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On Ebola, UN's Nabarro to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Maybe Nigeria, Qs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 19 -- With the UN's new envoy on ebola David Nabarro in New York before he heads to Washington and then West Africa, he met on August 19 with representatives from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria.

  One of the attendees contacted Inner City Press about the meeting, praising Nabarro but frustrated that “the UN is just talk, talk, talk” which these countries struggle to emerge from or deal with conflict.

  Inner City Press asked Nabarro about the meeting, and also what he would say to authorities in the Philippines who are considering withdrawing their country's soldiers from the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, UNMIL.

  Nabarro said the meeting was useful, adding diplomatically that the countries would like to be empowered including to deal with future outbreaks. (This is consistent with the report / complaint that Inner City Press got about the meeting).

  On the peacekeeping mission, Nabarro said it has a big role to play in Liberia and he will speak with the members of the mission while there. He might want to speak with the capitals of the Troop Contributing Countries, since that is where the decisions will be made.

  Nabarro said that after a day in Washington, where among others he will meet with the CDC, he will travel to Dakar, then for two days to Liberia, to Freetown, Sierra Leone, Conakry and, he hopes, Nigeria. We'll have more on this.

Footnotes: After the UN set aside the first question for the UN Correspondents Association, a group whose Executive Committee has tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN for reporting on a financial relationship between UNCA's president and a diplomat for whom UNCA screened a war crimes denial inside the UN -- see here for a summary and here for a documents obtained under FOIA -- Inner City Press thanked Nabarro for the new, alternative Free UN Coalition for Access: FUNCA.

  Nabarro asked about FUNCA, which is only fair, and asked if that was OK (it was). As long as the UN sets aside first questions for UNCA, become the UN's Censorship Alliance, and continues to grant it privileged status from which it can try to get investigative or alternative media thrown out of the UN, this stage with continue. Watch this site.


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