UN's Rehab Plan Might Drive Press
Out, From Bid Openings to Cost Overruns, Master Planner Speaks
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, February 2 -- As
the plan to renovate the UN's headquarters plods forward, it remains
million over-budget, not counting $160 million in late-arising
costs." The director of the UN Capital Master Plan, Michael Adlerstein,
the press on Monday, reading the $97 million figure from notes and
acknowledging the associated costs only in response to questions.
At least he
answered that question. When Inner City Press asked Adlerstein
proposal that the UN for the first time impose rent charges on
which would have the effect of driving smaller, independent and
world media out of the UN, he said he would not comment on camera, nor
position on the matter. Video here,
from Minute 44:52.
Likewise, after he had described ostensibly
actions by the UN's general contractor, Skanska, he was asked if the
observe the bid openings. "We don't invite the press to bid openings,"
Adlerstein answered. Video here,
from Minute 57:44.
But the Procurement
Division allowed Press attendance at the bid opening for the
privatization of a
portion of the UN Pension Fund. How much more so the expenditure of
billion in global taxpayers' funds, overseen by a UN-selected
only described as "Skanska
scandal" in Argentina, but more recently
for by a worker for lung cancer? Click here
Adlerstein with UN's Ban, exclusion of press not shown
While not asked of Adlerstein during his press
conference, the UN's
expenditure for a ventilation system for cigarette smoking in its
Vienna Cafe -- where Adlerstein said the Security Council stakeout will
now seems all the more wasteful when signs have gone up directed
their designated area, down a long hall and overlooking the East River.
has continued, with no end in sight. Under the CMP, regular staff will
bullpens while high UN officials will get private offices. All the
smoke in. Adlerstein called the UN's relations with the City of New
complicated but positive. We will continue to follow this.
Footnotes: Inner City
reported on this move by Ban Ki-moon's UN to charge rent to the press
in connection with the head of UN Management, Angela Kane, click here for
that. At the time, the Press was told that such a move without not be
made without agreement by the chiefs of the Department of Public
Information. Now Adlerstein is in the mix, but won't comment on camera.
Who then will be making this decision? We will continue to follow and
report on it.
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
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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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
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