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Profile: Alfonso Valdivieso

Positions that Alfonso Valdivieso has held:

Alfonso Valdivieso was a participant or observer in the following events:

US Secretary of State Colin Powell successfully pressures the UN Security Council’s president, Colombian ambassador to the United Nations Alfonso Valdivieso, to override the Council’s December 6 decision (see December 6, 2002) that no country be permitted access to an unabridged copy of Iraq’s declaration. “The United States had initially accepted the argument Friday but then changed its mind over the weekend, holding consultations between capitals,” reports the Associated Press. “Eventually US officials instructed Colombian Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso, the current Security Council president, to hand over the complete copy of the declaration, which to the astonishment of many in the UN halls, he did.” (Associated Press 12/9/2002; Preston 12/10/2002; Preston 12/21/2002) The Council president normally makes decisions only when there is a consensus of all 15 members. Notably, the US had promised Colombia a substantial increase in military aid less than a week beforehand. (Preston 12/10/2002) Under the new “decision,” only those countries with “the expertise to assess the risk of proliferation and other sensitive information” will be permitted to access the documents. The only countries that are considered qualified according to this criteria are the five permanent members. The other ten council members, including Syria, will only be allowed to view the declaration after translation, analysis and censorship of “sensitive material.” Syria and Norway are infuriated by the move. (Associated Press 12/9/2002; Associated Press 12/9/2002; Preston 12/10/2002; Washington Times 12/12/2002) The photocopying of the documents will be done exclusively by the US. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will later acknowledge that the job should have been delegated to a less partial party. (Bone and Evans 12/10/2002; Washington Times 12/12/2002) The US will remove 3,200 pages of documents before turning the Iraqi documents over to the UN Security Council. (Carter 2004, pp. 98-99)

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