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As Ban Doles Posts to Podesta, Holgiun & Tawakkol Karman, Can She Speak?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 -- Seven months into his second term at UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon has been doling out new UN posts at an accelerating speed. Tuesday posts went to, among others, John Podesta of the US, Tawakkol Karman of Yemen, and Maria Angela Holguin of Colombia.

  Recently, Ban gave a similar post-2015 development post to a representative of the Gates Foundation -- a post paid for with "extra budgetary resources" from the Gates Foundation, as first reported by Inner City Press. But who is paying for these?

  Ban gave a "Global Education" post to former UK prime minister Gordon Brown, whose successor David Cameron he named co-chair of the High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda.

  That Colombian foreign minister Maria Angela Holguin was looking for a UN post was first reported by Inner City Press back in April. This post may not be what she had in mind, but it is something.

We hope, for the sake of those so desperately needing it, that this "High Level Group" results in some development.

   During the US election season to give a post to John Podesta, who served as "Co-Chair of the Obama-Biden Transition," seemed to some akin to a Ban Ki-moon endorsement. Other say the Obama administration nominated Podesta, just as they did Jeff Feltman, and what could Ban Ki-moon do?

  France got a post for a former official of an international financial institution.

  No, not DSK, but Jean-Michel Severino, formerly of the World Bank. By the Podesta - Feltman logic, he had to be accepted just as Herve Ladsous was accepted by Ban, entirely at the last minute as reported by Inner City Press, after preferred candidate Jerome Bonnafont was found to be too brash, bragging in India about his new UN position.

   Now Ladsous openly refuses to answer any question from Inner City Press.

  Arab Spring activist Tawakkol Karman was also given a post, and here we have no choice but to hearken back to mid-June, when the UN accused Inner City Press of misconduct for signing Tawakkol Karman into the UN as a guest where she -- horror of horrors! -- took questions from the press on camera.

  Now with Ban Ki-moon giving her this post, it seems clear that pretextual "misconduct" note to file must be erased. Watch this site.

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