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Russell Lee, Audio
NATIONS, September 30 – When Cameroon's
President for the past 30-plus years Paul Biya
came to meet Antonio Guterres on September 22,
before he went back to the Hotel
Inter-Continental in Geneva, he was
accompanied by his state media and... Inner
City Press. According to the UN read-out, the
conversation was entirely positive and did not
mention Biya's abuse of Anglophones, or human
rights in any way. Since then Biya has again
undermined the Internet and rights to
communicate in Southern Cameroons, to which
Inner City Press after asking the UN
four days in a row until exclusion now turns.
Here is a letter sent not only to Inner City
Press, but to the UN Office of the
Spokesperson: "I am writing from Southern
Cameroons. I am pleading you should use your
high office to stop the genocide that
President Biya wants to exercise on the
English speaking Cameroonians. a lot of people
have lost their lives already and yet the
President of Cameroons is seriously planning
to shed more blood. The truth is clear,
the people of southern Cameroons (English
speaking ) was a country of its own that
legally voted to joint La Republic of
Cameroon. But now La Republic of Cameroon are
treating these people as if they colonize them
or conquered them in a war. sir use your
conscience, it could have been your family
going through what we are going through. Where
is human rights in the 21st Century where
people of a particular nation turns to treat
their fellow brothers and sisters as slaves
and the whole world is reacting as if there is
nothing happening Does it mean that if
tomorrow if I'm in one top position in the
world that has to deal with the society i will
give deaf ears to a situation that has to do
with millions of lives ? what is wrong with
the world today? where is human right? there
is no justice at all? is it that human lives
no longer matters? Please kindly react to stop
the genocide that is about to happen in 48
hours." No response from the UN. Here is
another letter: "Dear Matthew Russell Lee,
Inner City Press: Accept my greetings and that
of those who can't write to you. I am writing
to you from Buea, Southern Cameroons. Am
reacting to your articles on September 28
concerning the crisis in Southern Cameroons.
The approach of the UN concerning the Southern
Cameroons and it people, proves time and again
that the UN must be very corrupt, and have
turned it back against in commitment to
protect human rights freedoms, and states
sovereignty. How can the Secretary General be
talking of his to consolidate peace and the
Territorial integrity of Cameroon, when knows
very well that, the UN holds no legal treaty
that binds the British Southern Cameroons with
LA Republique DU Cameroun? I hereby want to
inform you that, I, as well as an overwhelming
majority have chosen to separate from la
Republique DU Cameroun because of what we have
gone through in 56 of forced union. If the
government of la République du Cameroun,
considered us Southern Cameroonians as a
people with the same rights as Francophones,
if the government wanted to make peace and
resolve this problem from it core, I think the
repression taking place now won't have been.
While you published on the Cameroon crises
yesterday, the government of la Republique DU
Cameroun became violently repressive and
attacked and beating people their homes,
taking seizing money and smart phones, and
taking them to jail. As am writing to you now,
six people were shot yesterday in the town of
Ekona, and a grandmother was killed by the
military in her home. 14 years old kids are
being arrested and detained in jails under
very cruel conditions. Since the beginning of
this crises since November last year, 112
people have been killed by the military of la
Republique DU Cameroun. The la République du
Cameroun's government have been using
terrorism blackmail the peaceful protests. I
hereby call on the Secretary General to read
the the UN charter on human right and
freedoms, and the right for self governance."
Biya's renewed attacks on the Internet have
ranged from Bamenda to Kumbo and Kumba, but
are being circumvented by VPNs. Meanwhile
Inner City Press is receiving video of
protests in front of the Inter-Continental
Hotel in Geneva where Biya is staying.
Guterres praised Biya, then belatedly called
on him to dialogue: while Biya is not even in
the country. His landing in Geneva: "VP-CAL
used by #PaulBiya, President of Cameroon
(Boeing 777) on 2017/09/26 at 08:56:46." We
ran this sample letter to Inner City Press: "
woke up this morning and discovered Internet
Services in Cameroon have somehow been
limited. I am suspected the regime of Paul
Biya have tampered with the internet service
and Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, VPNs,
Vcontact aren't working. I am sure many
other social media have been cut off as well.
There have been plans to celebrate the symbolic independence of this region 'the Former British Southern Cameroons' on the 1st of October 2017. That is on Sunday and the region have been heavily militarized by the Biya regime, Homes of people invaded, beaten , some killed, many kidnapped and with this shutdown to major social media to which it is where most of these crimes are exposed, many have been fearing a total Genocide that can be perpetrated on the people of that region. There were rumors that, the internet will be shutdown come 30th September. The Minister of Communications made a public communique two days ago to say, the internet won't be shutdown but I guess it was just a ploy as through some websites are working, major social medias ( Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter) have been cut off. Please, make the world know what is happening in this region. This is a sly move to blackout to the world what atrocities the Biya's regime is/will be perpetrating in these regions." In Fiango, Biya's security forces have killed, reportedly Enogene Basile, following their September 28 killings in Ekona. Watch this site. Inner City Press on September 26, 27 and 28 asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about these glaring omissions. The first time, Dujarric alluded to "private" diplomacy. Then on September 27 when Inner City Press asked ask, video here, Dujarric said that UN envoy Francois Fall will be going to Cameroon "next week." On September 28, Inner City Press asked Dujarric deputy Farhan Haq if this would be before or after October 1, and Haq said he didn't know. Hours later, Dujarric's office put out a statement of concern below, which many see as too little, too late, with its emphasis on territorial integrity. On September 29, Inner City Press asked Dujarric not only about the UN's surveillance of the Press, on which he refused to answer referring to the question to the UN Department of Public Information whose chief Alison Smale has refused to answer basic questions for a month, but also if Guterres' concern is at threats to those in Anglophone Cameroon to stay indoors or be treated as "terrorists," for citing UN General Assembly Resolution 1608. Video here. Dujarric replied that he doesn't have "granularity" about what's being done and said. But he put this out: "The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the situation in Cameroon, including with regard to the recent security incidents in Bamenda and in Douala, and mounting tensions in the South-West and North-West regions related to planned events on 1 October. The Secretary-General has encouraged the Cameroonian authorities to continue their efforts to address the grievances of the Anglophone community. He urges the authorities to promote measures of national reconciliation aimed at finding a durable solution to the crisis, including by addressing its root causes. The Secretary-General supports upholding the unity and territorial integrity of Cameroon and urges all parties to refrain from acts that could lead to an escalation of tension and violence. The Secretary-General believes that genuine and inclusive dialogue between the Government and the communities in the South-West and North-West regions is the best way to preserve the unity and stability of the country. The Secretary-General stands ready to support these efforts, including through the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA). " We'll see. On September 26, Dujarric replied that Guterres would say there is a time for public diplomacy, and a time for private diplomacy. Video here. Some wonder, how many people have to die, or what kind of people, for it to be time for UN "public" diplomacy? Earlier on September 22 Inner City Press interviewed Southern Cameroonians out on 47th Street, then asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about people killed that very day. UN transcript here and below. The crackdown is also financial: Biya's Minister of Finance has threatened the National Frincne Credit Bank in Bamenda with loss of its license for taking part in the "Ghost Town" expression of desire for independence, or in the first instance a referendum. See letter here. This politicization should trigger action by the "decision making phere" [sic] written about by Biya's state media, the kind of media that the UN and now its new head of Public Information favor over independent press. From the September 22 UN transcript: Inner City Press: there’s a protest right now of Southern Cameroonians on 47th Street, but more importantly, there’s one in Southern Cameroon where five people have been killed today, as Paul Biya gave his speech, so I’m wondering… I know the Deputy Secretary-General had some interest in the issue. There’s Mr. [Francois Lonseny] Fall. Are they aware of these protests? Spokesman: "We’ve seen the reports I think we would definitely… we would call on the authorities to show restraint and ensure that people have the right to demonstrate freely." But on the UN's 27th floor, it was all smiles. And much later the UN put this read-out on its website: "The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon. The Secretary-General appreciated Cameroon’s hospitality towards the refugees.
They discussed the latest political developments in the country, as well as regional issues, including Boko Haram and the situation in the Central African Republic. The Secretary commended Cameroon for its efforts to combat Boko Haram, and reiterated the readiness of the United Nations to support the Government in all areas." No mention of the Anglophone areas, much less the day's killings. This is a new low, even for today's UN. UN Department of Political Affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman had left the floor with the Australian delegation; it was unclear if any UN Human Rights official was present. One of Biya's handlers even signed the UN visitors book in advance for him. When Guterres greeted his next visitor he did so in French then apologized, the last meeting was in French.
Russell Lee, exclusive; video here
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, September 9 – The UN is
both unprepared and unfair in the run-up to
the 72nd General Assembly high level week,
which the UN brags will include 90 heads of
state, five vice presidents, 36 heads of
government, 3 deputy prime ministers and 55
background briefing on September 8, a UN
Department of Public Information official told
Inner City Press that the current
nearly-useless wifi Internet “should” be fixed
in time, and that “there will be a secondary
pass for RC to go to basement area, 1B,
limited to resident correspondents” - a group
of less than 200 of the several thousand
journalist the UN says are coming.
Press asked, Why are these passes limited in
that way? The UN official said, “That's the
arrangement with Security and with the UNCA
[UN Correspondents Association] because we
have to find some distinction.”
So the UN let
a group of at most 200 insiders limit the
access of thousands of other journalists, with
no transparency. This Department of Public
Information has been headless since April 1;
New York Times journalist Alison Smale was
named by Secretary General Antonio Guterres as
replacement but has apparently not arrived:
she has not answered e-mailed questions about
these elitist “distinctions.” Actually, the
200 UNCA insiders include numerous rarely seen
state media, for example Akhbar al Yom from
Sisi's Egypt, making the “distinction” all the
when Inner City Press was for assurance that
at least the UN Press Briefing Room would be
open to all journalists, the UN official said
while missions are told that, there is no
guarantee, the Media Accreditation office does
not make the bookings. Those are done by the
UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, who has a
history as noted by the Free UN
Coalition for Access of
"lending" the UN Press Briefing Room to the
president of his native France, and to UNCA, evicting the
Press which tried to cover the
event with Periscope.
The UN is
closing in on itself, while bragging about all
the important people coming to see it. The
reformed needed at the UN go well beyond those
alluded to in the pre-signed outcome document
of the September 18 event. That reform event,
tellingly, is not even mentioned on the UN's
list so far of UNGA72 events:
Opening of the 72nd Session of the General
Assembly (Preliminary list of items in the
High-Level Meeting on the Prevention of Sexual
Exploitation and Abuse;
September: General Debate of the General
Assembly 72nd Session;
Signing Ceremony of the Treaty for the
Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
Security Council High Level Meeting: Reform of
UN peacekeeping, implementation and follow-up;
High-level plenary meeting to promote and
commemorate the International Day for the
Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons;
September: High -level meeting of the General
Assembly on the appraisal of the United
Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat
Trafficking in Persons (resolution 71/287).
