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May 1, 2017

Google Hinders Publication of ICP Video of UN Defending Abuse by Peacekeepers, DPI Deal So Patreon

By Matthew Russell Lee, New Platform

UNITED 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 many independent media, Inner City Press publishes its coverage and associatedcommentary not only on its website but on a number of third party platforms like YouTube,Twitter, Facebook, Scribd and SoundCloud. YouTube is owned by Google, and like its parent allows publishes to monetize their material with advertisements. 

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

April 24, 2017

On Burundi and ICP's Scoop of Kafando as UN Envoy, Shingiro Tells ICP Gov Comfortable With

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, April 22 -- On Burundi, France which as UN Security Council penholder has accomplished little on the issue has a new proposal, sources exclusively told Inner City Press, which it exclusively published on April 20: to nominate the former transitional president of Burkina Faso Michel Kafando as a UN envoy specifically on Burundi. And now Burundi's Ambassador to the UN Albert Shingiro has answered Inner City Press that "Burundi is very comfortable with the intention of the UNSG to appoint H.E Michel Kafando as his special Envoy." See reply tweet, here. After publishing the exclusive, on April 21 Inner City Press asked French Ambassador to the UN Francois Delattre about it. He smiled and said "bonne question." Then Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who refused to comment. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you on Burundi.  Inner City Press has reported and I believe has some confirmation from the French Mission that there is a proposal by France and possibly the EU for an UN envoy to Burundi, specifically Burundi only, not conflict prevention:  Michel Kafando, the former transitional President of Burkina Faso, and I wanted to know from you whether the Secretary-General has discussed this proposal with the proponents and if he thinks given the urgency of the situation if it’s a good idea and what the next steps would be?

Spokesman:  I have no comments on that.

  But later on April 21 a UN official told Inner City Press that Burundi's Pierre Nkurunziza has approved it. Another diplomat told Inner City Press that Burundi's Ambassador Albert Shingiro was summoned to the UN Department of Political Affairs. We'll have more on this. The UN has sunk so low that the lead spokesman for Secretary General Antonio Guterres Stephane Dujarric on April 10 refused to even take a Press question about Burundi, where the UN itself says there is a risk of genocide. When Inner City Press said "Can I ask a question about Burundi," where there increased hate speech amid a warning from other parts of the UN of a threat of genocide," Dujarric replied, "No, we're done." Video here, contrasted.  Then consider UNICEF, whose logo and shirt is portrayed here on the governor of Makamba province Gad Niyukuri who last week reportedly called on residents to "eliminate" rebels so fuel "won't be wasted by having them transferred to the police." It's a joint shirt with Burundian flag and UNICEF logo. Did UNICEF give it to the governor? Is it an authorized use? If not, what will UNICEF - recently outed for abandoning the victims of peacekeepers' abuse in the Central African Republic, and yet to respond on that - do? Watch this site.April 17, 2017

UN Praised Cameroon Half-Net Pledge as Clergy Prosecuted, Says ICP "Harassed" RC Rajat

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 evicted and continues 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.

 On April 13, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Dujarric, video 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.

Spokesman:  Indeed.

 How trustworthy is today's UN if they stonewall then withhold information, while continuing to block - a la Najat Rochdi - and restrict the Press which asks about Cameroon and denial of the right to information?

April 10, 2017

On Syria, After US Airstrikes ICP Asks UN What de Mistura's "Operationally Focused" Means

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 transcript:

Inner City 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 anyone else…?

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.

  Here's Inner City Press' fast transcript of NIkki Haley: "For six years the world has watched as the Syrian government has terrorized its own people…it has broken international law, committed criminal acts that shocked the conscience of all humanity. The JIM has found beyond a doubt that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own people multiple times. On Tuesday the Syrian government launched another attack.
 
Assad thought he could get away with this.
...

April 3, 2017

Amid Cameroon's 74-Day Internet Cut-Off, UN Refers ICP to UNICEF, Website Out of Date

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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:

Inner City 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.

  But 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, here. 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 allegation."

  As reported on March 30 by Inner City Press, Cameroon says it is poised to ratify the UN's Convention on the Use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts, adopted on November 23, 2005 in New York. How could the UN accept and deposit such a ratification? Cameroonian Minister of Trade, Lucile Magloire Mbarga Atangana cited the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law or UNCITRAL, one of the entities routinely meeting in UN conference rooms with little notice by the UN-facilitated media. This must change. When Cameroon forced refugees back into Nigeria, the UN rightly complained. Why not, then, of Cameroon's now more than 70-day Internet cut-off in its Anglophone areas, leading to the creation of an "Internet refugee camp" in Bonako?
March 27, 2017

ICP Asked UNSG Guterres Of "Power Grab" on Resident Coordinators, His Spox Stonewalls

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED 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 transcript here:

Inner City Press: two things about UNDP [United Nations Development Programme].  One is Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Environment, has now said publicly that she is a candidate to head UNDP.  So I wanted to know, is there going to be any kind of, like, short list announced?  I know, under some previous Administrations, there were for such top jobs.  Do you anticipate announcing… given that one candidate has said publicly… there are other names I would like you to confirm.  Mr. [Bert] Koenders is running, Mr. [David] Miliband, Ms. [Sigrid] Kaag.  Do you anticipate there being a public process so that people know who the candidates are?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't anticipate us providing a short list.

March 20, 2017

On Cameroon Internet Cut-Off, ICP Asked UN Which Says "Important That People Have Access"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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."

  But "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. Video here. UN transcript here:

Inner City 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 days.

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. 

  In 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 month congratulating 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 here.

  Back on 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?"

  On 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.

  On 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 preventative diplomacy?

 When the IMF's spokesperson Gerry Rice took questions on March 9, Inner City Press asked about Cameroon, specifically the crackdown in the northwest and southwest of the country. Inner City Press asked, "On Cameroon, after the mission led by Corinne Delechat, what is the status of talks for a program, and since the IMF cited “civil unrest in the neighboring Central African Republic,” please state the IMF's awareness of civil unrest and arrests in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon, also known as the Anglophone areas, and their impact." Rice read out the question and then said, among other things, that the risk factors for 2017 include a continuation of the "social and political events" in the "so-called Anglophone" areas of Cameroon. Interim video here.  On IMF site, here, from 34:56. IMF transcript

March 13, 2017

UN's Cameroon Troops in CAR Accused of Abuse, ICP Asks UN's Haq, No Answers, Failing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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?

  On 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:

Inner City 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.

 There are also sexual abuse allegations, at a time the UN is saying it is getting tough, on which we'll have more. On March 10, Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Farhan Haq about this:

Inner City 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 Twitter, see here. So Inner City Press asked Secretary General Antonio Guterres' holdover Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about it on March 9, UN transcript here:

Inner City 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 as Resident Coordinator.  What's 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 account…?

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).

  This is at odds with the UN's claims to be transparent in its use of public money, and to be open to the press and impacted public, and will be pursued at Rochdi's next assignment at the UN in Central African Republic. But it raises the question: how are UN Resident Coordinators selected? Inner City Press reported on Ban Ki-moon's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee getting multiple promotion under Ban, including being named UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya by Ban himself. (Inner City Press was evicted by Ban's UN, and remains restricted under Ban's successor). But shouldn't Anglophone Cameroonians have some input into the UN's next Resident Coordinator in their country? This is a project for the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info. Watch these sites and feeds.
March 6, 2017

As UNSC in Cameroon, Nothing on Anglophones from UN When ICP Asks, Ebute's Letter

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 here:

Inner City 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.

  Eight 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 seen it.

  Now The 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 the letter.'"

  For eight billion U.S. dollars a year, you'd think they could at least read their mail. Watch this site.

  During 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?

  And in Cameroon, will the dispute between the French and English speaking communities, and harsh prison conditions for the latter, be noted by the Council? Watch this site.February 27, 2017

After Guterres' Press Freedom Meeting, Spox Tells Press "It's Not Your Living Room," Runs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 away. Tweeted video here.

 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?

  At the 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 here, Vine Camera here.

 Moments later, as Inner City Press asked Dujarric about a leaked UN Peacekeeping letter it exclusively published earlier in the day and which contradicts what Dujarric had said on the record on February 23, Dujarric simply ran off the podium and out of the briefing room. And the UNTV clip, as "produced" by Cristina Gallach's DPI, cuts the audio mid question, here at end. This is the UN's commitment to responsiveness, due process and freedom of the press.

February 20, 2017

Ban Ki-moon Uses UN in Kenya, Kim Won-soo in NY, Spox Calls Press Obsessive A*hole

By Matthew Russell Lee, New Series, Video

UNITED 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.

  On 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 here.

  So 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:

Inner City 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.

  And as Haq walked about, he said "A*hole." This is the UN Ban's made. It must be cleaned up.
February 13, 2017

After PA's Fayyad Blocked, UN Selectively Spins US Green Light, UK Not Mentioned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 Monday.

  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 twenty-two questions. 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 Washington?

  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.

The 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.

  Some cynics wonder if this wasn't done as theater, just before Guterres' 12-day trip to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, where the UN's previous Libya sell-out Bernardino Leon is getting paid. Meritocracy, indeed.February 6, 2017

UN Waste In Dump Caused Malaria in Central African Republic Under Ladsous, Bermann Next?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED 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.

  The 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.

  The report, under "Community Discontent," cites malaria. It notes that when concerns were raised, "police force was used to quell the dissent."

