It seems I was being a bit sanguine yesterday when I wrote, “The Council will likely recommend the Secretary General appoint a Special Representative to monitor the harassment of Mugabe’s political opponents and, eventually, help mediate a transition of power.” In fact, the Council was divided over what to do about the situation in Zimbabwe, giving Mugabe’s a brief diplomatic victory. South Africa banded with China and Russia to block a American and British proposals to send a special representative.
Still, as I pointed out at the time, the fact that the opposition was invited to address the Security Council while South Africa was president of the Council is a step forward. Further, the official MDC spin on the meeting does not seem to far off. As an MDC official told Reuters, “the mere fact that the matter was brought forward to the UN Security Council is testimony to the fact that there is a crisis which cannot and should not escape the international community’s eye and attention.” A baby step, perhaps, but we are at least moving in the right direction.