Silent on Haiti Evictions, Says Rented Love Boat is Not a Luxury
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 -- While the UN speaks of the humane relocation of
Haitians, on April 9 the Haitian National Police summarily evicted
over 7000 people from the Sylvio Cator soccer stadium in
Port-au-Prince. The stadium's managers said that "the Taiwanese
are planning to repair the bleachers and replace the artificial
turf," which the earthquake survivors had reportedly damaged.
UN had send
Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro to Haiti for the three
month anniversary of the January 12 earthquake. On April 15, Inner
City Press asked DSG Migiro if the UN had planned any role in the
eviction, if the UN had been informed by the HNP, which UN officials
have described as a "partner," prior to the evictions.
that despite her visit, she was unaware of the eviction. She said
that some relocations are involuntary, but are intended to move
people to higher ground before the rainy season. Those in the soccer
stadium, however, were merely given one small tent per family, and
were otherwise left to fend for themselves.
contrast, the UN
system has rented luxury cruise ships on which to house its
international staff. Inner City Press asked Ms. Migiro about these
ships. She disputed that they were luxury liners, despite the ship's
owner's own photographs. She said she had been aware of the
controversy, but had not visited the ships.
UN rented Sea Voyager- not luxurious? Piano honky tonk?
conference, several correspondents remarked how her presentation
style has improved since the halting and hurried MDGs presentations
earlier in her tenure. The Secretariat's communications arm, on the
other hand, seems to be moving backwards. Wednesday that Office said
it would explain why Ms. Migiro's predessessor Mark Malloch Brown was
at the UN Chief Executives Board meetings last week in Vienna. But a
day later, no answer has been provided.
Later on Thursday, as SG Ban Ki-moon marched with his entourage into
the Security Council, Mr. Ban asked Inner City Press about the new
press arrangements. We still have less access that before, Inner City
Press replied, but pointed out that after a fight, the press was
allowed in a pen in front of the Council entrance. Mr. Ban indicated,
seemingly joking, that this made him more vulnerable. But there are
questions to be answered.
them is why
the UN said nothing when it learned that its U.S. staff member Louis
Maxwell and other colleagues in Kabul were quite possible killed by
Afghan National forces and not the Taliban. Already this week Mr. Ban
has said he was unaware of the case of Al-Tijani Al-Sissi Ateem, who
was recruited as a pro-government Darfur rebel leader by the UN-AU
mediator Djibril Bassole while Ateem was being paid as a UN staffer.
(Inner City Press has been promised both contact information for Mr.
Bassole, and a further answer about his activities, neither of which
has yet been provided).
Ban say he is
unaware of the troubling case of Louis Maxwell? Watch this site.
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Coy with Ukraine Numbers, Denies Pakistan Conditions, Ignores Haiti
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 15 -- While the IMF on Thursday proudly announced
Greece's request to discuss IMF "fund program engagement,"
questions emerged about conditions the IMF imposes and how
transparent they are.
asked for confirmation that the IMF is "pressuring Ukraine's
government to set a budget deficit goal of six percent of GDP -- did
Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn discuss this issue, and this
number, with Mr. Yanukovych on Monday?"
Caroline Atkinson, who like her colleagues often denies that the IMF
government to do anything, this time replied that "we do not go
public with numbers until we're closer" to a deal.
also asked "In Pakistan, there have been protests against the
Value Added Tax the protesters say the IMF is requiring be imposed.
What is the relation of the VAT to what the IMF will propose to the
Executive Board on May 3 regarding Pakistan?"
"governments decide what measures to implement... we help [with]
the size of the adjustment measures."
being offered a facility with no conditions. Inner City Press asked,
comparing it to Ukraine and Pakistan, "Would the facility to
Colombia which Mr. Lipsky has spoken in favor of come with any
similar conditions, or any conditions or recommendations at all?"
that no conditions are required if "policies are strong." Clearly this
would not apply to Greece.
IMF's Stauss Kahn, Haitian fish story not shown
is also unclear
how the IMF decides which opposition parties to meet with, and what
instructions it gives them. Inner City Press asked a question which
Ms. Atkinson summarized rather than directly answer. The question
was, "Following the IMF's Bakker's meeting w/ Bulgarian
opposition parties, it appears that IMF disagrees with their
characterization of the meeting. Does IMF tell its interlocutors how
to describe such meetings, or not to describe them? Will there be any
changes in IMF meetings with opposition parties?"
after her summary, said that "we have different exchanges"
with opposition parties "when relevant." She did not answer
what instructions or conditions the IMF imposes on such meetings.
asked, The "Haiti Recovery Act" passed by the U.S. House
of Representatives calls for the IMF to forgive all outstanding debt
of Haiti. Why has the IMF not done so yet, and when will the Managing
Director finally make his proposal to the Board?"
a follow up to an inconclusive
Q&A with Mr. Strauss Kahn at the
UN on March 31, was not even acknowledged, must less answered.
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