  Inner 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. Ladsous replies, "I don't answer your questions, Mister."

  Now 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.

  Sources 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?

Exclusive: UN Waste In Dump Caused Malaria in Central African Republic, Report Leaked to Inner City Press S... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd

January 30, 2017

UN Wastes Funds Keeping Clinton-Aligned Feltman So His Pension Vests, Draft EO Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED 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, 2017.

  The reasons, the whistleblowers tell Inner City Press, is so that Feltman's UN pension can "vest."

 But is it wise for the UN to spend taxpayer money in this way, keeping on an official so closely aligned with Hilary Clinton?

  This takes place after reporting on, but not publication of, a draft Executive Order to cut UN funding. Now Inner City Press publishes the draft, here.

Here's UN Budget Cut Draft Executive Order, On Hold Jan 27 as Inner City Press Exposes Clinton-Aligned Felt... by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd


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.

 Inner City Press put the questions directly to Feltman:

"Dear Mr. 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."

  Current 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 dining, click here for that. In fact, Dujarric and the UN threw Inner City Press out of the UN without a hearing, and restrict it still.

  After publication of the above, and this, Inner City Press at the January 27 noon briefing asked spokesman Dujarric, who called the questioning "despicable." Video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City 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]

 As the UN remains unreformed after Ban Ki-moon's ten years ended with corruption, long asked about by the Press, exposed, budget cuts are coming.

 In 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.

  One obvious question is whether the total denial of due process for whistleblowers - already part of US law - and investigative press which covers UN corruption constitutes such a violation.

  For example, the UN Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach in early 2016 threw 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 appeal since.

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 charges.

There are no rules, only the one-person fiat rule of an official dumped on Ban's UN by Spain, where she had previously managed, at most, seven people as spokesperson to Javier Solana. Nothing has been done; eleven months later Gallach still requires Inner City Press to have "minders" to cover the UN Security Council.

January 23, 2017

US Has Asked For Ban Ki-moon Brother To Be Extradited, Hearing Reveals As Obama, Power Leave

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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.

  Now the 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.

  The statement came from prosecutor Daniel Noble in the previously scheduled hearing on the afternoon January 20, inauguration day.

 The indictment makes clear the scheme used the "family" -- Ban Ki-moon -- connections to the Qatar royal family to try to sell Landmark 72 in Vietnam. Now-gone 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.

  Inner 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 Won-joong.

  After speaking with him, Inner City Press on January 18 asked UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City 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.

  Well, the UN will have to. We'll have more on this.January 16, 2017

UN Referred ICP's Corruption Qs to Ban Ki-moon Seoul Spox, Whom They Have Never Called

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED 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 here.

  Inner City Press obtained the 39-page indictment from multiple sources and is putting it online here in Scribd, now also here in pdf.

   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 Lee Do-woon.

   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.

 On January 13, Inner City Press asked UN Associate Spokesperson Eri Kaneko, as politely as possible, how to get answers. From the UN transcript:

Inner City 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.

On January 12, Inner City Press asked Ban's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Video here, UN Transcript hereJanuary 9, 2017

As Budget Scrutiny Looms, UN Must Do Better on Press Freedom, Due Process & FOIA

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, and YouTube video. This will ill-serve Guterres, and the UN.


New SG Guterres is toured around by Gallach & Dujarric, Jan 6, 2017, photo by M.R. Lee

  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.

  That 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 the UN.

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

New UNSG Guterres Calls for Peace, Yemen, Myanmar & Burundi Early Tests

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on Exclusives

UNITED 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. Recent Swiss 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.

No one 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 us all.
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.

All that 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.

Thank you."

  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 annex.

  To pay more attention to Burundi, to whose Pierre Nkurunziza Guterres has already written.

  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

US Power Abstains on UNSC Settlements Resolution, As UN Talk Turns To Trump

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 23 -- In a final showdown before Barack Obama leaves office, the UN Security Council voted on December 22 at 2 pm on an anti-settlements resolution, below. The US abstained. Explanatory video here.

Amid applause in the chamber, Israel's Ambassador Danny Danon issued a statement that "It was to be expected that Israel's greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN's relationship with Israel."

Donald Trump, much mentioned at the Security Council stakeout, tweeted: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.” Voice of America at the UN quickly re-tweeted it, without commentary.

Outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry, headed to the private sector, issued this (InnerCityPro.com published it immediately, here).

As obtained by Inner City Press, submitted to the UN Security Council president for December, Spain:

"I wish to inform that the co-sponsors who seconded the draft namely Malaysia,  New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela have agreed that given the interest, urgency and importance of the issue, it is imperative for Council to act on this draft.
 
2.           Consequently and in accordance with applicable Council rules of procedure, our delegations request the Secretariat to recirculate the same draft in blue (S/2016/1095) with Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela as co-sponsors.
 
3.           Our delegations further request the Presidency schedule the vote for the text ASAP today, please."

US Ambassador Samantha Power refused question on how the US would or will vote (and refused Inner City Press' question on the UN arming a South Sudan warlord); Russia's Vitaly Churkin said Russia would prefer an “orderly process.” 

Call it the ultimate lame duck session, along with Obama.  Watch this site.

  A diplomat who spoke with US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power on the afternoon of December 22 told Inner City Press Power said she for now had no instructions on how to vote. Whether the decision had not been made by Barack Obama, or there was a concern about the leaks, is not known. But there were no instructions. A diplomat said, We could vote tonight. Or never.

This came a day after Israel pointedly did not participate in the UN General Assembly vote on a Syria investigative mechanism, and a month before Donald Trump takes over from Obama.


December 19, 2016

On South Sudan, Watered Down Draft Passes 15-0, ICP Asked US Power of UNMISS Arming Warlord

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up to Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, December 16 -- When the UN Security Council members met about South Sudan on December 15, the best they could do was extend the mandate of the UNMISS mission for a single day. Even then, there was already news of UNMISS having given arms to warlord, or “rebel general,” James Koang.

This was in a Small Arms Survey report, picked up in the Washington Post. Inner City Press tweeted it at UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, requesting a comment. Nothing.

  On the morning of December 16, Inner City Press asked the Ambassadors of the UK and New Zealand about it, and both had heard of it and said it needed to be investigated. The Ambassador of France, the country that has run UN Peacekeeping for 20 years, did not comment. Video here.

  The US holds the pen, and more, on South Sudan. In the early afternoon of December 16, when US Ambassador Samantha Power held a stakeout about Syria, Inner City Press asked about the US South Sudan draft, and the Washington Post report. Power said she hadn't seen the Washington Post report, but that she thought the draft will pass. Video here.

At 4 pm the resolution, changed, was adopted 15-0. Afterward Egypt, for example, criticized the US for not consulting enough, and showing its draft(s) too late. Final adopted draft here.

Speaking for the US was deputy Isobel Coleman, who did not in her speech mention UNMISS arming Koang. (In full disclosure, she is also the USUN ambassador to whom the Government Accountability Project directed its request that the Mission opposed the UN's eviction and restriction of Inner City Press - and apparently did nothing.)

  There were already over 9,000 viewers of Inner City Press' Periscope of this South Sudan Q&A, but even after Inner City Press tweeted the Washington Post story to Power, her spokesman and the US Mission generally, there was no response.

None of these did ANYTHING when Inner City Press was evicted, and is still restricting, by the UN of Ban Ki-moon and Cristina Gallach this year, despite a request from the DC-based Government Accountability Project. We'll have more on this.
December 12, 2016

UN's Gallach Pays Public Funds To Call Detroit a 3d Rate Flyover City, Evicted & Restricts Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- This sample spectacle: UN Under Secretary General for Communication Cristina Gallach pontificating to a Gulf media to which she gives a large office in the UN about how “difficult” it will be under Trump, and blaming not only “fake news” but also “social media” for the “difficult” and “very controversial” roles they played in the US election. Video here, from Minute 10.

   This is an attempt by Gallach -- surrounded by corruption and mismanagement scandals -- to keep her UN position under incoming Secretary General Guterres. She should be fired.

Exhibit 2: on December 6, Inner City Press asked Gallach about the superseding indictment in the UN bribery case against Macau-based Ng Lap Seng, on whom Gallach did no due diligence - and she had no update, then on since.

Third strike: on December 8, Gallach used public money to pay a speaker to tell DPI-affiliated NGOs, in UN Conference Room 4, that Detroit, Michigan is a “third-rate” city, a “fly-over” city, baffled by how Trump won the election. Tweeted video here.

This with public money - questions on her use of which Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople have refused to answer for two weeks, on December 8 using a questions about Gallach's lawless eviction of Inner City Press as the justification for not answer the Gallach funding questions. See here. It is time to drain all of this from Turtle Bay.

 Tellingly, while outgoing Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople have told Inner City Press it is the practice for USGs like Gallach to tender their resignations at the end of their appointer's term, Gallach says only that she has given a “report” to Guterres and taken instruction on how he'd like the job down. Pro-tip to Guterres: end UN censorship, and Gallach's tenure.
Busca una otra.
December 5, 2016

Ban Ki-moon To Fly For Anti-Corruption Award from Qatar After Promoting Son in Law to Top UN Post

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, December 2 -- Two weeks after Inner City Press formally gave UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric a link to an Internet page about Ban's brother Ki-ho engaged in mining in Myanmar's Shan state through South Korean firm KD Power -- as well as Bosung -- the response has been to have the page removed from the Internet.

