Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media -e.g. Somalia, Nepal, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia  For further info, click here to contact us         .

Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At UN, Ban's Iran Answer Is Banned from Transcripts, Darfur Contacts Denied, Understaffing Unexplained

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, April 20 -- The UN puts online transcripts of its press briefings and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's now once-a-month interactions with the press. But the transcripts are cleaned up and altered, as can be seen be comparing the real time video to the subsequent transcript. On April 15, Ban was asked a question about the situation in Iraq and an upcoming meeting in Kuwait. Video here, at Minute 13:25. Ban responded about Iraq's neighbor, Iran, that "Iranian authorities should fully comply with the most relevant Security Council resolutions," adding that he is "satisfied with the progress" of Iranian authorities in complying with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Video here, from Minute 13:35. Then his spokesperson Michele Montas whispered that the question had concerned not Iran but Iraq, and Ban gave a brief answer, which is the only part of the answer that the UN's transcript includes:

Q: What are your comments on the situation in Iraq, and what would be your message to Iraq's neighbors who are meeting next week in Kuwait?

SG: This is going to be a very important meeting. Unfortunately for me, I will not be able to participate in person, because of a scheduling problem. As I said, I am going to visit African countries exactly on that day, therefore I am going to dispatch Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. B. Lynn Pascoe. But I am going to convene, and myself preside over an International Compact with Iraq [meeting] in late May, May 29th , in Stockholm.

            Ban's responses about Iran, clearly visible on the video, are simply excised from the UN's written transcript.

Inner City Press: Anyone can make a mistake. But if this gets erased, what else is being concealed?

Mr. Ban on April 15, Iran response not shown, Olympics questions not taken

            Also this past week, the UN Spokesperson's office in response to questions from Inner City Press denied published reports of a South Korean advance team in Darfur, exploring that country providing peacekeepers there. On April 15 Inner City Press asked Ms. Montas -- according to the transcript -- whether she could

either confirm or find out if South Korea has sent military advisors to Darfur with an eye towards joining the UNAMID force?  Is that the case?

Spokesperson:  I can try to get the information for you.

[The Spokesperson later confirmed that the Republic of Korea has not sent military advisers to Darfur.]

            But the Korea Times quotes a ministry of national defense spokesman that four officials went to Darfur on April 11:

The government dispatched an on-site inspection team Friday to Sudan's Darfur region to prepare for the possible deployment of peacekeeping troops there, an official of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The team, involving officials of the MND, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will conduct a week-long inspection of the security conditions for South Korea's possible contribution to international efforts to maintain peace in the region, the official said on condition of anonymity. 'The team will meet with officials of the Sudanese government and the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) to discuss South Korean troops' presence in the region,' the official told reporters."

 On April 16, Inner City Press again asked Ms. Montas 

In the meeting with President Lee, did they discuss the idea of South Korea become part of the UNAMID force?

Spokesperson:  No, what they had discussed would be support on the part of the Republic of Korea on peacekeeping operations in general.

Inner City Press: There was story in South Korean press that there was a team of four South Korean military people in Darfur, trying to scope out whether they could be a troop contributing country.

Spokesperson:  I cannot confirm that.

  We'll see. Bigger picture on Darfur, Inner City Press asked

Question:  I was told that, in terms of the civilian international staff that UNAMID is hiring in Darfur, that, thus far, 30 per cent of the posts that have been approved by the General Assembly have been filled.  Is that because it is hard to find people, or are they only staffing up as peacekeepers arrive?  What is the relation between those posts and the arrival of the peacekeepers?

Spokesperson:  I can get the details for you.

  We'll be waiting -- we'll have more on this story, watch this site.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -