It was at the United Nations Environmental Assembly according to an informed source. The bone of contention appeared to be an issue with a resolution on Gaza. We have now accessed a document going within diplomatic circles on what really transpired. You can also see the tweet from one James Smart who appears to have been at the session or is in on what really transpired. Below is the text of the memo sent by Yvonne Khamati, the Chair of the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee.
To: Dean of the Africa Diplomatic Corps
Ambassador Kelebert Nkomani
Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Amb. Amina Mohammed
African Diplomatic Corps (ADC), Nairobi Chapter
bcc. Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Amb. Monica Juma
From: Chair of the ADC Technical Committee
Ms. Yvonne Khamati
Date: 29 May 2016
Subject: EGYPT’S MIS-CONDUCT DURING THE SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSEMBLY (UNEA 2)
I wish to take this opportunity in my capacity as the Chairperson of the African Diplomatic Corps (ADC) Technical Committee, to brief you, Dean, honourable Cabinet Secretary and the entire African Diplomatic Corps, Nairobi Chapter on Egypt’s undiplomatic, irresponsible, uncivilized and insulting behaviour during the Second Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly.
During the closing session of UNEA-2, 24 resolutions were adopted by member States, which was a triumph for most countries, especially African countries. However, divisions evolved when the resolution on Gaza was not adopted due to procedural issues, that is, a lack of quorum because most delegations had left. As a result, a few African delegations consulted with the delegation of Morocco, in their capacity as Chair of the Arab League and Egypt, with the view to dissuade them from nullifying the resolutions that had already been adopted before the issue of quorum was raised.
During our consultations with Egypt, the head of the Egyptian delegation and current President of AMCEN dismissed our concerns by informing that they would speak in their sovereign capacity and to that extent, referred to Sub-Saharan Africa asDOGS AND SLAVES, in Arabic.
We wish to emphasize that, the African Union was founded on the premise of the principles of equality and non discrimination, be it on colour, creed, race, sex, religion etc.
Therefore the utterances of Egypt expressed by the Office of the President of AMCEN and the head of the Egyptian delegation have no place in the unity of Africa. They are uncivilized, undiplomatic, degrading and insulting of the fabric of Pan-Africanism and undermine these principles.
Furthermore, we believe that the utterances made by Egypt have the potential to undermine UNEP and Africa as its host. Moreover this shows their lack of loyalty towards Africa.
Africa has lost trust and faith in their leadership and we do not believe that they have the moral standing to represent the interest of Africa in ANY
In view of the forgoing, and following an informal post-mortem of the meeting by the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee, we are therefore recommending the following:
(a) That the Arab Republic of Egypt, at the highest level, unreservedly apologize to Africa of the utterances made by the office of the president of AMCEN
(b) That they should not negotiate or take any leadership position on behalf of Africa
(c) They should resign as president of AMCEN with immediate effect
(d) This issue should be raised to the Permanent Representative Committee in Addis Ababa, New York, Vienna, Geneva and subsequently to the Heads of State Summit to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in July, 2016.
We feel that these uncivilized, racist, discriminatory and vindictive utterances do not advance the vision of the 2063 African Agenda and the Pan-Africanism that was advocated by the founding fathers of the African Union.
Ms Yvonne Khamati
Chair of the Africa Diplomatic Corps Technical Committee (on behalf of the African group) “
It remains to be seen what position will be taken by the copied parties or whether Egypt wound consider an immediate apology to the obviously shocked ministers and their individual countries.