This comes after Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, promoted by Ban without recusal to the highest UN position in Kenya, ordered an article about nepotism removed from the website.

On December 2, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric blythely announced that Ban will travel from December 7 to 9 to receive an anti-corruption award presented by the Emir of Qatar.

Anti-corruption? Meanwhile Ban's spokespeople have refused to disclose the carbon off-sets Ban bragged about in a speech to Colombia's SIPA, and refused for a week to answer if Ban's chief of communications (actually, censorship) Cristina Gallach used UN funds to go get her own award in Barcelona. Nor has a requested list of Gallach trips on public funds been provided.

Is that anti-corruption? Or pro-corruption?

On November 28 Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, without any proof, that he understands Ban Ki-ho no longer works for KD Power. But when Inner City Press asked when was the last time Ban Ki-moon spoke with his brother Ki-ho, Spokesman Dujarric said glibly that he has no clue, and hasn't returned with any answer.

  While Team Ban, including the South Korean Mission to the UN which on November 10 asked Inner City Press for the since-disappeared KD Power link, and the Bosung links, think they have ended this particular inquiry into nepotism by asserting Ban Ki-ho is no longer with KD Power, they have not answered even once on Bosung.

  Bloomberg lists Bosung as Ban Ki-ho's current employer, and Bosung also does business in Myanmar, in connection with a "UN delegation."

Inner City Press has submitted questions to Ban Ki-ho at Bosung but they have not been responded to.

November 28, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's Brother Ki-ho Thrown Out of UN Global Compact, Mines in Myanmar

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 25 -- Two weeks after Inner City Press formally gave UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric a link to an Internet page about Ban's brother Ki-ho engaged in mining in Myanmar's Shan state through South Korean firm KD Power (as well as Bosung), the response has been to have the page removed from the Internet.

Now Inner City Press has discovered that Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-Ho's firm KD Power was thrown out of the UN Global Compact, the UN's easy-to-stay-in blue-washing mechanism for corporations. See here.

  What does it say about Ban Ki-moon's actual commitment to human rights if he can't even get his own brother to meet the minimal requirements of the UN Global Compact?

KP Power's since-violated “Letter of Commitment” to Ban Ki-moon was signed by his brother Ban Ki-Ho, put on Scribd here by Inner City Press, without any disclosure of the direct family relationship, just as Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, whom Ban promoted to the top UN job in Kenya, never discloses this relationship in his self-serving, human rights up front-free pieces which are run by Thomson Reuters and some others as a way to curry favor with Ban Ki-moon.

Ban Ki-moon can't or won't even get his son in law Siddhart Chatterjee, whom he promoted to the UN Resident Coordinator position in Kenya, to comply with his post-Sri Lanka failure "Rights Up Front" scheme. Sidd stayed silent amid targeting of South Sudanese in Kenya, and killings by police. In fact, the UN and Sidd have refused to divulge his role in killings in Sri Lanka.

 Back on November 9 Inner City Press sent Dujarric and others this, of which Dujarric in the hallway confirmed receipt - note that the first link was then disabled, so that it leads nowhere:

"I am sending three links regarding Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-ho (through Bosung and KD Power) doing mining in Myanmar and touring with a UN delegation.

1) http://www.brighttime.com.mm/bright-time-resources/2-uncategorised.html

"Memorandum of Understanding with KD Power of South Korea, which is managed by Mr. Ban Ki-Ho, brother of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for the exploration of Magnesium as well as cooperation in power sector in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar.  "

  Now the page is gone: "The server can not find the requested page." So how did that happen, now? But here it is in archive (search for Ban Ki-Ho). And there are photographs...

This is Ban Ki-moon censorship, this time to try to conceal nepotism and exploitation of resources in a war zone, using the UN's name.

November 21, 2016

On Myanmar, Where Ban's Brother Mines, US Accepts Outcome-Less Briefing By Nambiar, Who Says Give Them Time

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 17 -- Myanmar was the quiet topic of the UN Security Council on the evening of November 17, between meetings on South Sudan and Syria chemical weapons.

 Inner City Press is informed that while the US requested the closed door briefing, the US agreed as a condition that there would be no outcome to the meeting.

The briefer was Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Myanmar as he was, disasterously, on Sri Lanka. And sources tell Inner City Press that amid the burning of Rohingyas' homes and rapes and killings in Rakhine State, Nambiar advised the Council to go easy on Myanmar and give them time. This is is disgusting, all around.  As is this:

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not even recuse himself.

  On September 27, Inner City Press directly asked Chatterjee about it, on Periscope. here. Vine here. Chatterjee hardly answered the long-standing questions; nor did Ban's spokesman. Neither set up the requested interview.

Likewise, Inner City Press' requests for a copy of Ban Ki-moon's October 14, 2016 speech to the Council on Korean Americans, for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought, and its questions about a UN Ethics Office opinion on that and on Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo being a UN official and on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered Bank and South Korea's Doosan have gone unanswered, even as reiterated at the November 4 UN noon briefing. Video here.

November 14, 2016

After UN Ban Ki-moon Censors Press, Expresses to Trump Confidence in Cooperation

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- Hours after Hillary Clinton conceded to Donald Trump past 2 am on November 9, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon about his inaction on UN Peacekeeping's failures and rapes in the Central African Republic, and his dismissive response to Senate Foreign Relations Committee inquiries, including on UN censorship of the Press.

   Ban Ki-moon did not answer.

  Now on November 11, the UN says Ban spoke with Trump and "expressed confidence that the United States and the United Nations would maintain their traditional strong ties of cooperation." In censorship?

  On election night itself, Inner City Press reported what it heard regard former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, his spokesman Richard Grenell, and SFRC chairman Bob Corker. Some in UN-World are circling the wagons; Ban is doling out interviews, just as he did for his now waning hopes to be South Korea's next president.

 How did the current US Mission taken not action on censorship by Ban and his Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach, even when asked to do so by the Government Accountability Project?  Why has the current US Ambassador wasted resources with no fewer than three bodyguards even when inside the UN?  We'll have more on this - watch this site.

when Inner City Press got to the United Nations later in the morning, it asked Yemen's Ambassador Khaled Hussein Mohamed Alyemany if he thinks under Trump the US will continue to fuel up Saudi warplanes for their bombing runs. Video here.

He said it's not for him to judge other countries and what happens in them.


   Inner City Press asked Iraq's Ambassador to the UN M A Alhakim about the idea outgoing President Obama will try to speed up action on Mosul and Raqqa before Trump takes over. He said a sped-up process would be good. Vine video here.

   Outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came to read a statement; his outgoing spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Ban would not take questions. But one was yelled out on climate change; Inner City Press then asked about the criticism of Ban by Senator Bob Corker, a possible Secretary of State, over Ban's weak response to UN peacekeepers' engaged in sexual abuse. Video here; Vine here.

   When Inner City Press had asked Dujarric for Ban's reaction, Dujarric said dismissively that was just the opinion of one person. Impunity is impunity. Dujarric himself helped get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN Press briefing room, its UN office and the UN as a whole, see Paragraphs 9 and 10 of this UN memo to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. We'll have more on this.
November 7, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's Brother Ki-ho Involved in Myanmar Greenwashing, Like At COP 22 in Morocco

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not even recuse himself.

  On September 27, Inner City Press directly asked Chatterjee about it, on Periscope. here. Vine here. Chatterjee hardly answered the long-standing questions; nor did Ban's spokesman. Neither set up the requested interview.

Likewise, Inner City Press' requests for a copy of Ban Ki-moon's October 14, 2016 speech to the Council on Korean Americans, for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought, and its questions about a UN Ethics Office opinion on that and on Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo being a UN official and on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered Bank and South Korea's Doosan have gone unanswered, even as reiterated at the November 4 UN noon briefing. Video here.

On September 24, Inner City Press put these conflict of interest questions to Han Seung-soo, who left after the briefest of answers, here.

Now this: Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is involved with KD Power in mining projects in Myanmar's eastern Shan State, see below -- and in greenwashing "renewal energy" projects in Myanmar, here, consonant with Ban and his spokesman's silence on Morocco using corporate wind power projects to greenwash a land- (and map-) grab of Western Sahara for COP 22, here.

Ban's brother Ki-ho is vice president of electric equipment firm Bosung (a/k/a Bo Sung), which has been on Myanmar tours with (unnamed) UN officials. See (and translate) this government web page, here:

"Industry, Republic of Korea Minister U Maung Myint Bo Sung Powertec Co., Ltd, BUYANG INDUSTRIAL Co., Ltd, Germany Recycle Engineering Co., Ltd and visiting delegations from the United Nations"

Ban's former chief of staff and vanity press book editor Vijay Nambiar is Ban's envoy on Myanmar. Did he go on this trip?

In terms of mining, see this: "Bright Time has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with KD Power of South Korea, which is managed by Mr. Ban Ki-Ho, brother of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for the exploration of Magnesium as well as cooperation in power sector in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar."

 Is the UN's Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee aware of this mining project in east Shan State, with the brother of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon? Is the UN Ethics Office?


As noted, Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is VP of a Korean electric equipment company, Bosung.  The CEO of Bosung, Lim Jae-Hwang, is a former executive with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).   Bosung Power Technology supplies its products primarily to KEPCO, which recently signed a deal with the UAE to build a nuclear plant. 