Watch this site.September 4, 2017
Russell Lee, Video
NATIONS, August 29 – More than nineteen months
ago, acting against Press coverage of Ban
Ki-moon's links to UN corruption cases, the UN
Department of Public Information (DPI) had
Inner City Press physically
ousted from the UN. Audio
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 23– After the UN was exposed
as having been bought and corrupted by
Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, convicted
less than a month ago on six counts of UN
bribery, money laundering and Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act violations, what has changed?
spokesmen for new Secretary General Antonio
Guterres evade the questions
asked by Inner City Press, for example about
the UN rewarding
Ng for his South South News' coverage of Ban
Ki-moon's Central America trip in 2015, murky
uses of the UN and its building, movement
inside which Inner City Press is still
restricted for its anti-corruption coverage,
example, on August 23-24 the UN General
Assembly Hall is still scheduled be taken over
by an NGO named “World Development Foundation”
headed by Guo Xiangang. Attended list and
junket offer below; voice mail after UN
refused to answer, here,
UN Spokesman's one-quarter answer, below;
here. In a third voicemail, an interview
of with the Ambassador of Suriname, just as he
was interviewed by South South News in Macau,
was offered here.
But Inner City Press' questions were and are
to the UN, how it vetted the NGOs -
UNanswered. Now a fourth voicemail, here,
asking that Inner City Press take down
article(s) - and, on August 23, the event was
not taking place in either the General
Assembly Hall, nor Conference Room 4. We'll
have more on this. Inner City Press first
reported on this group in May
2016, noting that the UN Department of
Public Information was partnering with a group
that at that time did not even have a website.
This came after DPI's then-chief Cristina
Gallach did no
due diligence of Ng Lap Seng's purchase
of events in the UN lobby and even its slavery
memorial, then evicted
Inner City Press after it asked
her about her links to Ng's South South
Awards. The UN's holdover Spokesman Stephane
Dujarric has been involved, including in both
the eviction and continuing restrictions. On
August 22, Inner City Press asked and e-mailed
Dujarric about the August 22-24 event. Video here;
UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: there's an event this week
in the General Assembly, and some of the
sponsors are those who attended the Macau
event sponsored and paid for by Ng Lap Seng in
August 2015 just before he was indicted and
arrested. So, I wanted to know — maybe
you can find this out today — it's said that
it's going to be webcast.
Spokesman: What's the event? I don't, what's the event?
Inner City Press: The event has to do with sustainable tourism. It's sponsored by an NGO and two Member States, both of whom went to Macau. So, my question to you is, you've said the things have radically cleaned up…What's the UN's role in the event… Who's paying for the-
Spokesman: I need… drop me off a piece of paper with information about the event and I will…
Inner City Press: I'm going to give you the email as well, the one about…
Inner City Press: …Yiping Zhou and the one that you said you hadn't seen.
Spokesman: Okay, thank you.
City Press immediately sent Dujarric as well
as his top two deputies the Yiping Zhou email
and some questions. Five hours later when he
left, Dujarric had not answered nor even, as
requested, confirmed receipt. After 8 pm one
of the sponsors called Inner City Press, audio
But the answer should come from the UN
Secretariat, which had been asked eight hours
previously. Inner City Press called the caller
how to ask Dujarric, and Dujarric did respond
to this NGO, emailing Inner City Press: "Dear
Matthew, The event is sponsored that the
Mission of Suriname. They are responsible for
the content of the event and we have been
assured that no one is being charged for this
event. Sincerely, Steph." But this didn't
answer the questions that Inner City Press had
asked (while showing that Dujarric had
received them - we'll have more on this, and this).
Inner City Press had sent Dujarric the
information about the event: "Sustainable
Tourism development projects from other Member
States will also be introduced. Special Guests
Include: Mr. Carlos Vogeler, UN World Tourism
Organization, Executive Director and Regional
Director for the Americas; Ms. Shavani Vora,
NY Times Travel Columnist, Invited' Ms.
Alexandrine Wan, Sustainable Tourism Advocate,
H.E. Ambassador Loreen Bannis-Roberts, Permanent Representative, Dominica Mission to the United Nations; Peter Claesson, Indigo Travel, Sweden; Neelam Melanie, Second Secretary, Kingdom of Netherlands Mission to the United Nations; Robert Watson, Noted Author and Tourism Strategist; Amir Dossal, President and Founder, Global Partnerships Forum; Peter Tichnsky, President and CEO, Business Council for International; Understanding; Laura Choi, Resort-wear Sustainable Fashion Designer, Invited
Vincent Fuentes, Director, WFUNA Tours
Dr. Joshua Weiss, Harvard faculty, Abraham Path Initiative; Suzanne Carlson, President, Carlson Maritime Travel; Anderson Pilgrim, Caribbean Travel Initiatives (CTO and CARICOM Report); Michelle Guelbart, ECPAT Report on Responsible Tourism; Edward H Hall III, Bureau of Indian Affairs Tourism Specialist Plus a SPECIAL FAMILIARIZATION TOUR TO GUYANA AND SURINAME will be announced for travel media, travel professionals and others. October date... under the auspices of His Excellency Ambassador Henry MacDonald, Permanent Mission of Suriname to the United Nations and His Excellency Michael Ten-Pow, Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations. The program is produced and developed by the World Development Foundation, Dr. Guo Xiangang, President. Patrick Sciarratta is the Conference Manager for the two-day proceedings; Conference Coordinator is Dominique Schwenner; Ms. Zephanii Smith is Public Relations Liaison. Cristina Fan is the Conference Administrator." Ng paid for the trip to Macau, which at least two sponsors and the vice president of the UN Correspondents Association attended. There are photos of DPI officials with Guo Xiangang. The cover, just as Ng Lap Seng used the Dominican Republic's Francis Lorenzo and a number of other states, in this case are Suriname and Guyana, both of whose Permanent Representatives attended Ng Lap Seng's Macau event in August 2015 and were interviewed by South South News, here and here. This week in attendance will be the Permanent Representative of Dominca, whose Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was the only head of state who went to Ng Lap Seng's Macau event, along with the vice president of the United Nations Correspondents Association.
As Inner City
Press reported and pursued, the UN
Correspondents Association took payment from
Ng' South South News for full page ads, then
provided the venue for Ng's and Vivian Wang's
photo op with Ban Ki-moon. It was for seeking
to cover the UNCA event in the UN Press
Briefing Room, “lent” without paperwork by
Ban's and Guterres' spokesman Stephane
Dujarric, that Inner City Press was evicted
and is still restricted.
Russell Lee, Exclusive on Juma
NATIONS, August 19 – After the murder of
Kenyan electoral official Chris Msando, Inner
City Press on August 1 put the question at the
UN to Secretary General Antonio Guterres'
spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here and
below. After Kenya
moved to de-register a second human rights
group, Inner City Press asked lead UN
Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on August 15, UN
and below. Inner City Press has learned, and
exclusively reports, that Kenya(tta) foreign
Monica Juma has been offered a top job in
Jeffrey Feltman's UN Department of Political
Affairs, to replace Taye-Brook Zerihoun. She
was granted six months to "sit" on the job, to
help Kenya(tta), as one source put it to Inner
City Press. Now the dismissive or vague
position of today's UN to press freedom is
further exemplified by silence on the reported
detention at gunpoint of blogger Robert Alai,
here. The UN's resident coordinator in Kenya
has for example blocked the critical Press on
Twitter; UN Spokesman Farhan Haq on August 19
had no specific comment when Inner City Press
asked about detentions by Morocco of citizen
journalists reporting on the crackdown in Rif.
(Lead UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric evicted
Inner City Press and still restricts it, for
its coverage in the Press Briefing Room of the
UN bribery case against now-conficted Ng Lap
Seng.) The UN is losing its way, including in
Kenya. On August 18, Inner City Press asked UN
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner
City Press: In Kenya, now the EU has
called for the making public of the local
results. There seems to be more and more
question about the way they were conveyed, and
a lot of international actors that don't have
as big a presence in Nairobi as the UN does
have called for this type of data to be
produced. I wanted to know what is the
UN's… he's already… the Secretary-General's
already, you know, congratulated and
apparently, called the results final,
President Kenyatta, but what is the UN's… does
the UN join these calls for the release of
those data, or what's their position?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, our position has been that any complaints need to be worked out through the established system. Apparently, there are signs from the various parties that that is what's going on and we will monitor that process as it continues.
Inner City Press: And I wanted to ask. I became aware yesterday that… that… and I would like you to confirm that the DPA position currently held by Tayé-Brook Zerihoun has been offered to a Monica Juma, who is a Kenyan Government official in the Foreign Ministry, and I would like to know… apparently, the position was given to her, and she was given six months to take it or not so that this process would take place.
What is the, what is the status of that second highest position in DPA currently, and why wasn't it advertised?
Deputy Spokesman: Well, at this, at this point, as you know, Mr. Zerihoun has the post. When there's another appointment to be made, we'll announce that, but we have not made another announcement.
Inner City Press: But why wouldn't a position of that height be, be advertised for people to apply?
Deputy Spokesman: We have processes that, that apply to all of the various high positions. I believe we have competitive processes, including interview processes, for, for all of the senior position, and we'll make the announcement when it happens. I wouldn't have any confirmation of how this process was carried about, but, and at this stage, like I said, I don't have an announcement for Mr. Zerihoun, even for any departure. Once we have that announcement, we'll, we'll make that.
August 17, amid lack of transparency about the
detention and itinerary of a UN official on
leave, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy
Spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: as you may know in Kenya,
the former or future DPA (Department of
Political Affairs) employee Roselyn Akombe,
who has given a leave of absence to work on
the Electoral Commission there, attempted to
leave the country and was detained at the
airport. It’s now said that she’s come to New
York for meetings. So, I wanted to know
two things. Number one, is she having
any meeting with the UN, since you said she’s
coming to New York on official business?
Number two, when she was given this leave of
absence — it’s become quite
controversial. As you know, the
commission is getting sued for being not less
than impartial — did the Ethics Office look at
this granting of a leave of absence?
What’s her current status with the UN?
And, also, it’s come up because she appealed
to the US embassy there. For purposes of
UN, is she from Kenya or from the United
Deputy Spokesman: I wouldn’t have any comment on her nationality. I don’t comment on the nationality of staff members. But… [inaudible]
Question: Given that the person was detained and… okay.
Deputy Spokesman: But I am aware that she was on a leave of absence. At some point, I believe, fairly soon, it will be expiring and then she will return to her duties in the Department of Political Affairs.
Question: So she has no contacts in the UN during this week? Because it’s a big story in Kenya that she’s come to New York and she says she coming to New York for work related to the election. So, I guess my question to you is, does this New York visit have any UN connection?
Deputy Spokesman: I wouldn’t comment on her work until she’s re-joined the United Nations. She’s not… at the time that she’s on leave, she is a separate individual. Ms. Akombe, at some point, will re-join the Department of Political Affairs, and then she’ll be a UN staffer.
