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At UN, Ban and Pachauri Take No Questions on IPCC and Outside Income, Transparency Charade

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 10 -- Seeking to dampen controversies about the Inter governmental Panel on Climate Change's use of NGO press releases as science and about IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri's outside income from sources like Deutsche Bank, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pachauri "encountered" the Press on Wednesday.

  It was a one way encounter. Each man made a statement, each praising the other and the IPCC -- and then they left the stakeout, taking not a single question. Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe was left telling reporters, no questions, no questions. Video here.

The UN press corps was essentially used as a prop or as extras, to make it appear to viewers not paying attention that this was a legitimate press conference or Q&A. In fact, as put by one climate change activist, this was mere propaganda, like "something out of North Korea."

Or perhaps Tiger Woods is the more apt analogy, given the "racy" novel recently published by Mr. Pachauri, another correspondent noted, in which an aging Indian scientist flies around the world bedding young followers.

  Back on December 21, Inner City Press asked Ban about Pachauri's presumptive financial conflicts of interest and failure to disclose, but Mr. Ban did not answer the question.

UN's Ban and Pachauri at photo op, no questions allowed

  Later, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Ban did not have to respond to the controversies surrounding the IPCC, and that Pachauri would answer questions himself.

On Wednesday, Pachauri did not allow or answer any questions, and neither did Ban Ki-moon. What was first advertised as a sit down press conference at 12:30 was converted into a stand up stakeout from which the two men left immediately after speaking. So much for transparency. Watch this site.

Footnote: while refusing to take or answer questions in supposed press encounters, the UN is holding two separate events for journalists in the next five days. Inner City Press will not be present at the first, but may report on the second, unless questions are taken and answered before then. Watch this site.

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As UN's Ban "Divides and Rules" G-77, Pachauri's Bank Links Unexamined

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 21 -- While most observers and even participants describe the Copenhagen global warming talks as a disappointment, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday told the Press that they "sealed the deal" and were a success.

  Inner City Press asked Mr. Ban about the scandal erupting around the undisclosed business interests of the chairman of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Rajendra Pachauri, from the Tata Group through Deutsche Bank to Credit Suisse, and about the criticism by the chairman of the Group of 77 and its now 130 member states.

  Mr. Ban entirely dodged the first question, paradoxically using it as an opportunity to praise business. On the second, he asserted that the chairman of the Group of 77 was not, in fact, speaking for the Group, since others' of its members spoke more positively.

  Moments later, Inner City Press asked Sudan's Ambassador to the UN about Mr. Ban's comments. "Divide and rule," he answered, calling the Copenhagen process "climate apartheid." This phrase steps back from his counterpart in Copenhagen who analogized it to the Holocaust.

Pachauri's conflicts of interest are extensive and emblematic of the UN's lack of transparency and safeguards.

 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.

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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

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

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