As Libya Burns, UN Ban
Ki-moon in Hollywood, Faceless at Facebook
February 22 -- It wasn't clear why the trip was scheduled,
and even less clear why it was not canceled after Libya starting
bombing peaceful protesters from the air.
But Tuesday as the UN
Security Council convened behind closed doors on a request for a
formal meeting on the bloodbath in Libya, Ban Ki-moon was in
Hollywood talking about climate change and Haiti.
he be asked
about the protests against the UN in that country for militarization
and, they say, bringing cholera in?
ask about how little the UN is saying as Sudan bombs the Jebel Marra
region of Darfur?
trip is a
faint echo of that of Ambassador Susan Rice, to the headquarters of
Twitter. Ban is
going to Facebook, moderated by Zuckerberg
relative Randi; Ban has appeared in the LA Times, albeit under the
The CEO of
the UN Foundation Kathy Calvin has traveled out there, and the
UN's head Washington lobbyist Will Davis.
Will they speak about Libya, and Gadhafi's daughter being a UN Goodwill
Ambassador with a UN Laissez Passer?
goal is to get
UN story lines in the movies. Inner City Press exclusively attended
and reported on filming of Transformers 3 in the General Assembly
Hall. What will it get for the UN?
Ban in Hollywood last time: burning of Libya not shown
Press wrote to Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky, and his deputy
Farhan Haq, on the morning of Sunday February 20 asking
wake of the gunning down of 46 democracy protesters in Libya’s
second largest city, Benghazi, by security forces under the command
of Colonel Gadafi, is the UN reassessing its relationship with Col
Gadhafi’s daughter, Aicha, who the UN has designated a “Goodwill
Secretary-General sought to use the UN’s special relationship
with its Goodwill Ambassador Dr Aicha Gadhafi to persuade her father
not to use such excessive force against peaceful demonstrators?
days later, no response at all from the UN. Inner City Press also
asked Ban's spokesman Nesirky “in this context, the
Secretary-General's planned trip to California to meet and greet 'the
entertainment industry,' how much is this trip costing, and is it
funded by the Regular Budget of the UN -- and if not, what is the
funding source?” Again, no answer. Faceless at Facebook indeed.
* * *
Kane & Trezza Look to Geneva,
Nairobi Opaque, Zannier
19 -- Asked about how told UN jobs are given out,
long time UN official David Nabarro on February 19 told Inner City
Press, “There are intensive efforts underway in the selection of so
many senior positions in our system to increase transparency.” Video
were true. For weeks, Inner City Press has been asking Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to clarify the status
of Under Secretary General Angela Kane, who was one of two finalists
to lead the UN Office in Geneva, and to state whether UN envoy to
Kosovo Lamberto Zannier gave notice before he put his name in the
ring to head the OSCE.
the repeated questions about Kane, including when she would
belatedly hold the next of her promised press conferences, and on the
latter he said “Ask Italy.”
the Geneva post has been Italian official Carlo Trezza, his
country's delegate on disarmament and other topics. On February 19
the buzz was that Trezza and not Kane was getting the post; some said
due to corruption
and delays in the UMOJA technology program
under Kane's watch.
has previously told Inner City Press she
has no time to answer questions from the press, to send them all to
the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General, where
dozens of questions are pending, including the unanswered ones about
Kane and UN management.
