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At UN, Ban Conflates AIDS and Gays, His Answer to Murder of Maxwell is Hollywood

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 25 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held a Town Hall staff meeting on May 24, he was asked why he has not followed up on the "murder" in Kabul of UN security officer Louis Maxwell, by Afghan National Forces. Click here for one of Inner City Press' dozen stories on the case, including a Ban administration statement that it is hard to push for one individual.

  Ban's response was that he HAS pursued the case -- by urging Hollywood to make a movie about it. But the follow up that's lacking is accountability for his murder.

  Maxwell fought off an attack on the UN guest house, then was reportedly shot by Afghan National Forces, either mistaken for a Taliban or as retaliation.

  Ban's response outraged a number of UN staff members: that he thought it was enough to say the murder should be made into a movie. Perhaps to explain the lack of action, Ban said that the case has garnered only a few "small" stories. Well, this is another one.

  Ban's ever increasing interest in Hollywood stands in contrast to press freedom at the UN, where independent media is hindered or even sought to be ejected under a double standard.

  In a similar vein, the head of the gay rights staff group UN GLOBE asked Ban why his UN only recognizes gay domestic partnerships if the staff members in question come from a home country that recognizes the unions.

  Ban's first response on the question of gay rights was what he has done for people with AIDS. To many, it seemed that Ban' conflated the two, as if all or most gay people have AIDS.

 Ban bragged that he had been out in front of US President Obama, and about the release of a couple in Malawi, saying the international community really appreciated his work. He did not address the continuing disparate treatment in his own UN. As the questioner said, equality begins at home.

   Ban did stay and shake a lot of hands at the end, even with the fracture he suffered playing soccer. This weekend, the UN is letting Japanese movie director Junji Sakamoto film "The Human Trust" inside the UN, with UN extras.

  As Inner City Press got the UN to confirm, it did NOT allow Sacha Baron Cohen to film The Dictator inside the UN. Click here for that, and watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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