Ban's UN Tries to Outsource Kosovo Questions,
Partial Answers Don't Assure a Second Term
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 6 -- On Kosovo, an issue
which may deny Ban Ki-moon a second term as UN Secretary General, his
refuse to answer questions, and the UN Mission in Kosovo provides, to
diplomatic, half-truths at best. The most recent example involves UNMIK
reportedly telling an ethnic Albanian IDP he needs their permission to
his house near Mitrovica in North Kosovo.
Press has already seen a quote from an
UNMIK spokesperson admitting
that "in this incident, legitimate security
a suspemsion of construction to prevent an escalating security
situation. It is
very important that all sides in Suhodoll remain calm and refrain from
the UN so often calls for IDP's right to return, and since a Kosovo lawmaker
has accused the UN of "violating Kosovo's constitution and the UN
charter," this seemed a noteworthy policy, of which the
UN in New York should provide an explanation. This is done on
with other UN missions, for example when UN correspondents in New York
about UNIFIL in Lebanon, they are rarely if ever told to call Beirut.
UN celebration in Kosovo, full answers not shown
Press on November
5 at the UN noon briefing asked Ban's spokesperson Michele
Montas to explain the policy
Inner City Press: in Kosovo,
there is a report that UNMIK [United Nations Interim Administration
Kosovo] is blocking the reconstruction of houses in and around
ethnic Albanians. This is giving rise to
some controversy about, in terms of return of IDPs [internally
persons]. Is it UNMIK’s position that
you need UNMIK approval to reconstruct the houses and to move back?
Spokesperson Montas: Well,
I can get more information from the
Mission for you. But I don't have that
Press waited to write the story. The next morning Ban's Spokesperson's
provided this response, reproduced in full:
"Regarding your question at
the noon briefing yesterday, we forwarded it to UNMIK. They said: 'As a
principle, UNMIK does not disallow reconstruction of houses in Kosovo.'
For more details about what is
happening on the ground in Kosovo and what UNMIK's positions or actions
please contact UNMIK directly. They are in the best position to answer
questions. We would be happy to resend you contact information for
response provided after a full day's waiting does not even include the
admission UNMIK made in the region. Second, the response implies that
policies are made up by UNMIK itself, and are not attributable to Ban's
administration in New York, which should explain them.
occurred when Inner City Press asked for Ban's or the UN's position on
surrounding reported disappearance of money and documents from the
UNMIK-administered Kosovo Trust Fund, on the turn over of powers to
inclusion of U.S.-national employees of UNMIK in EULEX, even how many
employees UNMIK has or had, a question which was never answered.
It appears that
because this is a controversial
issue, Ban's Spokesperson's office is trying to avoid any questions in
York, by referring questions to the field in a way that is not done
peacekeeping missions. But even this transparent buck-passing (perhaps
senses) may not guarantee a second term.
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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