UN's Ban, Ms. Kane over his shoulder, public
financial disclosure & answers not shown
why can't the
UN say who are the finalists for jobs, and why? There is for example
a new Under Secretary General post at the UN in Nairobi, which was
created after UN
headquarters unceremoniously removed Tanzanian Anna
Tibaijuka from leading that office and put the German Achim Steiner
Group fought back and a new management post
was created. But who will fill it? Who is even in contention? Watch
* * *
of 99% Public Financial Disclosure Called
-- Rather than admit that UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon misspoke when he claimed two weeks ago that 99% of his
officials have made public financial disclosure, Ban's spokesman
Martin Nesirky told Inner City Press on Friday, “I wouldn't get
hung up on the ninety nine percent figure as a mathematical absolute,
because it is also a metaphorical expression, that nearly everyone”
disclosed. Video here,
this claim of
99% transparency has been Ban's response to questions about the UN's
lack of accountability under his watch. On January 14,
Ban told the
press that “now ninety nine percent of senior advisers of the
United Nations have declared their financial assets publicly on the
the UN's web site and found that this was not the case. On
the eve of hearing before the US House of Representatives Foreign
Affairs Committee about the UN, Inner City Press published
a list of
the many Ban officials who instead of making even basic disclosure
state that “I have chosen to maintain the confidentiality of the
information disclosed by me in order to comply with the Financial
making public disclosure range from Ban' two Sudan envoys Ibrahim
Gambari and Haile
Menkerios through Rule of Law chief Dmitry Titov to
Ban's close ally and envoy to Cote d'Ivoire Choi
lack of public
disclosure came up at the House of Representatives hearing on January
25, and Inner City Press that day and each day since has e-mailed
Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky with this request:
explain Ban Ki-moon statement that 99% of his officials have made
public financial disclose in light of the actual, much lower figure
on [the UN website], with non public disclosure by inter alia
Gambari, Choi Young-jin, Jan Mattsson, Greg Starr, Iqbal Riza, Terje
Roed-Larsen, Said Djinnit, Mr. Diarra, Ajay Chhibber, Haile
Menkerios, Ray Chambers, Peter Sutherland, dead links Nicolas Michel
and Achim Steiner, only "outside activity" and no finance
or clients for Alexander Downer, Douste Blazy, etc.”
21 after Inner City Press asked about the UN's seeming
failure to comply with its own Regulation 1.2 said he
any more questions until Inner City Press somehow acted
“appropriately,” never answered this e-mail question.
UN's Ban & Nesirky on Jan 14: transparency claim
now called "metaphor"
the UN noon
briefing on January 28, Inner City Press finally asked Nesirky
directly about Ban's statement that 99% of his officials have made
public financial disclosure.
the questions, saying that "financial disclosure means to
disclose to the United Nations what your assets are and so on. And then
it is fully within the rights of the individual to elect or not to
elect for that to be publicly disclosed. And I think you will see that
in the vast majority of cases, this is publicly disclosed."
specifically used the word “publicly” on January 14, saying that
“ninety nine percent of senior advisers of the United Nations have
declared their financial assets publicly on the website.” Click here
Ban's claims from a recent piece on Swedish TV
including Inner City Press and a FAC hearing witness.
City Press on January 28 asked Nesirky if Ban considered disclosing a
refusal to make
public any financial information to be “public financial
told Inner City Press, “I wouldn't get hung up on the 99%
absolute, because it is also a metaphorical expression,
that nearly everyone” disclosed. Video here.
at the UN, a
claim by Ban Ki-moon that 99% of his officials have made public
financial disclosure is just a metaphor.
of January 28:
his last press conference in here, the
Secretary-General said when asked about the [Inga-Britt] Ahlenius
book, that 99 per cent of officials have made public financial
disclosure. And just having looked at the website of disclosures, it
doesn’t, that number is not the number. The number of his
officials including Mr. Choi [Young-jin] of Côte d'Ivoire,
Gambari, [Haile] Menkerios, Said Djinnit, Michael Williams, whom you
mentioned, they have all filled out a form saying “we chose not to
disclose”. So, I just… I have been trying to figure out, what is
the 99 per cent figure based on? Does he include people that say “I
won’t disclose” as having made a public disclosure? Or, what is
the actual number?
disclosure means to disclose to the United
Nations what your assets are and so on. And then it is fully within
the rights of the individual to elect or not to elect for that to be
publicly disclosed. And I think you will see that in the vast
majority of cases, this is publicly disclosed.
he said public, that’s the phrase that he used —
he said that 99 per cent of my officials have made public financial
disclosures. So, is that… that’s not what he meant? He meant
that they have actually… they have made disclosure to the UN?
think also I wouldn’t get hung up on the 99 per cent figure
as a mathematical absolute, because it is also a metaphorical
expression meaning nearly everyone, okay?
