UK's Alan Duncan Ducks BP Question on CSR, UN Global Compact with
PetroChina as Sponsor
June 23 -- On the 66th day of BP's oil gushing
into the Gulf
of Mexico, UK Minister of State for International Development Alan
Duncan appeared at
the UN for a UN Global Compact event. Inner City Press asked Minister
Duncan to describe the role of the British government in making BP --
British Petroleum -- live to the corporate social responsibility
standards of the Global Compact. Video here,
from Minute 28:12.
“It's not for
to answer that questions,” Minister Duncan answered. “You very
carefully, carefully steered your question to something which you
wish to generate a headline, but it is not the purpose of our
the title of
the meeting, and related Ministerial Statement, was “The Role of
Government in Promoting Corporate Responsibility.” That the UK
government has some responsibility for overseeing the practices of
one of its largest corporation, the former Anglo-Persian oil company,
Minister Duncan duck the question, and why would the UN, which says
that the Global Compact and its events promote transparency, assist
Minister Duncan be stepping in to dodge other parts of the question,
and then quickly give the floor to another speaker? Video here,
Alan Duncan and David Cameron, CSR for BP not shown
asked about the financial sponsors of the June 24-25 Global Compact
Leaders Summit, including PetroChina, which has been protested for
its investments with Sudan in Darfur. “The conference has many
sources of support,” said the UN's Bob Orr, “all publicly
the UN's press pack
has no list of sponsors. Perhaps Global Compact
chief Georg Kell, who in mid June when Inner City Press asked about BP
happen,” will now provide the list of fiscal sponsors. Watch this site.
* * *
UN, "Accidents Happen, Nature of Modern Life,"
a UNGC correction -- As BP continues gushing oil for over 50
the Gulf of Mexico, at the UN on June 14, Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's main adviser on corporate social responsibility defended
happen all the time, it's the nature
of modern life," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN
Global Compact. Video here,
upcoming CSR event slated for New York on June 24,
featuring Ban and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Inner City
Press asked about several participating and donating corporation,
including a tobacco distributor and a company of mercenaries or
soldiers of fortune.
Inner City Press asked about BP, a long
time Global Compact member. Video here,
has not been active in the Compact for two years. "I think
their current status is non communicating," he said. But even as
he said it, on the Global Compact website BP was listed as fully in
compliance, with its next "communication of progress" not
due until June 9, 2011.
imagine what "progress" BP will communicate to the UN at
that time. The reality is that the UN has no substantive standards
for membership in the Global Compact.
UN's Ban listen to Kell, BP's gusher not shown
detailed complaints, the UN Global Compact has for example kept as a
member PetroChina and its investment in Darfur with the Sudanese
government of Omar al Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal
to misrepresent the status of BP with the Global Compact, and so
quickly try to distance the Compact from BP before defending it,
reflects that BP's image is now worse than PetroChina's.
Kell would then dismissively say of BP's still gushing undersea
pipeline, "Big accidents happen all the time, it's the nature of
modern life," shows either that Kell is not the right person to
lead the UN's Global Compact, or that the UN is not what it claims to
be - or both. Watch this site.
"It seems that Kell is more responsive to the UK than the US," opined
one senior UN official, who requested anonymity due to Ban Ki-moon's
anti whistleblower policies. "But where is [US Ambassador] Susan Rice
on this, given Obama's new public attacks on Tony Hayward and BP?"
Update - the day
after this report, the UNGC
out a correction of Kell's statement -- and didn't even send it
to Inner City Press.
* * *
Disputed on Weapons Flow from US, Big Rift with
Small Arms Survey
-- Mexico's claim
of guns enter its country
from the United States was questioned at the UN on Monday. Inner
Press asked the managing director of the Small Arms Survey, Eric
Berman, about what percentage of guns in Mexico come from the United
here, from Minute 23:12.
to Mexico's 80% to 90% figures, "there's a little
problem in how the numbers are determined." He said the Mexican
government has seized thousands of weapons, they selected a subset to
send to the US... Another subset, those able to be determined by
serial numbers, leads to a percentage 'from the US.' But the headline
"skews the information."