Doosan is providing the nuclear reactor. Ban's friend and mentor Han Seung-soo, whom Ban appointed to a senior UN position (which conveys diplomatic immunity) is on the board of directors of Doosan and has engaged closely with UAE on issues of Korean trade promotion and business.  Han has most recently served on the jury of the UAE Energy Prize.  Meanwhile, Ban's other brother Ban ki-sang served as an advisor to Keangnam, which developed properties in UAE for South Korean expatriates and businesses.

We'll have more on this.October 31, 2016

Under New SG Guterres, Who Will Head UN Peacekeeping, Public Information?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 28 -- 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.

Beyond the UN Peacekeeping issues explored below, as to ending UN censorship who becomes Spokesperson, and who heads the Department of Public Information, will have an impact. On October 28 the UN told correspondents that Melissa Fleming, spokesperson for Guterres, should now be contacted through a UN.org and not UNHCR.org email address. Does this mean she'll be UN Spokesperson? Head of DPI?

The Free UN Coalition for Access has asked. One thing should be clear: Cristina Gallach must go. Beyond her no due process eviction of the Press, and the recent Wonder Woman as Ambassador debacle, she is named in the Office of Internal Oversight Services audit of the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng scandal, as having done no due diligence. There must be accountability, even belatedly.

   (Later on October 28, the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon who not only threw Inner City Press out of the UN Press Briefing Room but who has also for two weeks resisted making publish a speech Ban gave on October 14 to a group, the Council of Korean Americans, which sought $100,000 sponsorships for the event, was glad-handing at an Upper East Side event. A lot of people are dusting off their c.v. or resume.)

  UN Peacekeeping has been controlled by France for 20 years, and many believe that it is and will be time to relinquish it. But when Inner City Press asked, if for example France will shift to DESA or even across First Avenue to UNDP, it was told “don't believe everything you hear.”

   Now the person who gave that answer or quip is reported as a possible replacement for Herve Ladsous, who has run DPKO into the ground.

Other names floated are Sylvie Bermann -- if France keeps it, a woman USG might be designed to address the sexual abuse issues that expanded and were justified under Ladous - or Jean-Maurice Ripert, without any mention of his issue when he was assigned to Pakistan humanitarian issues and remained on vacation. (In full disclosure, Ripert also confronted Inner City Press on a UN Security Council trip involving Chad and, by accident, Rwanda - but that's another story.) October 24, 2016

As Ban Ki-moon Conceals DC Speech & Is Protested at UN, Tells Reuters Of His South Korea Ambitions

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 21  -- What has Ban Ki-moon turned the UN into, as he seeks to run for President of South Korea?

For a week, Ban Ki-moon has refused to make public the speech he gave on October 14 before the Council of Korean Americans, which sought $100,000 sponsorships to hear Ban speak. On October 21, even as UN staff protested Ban's lack of judgment in naming a cartoon character, Wonder Woman, a UN ambassador, Ban made public to Reuters not this speech but his ambition to be president of South Korea. Reuters did not ask about the day's protest, much less the “private” speech.

  At the October 21 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric again for a copy of the speech - next question, Dujarric said - and about the Wonder Woman fiasco.

   What will Ban's platform be? At the UN, he he give the top job in Kenya to his own son in law, without recusing himself. He has allowed his mentor Han Seung-soo to be a UN official while on the boards of directors of Doosan and of Standard Chartered bank, which has UN contracts. He has evicted the Press which has asked about his nepotism throughout his tenure. See here. So: corruption, nepotism and censorship? We'll have more on this.

On October 17, Inner City Press asked Ban's outgoing spokesman Stephane Dujarric why his office had not made available Ban's speech in Washington DC on October 14 to the Council of Korean-Americans but had widely emailed out Ban's speech the same day while getting another honorary degree in Maryland.

    Dujarric replied, with characteristic defensiveness, that Ban's Friday evening speech at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in DC was private. Vine video here. On October 18 when Inner City Press followed up and asked how much was charged or sought to hear Ban, Dujarric said to ask the organizers.

  Well, the Council of Korean Americans began promoting Ban's attendance, as UN Secretary General, as early as August - and sought $100,000 “platinum” sponsorships. Here's a tweet from September.

Here is the $100,000 pitch.

  Is this ethical?

October 17, 2016

ICP Asked New SG Guterres About Yemen, His Transition Team Here

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 14 -- 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. Now on October 14, Guterres announces this team:

"Following his appointment yesterday by the General Assembly of the United Nations as Secretary-General-designate, António Guterres announced the composition of a transition team that will help him prepare for the assumption of his duties on 1 January 2017. Here's some of the absurdities they should fix, on Haiti cholera and media restrictions.
 
The members of the team are:
 
Transition Team Chief: Ms. Kyung-wha Kang (Republic of Korea). She previously served as Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights and Director General of International Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea. She is currently Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

Senior Advisor/ Spokesperson: Ms. Melissa Fleming (USA). She has held leading international communications positions at the OSCE, with a focus on human rights, conflict prevention and reconciliation and at the IAEA on nuclear non-proliferation, safety and security. She is currently Head of Communications and Spokesperson for the High Commissioner at UNHCR.

Senior Adviser: Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough (Jamaica). She has practiced privately as a lawyer, served as advisor to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States and has deep development experience within UNDP, including as UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. She’s currently Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director Designate for Asia and the Pacific.

Senior Adviser: Mr. João Madureira (Portugal). He has a distinguished career in his country’s Diplomatic Service. He is currently Minister Counsellor in the Permanent Mission of Portugal to the UN.

Senior Adviser: Mr. Radhouane Nouicer (Tunisia). He served at UNHCR for over 18 years in the field and as Director of the Middle East and North Africa Bureau. He was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Tunisian Transitional Government in 2011. He is currently Regional Advisor for the Yemen Humanitarian Crisis.  

The Transition Team will interact with UN officials, Member States and civil society to ensure an informed and smooth transition. "

  On October 14 inside the GA hall, speakers included Chile's Ambassador Christian Barros and the UK's Matthew Rycroft, who spoke of the process by which Guterres was selected (but not, perhaps understandably, about Yemen). US Ambassador Samantha Power joked that she had set aside time around Christmas in case more straw polls were needed.

   In the days and weeks ahead, Inner City Press will be running its “New UN” series, which today covered the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The need for change at UN Peacekeeping and the Department of Public Information is clear. But how will the UN become anything near to an honest broker? We are hoping for it. Watch this site.

October 10, 2016

On Yemen, ICP Asks UK, France, NZ & Saudi After Airstrike on Funeral, No Draft Yet

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS,  October 8 -- The Saudi led coalition bombed a funeral in Sana'a, Yemen, on the same day the UN Security Council met about airstrikes in Syria.

Inner City Press asked Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah Yahya A. Al-Mouallimi to confirm it was an Saudi strike and explain it. He said, "I am not aware of it." Vine video here.

After the French resolution failed in the Security Council, its foreign minister Jean Marc Ayrault came to the stakeout. Inner City Press asked him, loudly, if he thinks the Saudi bombardment of Yemen should also be taken up by the Security Council, after an airstrike on a funeral most recently. He did not answer, despite the question being repeated. Vine here. He left.

   While Ambassador Matthew Rycroft of the UK, which holds the Council's “pen” on Yemen, also did not answer, Vine here, New Zealand's ambassador when Inner City Press asked if his country also thinks the Saudi-led coalition should stop bombing Yemen said, “I do.” Vine here.

But by the end of the meting, following a walk-out by the UK, US and others, the UK as "penholder" on Yemen in the Security Council had not, according to the president, circulated any draft Press Statement. Watch this site.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has let the Saudi led coalition off the Children and Armed Conflict annex on Yemen, while Saudi Arabia runs for a Human Rights Council seat. How much lower can the UN get?

After a UAE warship was hit - and sunk - off the Yemeni coast near Mocha, Inner City Press on October 3 asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq for a comment, and if the UN knows if it was a warship or as claimed an aid ship.  See October 6 US travel warning, below.

On October 4 Haq returned with, "it doesn't sound as if it was on a humanitarian mission." Vine video here.October 3, 2016

On Next SG, Of Kazakh Deputy & Nordic Dreamers, Russia To Get Political Affairs?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 1 -- With female Eastern European group candidates low in the Next UN Secretary General straw poll conducted by Russia in the Security Council on September 26, two days later on September 28 as predicted Bulgaria nominated and switched its backing to Kristalina Georgieva from Irina Bokova.

There was a four-member questioning of the switch, but within a day it was accepted and the letter went out. Georgieva's General Assembly interview was scheduled for October 3, with a press stakeout at 1 pm.

   The plot has thickened and Inner City Press can now go beyond its previous reporting on a possible deal NOT to veto Antonio Guterres if Russia gets the Deputy Secretary General spot, either for Vuk Jeremic who has indicted he would take it, or the now “personal” candidate Irina Bokova.

There may be another “dark horse” Deputy Secretary General candidate, from Kazakhstan - and female. We'll have more on this.

    Russia, Inner City Press is exclusively informed by well-placed but not Russian sources, also wants the UN Department of Political Affairs, held for the last two times by the United States. They say there is precedent, that the USSR held the precursor to DPA post. But how would giving DPA to Russia at this time be viewed?

  In other Under Secretary General musical chairs news and musing, China is “ready to move beyond DESA,” as one source put it to Inner City Press, and wants the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, which Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row, has run into the ground.

