Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In Haiti, UN Bolduc Is Out, Coke and Clinton Fete Citigroup, Siemens

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 7 -- In the midst of the UN's response to Haiti's earthquake, it has removed its country representative Kim Bolduc, Inner City Press has discovered.

  Told by a source that Ms. Bolduc was leaving Haiti, on March 31 on the sidelines of the Haiti donors' conference Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky, "do you know if Kim Bolduc is still performing her function as country coordinator in Haiti?" While Nesirky answered "Pass, don’t know," subsequently this came in:

Subject: Answer to your question on Ms Kim Bolduc
To: Inner City Press

Dear Matthew, Kindly find hereby the answer to your question :Is Ms Kim Bolduc still performing her duties in Haiti?

"Kim Bolduc completed her assignment in Haiti on 30 March 2010".

  It is certainly a strange time to have the country representative's "assignment" run out.

UN's Ban, Kim Bolduc at table: now you see her, now you don't

   Also alongside the Haiti Donors' Conference at the UN, Bill Clinton co-hosted a corporate event for Coca-Cola, promoting a drink called "Haiti Hope."

  While the Press was barred from the event, the UN Office of Partnership' roster of 135 invitees, subsequently obtained, lists Nestle executives Paul Bulke and Peter Braback, executives from Citigroup including Vikram Pandit, Siemens and Crescent Petroleum. And so it goes at the UN.

  And here's from the April 1 transcript of the IMF, titularly a part of the UN system:

INNER CITY PRESS ONLINE QUESTIONER: At the U.N. yesterday, Mr. Strauss-Kahn said that the IMF has yet to forgive Haiti’s debt. By contrast, the IABD has already forgiven $479 million. Can you explain the IMF’s delay and exactly what Executive Board Meeting it will be when Mr. Strauss-Kahn will actually propose forgiving Haiti’s debt?

MR. RICE: In response to this question, I’d really like to refer you to the statement that we issued yesterday from the Managing Director when he attended the high-level conference in New York City. And on the issue of debt relief, what he had said was that there was a framework--staff was preparing a framework to be put forward for consideration by the IMF Executive Board on the issue of debt relief and the IMF...

   Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Haiti, EU Ashton Dodges, Cannon Fires at Fowler, French Jet Unaddressed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 1 -- Amid the self-congratulatory Haiti fest at the UN on Wednesday, there was bragging by the European Union, Canada and others, corporate plugs for Coca-Cola, and many Haitian excluded from the conference.

  The EU's High Commissioner Catherine Ashton closed with the dramatic phrase about the scale of death "in 35 seconds." But earlier on Wednesday, when Inner City Press asked her about what's described as her powerplay to get EU development aid under an External Affairs Unit she is setting up, she dodged as in a quake. There's no controversy, she said. But that's not what development and poverty experts say.

  Inner City Press asked Ashton about two EU members, Germany and France. The former's been called stingy by German Agro Aid. French development minister Alain Joyandet spent over 116,000 Euros taking a private jet to a meeting about poverty in Haiti. Ashton smiled as that question was asked, but did not answer it. The German question she left to her Eastern European co-panelist.

  Upstairs at the stakeout in front of the Trusteeship Council Chamber, high profile participants praised the meeting and themselves. Canadian foreign Minister Cannon lauded his country's response. Inner City Press asked about the criticism by former Canadian (and UN) diplomat Robert Fowler, that the conservative Canadian government has turned more and more inwards, and taken sides in the Middle East.

Cannon said he would not respond to Fowler, only that he is -- and by implication Fowler should be -- grateful to the countries which helped get Fowler released from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, after he was scooped up in Niger working for the UN and perhaps Canadian mining interests.

EU's Ms. Ashton previously on Haiti, power play not shown

  Back downstairs the press spokesman of Japan's foreign minister Okada described his boss' trip to Washington, Ottawa and New York in seemingly great detail. But he omitted the discussions of the relocation of American forces on Okinawa. When asked by Inner City Press, he dutifully described the issue for the few representatives of Japanese media in the briefing room, as if they'd never heard of it. And then the briefing was over.

It all concluded with an unwieldy seven person press conference in the UN's basement. Only three questions were allowed, each apparently pre-selected. Ban's spokesman called on Spanish wire service EFE, which he had left off Ban's first trip to Haiti, whose president's spokesman called on a Haitian journalist from "Scoop." The U.S. State Department called on Reuters, which asked Hillary Clinton about Iran and the UN Security Council.

While Haitian President Rene Preval rolled his eyes and Ban urged that only Haiti questions be asked, Hillary Clinton, France's Bernard Kouchner and Brazil's foreign minister each answered the question. Brazil said as a non permanent member of the Council, it was not in the loop.

Hillary Clinton said that the U.S. viewed seeking Council sanctions as diplomacy, even negotiations. Kouchner said that "we did try to talk to the Iranians, we did." Why not allow a question or answer about his development minister's 116,000 Euro private jet trip about Haiti, then? And so it goes in the UN.

Footnotes: Some, including Haitians who had traveled to New York in good faith for the conference, could not get in. A misleading UN web site allowed people to register and even receive confirmation. They appeared prior to the conference but were told another step had been needed, and that the event was "for donors."

  This contrasted to Bill Clinton's statement, following his high security hobnobbing with Coca-Cola which has tried to brand the earthquake,  that the conference "heard from Haitian civilian society, and not just from me."

  Inner City Press also questioned the IMF's Dominique Strauss-Kahn at the stakeout, on the IMF's failure to yet forgive Haiti's debt, in contrast to the IADB. After reporting Strauss-Kahn's answer yesterday, Thursday morning Inner City Press asked for more detail at the IMF's bi-weekly briefing, on this it will report before the IMF's 10:30 a.m. embargo time. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -