The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has a massive hurdle to pass over. As French President Emmanuel Macron and the French government is reacting to a secretive alliance agreement between United States of America, United Kingdom and Australia (AUSUK).
This agreement or alliance is not only shaping the military alignment in Indo-Pacific sphere, but in Europe as well. The Biden Administration has with this thrown more shade and fire on a fickle organization. Which was already bickering and had lot of internal strife’s.
It is not like NATO has been running smoothly in the Trump era. No, it has been raised havoc and Trump has caused diplomatic furore over his actions. However, Biden is causing even more damage by selling sub-marines and making strategic agreements without considering close allies. This is not a wise move. The United Kingdom has been a running mate of Washington D.C. since the time of Tony Blair. So, it isn’t new on that front and post-Brexit this is just showing their own way.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has a huge burden on his hands. Not only clean up the mess left behind from Afghanistan and other missions associated with NATO. Now he also has a diplomatic task of epic proportions. He has to sit-down and discuss with all the allies. Stoltenberg has to appease the French, meet with Biden and zoom-call Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Because, this has to be settled.
NATO will pay a price for this. The levels of distrust the French feels might goes to others as well. Just like the Turkish are closing the waters of the Greeks in the Mediterranean. The Turks have blocked a Maltese vessel from doing it’s scientific mission in Greek waters. Therefore, Stoltenberg doesn’t only have Macron and the French to appease.
An alliance like NATO builds it’s structure on trust and protocol. This was not only business of military industries of the French, but of their pride as a sovereign within an alliance. They were promised and this wasn’t kept. While the NATO members haven’t talked or been upfront about things. That hurts the pride of Paris and surely they will feel betrayed by their allies. USA and UK might not care, but do they really want more friends anyway?
Stoltenberg has to be clever. He got to be wise and hopefully he got good council at NATO. Since these troubling times will not be easy on him. He has to stand stall until the end of his office in September 2022. Stoltenberg has had the office in 2014 and he thought the idiotic times Trump would be bad enough. However, this will be his biggest personal challenge.
As the Secretary General he has to be strong, confident and humble meeting these Head of State. Stoltenberg needs to confine and find time to build trust. He needs reassurance and security on behalf of the alliance. While trying to forge relations between Macron, Biden, Johnson and Morrison. These has to appeased and feel the vibe. That will not be easy. Yes, Stoltenberg is a seasoned politician and has touched upon trouble before.
Nevertheless, this will be a huge operation. It cannot be saved by speeches or poetic statements. No, this is mending wounds and healing relations between allies. That will not be easy. Especially, when the French says it could even ditch the whole alliance. This is why Stoltenberg have to show character and do it quick.
If NATO is still going to matter. Stoltenberg have to prove it and he got to show courage. He needs to go to Paris, Washington D.C., London and Canberra. Stoltenberg needs to show his whole skill-set of diplomacy and political game of compromise.
This will not be easy. Stoltenberg has to pass over this mountain with a proper compass or a map. He needs to follow streams, use his gut-feeling and follow the lights on the horizon. There will be no second chances and he got deliver. NATO depends on it….
Stoltenberg has to prove it’s validity and it’s value. While building trust…. that’s huge task and it’s his to bear. He got to carry it and resolve the matter. That is an unforgiving mission, but that’s what he signed up for when he accepted the office. Peace.
“The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.” – Frantz Fanon
The true value and who runs it is proven when the former head of the Commonwealth for decades has been Queen Elisabeth II, which of yesterday put the mantle of leadership to her son Prince Charles of Wales. The Statement from ‘ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 – Leaders’ Statement’ said: “We recognise the role of The Queen in championing the Commonwealth and its peoples. The next Head of the Commonwealth shall be His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales” (Commonwealth, 20.04.2018).
We can also know the perspective the Great Britain has for the organization, as Boris Johnson wrote so clearly in March 2018: “The good news is that when we leave the EU, we will regain the power to sign free trade agreements with our Commonwealth friends, allowing the UK to make the most of thriving markets. Brexit will give us the ability to open a new era of friendship with countries across the world. A key theme of the London summit will be how to boost trade within the Commonwealth. We’ll also discuss how to improve security co-operation and take joint action to protect the world’s oceans, bearing in mind that the Commonwealth includes island states in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean” (Boris Johnson – ‘Commonwealth has key role to play in the bright future for Britain: article by Boris Johnson’ 12.03.2018, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)).
