Ki-moon Sings of Voiceless, UN and Its Spokesman Ignore Darfur, Sri
Lanka & Myanmar
Questions: Not Doing Job
January 22 -- While Secretary General Ban Ki-moon gave a
speech Saturday entitled “UN
has duty to speak out for human
rights” by the UN News Center, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky
ignored human rights questions from the Press about Darfur, Sri Lanka
official Ibrahim Gambari had nothing to say about the Sudanese
government's bragging about killing over 20 people, nor
counter-claims by rebel groups.
days after Ban's humanitarian coordinator in Sudan Georg Charpentier
said things are getting better in Darfur -- a question
Nesirky explicitly refused to take on January 21 -- Inner City
on January 22 asked Nesirky this question:
Darfur, please state the UN's and UNAMID's understanding of the
fighting in the last few days, in light of conflicting statements by
the Sudanese government and rebel groups. SLA - Abdelwahid Al Nur
spokesman Nimr Abdelrahman has said the government lost six Land
Cruisers and seven vehicles of military equipment in a battle on
January 20-21 in the Jabra area, 50 kilometers northeast of Nyala. He
said that government forces were trying to enter Jebel Marra from
Jabra. The government on the other hand says it killed 21 people in a
fight with JEM in Marshanag. What has UNAMID done to confirm either
account? How many people were killed and injured? What is UNAMID
Nesirky had neither answered nor even acknowledged this Darfur
question, despite his job description providing that the UN Spokesman
“answers press queries in person, by telephone and e-mail, around
the clock... including ability to present and defend difficult
positions often in unanticipated situations.”
Nesirky refused to answer Inner City Press' question about UN
official Charpentier's positive statements about the situation in
Darfur. Nesirky told Inner City Press, “I will
take questions from you when you behave in
an appropriate manner.”
Ban's speech on
Saturday, while Nesirky and his staff ignored questions about Sri
Lanka, Darfur, China, Cote d'Ivoire and elsewhere, he said “As
United Nations Secretary-General, I never forget this fundamental
mission: to stand - to speak out - for human rights and human
decency. To protect the world's innocents. To speak for those who
would otherwise not be heard.”
40,000 civilians killed in Sri Lanka? Here are questions Nesirky has
left unanswered for weeks:
in the Sri Lanka government did Ban or the UN speak before his
Dec 17 announcement, talking into account that the External Affairs
Minister Peiris later said he learn of it in the media?
agreements or understanding have been reached about with whom
the Panel will speak in Sri Lanka?
Ban Ki-moon & Nesirky, refused questions about
Darfur & Sri Lanka not shown
the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to which
Nesirky referred Inner City, and now ignored by Nesirky himself, are
Ms. Bragg apply for a visa to Sri Lanka, when was it granted and
are there any conditions on the visa, regarding where to travel, whom
to speak with, etc?
[the UN] say to the protests in east Batticaloa about allegedly
inequitable distribution of aid?
previously requested, on the new rules requiring NGOs and INGOs to
register with the Department of Defense, etc
previously asked-- Does the UN have any comment on Sri Lanka's
government ordering the International Committee of the Red Cross out
of Northern Sri Lanka?
Farhan Haq refused to even confirm when Ban's chief of staff Vijay
Nambiar was in Myanmar, and Ban has yet to act on requesting,
including by Security Council Permanent Five members, that he replace
Nambiar with a full time Myanmar envoy.
again, about answering press questions by email around the clock, and
the UN's “mandate” to “speak for those who would otherwise not
be heard”? Watch this site.
* * *
for "Transparent" Ban Ki-moon Typifies UN
21 -- While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon runs
for a second term claiming
transparency and good government, he is
represented by a spokesman who on Friday refused to answer questions
after being asked about the applicability of a UN
Press asked a question about the UN seeming cover-up of killings in
Darfur, Spokesman Martin Nesirky stood up and left the briefing room,
saying “I will take questions from you when you behave in an
interchange earlier in the briefing had Inner City Press asking how UN
Staff Regulation 1.2, prohibiting staff from public statements
underlying impartiality applied to UN official (and Ban Ki-moon
favorite) Michelle Montas going on CNN to say she would sue Baby Doc
Inner City Press has asked Nesirky what rule applied to Montas'
actions. Nesirky did not
provide any rule then, nor the next day.
City Press was
approached by outraged UN staff, who called Nesirky “the worst
spokesperson the UN has ever had,” and provided the applicable rule.
They also provided a precedent from last decade, when Doctor Andrew
was fired under this rule for making public UN peacekeepers' sexual
abuse of those they were charged to protect.
Inner City Press asked Nesirky about the rule, and intended to ask
about the Thompson precedent. But Nesirky said, “I don't want to
talk about it further.” Video here,
briefing, Inner City Press had asked why the UN has said nothing
about Sudan's Omar al Bashir's government blocking the printing of a
newspaper directed at Southern Sudan, after they published articles
about the secession referendum. Video here
from Minute 16.
Rules question, despite having said he would take Inner City Press'
question about Ban Ki-moon's humanitarian coordinator for Sudan Georg
Charpentier's claims that the thousands of violent deaths in Darfur
in the last 12 months were not the al Bashir government's fault,
Nesirky refused to take the question.
stood up to leave.
Asked why, he said “I will take questions from you when you behave
in an appropriate manner.”
paid to answer questions. It is particularly strange that the
spokesperson for a Secretary General claiming transparency and good
government would simply refuse to answer about the applicability of a
rule to a public UN action.
retaliate against the media
asking the question about rule and refuse to take any question,
including about a UN mission for which the UN charges its member
states $1 billion a year is outrageous.
Ki-moon's UN, will a UN official who on camera refuses to do his job,
explicitly retaliating against a question about Ban
administration lawlessness suffer any
fire such an individual, including it seems the
UN-affiliated International Monetary Fund. Inner City Press currently
also covers the IMF, for example getting three
questions answered on
January 20 with no acrimony, retaliation or lack of
But in Ban's UN, officials like Nesirky are permitted lawless
behavior that would not be allowed anywhere else.
publicly yelled at Inner City Press, “It is my briefing! I run
it how I chose!” For the week at the end of 2010, for which he was
being paid, Nesirky left question after question unanswered.
Inner City Press asked Nesirky for Ban's response to a New
York Times article about bloat, overlap and waste in Ban's UN.
Nesirky replied that since Ban was holding a press conference on
January 14, Inner City Press could ask him then. But Nesirky did not
allow Inner City Press to ask any question on January 14. Afterward,
Inner City Press assessed the lack of transparency in Ban's UN for
Swedish television, here.
said he would get an answer about Ban's staff's involvement
in war crimes described in the New Yorker magazine - but has not
provided any answers. Many UN correspondents have said he should not
remain in the job. And yet he does, representing Ban Ki-moon and a UN
that is, particularly on this front, in dramatic decay. Watch this