  But what would France get? UK Stephen O'Brien wants to stay on in Humanitarian Affairs, and the US in this scenario would take back Management from  Japan. What would France be left with? Some say the Department of Public Information, and point to a candidate in waiting at UNESCO. We'll have more on that, and on the UNESCO race, as well.

   At DPI, Cristina Gallach who has mis-run the Department and linked it to the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery scandal as well as then turning DPI into an eviction shop has to go.

Spain is said to be trying to parlay the last three months of its Security Council membership into a position like Disarmament, which Kim Won-soo will vacate, reportedly to again campaign with Ban Ki-moon, this time for South Korea president.

   Even at this late stage there are dark horses and dreamers. Kevin Rudd doesn't hide it, and Inner City Press hears he's lined up a country other that Australia which could nominate him. Just gone PGA Lykketoft is said to dream of the post, as is Ban's current deputy (who until now has referred all mis-Communication issues back to Ms Gallach). From Lebanon, Sigrid Kaag is said to have been trying to convince her Dutch government to nominate her, but upcoming elections have not helped. There are elections everywhere. Watch this site.

  Ukraine's Ambassador to the UN Volodymyr Yelchenko on September 29, on Georgieva, said it's too late, that she won't be able to go through the process the others have. Inner City Press Vine here. Inner City Press heard that Georgieva's General Assembly interview or informal is tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 3, two days before the sixth, differentiated straw poll. Timing is everything.

   In January of this year, Inner City Press asked Georgieva some UN reform questions from the UN Press Briefing Room, here, prior to eviction by Old SG Ban Ki-moon. Georgieva has some powerful backers, but her EU role may be a problem for Russia. Some wonder if Bokova will in fact drop out, or now count on backing to become Deputy Secretary General. Watch this site.

The fifth round of straw polling for the Next UN Secretary General dealt another blow to the lofty rhetoric on gender, with the four top finishers all men. Vuk Jeremic of Serbia edged ahead of Miroslav Lajcak for second place. Inner City Press has heard Russia might NOT veto Antonio Guterres if Jeremic or Irina Bokova got the deputy SG spot. Here are the results:

Antonio Guterres: 12-2-1
Vuk Jeremic: 8-6-1
Miroslav Lajcak: 8-7-0
Danilo Turk: 7-7-1
Susanna Malcorra: 7-7-1
Irina Bokova: 6-7-2
Srgjan Kerim: 6-9-0
Helen Clark: 6-9-0
Natalia Gherman: 3-11-1

September 26, 2016

ICP Asks Ban Ki-moon's Mentor Han Seoug-soo of Moonlighting with StanChart & Doosan, He Says Banks Too

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “Special Envoy For Disaster Risk Reduction and Water” Han Seung-Soo is listed on the board of directors of South Korean firm Doosan and of Standard Chartered Bank- both of which do business with the UN, including banking business.  Was this approved by Ban Ki-moon? Now it seems Yes. But should it have been?

On September 21, Inner City Press asked Han Seung-soo to square his position with Ban's UN and on the boards of Standard Chartered and Doosan, which sells water equipment. Beyond the Vine video here.

ICP Asks Ban Ki-moon's Mentor Han Seoug-soo of Moonlighting with StanChart & Doosan, He Says Banks Too

Han Seung-soo, given time to think about it until the end of the stakeout by Ban's chief of communications (and censorship), nevertheless entirely dodged, citing sustainability in the private sector including banks. Sustainability of corruption?

On August 29, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric (in writing since Dujarric suspended all noon briefings after previously throwing Inner City Press out of (t)his UN Press Briefing Room) to “please state whether the Secretary General asked Han Seung-soo, given his at least two board memberships, to make public financial disclosure.”

  To this, Dujarric replied, “He is under the same rules as other envoys.” 

   So all UN envoys can be on the boards of directors of companies in the UN Procurement data base, with UN contracts, companies that make sales to countries to which the envoy gives UN speeches?

Doosan, on whose board Han sits,  has billion dollar business with Saudi Arabia, to whose money Ban deferred in dropping the Saudi-led Coalition from the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Yemen annex. This is Ban's UN: see Inner City Press first-draft 47-minute film here, "Banning the Press: Corruption in the UN of Ban Ki-moon, John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng, Yemen."  And now, Part II: "BANning Transparency," here  and Version III, with Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee
September 19, 2016

For UNGA, Ban Ki-moon Prints Book on Legacy, But Who Wrote & Paid For It?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 18 -- As Ban Ki-moon's time at the UN winds down and he prepares coyly to run for President in South Korea, his packaging of his legacy has become a vanity amateur operation.

Take for example the hard cover book on his conference table when he met on September 18 with Donald Tusk, President, European Council and Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President, European Commission. It was called “Highlights of the tenure of Ban Ki-moon, 2007-2016.” Inner City Press asks: who wrote it? Who paid for it? Why was this done?

Money shot: #BanKiMoon's beverage (UNlike press) and vanity press legacy book: who paid for it? pic.twitter.com/v23c58FVMZ

— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) September 18, 2016

  For the next meeting, with Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, another copy of the Ban vanity book was out, along with a pen to sign it.

By the last meeting of the day, after Inner City Press tweeted then first published this story, the copy of the book for UNASUR's Ernesto Samper Pizano was covered up with a file by Ban's staff. Is this on the level?

 In the hall was the office of Nardos Bekele-Thomas, moved out of the top job in Kenya so Ban's son in law could occupy it before Ban leaves. Legacy, indeed....

 The Friday before UN General Assembly week starts in earnest, reporters at the UN were told of some of the upcoming meetings and how, despite restrictions, to cover them.

Inner City Press asked the head of the UN's Department of Public Information Cristina Gallach why DPI says the non-resident correspondents, the vast majority of journalists covering the UN, will be placed in basement Conference Room 1 where no only food and beverages but even water is not allowed.

(In Ban's conference room there is water and, we've noted at his all-Korean meeting, tea.)

   Gallach's reply cited to “professionalism” and rules, both of which she invoked when she ousted and then evicted Inner City Press from the UN earlier this year.

Ironically, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric less that an hour later explained having violated the rules (about those without cameras not attending photo ops) so that South Korean print journalists could witness Ban's speech to politicians visiting from Seoul.

The UN's rules are selectively implied, in this case to censor.

  Last October 19, 2015 Inner City Press asked Gallach about her attendance at the South South Awards of Ng Lap Seng, the Macau-based businessman under house arrest for bribery at the UN.

  On September 16, Inner City Press asked Gallach about the since-released Office of Internal Oversight Services audit, which found that her DPI did not due diligence on events by Ng Lap Seng fundees.

  Gallach said that the outside event - the case in Federal court - is being followed. So Inner City Press asked for her response to testimony in the case that South South News, which unlike Inner City Press the rule-invoking Gallach left in its UN office despite or because of it not asking any questions at the UN, was named as a “conduit of bribery.” This, she did not answer.

   After the briefing, which included film maker Richard Curtis whom Inner City Press asked about the Next SG race, Gallach's staffer asked for further information about the water(less) issue.

  Inner City Press added the exclusion of non-resident correspondents from access to the UN's EZTV which shows more events than the UN webcast. See flier here of the Free UN Coalition for Access, also ejected and sign torn down under Gallach. What will change? We'll see. Watch this site.September 12, 2016

Ban Ki-moon & Son In Law Use Jaffna Massacre Commander As Nepotism Defense

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, September 10 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not recuse himself.

After Inner City Press asked about this textbook case of nepotism, video here, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied that an inter-agency advisory panel had been involved, before Ban signed the letter appointing his own son in law to the post.

Meanwhile, an ally of Ban's son in law Chatterjee, Dalvir Singh, has called this series of articles, despite Ban's spokesman's stonewalling and refusal to answer, unfair -- "scurrilous, unfounded and mendacious accusations" by a "blogger."

He has re-upped his / Sid's / Ban's article on Huffington Post, saying Inner City Press - which Ban ousted and evicted -- is "a blogger of questionable credentials, poor ethics and a filthy office." Not anymore! Ban Ki-moon EVICTED Inner City Press in retaliation. NYT here; petition with links here.  And see this newly edited 24-minute emerging documentary.

Dalvir Singh writes that Inner City Press, “a blogger of questionable credentials.... has hurled scurrilous, unfounded and mendacious accusations of human rights violations against Chatterjee. Major Chatterjee was a star member of my battalion, the 10th Para Special Forces, and at no time was my battalion or any member of my unit ever involved in any form of human rights violation.”

    Thou dost protest too much. Beyond the Jaffna University heli-drop on October 11, 1987, there was the Jaffna hospital massacre ten days later on October 21, 1987.  Here is the Wiki-time line (some say this may explain Ban's willingness to let the Saudi led Coalition off the UN's Children and Armed Conflict annex for attacks on health and other civilian facilities in Yemen)

"October 21, 1987 - 11h – The hospital environment came under cannon fire from the vicinity of Jaffna Dutch Fort and from overhead helicopters.

September 5, 2016

Ban Ki-moon's Promoted Son In Law Sid Chatterjee Reportedly Posed With Dead Combatants, No UN Comment

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, September 2 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not recuse himself.

After Inner City Press asked about this textbook case of nepotism, video here, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied that an inter-agency advisory panel had been involved, between Ban signed the letter appointing his own son in law to the post.

  So Inner City Press has asked Dujarric who was on this panel, to assess if they were independent from Ban, and who the other candidates, at least on the short list, were.

