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UN Day Has S. Korean Sponsors, of Lang Lang, UNCA & GSF, What Would Dag Say?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 19 -- The upcoming UN Day, on the UN's 70th anniversary, will be sponsored by South Korea, with performances by the Korean Broadcasting System's symphony and “K-Pop” artists, as well as Chinese pianist Lang Lang.

  Inner City Press on October 19 asked UN Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach how the sponsors were chosen, if all member states were notified they could put in proposals, and about her participation, admittedly early in her tenure as USG for Public Information, as events of the Global Sustainability Foundation, named in the charge sheet against John Ashe, Sheri Yan and Frank Lorenzo, and of the Lorenzo-affiliated South South Awards. Video here.

   Gallach genial referred the selection or “vetting” question to her colleague Maher Nasser, and said that UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric's answer minutes earlier, on which we'll separately report, was her answer as well.

   Maher Nasser said that under previous USG Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, the Vienna Philharmonic was to play at this 70th UN Day, but then (after Launsky-Tieffenthal returned to his native Austria) found it was unable. So South Korea stepped forward, Nasser said, adding that future sponsorships are open. We'll have more on this.

   Other UN Day events beyond the concert with Lang Lang -- who also gave a speech at the founding of the Global Sustainable Foundation and will appear at an UN Correspondents Association-affiliated event this week, including Spanish sculptures on October 24 in Central Park, and photographs and a show about Dag Hammarskjold's “Markings” inside the UN on October 27.  Some of these, the UN sent only to UNCA.

 Of the Ashe / Lorenzo scandal at the UN, one might well ask and try to answer, “What Would Dag Say?” What indeed. The UN can and must do better, including being more transparent. The Free UN Coalition for Access, along with others, is working for this. Watch this site.

Footnote: Since the UNCA representative who only last week demanded the first question when not called on, and told Inner City Press for FUNCA to “shut up,” did not on October 19 try to brand the briefing for UNCA, Inner City Press offered a general thanks to USG Gallach. It works fine that way: briefing are not for branding. But branding by UNCA, particularly given recent revelations, will be be accepted.


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