Mr. Choi, does he think that Mr. Choi, kind of a
close ally, long-time person that he has worked with, does he think
that Mr. Choi should publicly disclose? Would he call on him to
is a matter for the individuals concerned. Okay, yes?
not okay. Watch
* * *
Range from Sudan to Security, Abidjan to
Lebanon, Ban's Friends & UNtrue Claim
-- In the run up to
UN corruption hearings in the
US House of Representatives today, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
angrily answered questions about lack of transparency by claiming
that 99% of his officials publicly disclose their finances. This is
not true, as Inner City Press has said and now documents.
the UN's website
for such disclosures, numerous Ban officials simply state “I have
chosen to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed
by me in order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program.” This
is not public disclosure of finances: it is its opposite.
even the most basic disclosure -- as simple
as in what country they own property, such as the one line disclosure
O'Brien that she owns “farmland, Ireland”
-- ranging from both of Ban's envoys in Sudan, Ibrahim
Gambari and Haile
Menkerios to UN officials with outside jobs that might
conflict, such as Terje
BP) and Ray
Chambers (malaria and hedge
took the job, Inner City Press asked him
his outside interests. Now Chambers
to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed by me
order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program.”
not disclosure. Philippe
Douste-Blazy, whom Inner City Press
of dollars through the “MassiveGood”
scheme, discloses no finances, only service for the Millennium
Downer, Ban's man on Cyprus, makes no
financial disclosure although he lists he works at the business
consultancy Bespoke Approach. And do its clients, in Turkey for
example, raise conflicts? There is no way to know.
envoy Choi Young-jin states that “I have chosen
to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed by me in
order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program,” as does
Ban's UN Security chief Gregory
how superficial even the “public disclosures”
Banbury, who famously said
that “only” three rapes in a Haitian IDP camp “elated” him,
lists “Nil” for both assets and liabilities, as does General
Assembly Affairs chief Shaaban
there is no link to any form, even one refusing to
disclose. These include Achim Steiner of UNEP and former UN lawyer,
still listed as adviser Nicolas Michel, who took money from the Swiss
government for his housing while serving as the UN's lawyer. Since
that scandal, there are issues about Ban officials receiving housing
subsidies through their spouses, not disclosed on the “public”
have chosen to maintain the confidentiality of
the information disclosed by me in order to comply with the Financial
Disclosure Program” include West
East and Lebanon
Williams, UNDP Asia boss Ajay
charge, another other places, of Myanmar), Jan Mattsson of UNOPS,
where Ban's son in law got a controversial promotion, and Cheick
Diarra, whose brother
has been Microsoft's Ambassador to Africa,
allowed to use a UN dining room for this purpose.
of non - transparency, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky on January 21
told Inner City Press he would
not answer any more questions until
Inner City Press acted “appropriately.” This outburst came after
Inner City Press asked for the second day in a row how UN Staff
Regulation 1.2 applies to UN official's outside political activity.
Lang as his adviser on piracy, reporting to the Security Council
today. But Lang
letters as an official of a
political party in France, for example regarding Ivory Coast
Ban's envoy Choi Young-jin refuses to disclose his finances). The UN
has refused to apply its Regulation 1.2 to this or other case, or to
even answer questions about it.
wonders how this will be dealt with at today's US House of
Representative hearings and afterward. Click here
Ban's claims from a recent piece on Swedish TV
including Inner City Press and a hearing witness.
the 99% of his officials make public financial
disclosure, is simply not true, and his spokesman refuses to answer
any questions. Watch this space.
Update of 11:15 am
-- Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson's office, Messrs. Nesirky
and Haq, the clarify Ban's now disproved claim, and received back only
this, from Haq:
what we have to say for today is:
United Nations has always worked constructively with the United
States, and we share the same goals: for a stronger UN, one that is
efficient, effective, and accountable. That is why the
Secretary-General has made strengthening the UN one of his top
priorities since taking office.
a strong, effective and efficient
United Nations needs the active and constructive support of Member
States. To achieve that, he will continue to engage with the US
Administration and with the US Congress on ways to ensure that the
Organization can find solutions to today’s challenges, and deliver
on the mandates given by it Member States.
Still with no
answer at all are questions submitted January 22, including
which he sought out, that
Congressional Republicans' "only complaint they may have is the
lack of much faster progress than they might have expected.” What
specific areas of "progress" was the SG referring to? Namely, which
areas does the SG acknowledge not having met
expectations and for which progress should have been made "faster"?
OIOS' Investigations Division, is under
investigation, for among other things, retaliation and evidence
tampering. Given that Ban Ki-moon says he prides himself on the
transparency of his administration, what specifically are the facts
surrounding the investigation process regarding Mr. Dudley, and will
the UN be reassigning him to other duties during the investigation?
Watch this site.