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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
09USUNNEWYORK182
2009-02-27 02:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
USUN New York
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR RICE'S INTRODUCTORY MEETING WITH U/SYG

Tags:   PGOV  PHUM  PREL  UNSC  IO 
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VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0182/01 0580207
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 270207Z FEB 09
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5944
INFO RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000182 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL UNSC IO
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE'S INTRODUCTORY MEETING WITH U/SYG
LYNN PASCOE

Classified By: Ambassador Susan Rice for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L USUN NEW YORK 000182

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/23/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL UNSC IO
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE'S INTRODUCTORY MEETING WITH U/SYG
LYNN PASCOE

Classified By: Ambassador Susan Rice for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) SUMMARY. U/SYG for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe told
Ambassador Rice during a February 23 introductory meeting,
that he was trying to change the culture of the Department of
Political Affairs (DPA) from one of "writing talking points
for internal meetings" to solving problems through
good-offices missions and mediation. In order to accomplish
this, he had recently increased the number of DPA staff, was
sending people out of New York and into trouble spots, and
was building a stand-by mediation support group that could
add knowledge of regional issues to UN mediation efforts.
Pascoe said his department would have to continue to rely on
extra-budgetary sources to accomplish its mission. The U/SYG
reviewed some of DPA's current mediation efforts, saying he
thought DPA had "a real shot" at getting a Cyprus settlement,
was trying to get "something on the ground to stabilize
Mogadishu," and was pressing Mugabe to build a "working
government" in Zimbabwe. Ambassador Rice encouraged U/SYG
Pascoe to develop the ability to identify troublespots before
a crisis erupts. She also questioned whether sending Mugabe
a lifeline in Zimbabwe is counterproductive. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) Undersecretary-General (U/SYG) for Political Affairs
Lynn Pascoe briefed Ambassador Rice on February 23 on his
priorities for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).
His top priority, he said, is to transform DPA into an
organization that can solve problems through mediation and
good-offices missions. In order to do this, he said, he is
trying to get his staff out of New York and into the trouble
spots. He is also trying to build up the Stand-by Team of
Mediation Experts, a group which will be able to mobilize
expertise on specific conflict-resolution issues quickly to
assist DPA in resolving conflicts. He said experts from the
team have assisted in African Union peace talks in Kenya, and
that he had recently dispatched an expert to assist Special

Envoy Alexander Downer in the Cyprus talks.


3. (C) Pascoe said he needed to change the culture of DPA,
which has been focused on "writing talking points for
internal meetings." He also believed that the country-level
knowledge of his staff was not as deep and broad as it needs
to be. He said many of the current DPA staff had come from
the former Soviet Union, Europe or North America, but he said
he spends 70% of his time dealing with Africa and the Middle
East. He had been able to bring in 50 new staff at the
beginning of the year, many of them at junior levels, which
would allow him to build the necessary new expertise from the
bottom up. Ambassador Rice suggested it was also important
for DPA to better identify troublespots before a crisis
erupts. Pascoe acknowledged that it was important to develop
an early warning system, but added that it is difficult to
predict which potential troublespots might erupt, and which
will not.


4. (C) Despite the increased budget that allowed him to hire
additional staff, the U/SYG said he still would need to rely
on extra-budgetary funding from 1/2 to 2/3 of his operations.
As an example, he said this year's budget contained only 1/3
of the travel money he knew he would need. The "curse of
DPA," he said, is that it is funded from the regular budget
(as opposed to DPKO peacekeeping missions, which are funded
from peacekeeping assessments), and he would have to look at
innovative funding mechanisms to accomplish his priorities.
One idea might be to establish regional offices that would be
able to address several regional issues from one office, and
cited Southeastern Europe and the Caucasus as two places
where this approach might work.


5. (C) Turning to some of the specific issues on DPA's plate,
Pascoe said he was pleased with SRSG de Mistura's work with
elections in Iraq. He also thought SRSG Ian Martin's work on
the Nepal peace process had been successful, and DPA had been
able to utilize a combination of mediation and support for
elections there. Pascoe believed there was "a real shot" at
getting an agreement in Cyprus. In Somalia he said he had
pushed to get SRSG Ould-Abdallah out to Mogadishu to try and
get a broader coalition of support for stabilizing the
country. He thought there was a chance for success, albeit a
small one, and believed it mattered less whether the UN
establish a peacekeeping mission or a political mission, as
long as something was on the ground to help stabilize
Mogadishu, which could then be built upon.


6. (C) Pascoe was less optimistic about Zimbabwe, where he
said he was at a loss as to how to achieve the dual goals of
helping the people of Zimbabwe and trying to put together a
working government. The Secretary-General had pushed Mugabe
hard, but Mugabe was blocking progress. Ambassador Rice
questioned whether by trying to facilitate a compromise on
the government, the UN might be giving Mugabe a lifeline that
he might not otherwise have. The U/SYG also said he was


concerned about West Africa, which was becoming a haven for
the drug trade between South America and Europe. In Sierra
Leone, he was still not certain that the peacebuilding effort
was coherent, though he believed SRSG Von der Schulenberg was
very bright. He said he did not think that a minimal
peacekeeping force, which he characterized as "DPKO lite",
was the answer, but more attention was needed to the
complexities of putting together a country that is in
pieces."
Rice