It shows that the United Kingdom own problems and issues is key for the Summit. The others are more a circus that the old empire can play into it. That happen and the Commonwealth Declaration on the 20th April 2018 named ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ part of it says: “We, the Heads of Government representing member countries of the Commonwealth and one third of the world’s population recognise international trade and investment
as an engine for generating inclusive and participative economic growth and a means to deliver the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (…) “In particular, we recognise the importance of the multilateral trading system in ensuring the integration of small, vulnerable and least developed countries and countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific into the world economy, and welcome initiatives which will support greater and more effective participation of these countries in international trade” (…) “To promote the realisation of these goals, we hereby launch the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment. This Agenda will be guided by the principles that: co-operation should be pragmatic and practical, leading to credible results; take into account regional integration initiatives; take into account the needs of small and vulnerable economies and least developed countries; avoid duplication with initiatives where other organisations are already working; add value in areas of engagement; and adopt a progressive approach towards a long term vision for closer trade and investment ties. It should also recognise the vital role of the private sector in delivering the 2030 Agenda and facilitating the promotion of the blue and green economy” (Commonwealth – ‘Declaration on the Commonwealth Connectivity Agenda for Trade and Investment’ 20.04.2018).
We can see that Boris Johnson’s goals for the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) appeared on the last day, yesterday, as this declaration is to anticipate the Commonwealth secretariat and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will work on this now. To make sure the former Colonies are more connected. Not only to themselves through trade, but also to the United Kingdom. This is to give the United Kingdom bigger trade and partners through the use of the former colonies. To look at it differently, is to be naive. The other agreements is to make the public perception positive, but this here was to grease the wheels of United Kingdom, who are soon losing the trade-agreements through the membership of European Union, because of their silly decision to leave the Union.
We can see that the Commonwealth all benefits the United Kingdom and the others just has a place multi-nationally to be represented, though a loose organization, that isn’t to formal. But is a place to make them look better and get exposure through the perspective of their former colonial master. That is why they still has the inter-connected ministry FCO. It is a reason why even Zimbabwean Non-Governmental Organization was petitions the Department for International Development (DFID), so the former colony could have funds to hold Presidential Candidate National Television Debate before the General Election later in the year.
Well, that was a sidetrack, but very fitting. Because, the Commonwealth, still seems like a UK based organization, where it is all because of the mercy of the UK. The Commonwealth communiques, declarations and the meetings is because of UK leaders. Not because of the Kenyan President wanted it or the Indian one wanted some. We know there are someone even questioning it, the Bangladesh PM has been stating this today:
“LONDON, April 21, 2018 (BSS)- Seeking inclusion of representative from Asia in the High Level Group to review the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Governance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday suggested making the Group more representative with inclusion of member states of different regions. “We value the knowledge and expertise of the Secretariat for furthering work of the Commonwealth. However, we believe that views of the member states through appropriate representation, is equally important,” she said” (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha – ‘PM suggests making CW high-level group more representative’ 21.04.2018).
This is what I started it, and it is made like this because the Commonwealth are made for the needs of United Kingdom, then the second interests. That is why the head of the Commonwealth has to be the Royalty of the UK. Now it is the Prince of Wales, which was nudged in by the Queen. The same happen to Prince Harry, who was appointed by the Queen to become the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. We can see that the Commonwealth is a UK enterprise. The view can be seen that way, the way the Royal family has key roles and that the FCO is involved. Therefore, the meetings and statements coming from Boris Johnson with everyone he could. Making photo-ups with anyone he could during the CHOGM.
We will clearly see the Commonwealth Secretariat work on the Declaration, especially now that the UK is gearing up for the Brexit and leaving the Union. They need new secure trading partners and what better, than using the informal body of Commonwealth to get trade with. That is what even Johnson has been writing and proves his ideas. That is why he has been so diplomatic and kind with words. Because some of the nations and state leaders he has meet these days, he has written in the past ill-words of their republics and their kind. Therefore, we know he has sudden swift change of interests. That interests being the benefit of London and not of the former colonies.
The Commonwealth seems more like a savior and needed trade-partners right now, because of the problems coming with the loss of the EU membership. FCO and Commonwealth member-states with this declaration are opening for negotiations. Something that Johnson has been hoping for all along. Since he wanted that and hoped that CHOGM would deliver. However, it did that in some respect with the Declaration.
