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UN Won't Explain 48 Hour Delay in Releasing Reports, Cuts Off ICP Q

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 -- Why does the UN make its reports available in paper form in-house up to 48 hours before it puts them online for the world to see? There is no embargo. And clearly, the paper copies are printed from a digital file.

Yesterday, the Free UN Coalition for Access put the question in writing to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky, and Inner City Press wrote about it. But Nesirky never answered.

So at the April 16 noon briefing, Inner City Press put the question again to Nesirky. He said, before quickly turning to another questioner, the UN put its official documents up with no delay into the online document system, “it's as simple as that.” Video here, from Minute 12:20.

But is it? Inner City Press began to ask about the 48 hour delay, but Nesirky had moved on, promising to return to the questions.

When he did, Inner City Press asked it again: how could it take 48 hours to put the reports, already distributed in paper form, online?

Now it got worse, or less transparent.

Nesirky said, “I think you're aware of the distinction and I don't intend to go into that here.” Video here, from Minute 13:50.

No, Inner City Press is NOT aware whatever distinction Nesirky was referring to, without naming or explaining. If he didn't want to answer it in the briefing room, he could have answered FUNCA's e-mail.

  In the same briefing, Nesirky cut Inner City Press off before it could ask its questions about the 126 rapes in Minova by the Congolese Army, the UN's partner.

  Nesirky said this was because the Department of Peacekeeping Operations led by Herve Ladsous, who Nesirky knows does not answer Inner City Press' questions, would be sending answers “quite shortly.”

  Well, after three hours no answers had come. And then Reuters ran a story with an answer to Inner City Press' question sources to a “statement by the UN.” There was no press release more recently than March on the MONUSCO mission's web site.

  Inner City Press e-mailed asking for an explanation, not only to DPKO but also Nesirky. But nothing. Watch this site.

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