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UN's Ban Ki-moon Won't Answer Scandal Qs, UN Corruption Assoc Hosts Him

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 4, updated Jan 5 -- Ban Ki-moon's tenure as UN Secretary General became embroiled in one scandal after another in 2015 -- but at his “year-end” press conference he refused to answer a Press question directly on it. Video here and embedded below. Vine here.

  But even as Ban and his spokespeople refuse to answer basic Press questions about who in his Executive Office was informed of peacekeepers raping children in the Central African Republic, and about Burundi, his UN Correspondents Association now known as the UN Corruption Association, having charged $6000 for seats next to Ban, continues to promote him - without questions, literally.

  UNCA head Giampaolo Pioli, who tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN for accurately reporting that Pioli had accepted rent money from Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador, then gave a "UN screening" on a war crimes denial film in the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium, has issued this, only to those who pay UNCA money, leaked by a disgusted UNCA member:

"Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would like to meet with UNCA members and all UN correspondents for the New Year's visit this Wednesday, Jan 6th, 2016 from 10:35 to 10:50 am in the UNCA room. It will be an opportunity for him to say a few words to all of our colleagues and to exchange his best wishes. There will not be a Q&A session but as in every year it is a great occasion to be together. Please attend."

 Well, no. Providing a rah-rah session with no Q&A is pathetic. And, "all correspondents" will not enter the UN Corruption Association, which charges money for access to Ban. We'll have more on this.

 Beyond the indictments of the former President of the UN General Assembly John Ashe, Ng Lap Seng, Sherri Yang and others, on December 31 Inner City Press asked four of Ban's spokespeople questions including:

"Regarding the report on the sexual abuse in CAR and how the UN handled it, please state the identity of the senior officer in the Executive Office of the Secretary General do which a section of the report is devoted, or explain why your Office will not provide the name, in terms of accountability.

"Please confirm or deny that Andrew Gilmour is seeking employment outside of the EOSG, and provide the SG's view of its senior official leaving or seeking to leave before he does."

  Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, while leaving Inner City Press questions on Burundi and South Sudan entirely UNaddressed, sent this:

From: Farhan Haq [at]
Date: Thu, Dec 31, 2015 at 12:11 PM
Subject: Press Qs in lieu of a UN noon briefing: Burundi, S. Sudan, Haiti, EOSG, still SG travel, UNOG, Ohio, Ethiopia / free press; still Jordan, UNHQ, UN scandals / reforms, Yemen; thanks in advance
To: Matthew Lee [at]
Cc: Stephane Dujarric [at], FUNCA [at]

"Regarding accountability and the CAR report, the panel put out the information it chose to provide and we have made available the entire report, without any redactions. Follow-up action is being studied at present.

"We have no comment on staff movements. Staff are free to seek employment opportunities."

  This last would appear to apply to yet another UN scandal in 2015: envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon negotiating a cushy job with the United Arab Emirates while purporting to represent the UN on Libya.

Update of January 5, 2016: a UN official explicitly “on background” tells Inner City Press that Andrew Gilmour is not the EOSG staff member mentioned in the Deschamps report and that he is not looking for employment outside of EOSG, either passively or actively.  Inner City Press, with the reason for anonymity still UNexplained, as asked if the staffer in question is Samir Afridi, or Ivan Lupis: but it appears that Team Ban believes the name should not be given, even after additional alleged rapes by UN Peacekeepers in CAR were reported on January 5.
 This is the type of question that Ban Ki-moon should be asked on January 6: watch this site.

  With Ban off on a "private" visit to Vienna, tweeted by the UN Office there, the UN has yet to answer Inner City Press' simple question about the cost(s):

"With regard to the Secretary General's current trip to Vienna, tweeted by the UN there, for purposes of transparency including in light of the indictment of ex-UNPGA John Ashe and the new PGA's disclosures, what are the costs to the UN budget, and what are the other costs and who is paying them?"

  Hours later, on a UN work day, no answer.

The former President of the General Assembly John Ashe and four others have been indicted, Ashe for buying documents from Ban's UN Secretariat.

Ban's envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon was exposed by leaks as having taken instructions and then a job from the United Arab Emirates.

And Ban's head of UN Peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, is listed in UN Dispute Tribunal documents as having tried to cover up child rapes in Central African Republic by peacekeepers from his native France.

  Inner City Press, which Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric did not call on despite calling two separate times on the same UN Correspondents Association scribe, asked audibly, “Do you have any update on the John Ashe indictment? Bernardino Leon? These were major developments this year.” Vine here.

  But Ban refused to answer the question. He walked out of the briefing room, shaking hands scribes. The press conference began with Dujarric setting aside the first question for the head of UNCA, who thanked Ban for attending an event on Wall Street for which UNCA charged $6,000 to sit with Ban. This is the UN Corruption Association.

  A question on or to cover up the sexual abuse scandal was arranged, with Agence France Presse congratulating Ban for this response to the sexual abuse scandal. (Senegalese Babacar Gaye was urged to resign, Ladsous who on camera linked the rapes to “R&R," video here, remains in place.)

Ban read out a wan answer on Burundi; his deputy spokeperson refused an Inner City Press question on Burundi at the previous day's noon briefing.  We'll have more on this.

Ban once promised monthly press conference but his last one was three months before, then nine months before that. On September 16 with the UN being less than successful in mediating in Yemen and Libya, Syria and South Sudan, accused of rapes in Central African Republic and killing 8,000 in Haiti with cholera (after 40,000 died in Sri Lanka with little response from the UN), Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was asked, What is your legacy?

  That question, nor none of the other 11 Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric selected, did not refer to the rape scandal, much less deadly cholera or the Sri Lanka report released earlier in the day in Geneva, after months of delay and supposed concern by Ban.

  Inner City Press asked, before the press conference ended and then again before Ban left the room, “Anything on Sri Lanka?” But there was nothing. Ban's spokesman Dujarric didn't even allow Inner City Press to put a question to UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, who covered up rapes in DR Congo, Darfur and now CAR.

  Most recently, Ladsous linked rapes to a lack of “R&R,” rest and relaxation, video here.

Dujarric himself cut off Inner City Press questions on what Ladsous said, and declined to answer on Reddit in an “Ask Me Anything.” (He didn't say he's ANSWER everything, one wag pointed out.)

  But even beyond the scandals, Ban did not in his opening statement mention Somalia, or CAR, or Darfur; none of the questions selected by Dujarric was about Africa. (One wire points out Africa was part of a UN-at-70 question; noted.)

    Inner City Press also tried to ask about Burundi -- nothing - and South Sudan, on which we are preparing a story.

  It was Voice of America with the “What is your legacy” question. Ban said he'd answer next year. Inner City Press might answer sooner. Watch this site.


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