 Dujarric has refused to provide this information, and has refused all other Inner City Press questions about Ban's son in law, including about his activities in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Dujarric has refused to answer; on September 2, he did not even acknowledge receipt of Inner City Press' questions, including about Ban's meeting with Sri Lankan President Sirisena.

   As Ban's spokesman knows, Ban is in Sri Lanka; the story can't wait. So today Inner City Press reports that it has been told of Siddarth Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; this has been described as a war crime.

   Inner City Press twice this week asked Dujarric to describe and comment on Ban Ki-moon's son in law's activities in Sri Lanka; it is all the more pressing given the most recent UN promotion without recusal. Inner City Press also asked what forms and rules apply, a question also ignored by Dujarric with respect to a fundraiser held in the UN with Ban's past envoy to Sri Lanka, Vijay Nambiar. Inner City Press asked Dujarric to comment in this context on this, authored by Ban's son in law Sid Chatterjee: no answers.

   And so in common journalistic practice, to assist reader in deciding whether to believe or not believe these reports of Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured combatants in violation of the Geneva Conventions, we disclose that one of the sources clearly has an interest: Chatterjee's ex-wife Shirpa Sen.

She is a medical doctor; she has said Chatterjee threatened her to stop providing any information to Inner City Press and an Indian journalist whose publication Chatterjee got to remove a report about one of his promotions under Ban from the Internet. (Censorship seems to run in the family.)

The allegation is that Chatterjee dropped her and then saw his career path advance under his new father in law, Ban Ki-moon; he made threats to make the issues of the past go away.

   We disclose this because readers have a right to know of the interest or animus of the source of information. Here is another online report; here on a court website is the decision on the divorce appeal. And here is an earlier report of Inner City Press asking Ban's spokespeople about Chatterjee's military record, in Sri Lanka Ban's 2009 visit to which Inner City Press covered in-person (Inner City Press has since been BANned, restricted.)

  A direct comment of any kind from Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, requested all week, would have been preferable.

 But Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach should not be able to censor by throwing the Press into the street, New York Times here, audio here.

Likewise Ban's spokesman cannot be allowed to prevent a timely article by simply refusing to even acknowledge questions submitted in writing, especially after he began the week telling Inner City Press (and the Free UN Coalition for Access which asked for in-person briefings) that he would be answering questions all week.

Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman did not answer these questions, nor on September 2 even acknowledge receipt of them.
August 29, 2016

Ban Ki-moon Signed Letter Giving Son-In-Law Top UN Job in Kenya, Confirmed to ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- Under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the UN has become so lawless that Ban's son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee was just named UN Resident Representative in Kenya without Ban recusing himself.  Inner City Press reported and asked about this on August 25. On August 26, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the letter giving his own son in law the job, see below.

 How is this acceptable in an international organization? Or this: Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo is a UN official allowed to be on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered, which has UN banking contracts, and Doosan which makes sales to countries Han gives “UN” speeches to.

   On August 25, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric if Ban had recused himself from any role in his son-in-law's promotion, video here.

From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: Mr. Chatterjee was named the UN representative in Kenya.  So I wanted to know, what’s the process for the naming of a resident representative?  And given this he’s the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, was there any recusal made?  I’m not saying he’s not qualified.  I’m not saying he’s not a long-time official.  I’m just wondering what is the process…[inaudible]… for someone being named…

Spokesman:  The regular process was used.  The fact that he is, indeed, the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, I think, does not take away anything from his very strong service over the years…

Inner City Press: I’m asking about the process.

Spokesman:  Thank you.

Dujarric's only response is that Chatterjee is qualified. That was not the question. After Inner City Press highlighted this, Ban's spokesman Dujarric returned on August 26 with a "supplemental" statement, which still confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the approval of his own son in law for the promotion. Video here. From the UN Transcript:

Spokesman Dujarric: I also just wanted to give you a little bit more details on the issue you had raised yesterday with Mr. Chatterjee and expand on what I'd said.  Mr. Chatterjee was chosen through the regular process which is basically that the candidates are chosen by an interagency advisory panel which… which does not… and especially in this case… did not involve the Secretary-General.  I think he has been fully aware of the situation and has kept well away from the selection process.  For RCs, the candidates are chosen and recommended by the interagency panel.  The name of the recommended candidate is then given to the Secretary-General to sign off on.  He does not involve himself… and as I said, especially in this case… involve himself in the selection… in the selection process.  And I would just, again, reiterate Mr. Chatterjee's, I think, very strong qualifications in his career with ICRC and the UN over the years.

Inner City Press: I looked into it, too.  It seemed like they sent it to the UNDG Chair and the Secretary-General.  That's why I was asking yesterday.

Spokesman:  No, I understand.  The Secretary-General… the Secretary-General is very aware of the sensitivities of this case and has stayed well away from it.  The final signature… because the way this works is the Resident Coordinator represents the UN, and it needs the agreement of the host country.  So, the letter of appointment, in a sense, has to be signed by the Secretary-General.  But, his name is given to him by the interagency panel.

ICP Question:  Can I ask you one other?

Spokesman:  I’ll come back to you.  Video here.

Nor have the questions about Han Seung-soo, who refuses Ban's supposed call for public financial disclosure, been answered.

  Instead, Inner City Press which has asked about each of Chatterjee's promotions though the UN system under Ban (for example to and from UNOPS including censorship by the son in law, like Ban) and in the past ten months about Ban's and his head of communications Cristina Gallach's links with the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN bribery scandal, was ousted from the UN in February 2016 (audio here) and had its investigative files evicted onto First Avenue in April (video here). NYT here.

   Since then Inner City Press has been BANned from covering UN events on the second floor unless it has a minder which stays with it all the time; sometime Inner City Press is told there are not enough minders, and coverage is entirely prohibited. This is censorship under Ban Ki-moon.August 22, 2016

Why Ban Ki-moon Dropped from Public List Officials Who Refuse to Disclose UNexplained

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, August 18 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “Special Envoy For Disaster Risk Reduction and Water” Han Seung-Soo is listed on the board of directors of South Korean firm Doosan and of Standard Chartered Bank- both of which do business with the UN, including banking business.  Was this approved by Ban Ki-moon? Now it seems Yes. But should it have been?

Especially when, as now, it is exposed that Doosan has billion dollar business with Saudi Arabia, to whose money Ban deferred in dropping the Saudi-led Coalition from the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Yemen annex? This is Ban's UN: see Inner City Press first-draft 47-minute film here, "Banning the Press: Corruption in the UN of Ban Ki-moon, John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng, Yemen."  And now, Part II: "BANning Transparency," here.

While the UN claims Ban Ki-moon urges his officials to make public financial disclosure, now Ban has allowed the names of the officials who refuse to make any disclosure to no longer even be mentioned on the list of officials.

 For example, while in 2013 Herve Ladsous the head of peacekeeping was listed, and said he was maintaining confidentiality, in 2015 he is not listed at all.

On August 18, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Farhan Haq about the continued decline of transparency under Ban, Vine here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: you've referred a couple times in recent days to the idea of… of public financial disclosure by… by officials.  And I've seen on the website that Ban Ki-moon says that he urges his officials to do it, but, of course, it's not required.  That I understand.  But, what I've noticed is that until recently, in previous years, there's been a list of all officials.  And if you click some names, it says, "I choose not to disclose."  For 2015, the most recent year, the officials who don't disclose aren't even listed.  So, it seems like it's a step back.  And I wanted to know, for example, Mr. Hervé Ladsous was listed in 2013 as declining to disclose.  He's the head of peacekeeping, as you know.  I don't know how the urging of Ban Ki-moon resulted in that.  But, in 2015 he's not even on the list.  So, maybe you know or you can ask them, how is it decided to drop the names from the list of officials who choose not to disclose?  Because it makes it even more opaque, obviously, because you can't even tell that they didn't disclose.  They're not listed, unless you do cross-reference back…

Deputy Spokesman:  No, well, you know who the officials of the UN are.  They either choose to make their disclosure on a voluntary basis or not.  That is their decision.  However, regardless of whether they make it public or not, they do make disclosures to the UN, and those are reviewed.

ICP Question:  Right.  Was it specific… was it a change in policy, from all the years, 2000… for example, Mr. [Mathew] Nimetz appears in 2007, but he doesn't appear in 2015.  Mr. Han [Seung-soo] doesn't appear.  So, who decided… I guess it's the ethics… on whose authority was it decided to make it less opaque which officials are not following Ban Ki-moon's ostensible urging to disclose?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, like I said, there's still financial… the public financial disclosures are still available, and that's the basic point.  If they choose to make them public, they're available on the website.

The conflicts of interest allowed by Ban Ki-moon in his UN are extensive. Today's example is  Matthew Nimetz, Ban's Personal Envoy for the talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

    Nimetz is Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of General Atlantic LLC which, among other things, has invested in Studio Moderna Holdings B.V., a for-profit company that operates in FYROM. This is Ban's UN. It doesn't even answer.

August 15, 2016

Ban's Adviser Han Seung-Soo With UN StanChart, Spox Claims Bullying

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, August 11 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “Special Envoy For Disaster Risk Reduction and Water” Han Seung-Soo is listed on the board of directors of South Korean firm Doosan Infracore - which does business with the UN. Was this approved by Ban Ki-moon? Now it seems Yes. But should it have been?

