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Ban Ki-moon Reads Answer to VOA, Not a Word on Africa, Eyes on Prize

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 3 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held a rare question and answer stakeout on Thursday, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric in picking the questions awarded the first one to Voice of America.

 To the softball question, Ban Ki-moon answered by reading from notes. Inner City Press Periscope video here.

  It seemed to many that the question had been given in advance. In fact, VOA and its US government parent, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, have previously communicated with Dujarric as revealed by an Inner City Press appeal under the Freedom of Information Act, here. This is how today's UN operates.

  But the theater continued, with questions from the French government's France 24 and finally CBS, also on climate change. Sources close to Ban Ki-moon tell Inner City Press, with some disgust, that the focus is on trying to get a Nobel Prize, either from COP21 or, as a long-shot fall-back, North Korea.

  And so on Africa, which is two-thirds of the UN Security Council's agenda and 2/3 of the UN's work, there was nothing. Inner City Press several times said, loudly, “Question on Burundi?” Then, “Why did you propose only a support team for Burundi, given the deaths and history there?” So much for Rights Up Front.

  Ban coyly said, to the (planted?) Voice of America question, that the next Syria talks might be in New York on December 18. He is rushing to Paris -- eyes on the Prize -- then back to an event at which his UN Censorship Alliance or UN Corruption Association, UNCA, is selling seats next to him for $6,000.

 This after a still unresolved scandal of former President of the General Assembly John Ashe selling access and documents from Ban's Secretariat. This too is today's UN - and the Free UN Coalition for Access is challenging it.

  Ban's three (with CBS, four) question stakeout was called “in lieu of” a UN noon briefing. But the Press' questioning will continue. Watch this site.


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