As UN and Ban Are Booed, Buck is Passed But Not to
Gaza, Phosphorus Facts Promised
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 19 -- While Ban Ki-moon was
in Lebanon and Ramallah on the West Bank over the weekend, he was booed
large crowds for his delayed and allegedly pro-Israel actions during
offensive against Gaza. In Ramallah they chanted, in an Arabic rhyme,
Ki-moon, in his brain he has no say." In Lebanon, posters were held up
Ban covering his ears and eyes: hear no evil, see no evil.
In New York
on Monday, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson Michele Montas to
on the protests, was Ban aware of them and what was his response. "Most
the demonstrations were not directed at him," Ban's Spokesperson
"but also at the UN in general, concerning the Security Council and the
General Assembly." Video here,
from Minute 14:21.
City Press' sources say the chants were about Ban Ki-moon. As to the
Assembly, they only became part of the UN action on Gaza due to the
interest taken by GA President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. While he was
criticized, including Monday to Inner City Press by Permanent
of both European and Arabic countries, it seems unlikely that the
the weekend had the GA in mind.
these same sources are dismissive of the still-unconfirmed plan by Ban,
by Israel, to visit Gaza now that bombing has ceased. "He should have
earlier and appealed for a stop to the bombing," one of the UN sources
said. "He should have gone to the Rafah crossing and said, 'let all
Press asked UNRWA's John Ging to respond to the Red
Cross' Jakob Kellenberger's
statement that he saw no evidence that Israel used white phosphorous
and that the medical system in Gaza suffered from no shortage of
medicine. Ging said, on white phosphorus, "we have evidence to
substantiate" its use.
Protesters in Lebanon with photo of
UN's Ban, Jan 17, 2009, General Assembly not shown
Press asked about the continuing blockage of cash into Gaza, and the
statement that "without a functioning bank system
in Gaza, recovery
efforts will be vastly undermined." Ging said that to bring solutions,
"we are all engaged with the banking sector here." Video here,
Minute 41:21. We will have more on this.
Spokesperson was asked, as a
so-called "housekeeping" question, why have a briefing on these
topics on January 20, when Barack Obama is being inaugurated. There
will be no
briefing tomorrow, Ban's spokesperson quickly agreed. Later, that at
Ging will appear for questions was arranged, first for 11:30 and then,
was argued that might conflict with the Obama event, back to 11 or
a.m.. Talk about deference.
Click here for Inner City Press'
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City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
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December 12 debate on UN double standards
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City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
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Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
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UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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