Seemingly again the Commonwealth is made for the benefit of the UK and their needed gains. If it was otherwise, than the Bangladesh PM wouldn’t asked for what she did after the CHOGM. That proves the problems within the Commonwealth Secretariat and with the Declaration itself. Since in that one in question isn’t mentioned even directly in the declaration.
Hope I am wrong, but as long the British Royalty is running it and is the heads of it. Their interests will be in line of London, not being for all the members of the Commonwealth. To think otherwise to be naive. Peace.
Shareholders in the Rainbow Company:
Dear Prime Minister,
As you know we have had many discussions in person, by text and by phone on the matter of my candidature for the position of UN SG over the last six months or more since you became PM.
You will also recall that we discussed this matter on many occasions prior to you becoming PM as well
You will recall that last September I contacted you asking for guidance on how I should address the matter of your previously stated support to me for my candidature when I met Foreign Minister Bishop at the UN General Assembly in September. You in fact sent me a message on your preferred Wickr system where you stated that you and the FM were “as one” in your support for my candidature.
You will also recall I came to see you in your Parliament House office on 11 November last year where we discussed the matter at length. Once again you restated your position of support for my candidature. You went further to ask for a list of governments whom you would need to lobby at a prime ministerial level in the future.
We continued this discussion further on Wednesday 23 December in your Sydney office. Once again you stated your support for my candidature. You added that when the time came to lodge my nomination, you now wanted to take it to Cabinet to avoid the perception of a “captain’s pick”. You also said to me that the Cabinet process would not change the outcome.
Based on those assurances, in good faith, I have been informally sounding out governments around the world in terms of their support for my candidature. In fact the Foreign Minister confirmed that I was doing that in one of her more recent press conferences. You will appreciate that I would not have been in the business of approaching governments, even informally, had you expressed any doubt about my candidature in any of our previous conversations.
These communications leave to one side the multiple conversations we had on the subject of my possible candidature prior to you assuming the Prime Ministership. You had always said to me that the Australian government would be “mad” not to support my candidature. You will recall saying the same in person to me when we met at my place in New York last year.
You will be aware that my formal written request for support from the government was lodged with your office one month ago. In that written request, I indicated the timing of Cabinet consideration was of course a matter for you; but that I needed to be fully compliant with UN protocols which would require nominations to be lodged with the UN by early May.
You will understand therefore how shocked I was to receive your telephone call within the last couple of hours, just prior to your taking the matter to Cabinet in Canberra. In your telephone call you said that neither you nor the Cabinet would be supporting my nomination. When I asked the reasons for this, you said that neither you nor the Cabinet has the view that “I had the qualifications for the position”. You will appreciate that you have never expressed that view to me in the multiple conversations we have had on this matter on the past.
As you are now taking the matter to Cabinet, could I respectfully request that you reconsider the government’s position. I believe it is important for an Australian to be considered for such a position by the international community. Furthermore, I have been encouraged by multiple governments around the world, from all continents, to be a candidate.
Finally, you will appreciate that I have consistently demonstrated a practice in office of appointing leading individuals from both sides of politics to significant diplomatic appointments abroad. My request for support of my nomination is not even a request for an appointment. It is simply a request for a nomination. I note that the government of New Zealand has adopted this practice in relation to former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark. Based on your many statements to me over a long period of time, I had expected from you at least the same approach.
It would then simply be a matter for the international community to decide who was the best candidate for the role.
26th Prime Minister of Australia.
“Who will be The Weekly’s favourite person this week?” (The Weekly, 2016)
There isn’t everyday are Rare Earth Mineral site get a different companies from all over the globe into action. This didn’t happen today. Still it’s worth researching and doing background checking. I wish I had all the pieces to the puzzle. I miss the contract or agreement between the Government of Burundi (GoB) and Rainbow Rare Earth Limited. Not that had seen the one between Southern Crown and GoB. This story will be what I have had the ability to uncover at this point. Hope you will enjoy.
