the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic 
> Relations as a regulatory framework for states and international 
> organisations, in particular the working relationship between the 
> United Nations and the City of New York.
> Citing the two agreements, the G77 is calling for all "necessary 
> measures to ensure permanent missions accredited to the United Nations 
> and their staff are granted equal, fair and non-discriminatory 
> treatment by the banking system."
> Asked for an official response, U.N. Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric 
> told IPS: "We would not comment on a draft resolution."
> At a closed-door meeting of the G77 last month, speaker after speaker 
> lambasted banks in the city for selectively cutting off the banking 
> system from the diplomatic community, describing the action as 
> "outrageous".
> Their anger was directed mostly at JP Morgan Chase (formerly Chemical 
> bank) which was once considered part of the U.N. family -- and a 
> preferred bank by most diplomats -- and at one time was housed in the 
> secretariat building.
> The G77 is expected to hold consultations with member states outside 
> the Group, specifically Western nations, before tabling the resolution 
> with the 193-member General Assembly later this month.
> If any proposed amendments are aimed at weakening the resolution, the 
> G77 will go for a vote in the Assembly with its agreed text, a G77 
> diplomat told IPS Thursday.
> But with the Group having more than two-thirds majority in the 
> Assembly, the resolution is expected to be adopted either with or 
> without the support of Western nations.
> If adopted by a majority vote, the secretary-general is expected to 
> abide by the resolution and respond to its demands.
> The draft resolution also requests the secretary-general to review and 
> report to the General Assembly, within 120 days of its adoption, "of 
> any obstacles or impediments observed in the accounts of permanent 
> missions or their staff at the JP Morgan Chase Bank in the City of New 
> York, and the impact these impediments have on the adequate 
> functioning of their offices."
> And to this end, the G77 invites all members to provide the 
> secretary-general with relevant information that will facilitate the 
> elaboration of such report.
> In an appeal to the United States, the G77 has also underscored the 
> importance of the host country taking the necessary measures to ensure 
> that personal data and information of persons affected by the closure 
> of accounts is kept confidential by banking institutions, and requests 
> the secretary-general to work with the host country in that regard and 
> to report to the General Assembly within 90 days.
> The closure of accounts was triggered by a request from the U.S. 
> treasury, which wanted all banks to meticulously report every single 
> transaction of some 70 "blacklisted" U.N. diplomatic missions, and 
> individual diplomats -- perhaps as part of a monitoring system to 
> prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
> But the banks have said such an elaborate exercise is administratively 
> expensive and cumbersome.
> And as a convenient alternative, they have closed down, or are in the 
> process of closing down, all accounts, shutting off banks from the 
> diplomatic community in New York.

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