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Ban Ignores UN Afghan Corruption & Congo, Fudges on Syria, Met DPRK Experts?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 8 -- While Ban Ki-moon was in Tokyo for the Afghanistan conference, he apparently did not even mention the UN corruption scandal there which has spread from the UN Development Program's Law & Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan to the budget of the UN mission itself.

Click here for Inner City Press' most recent story, 8th in series.

  Ban did, however, hold a series of meetings and Q&As and issue a flurry of read-outs, which raise as many questions as they answer.

  On Syria, Ban said that "the General Mood" on June 15 decided to limit the activities of the UNSMIS mission. But Ban's associate spokesman Farhan Haq insisted to Inner City Press that the official stop was on June 16.

  Inner City Press sources staying that at the Hotel Dama Rose at the time say that Mood on the evening of June 15 didn't mention the limitation, even as Herve Ladsous' DPKO turned in a memo to Security Council members that Mood had stopped at 6 pm local in Damascus.

  And they saw UNSMIS go on out patrol on the morning of June 16, and UN vehicles return with broken windows. So which is it?

Asked about sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ban said that

"I met recently the Panel of Experts on this issue. But at this time I do not have clear information on this particular issue. I will look into this matter when I return."

  Who knew that Ban meets with sanctions panels. What evidence does he have? Has he met with the Somalia / Eritrea sanctions group, given that his Secretariat censored its own Eritrea report to the extent of taking it offline after Taye-Brooke Zerihoun said he "consulted with Security Council members" -- or at least some of them.

  On Myanmar, Ban praised Japanese companies for their gold-rush into the country -- without even mentioning the UN and NGO staff who have been detained, or the plight of the Rohingyas.

With Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle he says he discussed Mali; with Pakistan's foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar Ban discussed Rio+20. Pakistan is a major troop contributor to the UN in Eastern Congo, where now the UN peacekeepers are on the run and not protecting civilians from the M23 mutineers. But Ban did not mention that.

How the UN itself could and should do better is not on the agenda. Watch this site.

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

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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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