In 2011 February update from the Australian based mining company was awaiting cabinet approving in the Burundian Parliament, even with being approved by the minister at the time. The Australian company was Southern Crown. The license was to be for the area called Garaka Project in the Garaka and Karonge. The area is a area filled with REE (Rare-Earth Minerals). By the 2010 prices they estimated that the Ore in the area with carbonated REE was valued up to $5169M (Southern Crown). Two years later on the same company Southern Crown did release on 27. April 2012 they shut down the Garaka Project because of cooling of the rare earth market and also funding (Southern Crown2).
So this happen and the business on the ground of Garak Project went sour when Southern Crown went through with business in mining in Zambia instead of Burundi. To give an issue on how business deals are set in Burundi. After that I will tell you the timeline for the new companies on the ground. Look under timeline:
International Crisis Group reported in March 2012 how the agreements were between companies and the Burundian government:
“The allocation of mining and oil concessions also poses a problem. Under previous regimes, consideration of applications for mining exploration permits was entrusted to experts and an inter-ministerial committee, which reported to the Council of Ministers. However, this committee has not met since the CNDD-FDD came to power. The contract to exploit the rich nickel deposits in Musongati in eastern Burundi,71 which could amount to 5 per cent of world reserves, was negotiated at the highest level and in the greatest secrecy.72 Permits have since been granted in a non-transparent way: although licenses are granted by presidential decree on the proposal of the appropriate ministry, as in many countries, applications for exploration and exploitation are handled by a committee restricted to the presidency before being presented to the Council of Ministers” (International Crisis Group).
Timeline – Under the Rainbow:
President Pierre Nkurunziza was the Chairman under the Cabinet Meeting the 25th February 2015 where this was the outcome on the matter:
“The Rainbow Company has received the exploration permit for REE and related ores in May 2011 on Gakara perimeter and that permit was renewed in July 2014. After three and a half years of research, the company filed a feasibility study containing the entire technical and economic requirements for the exploitation of reserves located in an area of 39 square kilometers contained in its prospect perimeter measuring 135 square kilometers” (…)“The exploitation agreement was the result of a consensus between the Burundian technicians and those of Rainbow. The company plans to produce 5,000 tons of rare earth ores per year, with an investment of 7.7 million US dollars” (Council of Ministers).
On the 8th April Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd. could announce that they got funding from Pala Investment Limited to do develop the Gakara project. The financing they got to was up to $12M. The first stage of the project is use $6M in a 6 month period to get the trial mining starting. Second stage is to get the capital and get more effective mining. The Pala Investment Limited has an option if the phasing up more loan to another $6M to build and facilitate infrastructure on the site of Gakara Project. Martin Eales commented on this saying: “We are very pleased to have secured this investment from Pala, who will provide both financial and technical advice and will be a valued partner going forward. Their detailed due diligence and subsequent participation provides significant third party endorsement of the potential and quality of our project.” (…)“With the recent approval of the Mining Licence and Mining Convention from the Burundian government, we can now make rapid progress, and I look forward to reporting on further developments in due course” (Rainbow Rare Earths Limited).
If you wonder where the monies for the loan is from it’s from the independent London based Chrystal Capital Limited Liability Partnership (LLP). “The financing agreement is for an investment of up to US$12m, subject to the completion of certain milestones, which will fund the project through to full production” (Chrystal Capital).
So for you who can read can see that the funding from Chrystal Capital Partners is the initial loaner of $12M who will be used on the 2 first phase, that supposed to be spent by Pala Investment Company. Pala Investment Company is financing Rainbow Rare Earth Limited who also happens to be a subsidiary of Pella Resources Limited, who also happens to be a subsidiary of Pella Resources Limited, who is actually the mining-company on the Gakara Project. So the Monies are going from London (Chrystal Capital) – Switzerland (Pala) – Guernsey, UK (Pella Resources Ltd) who happens to run the subsidiary Guernsey, UK (Rainbow Rare Earth Limited). Well this story has not ended.
On 14th April 2015 the German Company of ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products signed an agreement with Rainbow Rare Earth Limited to sell their resources and future production to the German counterparts. Kai-Norman Knötsch who is a Chairman in the Management Board of the company commented: “We look forward to successful cooperation with Rainbow Rare Earths. As the exclusive marketer of these high-quality products, we will have the opportunity to strengthen our customer relationships long term and gain further market share around the world” (ThyssenKrupp). This will secure the economic and the future of the Garaka Project. Since the Germans will buy the RRE from Rainbow (Pella) who then can pay the loans for the funding to Pala and Chrystal Capital. Do you follow me?