NATIONS, August 11 – When the UN Security
Council belatedly met about Yemen on July
12, only three of the Council members
spoke in the open meeting: Uruguay, Bolivia
and Sweden. Uruguay cited an airstrike on a
market and noted that the rebels don't have
air support. Now on August 11 the UN's often
invisible envoy on Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh
Ahmed has gone public on Twitter with his love
of churros, tweeting an article in
Cosmopolitan magazine urging readers to book a
trip to California immediately. Inner City
Press preserved the ice cream shot in a
in part because IOCA has a pattern of blocking
journalists on Twitter, which the Free UN Coalition
for Access has questioned along with
other UN censorship. On August 8, Inner City
Press asked about the bombings, and the UN's
envoy, to the UN Spokesman. From the UN transcript:
Inner City Press: You may have seen the
International Committee of the Red Cross has
issued deep concern about airstrikes on Sa’ada
and Taizz in great detail. They issued
this today. And so, inevitably people
wonder, given that the UN has a Special Envoy
on Yemen, is he equally as concerned, either
Spokesman: I think we have… The UN system, through its Resident Coordinator, expressed its concern at the airstrikes and the death of children and civilians over the weekend. Anyone who works for the UN is obviously troubled and concerned about the continuing suffering of the civilians, and that's why the Special Envoy is continuing his work and trying… and keep… and not giving up on trying to get the parties around a political settlement. And I think, if you… as I'm sure you do pay attention to the various Security Council briefings, I think our outrage at the continuing deaths and suffering of civilians is clear.
NATIONS, August 4 – After the UN bribery
verdict of six guilty counts against Ng Lap
Seng was delivered by the jury on July 27,
Inner City Press began asking the UN about the
people still at the UN who were shown to have
worked for or taking money from Ng, or both.
So far the UN has done nothing. For example,
the trial exposed the role of Carlos Garcia,
former Salvadoran Ambassador and since then a
bridge for NGOs, in helping "free" Lorenzo's
bribe money from Ng. On August 4, Inner City
Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN
here: Inner City Press: has to do with
the Ng Lap Seng case, believe it or not.
In the case, among the evidence that… that
came out leading to the guilty verdict was
evidence of former Permanent Representative of
El Salvador, Carlos Garcia, assisting Francis
Lorenzo in getting ill-gotten gains released
from the Dominican Republic. I've asked
you about him before because, since serving as
a permanent representative, he seems to be a
kind of bridge to NGOs [non-governmental
organizations]. He had an NGO called
Global Governance for the UNSDGs. I
still see him around 1B squiring people
around. So, my request to you is, given…
and, again I don't know if OIOS [Office of
Internal Oversight Services] tracked the case
or not. Given what was shown on the
screen and put into evidence regarding his
assistance in Mr. Francis Lorenzo getting
bribe money released, does he have some, he
has some kind of a pass. Is there some
kind of emeritus status for diplomats, or how
it does it work?
Spokesman: I'm not aware of any em… emeritus, yeah, emeritus status except for journalists, so I will look into it. Thank you.
Russell Lee, Video
NATIONS, July 28 – After the UN bribery
verdict of six guilty counts against Ng Lap
Seng was delivered by the jury late on July
27, UN Spokesman
Farhan Haq who has
repeatedly dodged questions
about the case from Inner
City Press was quoted
by Reuters that the UN was
"a victim of these crimes"
that "We are exploring the
possibility of requesting
restitution as a victim to
these crimes, including
recovering expenses incurred
to provide the requested
cooperation." Inner City Press
asked UN Spokesman Haq on
July 28 to
explain how the UN is
the victim, and how it
dares say it should be
get for corruption.
from Minute 8:40. Haq
said, This is the
position of our Legal
Council. Now Inner
has asked above. Watch
this site. The
UN even refused to tell the
prosecution whom it spoke to
for its Task Force Report,
which said it has no ethical
standards. The UN will ask
for money, while paying
nothing to the 10,000 people
it killed in Haiti? Reuters
doesn't even raise that - it
has a conflict of
interest. UN official
Ion Butnaru put the name of
Ng's company Sun Kian Ip
Group into a General
Assembly resolution long
after it was voted on, took
a free trip to Macau and an
iPad there. Victim? Ng's
company South South News
bought full page ads in the
ball program of the UN
then went to their ball at
Cipriani and got photos with
then Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon. (Reuters then as
now had a seat on UNCA's
board, something not
disclosed in its coverage of
Ng and the UN). A current UN
official Meena Sur was shown
in the trial to have held on
Ng's brochure for his
planned Macau conference
Center. The UN remains
UNreformed. Inner City
Press, which has covered the
scandal from the beginning
and remains restricted by
the UN for its coverage,
rushed down to the
courthouse and asked Ng Lap
Seng, as he left by the side
door to Worth Street, what
he thinks of the UN and
those there who took his
money and favors, a list
well beyond John Ashe and
Francis Lorenzo. Periscope
He did not answer,
understandable. He will be
back in court on August 7
for arguments on if his
house arrest can continue.
Before Ng left, Inner City
Press witnessed his lawyers
leaving. They told the judge
they will appeal. But now
that Ng is guilty, will the
UN act on those exposed as
corrupt, and reverse its
Seng's $3 billion UN convention center plan
had been assisted by Meena Sur, still working
for the UN Department of General Assembly and
Conference Management. Inner City Press asked
the UN spokesman Farhan Haq, who dodged by
saying the UN was waiting for the verdict. But
the UN is not on trial, because it has and
UN official Navid
Hanif attended Ng Lap Seng's murky
event in Macau in August 2015, and remains at
at the UN. Spokesman Haq refused to answer
about him, while telling Inner City Press that
lower UN staff member Frances Fuller
“separated from service” in September 2016,
just after Inner City Press asked about her.
Lorenzo, who took more money from Ng than the
now deceased John Ashe, was given
a UN.org email address by DGACM despite never
being pictured among Ashe's Special Advisers,
and never giving up his day job as the
Dominican Republic's Deputy Permanent
Even on July
26, DGACM's Executive Officer told Inner City
Press that the UN still hands such UN
credential to anyone whom a President of the
General Assembly tells them too. So nothing
has been reformed.
of Public Information under Cristina
Gallach took Ng Lap Seng's money for its
slavery memorial, and allowed fraudulent
events in the UN lobby. But UN lead
spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who allowed the
content of Ng's South South News to be
included in UNTV archives under his watch,
said this was just an issue of “judgment,” not
Correspondents Association, to whom Dujarric “lent” the UN
Press Briefing Room then evicted and still
restricts Inner City Press for seeking to
cover the event
to see if they discussed taking South South
News' money and providing a venue for Ng's
photo op with Ban Ki-moon, did not have a
single member correspondent covering the
month-long UN bribery case. Other dubious
events were being hosted.
And so, while
awaiting the jury's verdict on Ng Lap Seng -
which may be not guilty given how corrupt the
UN and the star witness against him Francis
Lorenzo have been shown to be - it is clear
that the UN has not reformed and remains
corruption and a censor, seven months into the
reign of “new” Secretary General Antonio
Guterres. It is the UN that should be
prosecuted, or invited to leave. Watch this
Russell Lee, Photo
By Matthew Russell LeeUNITED NATIONS, July 14 –In the ongoing UN bribery trial of Ng Lap Seng, on July 13 a UN witness, for which the UN only partially waived its claimed immunity, testified that Ng Lap Seng as a gambling casino magnate should have been excluded from any business with the UN Development Program, or all review of dealing with him "escalated" to then Administrator Helen Clark. The witness, Simon Hannaford of UNDP, was walked through UNDP documents about due diligence and yes, the UN Global Compact. But Ng Lap Seng gave money to UNDP's Office of South South Cooperation, for the Macau event that had UN Secretariat (and UN Correspondents Association) attendance. So who has been held accountable? Inner City Press rushed from the courthouse and to the UN noon briefing, through the tourist entrance since the UN Department of Public Information and the Spokesman Stephane Dujarric had it evicted and still restricted. But when Inner City Press asked Dujarric simple questions, such as about the scope of the waiver the UN gave for Hannaford's testimony and who has been held accountable for taking Ng's money, Dujarric refused to answer a single question. Dujarric claimed that OSSC, which has not held any press conference, is accessible and transparent. False. So on July 14, Inner City Press asked again, specifically about accountability at the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management, where a GA resolution was changed to include Ng Lap Seng's company's name, and the Department of Public Information. Video here. This time Dujarric said that "the audit" shows that there was an "issue of judgment," not malfeasance at DPI. Well, here is the audit. And, while at DPI Dujarric was in charge of UNTV when, mysteriously, video of Ng' South South News got incorporated into UNTV archives. We'll have more on this. Watch this site.July 10, 2017
Russell Lee, Video
NATIONS, June 30 – Days after UN cholera victims
City Press in Haiti that the
UN Secretary General
Press would be
Inner City Press. This
advocate" - on
the UN killed?
30 Inner City
transcript here: Inner
City Press: in
there was the
Haiti. [Periscope here.]
And the issue
still in terms
of the UN, you
living up to
I've seen a
guess, at the
Is it possible
in early July
to get her
going to be
Spokesman: We can see what we can do.
Inner City Press: to your knowledge, has anything been raised or does she have a position on individual reparations? [@InnerCityPress also asked on Twitter, here.]
Spokesman: We'll see what we can do.
Past 4 pm,
nothing, even as
June 28 Inner
"new" approach to the
cholera the UN
Haiti meant he
the UN transcript:
the UN having
In this case
that the UN
which I think
would say this
that will be
reflected in a
is it the UN's
it bears no
Spokesman: Our legal position is unchanged. The UN's effort as outlined by the Secretary-General is focusing on preventing the spread or resurgence of cholera in Haiti and helping communities in a first instance.
Inner City Press: And what's the status of his discussions with countries about the $40 million that…?
Spokesman: I've nothing more to say than what the Secretary-General himself announced.
the UN's June 27
Haiti, as the
the… the Press
that was part
of the trip
and said very
said as a
as a stepping
back from the
that was in
2016 report by
then Secretary General
years old, who
useless to me,
do nothing for
I wanted to
really the way
that I read what
What is the
to make at
died and have
Spokesman: First of all, our hearts go out to all the people who suffered from the cholera epidemic, either personally or through the loss of loved ones. I think the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General were very clear in outlining the way forward. The focus will be initially on community-based projects, and we're taking things one step at a time. But, I can't really go any further than what the Secretary-General himself said.
Inner City Press: But, he seemed to say that individual was not being considered.
Spokesman: Things are progressing. We're taking things one step at a time.
what has been the
United Nations' real impact
on Haiti? There will be
longer answers to that
questions - watch this site
- but for now a vignette.
After two days of speed
meetings with the President,
trainers, proud peacekeepers
from India and Brazil, some
civil society reps followed
by businessmen with flash
drives, a UN bus raced over
ragged streets on June 24.
Russell Lee, Video
NEW YORK, June
25 – What has been
the United Nations' impact
on Haiti? There will be
longer answers to that
questions - watch this site
- but for now a vignette.
After two days of speed
meetings with the President,
trainers, proud peacekeepers
from India and Brazil, some
civil society reps followed
by businessmen with flash
drives, a UN bus raced over
ragged streets on June 24.
