Called Secret on Corruption,
on Torture from Sri Lanka to Sudan
23 -- The widening gap between UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's rhetoric and what his administration actually thinks and
does was on display on July 22. Ban preaches about transparency and
accountability, but he was represented
Thursday by a person who
opaquely demanded to be identified as a “senior UN official” -
that is, without accountability.
official,” when asked by Inner City Press why under Ban moves
toward a UN Freedom of Information Act were curtailed, replied, “ask
the member states, let them legislate, then we'll do it.” He
paused. “If the member states insist, our way of decision making
would have to be modified” for “this kind of perfect
back on May 3, Ban intoned that “I welcome the global trend towards
new laws which recognize the universal right to publicly held
information. Unfortunately, these new laws do not always translate
into action. Requests for official information are often refused, or
delayed, sometimes for years... Too often, this happens because of a
culture of secrecy and a lack of accountability” Ya don't say.
City Press asked Ban's senior UN official to explain what if anything
he has done about the military dictatorship and impending scam
election in Myanmar, a country where Ban's administration allowed and
covered by the theft of over 20% of UN aid funds by the Than Shwe
regime using foreign exchange requirement the UN never complained
about until exposed by this publication.
official declined to give any specifics, but said
you are leading on several fronts, you are not leading on any. Things
take time; some things take time. Effort for us is a great thing. The
kind of effort you make on particular issues is important. There
is a definition of bureaucratic action: it is like elephants mating.
There’s a lot of noise, and it take years to see the result.”
Ban has had
more than three years, and in the next six months on elections in not
only Myanmar but also South Sudan, leadership is sorely lacking.
Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky this week why
the UN has said nothing about reported torture of South Sudan
referendum supporters. Nesirky said, it's “not our job to police
official on Thursday, speaking more general of Ban, said that
has called himself a carpenter, not an architect. The way he handled
climate change was to take on the larger role. But on other issues –
DRC, Sudan – he’s taken the nuts and bolts role. He has
generally had a predisposition to look to practical aspects; he has
taken a practical approach. That is part of his training.”
staying silent in the face of torture. Ban's
training was as South Korea's minister of trade and foreign affairs.
In this role, he praised a joint Daewoo and Indian pipeline across
Myanmar as a “win - win.”
Sri Lankan strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa, such that he remained
sickeningly silent as Rajapaksa's forces killed tens of thousands of
Tamil civilians in 2009, and imprisoned hundreds of thousands more,
using UN funds.
UN's Ban walking into Myanmar: follow through not shown
the prison camps and smiled as Tamil
children as gunpoint sang his name. That's not nuts and bolts, one
wag said: that's just nuts.
who will tell
him? The senior UN official continued:
has a wide spectrum of senior managers; not all yes-men as such. In
every management team you have ones who prefer the subrosa approach,
and ones who prefer the public approach. There is a necessity for
the SG to insist on a certain modicum of discipline. That’s not
very different than what would happen in any governmental or private
sector management team.”
all yes-man as
such. No, it is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual Organization,
so there are also the men and women of Si and Oui and iwa.
Ban himself should have, and some say soon will
deliver his own defense. Watch this site.
* * *
Official Says No FOIA Needed, Myanmar & Sudan No Comment
22 -- Ban Ki-moon's desire for a second term as UN
Secretary General was on display on Thursday, when two separate press
conferences were held to rebut the critique of
Secretary General for Investigations Inga Britt Ahlenius.
and her human resources Assistant SG Catherine Pollard
provided a dense, some say misleading defense of Ban's reaching
to determine Ahlenius' choice of a deputy.
Kane says it
would be improper, however, for her as USG for Management to answer
Inner City Press' request for Team Ban's response to Ahlenius'
statement that Ban has failed on such issues as Myanmar and Sudan.
Inner City Press asked who would take questions on Myanmar and
and Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said you may have an opportunity
to 6 pm
that afternoon, a self described “senior UN official,” whom we'll
refer to as SUNO or as “he,” while it may have been a woman, took
questions off camera from the Press.
Press asked for example about
Ban, despite the centrality of gender
balance to his defense, having named of High Level Advisory Group on
Climate Change Financing consisting of 19 people, all men, until
was replaced by Minister Lagarde of France, the Senior UN Official
said the criticism by the Presswas “unfair,” since a woman was added to
19 member Group in the end. A Ban advisor -- to play by the rules, we
cannot say whether the same or a different one -- similarly this week blamed
began by asking for a defense of what Ahlenius and others call Ban's
failure on Myanmar and Sudan. The Senior UN Official deflected this
by saying that on some issues you move favor and some slow.
South Sudan there is the deadline of a planned referendum. The
Official countered that he only wanted to talk about Ms. Ahlenius'
critique -- which, of course, included Myanmar and Sudan, as well as
Congo and Cyprus, but who's counting?
Press asked about the division of powers question at the heart of
Ahlenius' critique, that under the rules she should had the
independence, as UNDP does, to appoint her own D-2 level officials.
The UN Official responded first that in practice, “systematically,”
Helen Clark of UNDP checks on such appointments with Ban.
have to, and Clark is also not in charge of investigating Ban Ki-moon
and the Secretariat. The founding documents of OIOS say that it
should have the same hiring independence as UNDP.
disagreed, surreally. It can't be the same, he said, “mutatis
mutandi... you should know... what applies to [you] does not apply to
[another journalist]... you have a beard.” Then the Official
turned to take other questions.
UN's Ban and Ahlenius at farewell, per UN, 50 page
memo not shown
bragged about Ban's UN's transparency, Inner City Press asked why the
Compacts Ban signs with his officials -- now to their credit
including the heads of peacekeeping missions -- are only placed on
the UN's intranet, and not for the public, or “we the peoples,”
and why the UN under Ban stopped moving toward, or even talking
about, a Freedom of Information Act.
a FOIA, the
Senior UN Official replied, “ask the member states, let them
legislate, then we'll do it.” He pauses. “If the member states
insist, our way of decision making would have to be modified” for
“this kind of perfect transparency.” So, no UN FOIA. So much
for transparency. Watch this site.
* * *