Dodges on Korean Press Reports on Ban's 2d Term, Empty Korean
January 6 -- Ban Ki-moon's relations with the press,
particularly the Korean press, were on display Thursday at the UN.
the day's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
Martin Nesirky about a story
in the Korea Herald quoting a “senior
UN official” -- on information and belief senior advisory Kim
Won-soo -- that Ban “said it was extremely unfortunate that he was
named as a [South Korean] presidential contender in opinion polls
despite having repeatedly said that he has no intention to run in the
also published these quotes: “It is our duty to free Secretary
General Ban from domestic politics so he can serve the world,' Han
Seung-soo, chairman of the Global Green Growth Institute, was quoted
as saying by the Yonhap news agency. 'Repeated mentions of his name
in domestic politics would be disadvantageous for him as he performs
his role as the U.N. secretary general.'”
asked Nesirky if Han Seung-soo is still functioning as an advisor to
Ban on climate change, and if he was speaking for Ban. Nesirky
replied that Ban too busy on such issues as Cote d'Ivoire and Sudan,
which Inner City Press also asked about, to have time for the Korea
abruptly called the day's noon briefing
to a close, say that Ban was about to tour the press area.
his titular chief of staff Vijay Nambiar moved slowed around the
press floor, shaking hands and commenting on whether the cubicles are
adequate for journalism. Inner City Press said that enclosed walls
were needed for “quiet diplomacy,” at which Ban laughed.
UN's Ban on tour in DPA, empty Korean desks not shown
cluster of Japanese media desk in what has been dubbed the A or Asian
room, Ban was shown the entirely empty side of the room devoted to
Korean publications. Ban read their names. An enterprising journalist
informed Ban that often the Korean do not come in to use their desks,
while other reporters need space - and some long time reporters are
being ejected from their UN desks.
Ban did not
respond to this, Choi Soung-ah who works in Nesirky's office told the
reporter that “we are aware of that.” Inner City Press has previously
reported on this -- click here,
and watch this
* * *
as Bashir Blocked Food to Khor Abeche in Darfur,
5 -- The Sudanese administration of Omar al Bashir
blocked even food resupply to UN peacekeepers near Khor Abeche in
South Darfur last month, a senior UN official off-handedly told the
background briefing about the upcoming South Sudan referendum, Inner
City Press asked the senior UN official -- who insisted on being
identified that way -- about the lack of human rights reporting by
the African Union - UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur under the command
of the UN's Ibrahim Gambari.
official responded that a forthcoming UNAMID report, apparently after
the referendum begins, will document restrictions on access and
movement imposed by the government and the Darfur rebels.
The official said
there have been 39,000 additional IDPs since the Security Council's
visit in October 2010.
the Tanzanian batallion for using their own food supplies to feed
displaced people in Khor Abeche, and running out of food due to
governmental prohibitions on resupply. The official said, "They were not able
to be resupplied for days on end because the government was restricting
our movements of our supply trucks."
why wasn't this reported in real time by UNAMID? By contrast, last
month both Ban Ki-moon and Alain Le Roy speaking about Cote d'Ivoire
openly invited other members states to help break any blockade by
Gbagbo forces on peacekeeper resupply. But in Darfur, the UN and
Ibrahim Gambari stayed quiet.
referendum, Inner City Press asked the official about the status of
oil and water sharing talks, the division and possible forgiving of
Sudan's foreign debt, and the citizenship rights of Southerners in
official said that citizenship has still not be agreed on, predicting
this will have to wait for a package deal including Abyei and the
delayed popular consultation in Blue Nile state and South Kordofan.
admitted that the UN is not much involved in the important debt talks
-- Inner City Press has previously asked the IMF about this -- and
said that water is as important as oil in Sudan.
Press asked the UN official about South Sudan's announcement it will
push out Darfur rebels. The UN official praised this, naming in
particular Minni Minnawi "who has been in Juba." It was the Minni
Minnawi group the government was attacking in Khor Abeche.
UN's Menkerios in Khartoum, praise of Bashir after
Khor Abeche not shown
hook up from UNMIS itself was not held. Inner City Press asked the
senior UN official to explain UNMIS
Haile Menkerios' praised of
Omar al Bashir's “courage” and leadership.
official essentially repeated the praise, calling Bashir's recent
statements unexpectedly positive. He noted that "Senator Kery made some
positive remarks." But what about the outstanding
indictments for genocide and war crimes? Watch this site.