NATIONS, June 16 – While in some places the UN
system may be doing good work, its killing of
more and 10,000 Haitians with cholera, and its
years of denial, have been a low point. On
June 14 the new (well, 162 day old) UN
presented what it called a new approach on
cholera - not long after Secretary General
Antonio Guterres' delayed approach to the UN's
lead poisoning victims in Kosovo was
criticized. Inner City Press asked the UN
about it on June 16, in the run-up to the UN
Security Council's visit to Haiti next week
(we will cover that). From the UN's June 16
noon briefing, video
Inner City Press: on Haiti, I went back and
looked at what Amina Mohammed said, that
'there are no funds for Track 2, and we
propose to take a community approach. ' And
I'm sure you've seen a number of advocates —
Mario Joseph, other well-known, long-time
Haiti cholera activists — have said this is an
outrage, that basically what the
Secretary-General announced, Ban Ki-moon at
the end of his tenure, is being totally
rejected, and any consultation with the
affected communities will take place after
this speech by Amina Mohammed.
Spokesman: I don't think it's being rejected. I think I was asked this question yesterday. We, obviously, are eagerly awaiting funds. But, I think… I don't think there's been a change. The challenge for us is the lack of funding.
Inner City Press: But the sentence "we propose to take a community approach", that seems pretty definitive. That seems like, this is the approach that we're taking. Before there were two. Now there's one.
Spokesman: This is the approach that is being taken now. I think it's one step at a time, as we had said in the beginning.
Inner City Press: There's an upcoming visit by the Security Council to Haiti. Do you expect… how is the Secretary-General going to hear from the affected communities, what they believe should happen?
Spokesman: Well, I think, first of all, through our staff on the ground. And, as we've said, we would be appointing an envoy soon.
Russell Lee, New
Russell Lee, New
NATIONS, June 2 – After Inner City Press
repeatedly asked UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres and his spokesman about Cameroon's
Internet cut-off and abuses, the UN's answer
was that its Central Africa envoy Francois
Lonseny Fall would be visiting in May. It
turns out it would be in (early) June, and it
would mostly be about Boko Haram.
On June 1,
Inner City Press asked again - still nothing -
and then on June 2, transcript here:
Press: to ask again about this Cameroon thing,
but I wanted to ask because it was said that
[Francois] Loncény Fall would be there in late
May. Many people were kind of waiting to
hear what he had to say. Yesterday, his
whereabouts, I guess, according to Stéphane,
were not known. What is his comment now
that he's returned to the country?
Deputy Spokesman: Yes, we're checking with our DPA colleagues what we can say about Mr. Loncény Fall's travels. Once we have an update, we'll share it.
hours later, this: "To Matthew Russell Lee,
Inner City Press Re Your Question on Cameroon:
As mentioned previously, the United Nations
Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) and
the UN Country Team in Cameroon continue to
follow events in the country closely. The
Special Representative of the
Secretary-General for Central Africa and Head
of UNOCA, François Louncény Fall, was in
Yaoundé, Cameroon, this week, for the 44th
Ministerial meeting of the United Nations
Standing Advisory Committee on Security
Questions in Central Africa (UNSAC), during
which Cameroon took over the chairmanship of
the Committee. This is SRSG Fall’s fifth
visit to the country since November 2016. He
took this opportunity to meet with a wide
range of Cameroonian interlocutors to address
the persisting tensions and human rights
concerns. SRSG Fall will continue
efforts to engage with all relevant parties
and to monitor the situation in close
cooperation with the Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
see. Representative of the UN system as a
whole, the UN Committee on the Rights of the
Child when it met about Cameroon's report on
May 30 did not ask a single recorded question
about the Anglophone areas, the Internet
cut-off or the GCE scam. It seems it is
today's UN that is a scam. Marie-Therese Abena
Ondoa, Minister for the Promotion of the Woman
and the Family of Cameroon, sung the praises
of the 34-year Paul Biya government. The UN's
Rapporteur on Cameroon, the former Minister of
Health from Togo, Suzanne Aho Assouma, joined
in the praise, as if like France's Ambassador
to the UN told Inner City Press the Internet
cut off was never heard of. Call it
FrancAfrique, reaching all the way into
today's UN Headquarters. Also on May 30 Inner
City Press asked Guterres spokesman Stephane
Dujarric, UN transcript here:
Press: I wanted to ask you, on Cameroon, you'd
said that in May Mr. Francois Loncény Fall
would be going to the country. I don't
know if that's true. I know that he's
going in early June. And I just wanted
to make sure that you were referring to this
meeting of regional security that seems to be
almost entirely about Boko Haram and [Central
African Republic]. Is there anything…
can you say what his agenda is there and if
he's going to raise the Anglophone issue?
Spokesman: I will check.
hours later, typically, nothing. Cameroon's UN
Ambassador Tommo Monthe, who told Inner City
Press that Paul Biya stands ready to cut the
Internet again, and partied with UN Secretary
General Antonio Guterres' Deputy SG and chief
of staff while singing songs for Chantal Biya,
is already at the meeting Fall will attend.
Tommo Monthe is quoted, "We need to exchange
views on all these insecurity situations
before we bring it back to the UN during its
forthcoming general assembly session." On May
29 Fall issued this canned quote: "We will
continue to support efforts of the subregion
in its determination to prevent, to combat and
to bring an end to the uncontrolled flow of
arms in Central Africa. This would strengthen
confidence among states and reassure the
population, the main victims of this
phenomenon, which is also a hindrance to the
sustainable development of Central Africa."
This is the focus on Lonseny Fall's much-hyped
visit to Yaounde, while Guterres' Deputy SG
and chief of staff party with Paul Biya's
representative amid songs
for Chantal Biya and French champagne.
We'll have more on this. Well over a week ago,
Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General
Antonio Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane
Dujarric about Cameroon administering in areas
to which it cut off the Internet for 94 days a
General Certificate of Education test,
specifically citing UNESCO. Dujarric said he
would look into it. Having received no answer
even as Guterres' Deputy and Chief of Staff
appeared at Cameroon's (boycotted) national
day, on May 23 Inner City Press asked again
about this, and Amnesty International's press
conference on 10 year sentences to students
(whose jokes included the GCEs) being shut
down. After Dujarric on May 25 had no answer
on this, on May 26 Inner City Press asked his
deputy, Farhan Haq, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: Do you have anything on
Cameroon and Amnesty, the closing down of the
Amnesty press conference about 10-year jail
sentences for students that I asked Stéphane
about two days ago?
Deputy Spokesman: What we can say is simply that we hope that the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly will be respected in Cameroon. Have a good weekend, everyone.
it? On May 24 Dujarric said he had an answer
from UNESCO - that he never provided to Inner
City Press, and apparently would never have,
if not asked again. From the UN transcript:
Inner City Press: today in Yaoundé, Cameroon,
Amnesty International had scheduled a press
conference about three teenager students
sentenced to ten-year prison sentences for
joking in text messages about Boko
Haram. So, I wanted to know, they…
basically, this was closed down. The press
conference was disallowed. Many human
rights groups have said it's an outrage. And I
noticed yesterday evening, the Deputy
Secretary-General and the Chef de Cabinet were
both at the National Day of Cameroon on 73rd
Street in New York. So, I wanted to
know, what does the UN think of… of this
country that just recently celebrated its
National Day with these two officials shutting
out Amnesty International, sentencing students
to ten-year prison sentences…
Spokesman: I'll look into the case. I have not…
Inner City Press: Did you ever look into the testing thing? I'd asked you about administering a test…
Spokesman: Yes, I think… we were given some guidance by UNESCO...
Now here it
is: "Your question on the Cameroon tests:
Regarding a previous query on a test being
administered in the Anglophone regions of
Cameroon despite the regions being affected by
school closures and a internet blackout, while
this is not an issue covered by UNOCA, but
rather UNESCO, UNOCA has informed that there
have been reports of abstentions from the
examinations in the North West and South-West
regions of the country. We are not aware of
any reports of these tests being taken at
gunpoint. Nonetheless it is of concern
that these examinations [General Certificate
of Education] were held, despite school
closures and the internet blackout for over
three months, which disrupted normal
activities. However that is an issue for the
relevant national authorities to respond to.
UNOCA, in close cooperation with the Acting
Resident Coordinator, is monitoring the
situation in the North West and South West
regions of Cameroon and will continue to
liaise with the authorities to promote a
peaceful resolution to the grievances of the
NATIONS, May 28 – Inner City Press asked UN
Secretary General Antonio Guterres why he
hasn't released his budget speech, or reform
plans on May 25, the day after Guterres'
spokesman Stephane Dujarric refused to provide
the speech to Inner City Press when it asked.
Guterres paused then said it should be public,
seeming to believe that Dujarric had, in fact,
released it. Video
here. But he had not and has not, after
three days later. Instead, Dujarric's office
has selectively provided read-outs of some few
of Guterres' meeting, to some on the basis of
the money or power of the countries requesting
transparency. Previously, Inner City Press
asked Dujarric three times for any read-out of
Guterres' meeting with the Dominican Republic'
foreign minister, who afterward said the issue
of the UN's dubious impact on Haiti was
discussed. No read-out was provided, Now,
Dujarric issues the below, what's the
difference? "n response to questions received
on the meeting between the Secretary-General
and Prime Minister Abe of Japan, the Spokesman
had the following to say: During their meeting
in Sicily, the Secretary-General and Prime
Minister Abe did discuss the issue of
so-called “comfort women”. The
Secretary-General agreed that this is a matter
to be solved by an agreement between Japan and
the Republic of Korea. The Secretary-General
did not pronounce himself on the content of a
specific agreement but on the principle that
it is up to the two countries to define the
nature and the content of the solution for
this issue. Regarding the report of Special
Rapporteurs, the Secretary-General told the
Prime Minister that Special Rapporteurs are
experts that are independent and report
directly to the Human Rights Council." Again,
what's the difference? On May 26 Dujarric's
deputy Farhan Haq again refused,
saying that the UN responds to member states
(not We the Peoples). It was Dujarric who
evicted Inner City Press, and has kept it
restricted in its movements in the UN for the
144 days so far of Guterres' tenure. On May
25, Inner City Press asked Dujarric again, video
be damned? UN May 25 transcript here:
Inner City Press: I just now asked the
Secretary-General about what I had asked you
yesterday, about whether his speech at ACABQ can
be released and whether his reform proposals
will be released. He seemed to, maybe I
misunderstood and you can look at the video, but
he seemed to think that it had been released so
I wanted to ask you, can it be released?
Also… Go ahead.
On May 26, Inner City Press asked Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Jeffrey Feltman said that the proposal for the new office has been, I guess, approved by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions. And since yesterday in this room, the idea was that's all confidential, I wanted to just know, first, is it true, did Mr. Feltman say that? Is it true that ACABQ has signed off on it? And if it's true that the UN can speak about ACABQ, can we get a copy of the Secretary-General's speech to ACABQ given earlier this week?
Deputy Spokesman: No. The, the speech was basically about the budget proposals which are available as a document, as Stéphane pointed out earlier this week.
Inner City Press: I, I searched it, and it said document not available on the UN document site. I’d like the speech.
Deputy Spokesman: You know, you can deal with my colleagues with the document, but there's no remarks to share for the public. Regarding the particular proposal, there's a proposal that's going to go before the General Assembly, and you'll be able to see what happens once they consider it.