Especially when, as now, it is exposed that Doosan has billion dollar business with Saudi Arabia, to whose money Ban deferred in dropping the Saudi-led Coalition from the UN's Children and Armed Conflict Yemen annex? This is Ban's UN: see new Inner City Press 47-minute film here, "Banning the Press: Corruption in the UN of Ban Ki-moon, John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng, Yemen."

As Inner City Press first reported and asked about on August 11, Han Seung-soo is on the board of directors of Standard Chartered bank, awarded the UN's master banking services contract (see this UN document, at Paragraph 50), and a brokerage contract (UN Procurement website, here).

When Inner City Press asked about this and how many OTHER board Han is on that do business with the UN, Ban's spokesman Farhan Haq cut off the questions and claimed Inner City Press was “bullying” him. Video here; UN Transcript here
August 8, 2016

Ban's Adviser Han Seung-Soo Is Director of UN Contractor Doosan, UNethical?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, August 5 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's “Special Envoy For Disaster Risk Reduction and Water” Han Seung-Soo is listed on the board of directors of South Korean firm Doosan Infracore - which does business with the UN. Was this approved by Ban Ki-moon? Could it be?

After publishing these links, Inner City Press on August 4 asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about it, and about Jane Holl Lute for the second time -- this time, answered unlike the five days of questions about UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan being on an outside board of a corporation which has held events for, among other things, sneakers in the UN.

So does the UN only answer when it can say that Yes, Ban Ki-moon approved? On August 5, Inner City Press asked again, video here, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: Yesterday I'd asked about Han Seung-soo and whether he's the Special Adviser.

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, yes, he remains Special Adviser.  I've put in a request to the Ethics Office to see whether he's made any notifications of different business dealings.  I believe he may have done some, but I'm trying to get it from the Ethics Office.  Alas, at this time of summer, there are some offices that are… will be harder to get replies back from so I'll let you know once I have it.

Question:  Sure.  I guess I want to understand.  There's a rule that says a person needs approval from the Secretary-General for outside.  Does that apply here, or is it just a matter of saying that you're doing it?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first I need to check, again, whether the Ethics Office has had any notifications of any other activities. 


 Video here. From the August 4 UN transcript:


August 1, 2016

On DSS Scandal, UN Refuses To Name Sponsor, If Ban Approved Or Just Negligent

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 29 -- As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of the Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and pleaded-guilty Francis Lorenzo's South South News, among others.

While as of July 27 Ban and his Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach still have this last "bribery conduit" in a UN office after evicting Inner City Press for investigating it, and them, more dubious events are scheduled for Ban's UN. (Gallach, who appeared with Lorenzo, spoke in the GA Hall on July 29 - given her retaliatory evition of Inner City Press, it would only half cover the event with one of Ban's minders.)

On July 29 Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, for the second day in a row, if UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan's position on the board of the directors of the sponsor of an August 2 event, which has links with pleaded-guilty Francis Lorenzo, was approved by Ban Ki-moon as required by UN rules.

  Rather than answer this simple question, Haq said he is not aware of any problem with the individual. Does that mean that Ban Ki-moon has given up even pretending to enforce UN ethics rules? Or that Ban Ki-moon has approved this UN Inspector's moonlighting with entities linked with the UN's Lorenzo / John Ashe (RIP) / Ng Lap Seng bribery scandal?  

One of the links is through an event held in the UN in January 2015 which Inner City Press has reported about and asked about, by “Reelcause” - the UN speakers included not only UN DSS Inspector Matthew Sullivan, a JBF board member, but also UN DSS Officer Anthony Barzelatto. We'll have more on this, as the UN is refusing to answer the most basic factual questions.

   Even the simple question of who sponsored the use of the UN on August 2, a mission or a UN department, was stonewalled by Ban's Haq. He said, ask the group holding the event. Well, no. The UN premises are being used, and this requires a sponsor.

   In fact, the head of the group now in a press release identifies himself as a UN Ambassador for Peace and Sport. Did Ban Ki-moon give him this title? Or does anything go, now that Ban's own Secretariat sold documents to Ng Lap Seng and Ban only wants to run for President of South Korea?

Now that Ban's UN goes so far as to evict the Press asking the question and "mis-speaks" to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders, and to either the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee or to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta?

Inner City Press and @InnerCityPress first reported on the dubious concussions event in the UN, involving Matthew Sullivan in 2014, before he and Ban and Gallach ousted and evicted Inner City Press from the UN.

Here is a notice of a for-profit event in the UN announced for August 2 by the Jack Brewer Foundation including JBF (UN) authorized board member UN Department of Safety and Security Inspector Mathew Sullivan, who on February 22 told Inner City Press Ban and Gallach had Banned it from all UN premises worldwide, audio here and petition here, and who further censored Inner City Press on July 26 from covering South Sudan and Haiti meeting.

Significantly, Sullivan was listed for a UN event by “Reelcause,” whose shareholders include not only Jack Brewer Foundation but also the “Montessori Model UN,” founded by Francis Lorenzo who had pleaded guilty to UN bribery charges (while Gallach leaves Lorenzo's South South News in an office after evicting Inner City Press as it investigated it, and her and Ban's links).

The JBF, on whose board of director UN Matthew Sullivan serves, has appeared with South South News, here and Lorenzo, here (and photo).

  So l'affaire Matthew Sullivan, which Ban's spokesman is trying to stop investigation of by calling even Googling unethical, is connected to the Francis Lorenzo UN bribery scandal. Perhaps this explains Ban's spokesmen stonewalling. Lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric stonewalled Inner City Press' previous questions about Montessori Model UN.

   We also note that Jack Brewer Foundation is a shareholder of a company called "Immune Therapeutics," for which Brewer opened doors (including, literally, the UN's) to help the company sell pharmaceuticals. Immune Therapeutics' CEO is named Noreen Griffin, and she is linked to bribing imprisoned ex-Congressman William Jefferson. Why has Ban authorized one of his Security officials to be on this board of directors and to use the UN?

On July 28 when Inner City Press for the second time asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about the specifics of for-profit events in the UN and Sullivan's presence on the board of directors of the events' sponsor, rather than answer Haq tried to call Inner City Press' research and reporting “unethical,” going so far as to ask if it had started research AFTER it was Banned from covering UN meeting on Haiti and South Sudan.

   In fact, Inner City Press reported on the “concussions” event long before Ban and Cristina Gallach ousted it on February 19, and Sullivan on February 22 told Inner City Press it was Banned from UN premises worldwide.  Haq's boss Stephane Dujarric claimed that day that Sullivan had gone beyond the ouster ordered by Gallach. If so, why did Sullivan do it?

  Ban's UN has become a place where officials at all levels think they can sell access to the UN, since Ng Lap Seng so easily bought it. The scandal, as Inner City Press will shortly report, are connected. Ban's UN's response to reporting is to evict the Press, then to question whether Googling is somehow unethical. Vines here and here and here and here. Then video hereFrom the UN Transcript:

Inner City Press: yesterday I asked you about this event that is scheduled for 2 August and you told me to speak to the group and Mr. Sullivan didn't know he was on the list, and wouldn't speak at it.  Since then I've seen there are at least three other events at which he did speak by the same group, involving the same group and that he is on board of directors of the sponsor of the 2 August thing, that Jackie Brewer Foundation.  So I guess what I wanted to know is, one, to me it seems strange that he didn't know that he was listed by them if he is on the board of directors.  But I also wanted to ask, I've seen the Secretary-General orders called outside activities that say staff members should not engage in outside these activities without the approval of the Secretary-General.  So I wanted to know, since this is a private, for-profit company that has had its stock pitched based on the involvement of UN DSS (Department of Safety and Security), whether the Secretary-General has, in fact, approved this or not?  And, if not, what happens next?

Deputy Spokesman:  As I told you, he is not appearing at their function.  He was not aware of this.

ICP Question:  Did you look into it?  He is on the board of directors of the group, so I'm asking.

Deputy Spokesman:  This person who, by the way, has informed me that you apparently have taken some sort of gripe with him because he tried to talk to you at a stakeout.  I'm aware…

ICP Question:  It's not a gripe.  I'm asking you about an official DSS official on the board.  You are cutting me off.  I thought that was unprofessional.  I'm asking a question, how does this regulation apply?

Deputy Spokesman:  I was actually in the process of answering you, and then you can talk.  This is how conversations go: I talk and you talk and so forth.

ICP Question:  Just that you walk away, so that is why I'm making sure I want to ask, there are number of other questions on this.

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew, that is not fair.  I take a huge amount of questions from you, as every transcript and every video will show.  Now, I have no problem with you asking questions.  I do not think that you should try to use the briefing in terms of personal vendettas against people.  If that is what you are doing, it's unethical and I would have a problem with that.

ICP Question:  You can say whatever you want.  Okay, what I'm asking, a senior UN DSS official is, this is all online, these are all… you could have found them yourselves with ten minutes of Googling.  He is on the board of directors of a group that you said didn't know put him on the list and there have been three separate events, one about sneakers, one about concussions in the NFL (National Football League), and these have all taken place in the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Trusteeship Chamber.  So my question is for the service of this individual on the board of directors of a for-profit company for a for-profit event, has the Secretary-General given permission?  And, if not, is this reflective of a lack of due diligence as in the Ng Lap Seng case, "Yes" or "No"?

Deputy Spokesman:  First of all, to the extent that DSS ever gives briefings at these, there are briefings about security conditions.  Those are standard; outside of those, I'm not aware…

ICP Question:  I urge you to look at the press releases.

