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ICP Asks DESA About UN Rapes, Stats for Disparate Lending to Women

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 20 -- When the UN held a press conference on its statistical report on the status of women on October 20, Inner City Press asked how the issue of (disparate) lending to women, for small businesses and housing, was measured by the UN -- apparently it isn't -- and if UN Peacekeeping's immunity for sexual abuse doesn't contribute to the issue of victims not reporting what happens to them. Video here.

   UN DESA's Lenni Montiel gave a passionate response on sexual abuse, saying that as a Resident Representative he informed staff of all UN agencies, funds and programs that such conduct is unacceptable. In the hallway afterward, he made clear he was talking about UN civilians personnel, saying that peacekeeping is another matter. Indeed it is -- see here, where UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous on September 11, 2015 linking rapes to “R&R.”

   The lending question was construed as about inheritance and property rights -- it is distinct -- and was put under the rubric “Poverty.” Inner City Press cited, for the first time at the UN, the US Home Mortgage Disclosure Act. We'll have more on this.

On women, peace and security, does the UN live up to the mandates of UN Security Council resolution 1325? On October 13, Inner City Press asked visiting speakers from Syria and Libya if two UN envoys, Lakhdar Brahimi and Tarek Mitri, lived up to Resolution 1325. The answer was “No.” Video here.

   Mouna Ghanem of the Syrian Women's Forum for Peace said Brahimi didn't; she said that women shouldn't be used as window-dressing.  Amal Bugaighis of the Libyan Human Rights Association confirmed what Inner City Press had earlier reported, that UN envoy Tarek Mitri had been dismissive of CEDAW, the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

  The promotion for the press conference, at least as sent by the dubious UN Correspondents Association -- which took money from “brothel magnate” Ng Lap Seng, here -- said there would be a presentation from or about Yemen. But there was not, so it was impossible to ask about that UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. We'll have more on this.

Back on October 12, one month after UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous linked peacekeepers' rapes in the Central African Republic to "distraction" and R&R, here, Inner City Press asked Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director, and Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, former UN official and lead author of a new Global Study about what Ladsous said, sitting where they were, about rapes and R&R.”

  Both said they hadn't seen Ladsous' comments, so Inner City Press tweeted the YouTube link to @phumzileunwomen and @UN_Women asking for their comments, even as they answered. After Coomaraswamy responded generally about linking rape to recreation, Inner City began to say, Sent you the link -- but was cut off by the UN Women moderator, who said “Let others ask questions.” But there was only one more question.

  Then, Inner City Press showed Coomarswamy the beginning of Ladsous' comments on a laptop. But the UN Correspondents Association sidekick cut in, “Excuse ME,” to ask yet another UN official to come to a $90 fundraiser. This is the same UNCA which took money from South South News then both gave it an award and produced Ban Ki-moon for a photo op with SSN's controller, the now jailed David Ng. This is UN, this is the UN. But what will  Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy now do about Ladsous' comments? Watch this site. 

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