Inner City Press: Right, but I guess it goes back to [inaudible] question. In most Governments in the world, an executive like the Secretary-General, the executive branch, will announce publicly what its proposals are. Just the fact that to only announce it after it's been approved by the Member States doesn't seem to make sense if you're pronouncing reforms and if there's public interest in how the UN works. What's the problem with releasing the speech?
Deputy Spokesman: This is not a Government. This is an organization bringing together Governments. And what we try to do is engage in dialogue with governments in order to flesh out these proposals. Ultimately, it's not finalized until the various governments agree on this. You simply can't argue that something's not transparent if it goes to 193 Governments. That's a lot of people. It's not a secret process by any means. All of them are involved in this discussion.
Inner City Press: But, I've heard the Secretary-General say he wants to open up the UN to civil society and the public and we the people, so I guess I'm just wondering, is there something in that ACABQ speech that's so confidential that it can't, as I took him to understand on the steps, just be released and made public?
Deputy Spokesman: No. It's not confidential, but it's part of a dialogue with Member States. And we try to engage the Member States directly in that dialogue.
Russell Lee, follow up
NATIONS, May 19 – While the UN's World
Intellectual Property Organization helps North
Korea with a patent application for social
cyanide (WIPO site here),
Inner City Press on May 16 began to ask US
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley about it (video
On May 17,
Nikki Haley replied to Inner City Press'
question: "All parts of the UN system need to
support the Security Council in its efforts to
respond to the grave threat of North Korea’s
weapons of mass destruction programs. Sodium
cyanide is banned for export to North Korea by
the Security Council. A common sense reaction
would be for WIPO to inform the Council of
such patent applications. Its failure to do so
may have dangerous consequences.”
The UN through
spokesman Stephane Dujarric told Inner City
Press it supports WIPO, video
here. On May 19, Inner City Press asked
North Korea's Ambassador Kim In Ryong about
it, without answer. Video
here. Now the US Mission to the UN has
issued a longer press release:
States continues to be concerned about the way
the World Intellectual Property Organization
has handled North Korea’s patent application
for the production of sodium cyanide. 'The
thought of placing cyanide in the hands of the
North Koreans, considering their record on
human rights, political prisoners, and
assassinations is not only dangerous but
defies common sense. We urge all UN agencies
to be transparent and apply the utmost
scrutiny when dealing with these types of
requests from North Korea and other rogue
nations,' said Ambassador Haley.
The United States has long encouraged UN specialized agencies to be in close contact with Security Council sanctions committees regarding any activity related to the implementation of Security Council resolutions. All parts of the UN system need to support the Security Council in its efforts to respond to the grave threat of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction programs."
Russell Lee, Video
NATIONS, May 10 – The UN of “new” Secretary
General Antonio Guterres, to put it as
diplomatically as possible, allows UN system
agencies to censor, and has allowed the
continuation of Ban Ki-moon's censorship of
the Press inside
UN headquarters to continue. On May 10
Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman
again about the World Intellectual Property
Organization using criminal defamation law
against a Swiss radio station which reported
on WIPO corruption, despite a statement
against such use by the UN Chief Executives
here. UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: I’d asked you before about
Francis Gurry bringing criminal defamation
charges against a radio station in
Geneva. Now the Government
Accountability Project has put out a white
paper on it, basically pointing out that the
CEB (Chief Executives Board), of which he’s a
part and the Secretary-General’s a part, have
talked about… against this idea of using
criminal defamation or even high civil
penalties for journalistic work. Given
that it was the… the… the general counsel or
legal counsel of WIPO that made the criminal
complaint, it seems like basically you have a
member of the CEB operating totally against
what the CEB says the UN should do. So
what… at what point does the
Secretary-General… what’s the purpose of the
CEB, if they’re not complied with…?
Spokesman: The purpose of the CEB is for coordinating the programmes, the implementations of programmes across the board to ensure that funds and resources are used in a coordinated manner. As you know, [WIPO] is an independent, specialized agency with its own governing board. The head of the CEB [sic]… of WIPO reports to that Governing Council. On the methods used, I think I’ve answered it, and it’s not… it was not something… it’s not a responsive choice.
Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
NATIONS, May 5 – While the UN Security Council
visited Cameroon during the 94 day Internet
cut off and said nothing publicly about it,
Inner City Press has obtained and has
on Patreon and now Scribd,
here Cameroon's "Urgent and
Confidential" letter to the UN Security
Council, about weapons. It lists Chinese
weapons, helicopters and more, to be
repatriated to CAR.
Russell Lee, New Platform
NATIONS, April 29 – With the large social
media platforms like Google and Facebook
vowing to use algorithms to prevent terrorist
recruitment and for other purposes, the
crudeness of results, intended or not, has
come to the fore. Now Google's YouTube is
engaged in systematic financial censoring of
independent videos about censorship. Like
publishes its coverage and associatedcommentary not only on its website but
on a number of
platforms like YouTube,Twitter, Facebook, Scribd and SoundCloud. YouTube is
owned by Google,
and like its
But do YouTube and Google behind it engage in censorship? As Inner City Press ramps up its fight against the eviction of its shared office in the United Nations while asking questions about UN corruption, it has received a series of e-mails from YouTube that its videos on these topics "cannot be monetized" with ads. On April 29, Google went back and denied monetization to Inner City Press' video showing Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row to control UN Peacekeeping, linking rapes by (French) peacekeepers to "R&R," saying that if the peacekeepers got more rest and recreation they might not rape so much. It was a statement for which, in many real militaries, Ladsous would have been fired. Not only did the UN not fire him: now the video is denied monetization, while UN Department of Public Information acting Officer in Charge Maher Nasser brags about DPI's "partnerships" with Google. Partnerships indeed. This comes the day after Morocco's Ambassador to the UN Omar Hilale used the UNTV stakeout tocomplain Inner City Press has asked "225 questions;" DPI then declined to give Inner City Press the mp4 of the stakeout, telling it to just film it off a computer screen with its cell phone. (We put the raw camera video on Twitter, here, and now on Patreon, here.) Google's email said: "Hi Inner City Press,After reviewing your video, we’ve confirmed that the content in your video or video details aren’t advertiser-friendly. As a result, your video can’t be monetized. 'After UN's Ladsous Links Peacekeepers Rape To Lack of “Comfort," UN Says Lack of R&R Leads to Abuse.' YouTube reserves the right to make the final decision about video monetization."
On April 23 YouTube similarly went back to deny monetization to Inner City Press videos about Yemen, Sri Lanka, Armenia, Darfur, the Golan Heights, DRC, Gaza, Ukraine, Qatar, UN censorship
Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
NATIONS, April 22 -- On Burundi, France which as UN
penholder has accomplished
little on the
issue has a new
Inner City Press,
published on April
20: to nominate
as a UN
the UN Albert
the UNSG to
as his special
reply tweet, here.
April 21 Inner
Delattre about it.
asked the UN's
From the UN transcript:
wanted to ask
reported and I
that there is
a proposal by
EU for an UN
and I wanted
to know from
if he thinks
urgency of the
it’s a good
idea and what
the next steps
Spokesman: I have no comments on that.
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 – While Cameroon has cut off
the Internet to the Anglophone regions for
over 80 days, the UN has characterized
criticism of its officials' cover ups to be "harassment"
and has repeatedly refused to answer Inner
City Press' questions about it, see below,
after the UN Department of Public Information
to restrict Inner City Press, petition
here, update here.
In early April the UN Office of the
Spokesperson run by holdover Stephane Dujarric
told Inner City Press, we've heard you
questions, if we have anything to add we'll
let you know. Video
here. Even that was a lie: UN envoy
Lonseny Fall went again to the country, with this
purporting to be his statement, and read-out here. But
what has it come to? Consider this court
prosecution of clergy, to try to put an
end to legitimate protest. The UN so far has
issued a weak, late statement then tried to
move on, calling any criticism harassment and
continuing to hinder coverage of the UN's
deeds and misdeeds. We'll have more on this.
13, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman
here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: can you confirm that the
Secretary-General sought to speak with Paul
Biya while he was on an extended stay in
Geneva, as has been reported?
Spokesman: No, I have no confirmation of a call having taken place.
Inner City Press: I mean, I'm not asking [inaudible]…
Spokesman: I have no information.
Inner City Press: Okay. And I wanted to know, people there saying, even in the wake of the visit of Louncény Fall, that, for example, a Supreme Court Justice, Paul Ayah remains, was only today, you know, remanded to remain in prison. So they're not seeing much changes. And I'm wondering, is this something that… that Mr. Louncény Fall looked into while he was there, the continued detention of barristers and those who have advocated for fair treatment of [inaudible]?
Spokesman: What I just said is, in fact, that, in his contacts with the Government, Mr Louncény Fall advocated for the release of a number of Anglophone leaders and others. So I think that's clear that's one of the things he was advocating for.
Inner City Press: And, finally, I wanted to ask you about the Resident Coordinator position. Given that the previous Resident Coordinator didn't raise any of the issues that you've just mentioned while she was there, is there any progress on naming a new one…
Spokesman: I don't know that, and I don't know if you know that, but okay. Anyway, next… what's your question?
Inner City Press: The people that are there say it, and she also blocked the press…
Spokesman: I think she blocks you, but…
Question: Yeah, she does.
Spokesman: …that's her right.
Inner City Press: In what capacity does she block it?
Spokesman: Well, I think anyone who has seen your tweets, I think, sometimes they do cross the line, I think, into harassment, and people block you from time to time.
Inner City Press: Interesting.
NATIONS, April 7 – In the UN Security
Council's open meeting on April 7 after the US
airstrikes on Syria, when Syria spoke last,
French Ambassador Francois Delattre walked out
of the chamber and left. Before that, US
Ambassador Nikki Haley spoke, as fast
transcribed below by Inner City Press. At the
UN noon briefing on April 7, Inner City Press
asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric about UN
envoy Staffan de Mistura saying he is
"operational focused" - what does it mean?
From the UN
Press: Staffan de Mistura has this quote where
he says he's fully and operationally focused
on the situation. Can you unpack that a
little bit? Like, does it, was he
informed of this? Was he… has he had a
dialogue with either the United States or
Spokesman: I'm not aware…
Inner City Press: What does it mean to be operationally focused?
Spokesman: I'm not aware, I'm not aware that he was, that he was informed. I don't believe anybody in the UN was informed. But I, as I said, I'm just not aware that he was informed. Obviously, I think the events of the last few days are likely to have an impact on, on his efforts. And so, I think, like all of us, with the Secretary-General or his envoy, we are focused and refocused on trying to get the, make sure the political process and the Geneva talks stay on, on track. And, you know, the Secretary-General's belief that there is no other option but a political option remains, and he's asking everybody to recommit to the Geneva talks.
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 31 – While Cameroon has cut off
the Internet to the Anglophone regions for
more than 70 days, the UN throughout the week
of March 27-31 repeatedly refused to answer
Inner City Press' questions about it, see
below, even the simple question of who the UN
Resident Coordinator is. So on March 31, Inner
City Press asked UN Spokesman Farhan Haq, video
here, UN transcript here:
Press: I’d sent you a number of questions
about Cameroon. Now I have those and
something else. First of all, I wanted
to know, what’s the… what is the status of
having a resident coordinator in the country,
given that the internet has been turned off to
two regions in the country for 76 days?
