GENEVA / HONDURAS (03:02)
Disagreement over who should represent Honduras at the UN mars the opening session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. UNTV
STORY: GENEVA / HONDURAS
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/ NATS
DATELINE: 14 SEPTEMBER 2009, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
RECENT, PALAIS DES NATIONS, GENEVA
1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations
14 SEPTEMBER 2009, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
2. Various shots, delegates huddle around the podium and president of the UN Human Rights Council including close up of female Brazilian ambassador.
3. Various shots, Mexican delegation (speaking off mike)
4. UPSOUND (English and Spanish) Jose Delmer Urbizo Panting, Permanent Representative of Honduras:
“I ask for the floor.”
“We will return.” (In English and then in Spanish)
“They want to expel me by force. What the President asks is illegal. It is not possible. It is a violation. I am still an ambassador so I don’t need your men” (reference to UN security guards)
“They want to expel me by force on the orders of the President. I asked them (UN security guards) not to accompany me because I want to leave on my own.” (To journalists in the chamber)
“We have nothing to discuss.”
5. Various shots, guards escorting Urbizo from the room
Disagreement over who should represent Honduras at the UN marred the opening session of the Human Rights Council today (14 September) in Geneva.
Latin American delegations, led by Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba, protested the presence of Jose Delmer Urbizo, who represents the government of Honduras that ousted President Manuel Zelaya in June this year. The UN General Assembly and the Organization of American States say that the Zelaya administration remains the rightful government of Honduras.
Urbizo reacted angrily, telling the Council he would return. After approaching the President of the Human Rights Council, he was escorted out of the Council chamber by UN Security guards. As he left the chamber he told journalists that he was still ambassador and that he felt any attempt to expel him was illegal.
Urbizo, has represented Honduras as ambassador in Geneva for three years, first under the administration of Manuel Zelaya. Delegates from Latin America question what administration he was currently under.
The afternoon session of the Council was delayed by three hours as diplomats struggled to find a solution on whether Urbizo was entitled to represent Honduras. In response to calls from the delegations of Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Cuba to not recognize Urbizo, the president of the Council agreed to seek clarification and suspend discussion on the issue.