In Gaza, UN's Ban Meets Staff, Ging Sings for
Supper, Holmes to Strip
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 20 -- As its Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon showed up in Gaza, the UN's call for an
investigation" of Israel's bombings of its facilities morphed
"demand [for] an Israeli investigation." Inner City Press asked the
UN's John Holmes and John Ging what lay behind this new phrasing. Ging said he wasn't sure; Holmes pointed out
that the UN has always called for Israel to look into what it did. But
agreed that an Israeli investigation would, by definition, not have the
independence originally called for. Video here,
from Minute 23:55.
Press sources in Gaza say that Ban was only "allowed" to travel to
and from the UN Relief and Works Agency compound. They also disagree
Ging's seemingly forced statement that UNRWA staff "unanimously" were
inspired by Ban, who Ging also called "articulate." One source scoffed
that Ging's January 20 briefing smacked of video footage of American
downed in Vietnam. Holmes congratulated Ging for finally putting on a
honor of the Secretary General. That's
not all he put on, one wage added.
be traveling to Gaza. Inner City Press asked if he is coordinating with
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Louis Michel, who
announced the day previously that he will be in Gaza on January 25 and
Holmes said he hadn't been aware that Michel would be in Gaza, but that
and EU coordinate closely. He said the EU will not have a "rival"
reconstruction and humanitarian aid program. He also said that both he
Ki-moon have spoken with Quartet envoy -- and JPMorgan Chase consultant
Blair several times in the past few days. We'll see.
Press asked who will remove or defuse the unexploded ordnance in the
Strip. Ging said the first step is to identify locations; Holmes' trip
will address who will clean it up. Elsewhere, such work is coordinated
by the obscure UN Office of Project Services, all of executives are
currently in the UN Headquarters basement to convince their Executive
Board to allow them to give promotions to themselves, click here
UN's Ban in front of torched UNRWA warehouse, independence of
investigation not shown
billed as a closed meet of the UN's "High Level" group on Gaza was to
meet with John Holmes at 3:30 p.m. in basement Conference Room 5,
reserved for budget committee wrangling. At 3:30 Holmes was nowhere to
while the room filled with junior level staffers from the missions of
European Union countries. Holmes came with two staffers at 3:37, first
approaching rooms meeting on Nepal and Somalia before being directed to
the youthful Europeans awaited. "High level," Inner City Press joked.
"Numerous," Holmes replied, seemingly in reference to the low
turn-out at the morning press conference. The doors closed.
Holmes began, outside in what's
called the Vienna Cafe, Iran's Ambassador sat at a table watching the
parade down Constitution Avenue. He had walked off the podium of
Room 2, where he and Iran preside over the Executive Board of the UN
Development Program. Also floating
through the basement was the UN's top lawyer, in search of the elusive
Conference Room 9, where the Department of Peacekeeping Operations has
being doing some type of leadership training or induction. She
look into the status of the Secretary General's Bulletin benefiting
Mattsson at UNOPS, which Inner City Press reported on yesterday. We'll have more on all this.
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