Deputy Spokesman: Right now, there is an officer-in-charge. There’s no new full-time resident coordinator, but there’s an officer-in-charge there.
Question: Can you say who that is or which agency it is?
Deputy Spokesman: I believe it’s the officer for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) right now.
when Inner City Press later on March 31
visited UNICEF's Cameroon website to follow
up, the most recent report was from 2012, and
the top two press releases were about Nigeria,
We'll have more on this, and on the UN's
failing "Resident Coordinator system." On the
afternoon of Friday, March 31 the UN sent
Inner City Press this, stating that its UNOCA
envoy Francois Lonseny Fall intends to visit
Cameroon in early April, and other responses
which we immediately publish in full: "Your
questions on Cameroon: The United Nations
Secretariat continues to follow closely the
situation in the Republic of Cameroon through
the United Nations Regional Office for Central
Africa (UNOCA). The Office of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
(OHCHR) has been monitoring the court
proceedings and allegations of human rights
violations. We are concerned about the trial
of civilians by a military court. The High
Commissioner for Human Rights has raised these
concerns with the Government of Cameroon in a
letter dated 24 February 2017. In our
various contacts, we have called on the
authorities to address the situation in a
measured and peaceful manner, while abiding by
their international human rights commitments.
SRSG Fall has visited Cameroon several times
to address these issues and plans to visit
Cameroon in early April, subject to
confirmation of meetings, to engage with the
Government and reiterate the availability of
the United Nations to support national efforts
to promote an inclusive dialogue in order to
address the root causes of the crisis, while
respecting the territorial integrity and unity
of the Republic of Cameroon. With regard
to the two specific cases cited, we have
confirmed that Robert Fon was indeed released
on bail on 27 March. We understand that Mr.
Felix Agbor Nkongho, as his two co-accused
(Fontem Afoteka Neba and Mancho Bibixy), is
facing trial for various alleged offences in
connection with the situation in the
Anglophone regions. Their lawyers requested
they be freed on bail. The court is reportedly
set to examine the request when the case is
taken up again on 7 April. Concerning
reports of the closure by the Government of a
TV station in Western region of Cameroon, we
are continuing our efforts to verify the
Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
NATIONS, March 24 – The UN Secretariat of
Antonio Guterres and his Deputy Amina J.
Mohammed are moving to take over the UN
Development Program's "Resident Coordinator"
system and the funding that goes with it,
multiple sources have told Inner City Press.
But Guterres' spokespeople refuse to confirm,
deny or explain it, in continued lack of
transparency. Whereas for now outgoing UNDP
Administrator Helen Clark chairs the UN
Development Group, Amina Mohammed would take
it over before a new Administrator, perhaps
outgoing Dutch foreign minister Burt Koenders,
is installed. He met Guterres on March 24.
Earlier on March 24, Inner City Press again
asked Guterres' holdover deputy spokesman
Farhan Haq, UN
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 17 – On Cameroon,
where the Internet has been cut off by the
government in the Northwest and Southwest
(Anglophone) regions for 60 days and counting,
Inner City Press has asked UN spokespeople for
the UN position and what the UN has done for
two weeks now. On March 17, UN Spokesman
Stephane Dujarric returned with an answer: "in
response to the situation in the Anglophone
regions of Cameroon, the UN Special
Representative of the Secretary-General and
Head of the UN Regional Office for Central
Africa (UNOCA), Mr. François Louncény Fall,
carried out a number of visits to the country
to discuss with the concerned parties the
situation on the ground. His office has
also carried out a number of working-level
visits. Mr. Fall will continue efforts
to engage with all relevant parties and to
monitor the situation in close cooperation
with the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).We
firmly believe that the grievances expressed
by the Anglophone regions can only be
addressed through an inclusive dialogue.
In that regard, we note that, on 15 March, the
President of Cameroon appointed the president
and 13 representatives to the National
Commission for the promotion of Bilingualism
and Multiculturalism, the body tasked to
engage in dialogue with the Anglophone
community of Cameroon."
"all relevant parties" does not appear to
include France, whose UN Ambassador Francois
Delattre told Inner City Press earlier on
March 17 he was unaware of the issue. Inner
City Press asked Dujarric, straight up, if the
UN thinks the Internet should be brought back.
Press: thanks for the statement.
Inevitably, there's at least one
follow-up. You said that Mr. Loncény
Fall had spoken to all relevant parties.
And I wanted to know if this included
France. And I say it… I ask it just
because the Permanent Representative just now
on camera said that he'd never heard of the
issue of the internet being cut off for 60
Spokesman: Well, I can’t answer that…
Inner City Press: Because I don't get answers from DPA or Mr. Loncény Fall's office can you ask whether they spoke to [inaudible]…? [that was FRANCE]
Spokesman: Yeah, I don’t… the way I read it is that he spoke to people in Cameroon. So, if I can find out more, I…
Inner City Press: Did he call for the internet to be, in fact, turned back on?
Spokesman: I think it's obviously important that people have access to the internet.
front of the UN Security Council on March 17
Inner City Press asked France's Ambassador to
the UN Francois Delattre about his counterpart
in Yaounde, Gilles Thibault, earlier this
32-year President Paul Biya for how he's
dealing with the areas. Delattre replied that
he was unaware but would look into it. Video
March 14 Inner City Press asked the US State
Department: "Back on November 28, 2016, the
Department issued a statement of 'concern
over recent Cameroonian government actions to
restrict free expression.' Since then, the
government has cut off the Internet in the two
regions, also known as the Anglophone areas,
has arrested journalists and most schools
remain closed. Is the US State Department
concerned about these developments and if so,
what if anything has it done about them?"
March 15, a US State Department official
answered Inner City Press: "We have discussed
this issue with the Government of Cameroon
both before and after our statement of
concern. We don’t go into the details of
our diplomatic conversations, but we engage
regularly with the government on this and
other issues as part of our normal bilateral
relations." We hope to have more on this.
March 9, Inner City Press asked both the
International Monetary Fund and the UN
Security Council's president about the crisis
in Cameroon's Anglophone areas and heard that
while the IMF acknowledges the financial risk,
the Security Council does not see it as a
threat to international peace and security.
But the UN's Resident Coordinator Najat Rochdi
has said nothing about the crisis, and blocks
on Twitter the Press which asks about
it. Is the UN system failing, in its new
Secretary General's promise of increased
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 10 – Not only has the UN
been silent on the crackdown in Cameroon's
Anglophone areas - UN Peacekeeping has failed
to vet the Cameroon security forces it sends
into other countries and has failed to follow
up on allegations against them for example in
the Central African Republic. In CAR last
year, "a Member of Parliament representing the
Nana-Bakassa District in the Ouham Prefecture,
Roland Achille Bangué-Betangaye, accused
Cameroonian forces serving in his country
under the banner of the United Nations
Multidimensional Stabilization Mission
(MINUSCA) of trafficking in minerals,
including gold and diamond. Speaking over CAR
national radio, the MP said Cameroonian
soldiers serving in the country have
transformed themselves into business men
through the smuggle of food items, gasoil and
beer. In turn, he said, they make away with
minerals especially gold and diamond.
The Cameroonian military serving in the
Nana-Bakassa District, the law maker said,
have even opened a drinking spot where people
come and refresh themselves." So what has the
UN done about it?
March 10 at noon, after publishing the above,
Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about it - and by
day's end he had provided no answer at all. UN transcript:
Press: a follow-up on peacekeeping
accountability. In the… in the Central
African Republic, there were allegations by an
elected member of parliament there, of the
Ouham prefecture, Roland
Bangué-Betangaye. This goes back to June
2016. He publicly said that the
Cameroonian contingent in the area that he
represents were engaged in business, including
gold… gold, conflict diamonds, opening of
businesses. This was widely… you know,
you can find a number of articles about it
from that time. And what I’m wondering,
is, what was ever done… there was a statement
that there’s an investigation being
opened. That was by, I guess, Mr.
Montero at the time. But there’s been
nothing publicly said since. What… were
all of these allegations made by an elected
official and on national radio in Central
African Republic false? Or was there
actually something done by MINUSCA
(United Nations Stabilization Mission in the
Central African Republic) and UN peacekeeping
about these allegations?
Deputy Spokesman: Oh, I’ll check with MINUSCA to see what happened with that. Have a good weekend, everyone.
are also sexual abuse allegations, at a time
is saying it is getting tough, on which
we'll have more. On March 10, Inner City Press
the UN's holdover spokesman Farhan Haq about
Press: There was an Amnesty International
report about… about sexual abuse in the
Central African Republic in which they said a
Cameroonian peacekeeper was killed, and the
next day the contingent returned to the
area. And many people thereafter
testified about sexual abuse, including of
minors. So, in the report, it says that
there is, one, a sole allegation of sexual
abuse against the Cameroonian contingent in
[the Central African Republic]. This was
some time ago as you remember in the… and
there’s also another one in MINUSTAH (United
Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti).
Is it possible, in the spirit of the
transparency you’re discussing, to say, what’s
the status of this? Why has it taken so
long? Why was there only one charge
written in this report when, according to the
Amnesty International one, they’re the
contingent that went back and… and at the time
frame? And, of course, they’re not all
criminals, but I’m asking you, can you get an
update later today about this case reported on
by Amnesty International?
Deputy Spokesman: Ultimately, for us to get an update, we need to have progress in the investigation. Once we have the results to deliver, we can provide that, but until that point, we’re allowing that process to continue.
Inner City Press: Right, but it was said yesterday that things were going to move faster. In the time frame given, given when these incidents took place, how is it still… what is… I guess, even a statement of what’s the status within the Cameroonian justice system?
Deputy Spokesman: At this stage, there’s no update to provide. Once we have an update, we’ll certainly provide it, but every process has its own momentum, has its own rate.
The UN says
it's fine that its Resident Coordinator from
her official Twitter account blocks the Press
which asks about it. Amid the ongoing abuse of
Anglophones in Cameroon, the Internet being
turned off for 51 day in their regions, Inner
City Press on March 8 discovered that the UN's
Resident Coordinator in Cameroon, Najat Rochdi of
Morocco, blocks it on
here. So Inner City
Press asked Secretary
General Antonio Guterres'
holdover Deputy Spokesman
Farhan Haq about it on March
Press: the answer you sent
about Mr. [Francois]
Louncény Fall saying that he
would raise issues to the
authorities. Can you
say whether the issue of the
internet being off in two
provinces for 52 days has
been raised? And,
secondarily, I wanted to ask
you this. You
announced from this podium
that Najat Rochdi is going
to Central African Republic
the process to appoint a new
Resident Coordinator for the
UN system in Cameroon?
And is it… is it… is it… can
it be public in any
way? It seems many
people have complained that,
while she was there, she
never raised the Anglophone
issue. And, in fact, I
found that she blocks Inner
City Press on Twitter, so
I'm unable to ask her why
this issue has not been
raised. But what's the
process to replace… and you
can smirk, but should a UN
official in their official
Spokesman: That's an unrelated thing. I mean, obviously, all people… all individuals, not even just all UN officials, are free to block whoever they want on Twitter. That's within their rights.