"shared the information with the government of Mexico."
Press asked Mexican spokespeople in Washington and at the UN. The
request to DC based spokesman and former UN correspondent for Notimex
Ricardo Alday was answered by the Mexican Mission's hard working
Marco Morales, in the midst of an "informal consultation"
with North and South Korea. Morales wrote:
corroborated on various occasions by the US
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, even at hearings
at the US Congress.
more than 90% of small arms enter Mexico through
our Northern border, regardless of whether they are US-made or
there seems to
be a stark dispute, between this Small Arms Survey and the numbers
used by Mexico's government and Mission to the UN. How to resolve the
UN's Ban and Calderone, US guns not shown (goal
Writing in The
New Yorker of May 31, William Finnegan
("Silver or Lead," Plata o Plomo)
than eighty percent of the weapons that have been seized in Mexico
and that could be traced originated in the US."
Berman of the
Small Arms Survey said that was at least one more screen -- it was a
percentage of (1) weapons seized in Mexico that (2) Mexico sent to
the US for identification and that (3) could be traced. And
Berman specifically disputed the 80% figure.
Survey was presented to UN member states on June 14. Apparently,
Mexico wasn't there. Now what? Can each side simply use their own
numbers? Whatever happened to that old saw of debating, you are
entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts? Watch this
* * *
LaHood Dodges Mexican Trucks, Names Taiwan as a Country
-- In one of the stranger press stakeouts at the UN
of late, US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood appeared Wednesday to
talk about distracted driving. Even during a four second text
message, he said, a car travels the length of a football field.
about a controversy in the news, the US's refusal to
allow Mexican trucks into the country, contrary to NAFTA. LaHood
replied that "Mexican trucks have nothing to do with distracted
driving." Video here,
But the issue is sure to arise during President
Calderon's state dinner with Barack Obama. And LaHood went on to praise
prohibiting truck drivers from texting.
Driven had also denounced the use of "handsfree"
devices while driving, Inner City Press asked if Wednesday's call
also targeted this form of distraction. "All are distractions,"
General Ban Ki-moon, who did not stay to answer any questions, had
announced an Administrative Instruction prohibiting UN personnel from
texting while driving. But when Inner City Press later asked Ban's
spokesman how this would be enforced, what the penalties were, the
spokesman said the AI is not yet in place. Nor could he answer about
UN staff in Cyprus causing a crash that killed two Bulgarians.
more than a dozen were present, drawn by
the presence of US Ambassador Susan Rice and Russia's Vitaly Churkin,
hoping one or both might speak about Iran. She did not.
anti-texting legislation in "countries including...
Taiwan," Ambassador Rice reacted. In the UN, it's "Taiwan
Province of China." LaHood did not clarify. Video here.
fact, even a
question addressed to Ambassador Churkin, LaHood stepped in to
answer, touting the Obama administration's spending. Afterwards,
Churkin said that while LaHood had promoted Obama's agenda, he
Churkin would now speak for the international community.
day after the US's
sponsoring of a draft resolution to impose sanctions on Iran was
met by a Brazilian vow not to engage, and similar skepticism by
Turkey, the US's showing at the driving stakeout seemed, in a word,
UN's Ban and LaHood, Susan Rice, Vitaly Churkin
speakers waited for LaHood to arrive, and just after Inner City Press
had asked Ban Ki-moon about the report on
the UN's role in Sri Lankan
war crimes put out by the
International Crisis Group, Samantha Power
approached Mr. Ban to mention the various Sergio de
Mello projects and to introduce her husband Cass Sunstein, the
administration's regulatory guru. (His reaction to the proposed
Consumer Financial Protection Agency being weakened, and to the BP
oil spill, were not able to be inquired into.)
to the couple in his remarks. But what does Ms. Power, who
literally wrote the book on genocide, have to say about the UN's and
US Mission's positions on Sri Lanka, compared to the ICG report?
While like Mexican trucks not related to distracted driving, these
are questions needing answers. Watch this site.
But if the
alleged corruption was in the
procurement for the project, how can they be separate? Watch this
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
Press are listed here,
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]