This is how it is so far. I wonder how it will go and how reports on the ground will be. And if the agreement between Rainbow Rare Earth Limited and the Government of Burundi will ever surface and come into light again. If so a brother wants to read that one. In the meantime we have to wait on reports on the earnings on the mining and how that will be spent in the country. That can be exiting read as well. Peace.
ThyssenKrupp – ‘ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products signs offtake agreement for rare earth elements’ (14.04.2015) Link: https://www.thyssenkrupp.com/en/presse/art_detail.html&eid=TKBase_1428993710593_117572636
Chrystal Capital – ‘Chrystal Capital raises $12 million for Rainbow Rare Earths’ Link: http://www.chrystalcapital.com/chrystal-capital-raises-12-million-for-rainbow-rare-earths/
Rainbow Rare Earths Limited – ‘Funding secured for the development of the Gakara Rare Earth Project in Burundi’ (08.03.2015) Link: http://www.pala.com/images/media/44_Funding%20agreement%20with%20Pala%20-%20Final%20-%2008.04.15.pdf
Republic of Burundi-Council of Ministers – ‘MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 25TH OF FEBRUARY 2015’ (26.02.2015) Link: http://www.burundi-gov.bi/IMG/pdf/cabinet_meeting_three-1.pdf
Southern Crown – ‘February Company Update’ (02.2010) Link: http://southerncrown.com.au/joomla/images/announcements/pp.pdf
Southern Crown – ‘MARCH 2012 QUARTERLY ACTIVITIES REPORT’ (27.04.2012) Link: http://www.infomine.com/index/pr/PB503217.PDF
International Crisis Group – ‘Burundi: A Deepening Corruption Crisis ‘(21.03.2012) Link: http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/central-africa/burundi/185-burundi-la-crise-de-corruption-english.pdf
7352nd Meeting (AM) – Security Council
The meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 12:18 p.m.
The Security Council had rallied to consensus on several important issues in December, the Permanent Representative of Chad and President of that body said in a monthly wrap-up meeting, as members stressed the need to press ahead on issues and areas where they had failed to produce results.
The open debates on strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union and on the linkages between terrorism and transnational organized crime provided the basis for the international community to bolster action, Mahamat Zene Cherif said.
With the adoption of eight resolutions and four presidential statements on diverse and crucial issues of the day, the month’s session was not only busy but also condensed. Further, by inviting the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to closed consultations, the Council demonstrated that human rights were not ignored behind closed doors, he added.
Several representatives lauded the Council’s achievements during the month, including the first resolution on transborder organized crime and terrorism and humanitarian relief in Syria. They also specified areas where progress had been lacking, including in Ukraine and South Sudan. Some described the Council’s failure to achieve a political solution to the Syrian crisis as a “dark chapter”.
The representative of the United States said the Council had been productive in a growing number of areas, which underscored the importance of maintaining focus and identifying priorities. The body should focus on Syria in both its security and humanitarian dimensions and address the crises in Ukraine, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Yemen through greater collective efforts.
As a committed “pen holder”, France had sometimes become “hyperactive”, that country’s representative said, adding that members had always responded with faith in their values and taken decisions with great skill. He expressed hope that the Russian Federation would engage in de-escalating tensions in both words and deed.
The Russian Federation representative said the Council should express concern and take action in “genuine” areas such the threat of Syrian chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorists and the humanitarian obstacles posed by their increased territorial control.
The representative of Argentina said the Council often seemed to be stuck in the logic of the twentieth century and driven by geopolitical considerations rather than those of ethics, even in situations of massive violations of human rights and international law.
It was important for the Council to engage more in regional approaches to resolving crises, the representative of the Republic of Korea said, adding that the open debate on strengthening the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union had been an important opportunity for strategic collaboration.
The representative of Rwanda said his delegation had worked hard to fulfil the pledges it had made while campaigning for a Council seat and expressed hope that lessons learned from initiatives on peacekeeping, improving working methods, and preventing violence against women would be heeded.
The representative of Chile, the incoming Council president, said his country would focus on the deep-seated causes of conflicts and achieving broad solutions in the Middle East, the Democratic People’S Republic of Korea and other areas.
Also speaking today were the representatives of Australia, China, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.