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not aware of anything that is not a standard briefing.  Second of all, did you do any of this Googling before you had your conversation in the corridors with him?

ICP Question:  Yes, I have.  I've been actually following… I wrote about the concussion event because it's a joke these events take place in the UN that are raising money, so I'm now I'm asking you about these events because you said he didn't know and it's not credible.  He has done three events.  Look at them and see whether there were safety concerns.

Deputy Spokesman:  Like I said, I have talked to this person and this is what he said.

When after publishing a story exposing the notice and Sullivan's listed involvement Inner City Press asked Bna's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about it, Haq said he had spoken with Sullvian who said he had not been aware he was listed, and is not involved. Haq refused ot answer more about the event, and cut off Inner City Press' questions. Video here.

This is not credible. In fact, Matthew Sullivan is on the board of directors of the group holding the event, which is either a violation of UN rules or was approved by Ban "Fast and Loose" Ki-moon. The applicable rule:

"ST/AI/2000/13    Outside activities

      Section 2  Staff members engaging in outside activities authorized under the present instruction shall make clear to the organizers and participants in such activities, including any employers, that they act in their personal capacity and not as representatives of the United Nations.
 
Section 3 3.1     Under staff regulation 1.2 (o), a staff member shall not engage in any outside occupation or employment, whether remunerated or not, without the approval of the Secretary-General. For the purposes of the present instruction, the expression 'occupation' shall include the exercise of a profession, whether as an employee or an independent contractor."

 Here is a photo of Sullivan with the people he says he doesn't know listed him for the August 2 event.



There are been other events with Sullivan, for example here: "MagneGas Announces Panelists for World Water Day Summit at the UN... The Summit will begin with a welcome from the CEO of MagneGas Corporation Ermanno Santilli and Inspector Matthew Sullivan of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security."

And another ("Reelcause," here in PDF) and yet another: "Discussing the GTX SmartSoles with various officials including Inspector Matthew Sullivan of the United  Nations’ Department of Safety and Security."

In fact, the for profit company has had it stock touted citing UN Sullivan's involvement, here: DirectView Holdings, "facilitated a number of introductions and collaborative meetings for DirectView executives throughout the course of the week including with the United Nations' Inspector of Operations from the Department of Safety and Security."

While Ban Ki-moon cited immunity / impunity for 10,000 killed by cholera in Haiti, a meting on which Sullivan Banned Inner City Press from on July 26, doesn't this implicate at least US securities laws?

Since the above is easily available online, Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson's denial and stonewalling is worse then negligent.

 Under Ban Ki-moon, as shown in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe case investigation of which resulted in Ban evicting Inner City Press from the UN in retaliation, using Sullivan, everything has become for sale.

Detailed evidence presented, including about Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach who signed the ouster and eviction orders, has been sitting unacted on at Ban's Ethics office, and OIOS for months. Here was Gallach at Ng's South South Awards, and here was Inner City Press questioning her about it, and her passing the buck to Ban's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, before her ouster of Inner City Press from which she should have been recused.

How high does this particular scam go in the Department of Safety and Security, whose Captain McNulty and seven officer physically ousted Inner City Press on February 19? Audio here; McNulty initially refused to identify himself.  DSS later cited a non-public Handbook to justify Inner City Press' ouster, here. Is USG Peter Drennan in on this? Michael "Mick" Brown, who oversees McNulty? There are some fine people in DSS, but it must be cleaned up, and all retaliation reversed and addressed.

 How about the Department of Management which is titularly in charge of these events in the UN, including Andrew Nye, Craig Boyd and British Assistant SG Stephen Cutts? Ban Ki-moon's UN is corrupt throughout, and retaliates against the Press which pursues and reports on it.  The UN's ouster and eviction of Inner City Press, and harassment and censorship since, has been pure retaliation. Now what?

Here's the notice for the August 2 event, followed by the UN's transcript of Ban's Haq's denials:

"COPsync Co-sponsors #Stand2Protect Peace Summit at the United Nations

DALLAS, July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- COPsync, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYN), announced today that they are co-sponsoring the #Stand2Protect Peace Summit in conjunction with UN Ambassador Jack Brewer, the Blue Alert Foundation, the United Federation for Peacekeeping and Sustainable Development, and Trust 2 Protect. The Summit will be held at the United Nations Headquarters on August 2, 2016, from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT.

The goal of the United Nations #Stand2Protect Peace Summit is to bring together community and global leaders, law enforcement, politicians and influencers to discuss real solutions to end the growing distrust between communities and law enforcement. Prominent speakers at the Summit will include ... Inspector at the United Nations Headquarters Mathew Sullivan"

  This is a for-profit company, selling services to Police Departments. Why is UN DSS Matty Sullivan involved?

Inner City Press after publishing the above asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here and below; video here
July 25, 2016

On Next SG Straw Poll, Results & Questions of Dual Nationalities, Exclusive

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 21 -- As the UN Security Council held its first closed-door straw poll on the 12 current candidates to replace Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General on July 21, Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft if it was too late for Australia's Kevin Rudd or others to get into the race. Video here. Rycroft replied that it is not too late, candidates can enter after the first straw poll pursuant to the Council's earlier letter.

Here from multiple sources are the results of the first straw poll; Inner City Press can also exclusively report that questions have arisen about dual nationality of some candidates, including Christiana Figueres, Vuk Jeremic and Susana Malcorra (Italy / Spain),  beyond their listed countries which nominated them. It should be noted that the UN's “PHP” forms require such disclosures.

From multiple sources, results of the first straw poll, in the format of Encourage - Discourage - No Opinion:

Antonio Guterres: 12-0-3
Danilo Turk: 11-2-2
Irina Bokova: 9-4-2
Srgjan Kerim 9-5-1
Vuk Jeremic: 9-5-1;
Helen Clark: 8-5-2
Miroslav Lajcak: 7-3-5
Susanna Malcorra: 7-4-4
Christiana Figueres: 5-5-5
Natalia Gherman: 4-4-7
Igor Luksic: 3-7-5
Vesna Pusic: 2-11-2

After the straw polling, Ambassadors said no comment and it went well; Council President Koro Bessho said much the same on UNTV. Inner City Press asked him if the actual results had been given to the President of the General Assembly. Bessho began to say yes, then clarified, no.

At least he took Press questions. The candiates most recently appeared in an event for which the UN did not even provide a UNTV camera at the stakeout so these qustions culd be asked. Inner City Press was Banned from streaming Periscope from the exit of the General Assembly hall after the event.

The "frontrunner" Antonio Gutteres is the one without a Twitter account; the runner-up Danilo Turk to his credit wants whistleblower Kompass back in the UN.

It's worth remembering that Gutteres was dissed by Ban Ki-moon when he asked for one more year atop UNHCR. Sources say Malcorra and Andrew Gilmour, recently promoted without proper process, were involved in the decision on Gutteres.  Revenge? Or just more of Ban's bad judgment, like he and his head of "Public Information" Cristina Gallach evicting Inner City Press as it covers the UN?

July 18, 2016

ICP Asks Ban's Spox Why 6 UN Guards Hindered It, Spox Replies He Was Stalked While NHK

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 14 -- When Inner City Press went to cover UN Security General Ban Ki-moon's speech on human rights on July 12, it was required to be escorted by one of Ban's minders, due to its eviction earlier this year by Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information, Cristina Gallach.

  But even after escort by a minder, just before Ban Ki-moon's speech Inner City Press was surrounded by six UN Security officers who demanded that it leave.

When Inner City Press pointed out that the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit does not have enough staff, the officer in charge said Inner City Press would be confined to “covering” the meeting from the third floor - that is, unable to speak with any diplomats (several of whom, even on July 12, approached to speak with Inner City Press, at least until Ban's guards targeted Inner City Press for censorship.)

   The UN officers claimed Inner City Press misspoke, so since Inner City Press was, as it told MALU and as other correspondent can do but didn't on July 12, stakeout out the meeting, here is the audio.

When the same thing happened on July 14 while Inner City Press, escorted by MALU, staked out and covered the General Assembly's Next SG session with Christiana Figueres, Inner City Press went -- delayed by the harassment -- to the day's noon briefing and after questions on Yemen, Kosovo, Burundi, South Sudan and Thailand asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric what the rules are on not being hindering from covering such meetings once escorted by MALU.

    Rather than provide any UN rule, Dujarric said as his response that Inner City Press had “stalked” him on the sidewalk, a reference to Inner City Press, being informed that Dujarric had arranged to be filmed by NHK for a profile of himself, and streaming a Periscope of Dujarric's already-agreed to session with a media he likes. July 14 audio here, video here.

   In essence, Dujarric called critical coverage “stalking,” despite being a spokesperson. And he uses the UN podium response to the Press' question about media access rules to try to discourage critical coverage and questions, and to send a message to UN Security that it is fine to target Inner City Press. Previously, Dujarric while withholding Inner City Press' accreditation, said he didn't like its coverage of Ban Ki-moon or Herve Ladsous. This is censorship, by a supposed spokesperson for the UN. We'll have more on this.

July 11, 2016

In S Sudan Leaked UN Memo Says 150 Soldiers Dead As Some Joined Kiir's Tiger Force

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 9 -- In the UN's continued withholding of news and answers about South Sudan, the reports of the UN's own knowledge of abuses are now being withheld from its own impacted national staff.  So Inner City Press has published below multiple leaked documents from inside UNMISS and from non-governmental organizations - and compares them to contradictory official