Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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



ICP on YouTube

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

As MERCOSUR Complains to Ban of NSA, He's Said to "Hide Behind" Pillay

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 5, updated -- When Venezuelan foreign minister Elías Jaua Milano spoke to the media at the after he and MERCOSUR colleagues met with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about US spying, Edward Snowden and the treatment of Bolivia's President Evo Morales and his plane, the obvious questions were what did Ban say, and would the ministers raise this to Samantha Power on her first day as US Permanent Representative to the UN.

  Only the first of these two questions got answered, and that response was supplemented to Inner City Press by a MERCOSUR Permanent Representative who said Ban "hid behind" Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner on Human Rights.

  Ban was quoted in Iceland as saying that Snowden has "misused" information and his position. (The UN called it a private meeting.) But this resonated with questions raised by UN staff about Ban's treatment of UN whistleblowers. But now Ban says that Pillay has expressed the UN's position.

  Inner City Press asked the Snowden as whistleblower question, video here at Minute 15:20.

  One wanted to get this from Ban's office and not a diplomat, even a Permanent Representative, in the UN's first floor lobby to which the stakeout was moved from upstairs at the Security Council.

   But Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, at the noon briefing delayed (unlike for Rwanda's foreign minister on July 25, here) for the stakeout, said he did not yet have a read-out. This led some to surmise that he had not been at the meeting. Not to pry, of course, but this too would seem a fair question.

  The foreign ministers, the UN listing of which included Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, Héctor Marcos Timerman of Argentina, and Luis Almagro, Minister of Uruguay while not mentioning Bolivia, spoke also about Argentina's sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands, the blockade of Cuba and, at Ban's request, Haiti.

One wanted to know if the Haiti discussion address cholera, which the UN brough to the island and then denied all claims about. This Inner City Press will be pursuing.

Footnote: At the stakeout, as another media began with a question, Pamela Falk of CBS shouted louder invoking the name of the UN Correspondents Association -- ironic, since it or at least its first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters has been demonstrably shown to spy for the UN. Story here, Charbonneau & UNCA audio here, document here.

  UNCA should not get the first question in a sit-down press conference, including because it gives it only to those who pay in money. But at a stakeout like Monday's it's even worse: a question was inappropriately grabbed for UNCA, and wasted on a softball.

 Meanwhile the Department of Public Information, which gives UNCA this special status and attacks others for it, didn't have the video archive of the MERCOSUR stakeout online even as of 1:33 pm, and did not respond to a question why from the new Free UN Coalition for Access. And so it goes at the UN.

Update: after publication of the above, the archive video went online, here.  The sound quality, particularly at the beginning, is low quality. FUNCA would ask, surmising TeamPeople -- but it seems DPI doesn't answer, or only answers to UNCA, now known as its UN Censorship Alliance. We'll see.

Update II: Ban Ki-moon's readout of the meeting, emailed out after 5 pm, is here.


Share |

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]