Inner City Press: Including missions? So you think a peacekeeping mission should pick and choose which media can follow it?
Spokesman: Organizations will respond… are supposed to respond to press requests. Individuals can do whatever they like with their Twitter accounts.
Inner City Press: What's the process of replacing the Resident Coordinator in Cameroon?
Spokesman: It's the same as in any other place. There's a process that goes… that you go through, and the Resident Coordinator's selection process is supervised by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 3 – As UN Security Council
members portrayed themselves meeting with
Cameroon's Paul Biya, apparently without a
word about the protests by and incarceration
of Anglophones in the country, Inner
City Press asked the UN about the problem, video
here, UN Transcript
Press: yesterday, I'd asked you about this
letter from the former Senate President of
Nigeria. The press in Nigeria picked up
on your answer and said that no letter has
been received at all. So, you said you
hadn't seen it. Does that just mean that
you personally hadn't seen it, or have you
checked to see whether the letter…?
Spokesman: We have not… I have the not received any confirmation that a letter has been received. I can't speak to whether or not a letter was sent since we were, apparently, if this letter exists, the recipients. As far as the recipients, as of today, nothing has been received.
Inner City Press: Since the Security Council is in Cameroon, I wanted to know whether DPA [the Department of Political Affairs] has taken any notice of this protest in the Anglophone areas of Cameroon? Many people have been arrested. Eight journalists have been detained in Cameroon. It seems like the Security Council's focus is entirely on the Boko Haram aspect, but is anyone in the UN system concerned and trying to get some answers?
Spokesman: We're obviously following it, and I'll see if I can get you something further.
hours later, nothing. Nothing at all. The UN's
reflexive evasion of Press question
reverberated on the Council's next stop.
Nigeria's former Senate President Ameh Ebute
wrote to the UN to urge sanctions against
Cameroon and Chad. Inner City Press at the
March 2 UN noon briefing asked the UN's
holdover spokeman Stephane Dujarric to comment
on Ebute's letter. Dujarric said he hadn't
Guardian in Nigeria picks
up on Dujarric's knee-jerk denial to
Inner City Press: "Mr Stephane Dujarric, the
Spokesman for the Secretary-General, denied
knowledge of the letter... 'I have not seen
eight billion U.S. dollars a year, you'd think
they could at least read their mail. Watch
the Paris stopover, Council members met with
France's replacement for Herve Ladsous atop UN
Peacekeeping, Jean-Pierre Lacroix. Will
Lacroix addressed the disparities in
protection for European and African
peacekeepers serving ostensibly together in
the UN's Mali mission?
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 24 – After the Committee to
Project Journalists came to the UN for a
meeting on the 38th floor, Inner City Press
asked CPJ's Joel Simon for a summary of what
had been raised. "Not yet," Simon said, as one
of his escorts told Inner City Press to back
It was a
typical UN scene: a group promoting a
principle outside of the UN not pursuing it
inside the UN, in order to maintain access and
perceived influence. So was the UN's lack of
due process for the Press, noted for example
by Special Rapporteurs Kaye and Forst, here,
raised or addressed?
February 24 UN noon briefing after UN holdover
spokesman Stephane Dujarric made claims about
the UN's commitment to freedom of the press,
Inner City Press asked him for a read-out of
Guterres' meeting with CPJ et al. Dujarric did
not provide one; he refused to answer the
question about due process, telling Inner City
Press "This is not your living room." Video
NATIONS, February 14 – Ban Ki-moon, exposed as
corrupt in three short weeks in South Korea,
now wants to return to the United States after
stopping in Kenya to visit the son in law he
promoted to the job UN job there. When Inner
City Press asked the UN about it on February,
Ban's long-time deputy spokesman Farhan Haq called
Inner City Press an obsessive a*hole. This is
the UN Ban's made.
February 13, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy
Spokesman Farhan Haq about Ban's UN-Kenya
stop, and any public costs. Haq, who dodged
for years on irregularities from Ban promoting
his son in law in the UN without recusal to
Ban's nephew working at the UN's landlord
Colliers, said "get over it." Video
after learning more - including about the role
in promoting Ban of his Kim Won-soo, still
paid by the UN, that is the public, Inner City
Press asked Haq again, video
here, UN transcript here:
Press: Yesterday, I asked you… and I
understand that, when you hear the word "Ban
Ki-moon," you're tempted to say "get over it."
Deputy Spokesman: Indeed I am.
Inner City Press: But I wanted to ask you, the question was and remains… it remains, number one, is any UN system funds being used for his visit to headquarters? And, number two, since yesterday your "get over it" comment, I learned that Mr. Kim Won-soo, who I understand is still a UN official, has been speaking to the media about Mr. Ban's possible job offer from a university in Massachusetts. And so I wanted to ask you, in what capacity is Mr. Kim Won-soo speaking for Ban Ki-moon? And how is it consistent with your position here of "get over it" while there are, in fact, cases in the Southern District and other issues that remain unresolved?
Deputy Spokesman: Matthew, your inability to get over it speaks for itself.
Inner City Press: There are cases… I'm going to ask you…
Deputy Spokesman: Matthew.
Inner City Press: So the nephew case. I'm just saying, it's un… because it's a question about UN money.
Deputy Spokesman: I understand… I understand…
Inner City Press: You defended him for ten years to say "get over it"…
Deputy Spokesman: Matthew, I've known you for a decade, so I know your fundamentally obsessive nature, but here's the point. Ban Ki-moon is not the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I do not speak for him. I do not represent him. When he travels, he travels as a private individual. He has to do so on his own budget as a private individual. He is not a UN official.
Inner City Press: That wasn't my question. My question was, he said as he left South Korea that he was going to the UN to speak to UN staff. That's why I think you said "get over it" a little too quickly, because my question is not who paid for his flight. My question is, in what capacity did he enter UNON [United Nations Office in] Nairobi? Did he speak to UN staff as he said that he would? Does Mr. Kim Won-soo still speak for him on the UN dime?
Deputy Spokesman: He can speak to the UN office in Nairobi as much as he wants as a former Secretary-General of the United Nations. That is within his rights.
Inner City Press: It's not… I'm not saying it's not within his rights. I'm saying, don't you answer for UN… the use of UN funds rather than say "get over it"? Aren't you speaking for the UN? So Kim Won-soo, when does his contract expire?
Deputy Spokesman: His contract… we'll let you know once his time is done. He is the head of the Office for Disarmament Affairs. He is also capable of speaking about the topics that he wants to talk about. The job that he does here is about Disarmament Affairs and is not about Ban Ki-moon.
Inner City Press: So he's off the clock when he speaks for Ban Ki-moon? I'm asking you.
Deputy Spokesman: Matthew. Matthew, words fail me, your inability to get around things.
Inner City Press: You know there are two corruption cases. Right? So it's going to be an ongoing… I just want to put you on notice; there are going to be questions that are going to arise, and saying "get over it" is not cutting it.
Deputy Spokesman: If there are things about cases that are ongoing, that's fine. If you want a daily update about what Ban Ki-moon is doing, ask someone else. It's not my job. Have a good afternoon, everyone.
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 11 – The US blocked UN
Secretary General Antonio Guterres' nomination
of the Palestinian Authority's Salam Fayyad to
be UN envoy to Libya.
Now Guterres' holdover UN spokesman Stephane
Dujarric selectively spins that Guterres
had somehow received a "green light" from the US
- like when Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to the
Syria talks in Montreux, then disinvited them on
This time, Dujarric "told" at least three
favored media the exact same thing: "Based on
the information available to him at the time,
the secretary-general had the perception, now
proven wrong, that the proposal would be
acceptable to Security Council members." Why not
send this out more widely? To Inner City Press,
Dujarric answered a mere two and a half of
These holdovers have no credibility.
One of the two to which Dujarric dole out his
quote went on to quote French Ambassador
Francois Delattre as having "full confidence" in
the UN chief's personnel appointments. But of
course: France stands poised to get the top UN
Peacekeeping job for the fifth time in a row.
The stories did not mention that the UK had -
and now maybe still has - its own candidate for
the UN Libya envoy post, Nicholas Kay. Clearly
the UK didn't think Fayyad was best for the
post. We'll have more on this.
Inner City Press on-camera
asked the UN about the nomination earlier
on February 10, noting that its sources told it
the nomination was really by Jeffrey Feltman,
the Obama administration's appointee to head the
UN Department of Political Affairs. Can Feltman
stay on, given the new Administration in
While Antonio Guterres' deputy spokesman dodged
Inner City Press' question at noon on February
10, and his lead holdover spokesman Stephane
Dujarric waited more than 10 hours to respond to
Inner City Press' question tweeted at him that
evening, an arch and in context laughable
response was mass-emailed 11 hours later.
Dujarric wrote, in pertinent part:
"The proposal for Salam Fayyad to serve as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Libya was solely based on Mr. Fayyad’s recognized personal qualities and his competence for that position.
Secretary-General... notes that, among others no
Israeli and no Palestinian have served in a post
of high responsibility at the United Nations.
This is a situation that the Secretary-General
feels should be corrected, always based on
personal merit and competencies of potential
candidates for specific posts."
It sounds reasonable - but why then for example
is Guterres restricting his "search" for a head
of UN Peacekeeping to a single country, France?
As Inner City Press has exclusively reported,
the three candidates are all French: Jean
Maurice Ripert (who previously stood up the UN
in Pakistan), Jean Pierre Lacroix and probably
winner Sylvie Bermann. There are other examples
- watch this site.
Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
NATIONS, February 3 – Despite having killed
more than 10,000 people in Haiti with lax
sanitation practices, the United Nations
Department of Peacekeeping Operations in
Central African Republic, under its fourth
consecutive French director in a row Herve
Ladsous, is dumping waste negligently, a UN
memo leaked to Inner City Press shows.
memo states that "following complaints by the
local population living in the vicinity of the
dumpsite" a UN investigation found that the
dumpsite sludge dams breed insects which
result in sickness. Eighty-one percent of the
UN's victims are children, the memo says.
report, under "Community Discontent," cites
malaria. It notes that when concerns were
raised, "police force was used to quell the
City Press has long questioned Ladsous, for
example about his linking of sexual
exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers to
"R&R" or rest and recreation, here.
"I don't answer your questions, Mister."
under new UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres, many are interested who will replace
Ladsous. While other Under Secretary General
posts like Cristina Gallach's atop the
Department of Public Information are now
subject to public
vacancy notices, DPKO has not. Why not?
Inner City Press asked, but UN holdeover
spokesman Stephane Dujarric didn't answer.
will Inner City Press France is trying to hold
onto DPKO for the fifth time in a row, albeit
with a women, on information and belief Sylvie
Bermann, since 2014 France's ambassador in
London. Five times in a row? Given this kind
of mismanagement, in a former French colony?
Russell Lee, Exclusive
NATIONS, January 27 – The United States has
controlled the UN Department of Political
Affairs under former Clinton State Department
official Jeffrey Feltman, and Inner City Press
is informed by whistleblowers that Feltman is
trying to stay on at the UN until July 4,
reasons, the whistleblowers tell Inner City
Press, is so that Feltman's UN pension can
it wise for the UN to spend taxpayer money in
this way, keeping on an official so closely
aligned with Hilary Clinton?
takes place after reporting on, but not
publication of, a draft Executive Order to cut
UN funding. Now Inner City Press publishes the
Even as it's said it won't be signed imminently, there are scams at the UN, including Feltman, Cristina Gallach and Herve Ladsous, which can and should be stopped immediately.
