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As Ban's UN Invites Doha Bank Group, BANKi-moon Partners with Citigroup

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- The UN is increasingly turning itself over to banks under Ban Ki-moon, whom some now called BANK Ki-moon. His high level event on the economic crisis this week features the CEO of the Doha Bank Group and its regulator, the Qatar Central Bank.

  The recent meeting of UNCTAD had Qatar National Bank as a "platinum" sponsor -- compliance with applicable UN system rules not clear. But it starts from the top: previously, BANK Ki-moon named the Chairman of Bank of America to his panel on sustainable energy, despite BofA being protested by Occupy Wall Street and others as the number one funder of mountain-top removal coal mining.

  Meanwhile on May 15 the UN is promoting an event on "the role of business at Rio + 20," featuring the Board Vice Chair of Citigroup, Samuel De Piazza.

  Citigroup was one of the major subprime lenders which requires mass bailouts from the public, as was fined $75 million for predatory lending by the US Federal Reserve Board. Why is BANK Ki-moon's UN partnering with these companies?

  On May 11, Inner City Press asked the spokespeople for the GA and Ban Ki-moon:

Inner City Press: I wanted to know whether there is any involvement by, by private industry, particularly banks. The downturn was largely created by financial institutions unregulated and flaming out. I noticed that the chairman of the Bank of America is on another panel of the UN on sustainable energy. Butare they invited to participate? Or is there any thought of sort of weaving in these private entities that otherwise engage with the UN on the issue of regulation, subprime lending and things that actually caused the crisis?

GA Spokesperson: Well, as I mentioned in the statement, top officials of regional development banks are going to be, are invited to attend. So that answers your question.

Question: But those are sort of a governmental type.

Spokesperson: It is governmental rather than commercial.

Question: This may be for Martin. Given that the Secretary-General appointed the chairman of the Bank of America, one of the world’s largest banks, that took an enormous bailout, is there any idea of a sort of engaging; I mean, it’s all fine and good to talk about Rio+20 and sustainable development, but actual regulation of the financial system, is that on the agenda? Is the UN going to use its entree with banks to raise them?

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: Well, if you take a close look at the statement, which obviously you only heard so far, but you will see shortly, as Nihal mentioned in reading out the statement, one of the round-table discussions will focus on increasing stability, predictability and transparency in the global financial system. And, as we’ve mentioned, this is a debate that will be a summary of deliberations, and it’s part of a process, as you know, that involves not just the United Nations but G-20 as well. Other questions on this? Okay. Thanks very much!

It's the banks which should be say "thank you" -- thank you for the blue washing! Who's next in the UN, JPMorgan Chase fresh off its $2 billion gambling loss? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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