City Press put the questions directly to
Feltman - These are Press questions very much
on deadline, very straight forward:
1) When does your contract with the UN end?
2) Separately, please confirm or deny that your contract got extended.
3) Separately, that your contract was extended through June.
4) Separately, that this was related to your UN pension vesting.
5) Entirely separately, whether Katrin Hett is taking up a position in the Secretary General's office.
6) Separately, does this involves a jump from P4 to P5?
As noted, very much on deadline. Thanks in advance for your answers, asap."
UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, also a
holdover, does not answer Inner City Press'
management and reform questions, most recently
about a UN "Hospitality Log" of wining and
here for that. In fact, Dujarric and the
UN threw Inner City Press out of the UN
without a hearing, and restrict it still.
Press: I’ve asked Mr. [Jeffrey] Feltman and
now I’m asking you, that his contract was
extended from March through June so that his
UN pension can vest. And I wanted to
know, just… you said something like it’s early
days, but just, did that occur? And was
Katrin Hett from his office, placed in the
Executive Office of the Secretary-General,
moved from P4 to P5? I’m told by people
in DPA (Department of Political Affairs),
essentially, to kind of keep an eye on
things. But the most important thing I
want to know is… and I’m asking not to be
personal, but because it is public
money. That’s why I expected a yes-or-no
answer… a yes-or-no answer.
Spokesman: I think two things. As I said, we’re in a period of transition. The Secretary-General is looking at his senior leadership. He’s taking decisions that will need… that will ensure the continuing smooth transition that is already ongoing. That’s for Mr. Feltman. I have… I don’t have the exact dates of his contract. We’re in a period of transition. As for… as for the other person you mentioned, you know, I… you’re free to ask. I find it somewhat despicable that people use you or others to drag people’s names through the mud and insinuate things. The… we’re in a transition period. The Secretary-General’s Office is in the midst of changes. New staff’s coming in. All rules are being observed and… all rules and regulations are being observed. And I’ll leave it at that.
Inner City Press: I guess my… my… you can use the word “despicable” if you want. What I wanted to know about the Mr. Feltman thing is, if… and you can easily ask… I guess he contacted you when I e-mailed him, but if, in fact, his contract was extended and if you know that he was appointed by the previous administration and you know that the new administration came in and said… I guess they believe they deserve a USG (Under-Secretary-General) post, what was the thinking behind extending and is it related… [inaudible]
Spokesman: The only thing that matters is to have as smooth of a transition continue, as we’ve had. Yeah, go ahead.
Inner City Press: But you understand, other organizations actually transition. [end]
UN remains unreformed after Ban Ki-moon's ten
years ended with corruption, long asked about
by the Press, exposed, budget cuts are coming.
Washington executive orders are being prepared
to cut up to 40% of the US' contributions to
the UN, and to fully cut funding to entities
blamed for violation of human rights.
obvious question is whether the total denial
of due process for whistleblowers - already
part of US law - and investigative press which
UN corruption constitutes such a
example, the UN Department of Public
Information under Cristina Gallach in early
Inner City Press out of the UN, dumping
its investigative files onto First Avenue,
without a single hearing or opportunity to be
heard, and no
All this for
seeking to cover an event in the UN Press
Briefing Room which was nowhere listed as
closed, and leaving as soon as a single UN
Security officer said the Spokesman, Stephane
Dujarric, wanted Inner City Press out.
Gallach had a
conflict of interest, having been asked
by Inner City Press about her
own links with Macau-based businessman
Ng Lap Seng, facing trial (like Ban
Ki-moon's nephew and brother) on bribery
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 20 – Ban Ki-moon left the UN
on January 1 and tellingly his first move was
to take legal action against the press. Before
he left, he named his own son in law Siddharth
Chatterjee to the top UN top in Kenya.
US Attorney for the Southern District of New
York has asked South Korea to arrest and
extradite Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki Sang.
statement came from prosecutor Daniel Noble in
the previously scheduled hearing on the
afternoon January 20, inauguration day.
makes clear the scheme used the "family"
-- Ban Ki-moon -- connections to the Qatar
royal family to try to sell Landmark 72 in
US Ambassador Power's claim
to Inner City Press that the indictments have
nothing to do with the UN was false.
The cover up
by censorship is crumbling.
Just as Ban left his brother Ban Ki Sang and
his nephew Dennis Bahn, of whom Inner City
Press has asked Ban's UN spokespeople since at
latest May 2015, were indicted for bribery.
Bahn was described using his family
connections - Ban Ki-moon - to try to sell
real estate in Vietnam.
City Press' questions to Ban's longtime
spokesman Stephane Dujarric were referred to a
Ban supporter in Seoul, Lee Do-woon, at a
number which was never answered. On January
17, after Inner City Press appeared
on TBS radio in South Korea about Ban's
corruption and censorship, Dujarric
provided a number for a second spokesman: Yoon
Press: I guess it was Stéphane Dujarric that
sent the phone number of a second Ban Ki-moon
Spokesman. I did speak to him, but in
fact, the coverage there is giving rise to a
question I have to ask you as the UN.
There’s a story in today’s Korea Times, the
title of which is “Prosecutors say Ban Ki-moon
was ‘indeed on bribery list.’” And it
describes a list that was provided by Mr Park
of Taekwang Industry, saying he had given
money to Ban Ki-moon during the time frame
that he was Secretary-General. So the
question becomes… there are… obviously, there
are questions to Ban Ki-moon there. The
question becomes, when did South Korean
prosecutors -- because this article says that
what would have held them up was… was
immunity, that, as Secretary-General, they
would be unclear whether they could even
question him or go… or look into this
matter. Was the UN contacted by the
prosecutors about this Park list? And,
if so, what did they do?
Deputy Spokesman: No, I don’t have any comment on that.
Inner City Press: It’s a UN question. I mean, do you acknowledge… because I talked to the guy for about five minutes yesterday, but he said those are UN questions.
Deputy Spokesman: I don’t actually have any comment on this.
By Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 13 – January 10 saw the
belated bribery indictment in New York of Ban
Ki-moon's nephew Dennis Bahn, about whom Inner
City Press has been asking the UN since at
least May 2015, video
It shows Ban's nephew using the influence and
access of his family - that is, Ban Ki-moon --
to Qatar as part of his Vietnam building
selling fraud. But on January 11, Ban's
spokesman Stephane Dujarric, still at the UN
for at least six months, referred all of Inner
City Press' questions to Ban's Seoul spokesman
After Dujarric's office gave Inner City Press
not an email address but what they said was
Lee Do-woon's cell phone number, Inner City
Press waited and called it. But during working
hours in Seoul, it had only a telephone menu
tree, only in Korea. Vine
here. This is a run-around.
January 13, Inner City Press asked UN
Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko, as politely
as possible, how to get answers. From
the UN transcript:
Press: Yesterday, I was told to call Mr.
Lee Do-woon in Seoul, and I was told it was a
mobile number. I've called it five
times. It's nothing but a telephone tree
that's entirely in Korean. I sent it a
text message, which wasn't received. So,
I'm going to ask you again, if the idea is all
of the questions raised by the indictment
should be given to the new Associate
Spokesperson, can I have an e-mail address or
some way that actually I can reach somebody?
Associate Spokesperson: We'll check. I mean, that's the only number we have, as well, so, you know, you know as much as we do.
Inner City Press: Did you get a telephone tree?
Associate Spokesperson: We haven't tried calling it.
They just gave this number to Inner City Press
saying to ask it all UN corruption questions.
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 7 – The United Nations at the beginning of 2017 still has no Freedom of Information Act, no content neutral standards for media accreditation and no right to due process or appeal for journalists. This is UNacceptable.
New UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres should be expected to address these issues, and to hold at least monthly sit-down press conferences. On January 6 holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric indicated he would wait for something to announce. But Q&A should not be tied to a particular UN announcement.
Downgrading to non-resident correspondent status, and eviction from UN work-space, is not a legitimate way to respond to coverage of UN irregularities and corruption such as that alleged in the ongoing Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe UN bribery case. It must be reversed, but also non-resident correspondents should not be restricted to minders or escorts to cover events on the Conference Building's second floor.
On January 6,
Dujarric and DPI's Cristina Gallach led
Guterres on a tour that implied that only
those who pay money to a group which last
month gave an award to anti-press Ban Ki-moon,
and who are granted (and not evicted in
retaliation from) UN office space are part of
the UN press corps. Click
here for Inner City Press' story,
video. This will ill-serve Guterres, and
Beyond headquarters, the UN in the field must become more responsive to local journalists. A Free UN Coalition for Access member in Hargeisa, Somaliland complains that the UN in Mogadishu refuses to answer simple journalistic questions. The same has occurred in Colombia, while the UN's leadership in Kenya has informed staff not to speak to particular media. This is UNacceptable.
former Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, among
his very first acts upon leaving the UN, took
legal action against reports of possible
corruption during his tenure reflects badly on
FUNCA hopes for a better 2017, but hope is not enough. The UN needs a FOIA, a reversal of recent anti-press decisions and due process and content neutral standards, and at least monthly Secretary General press conferences, going forward. We will have more on this; watch this site.January 2, 2017
Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on
NATIONS, January 1 -- When new
UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres came to take questions
outside the General Assembly hall on
October 13, he was first asked about
Syria and cited his past as head of
the UN refugee agency.
Inner City Press asked, “And Yemeni people?” - referring most recently to the double-tap airstrike on the funeral in Sana'a.
Guterres took the question, adding
in South Sudan as well, and said he
will try to be an honest broker.
That would be a welcome change, and
one that we will closely cover as
censorship restrictions are lifted.
Radio & TV here, translated.
Now just after midnight on January 1, Guterres has made this statement: "On my first day as Secretary-General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart.
How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massively in wars with no end in sight?
Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute. Even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.
wins these wars; everyone loses.
Trillions of dollars are spent
destroying societies and economies,
fueling cycles of mistrust and fear
that can last for generations. Whole
regions are destabilized and the new
threat of global terrorism affects
On this New Year’s Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution:
Let us resolve to put peace first.
Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.
From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives, to dialogue and respect across political divides… From ceasefires on the battlefield, to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions…
Peace must be our goal and our guide.
we strive for as a human family –
dignity and hope, progress and
prosperity – depends on peace.
But peace depends on us.
I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace, today and every day.
Let us make 2017 a year for peace.
It's a good statement. One simple
step that comes to mind is to put
Saudi Arabia, which has used cluster
bombs to kill kids in Yemen, back on
the UN's Children and Armed Conflict
pay more attention to Burundi, to
whose Pierre Nkurunziza Guterres has
To take some immediate action on the killing - and closing of the border on -- the Rohingya in Myanmar. There's more, but we'll begin pursuing this, including January 3 when Guterres speaks to UN staff on 9:10 am. Watch this site.December 26, 2016