Glitzy DVF Awards Have Kelly Partying In Space He Called Unsafe
March 12 -- The UN cafeteria, suspended over Manhattan's FDR
Drive, Friday night hosted Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Diane Sawyer,
Diane von Furstenberg and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, as
DVF awards were given to Elizabeth Smart, the American Widows Project
and programs in Kenya and India.
heightened security with Secretary of State Clinton in attendance,
one irony went unaddressed. In a controversy earlier this year,
citing security, the UN kept
$100 million owed to the US Treasury in
Tax Equalization Funds.
Press asked on what basis the $100 million had been retained, the UN
responded that Kelly's NYPD had advised it, and Hillary Clinton's
Department of State had given the OK.
has yet to name which US
official approved the “keep the ($100 million) change,” and the
change in scope and duration of the Capital Master Plan renovation
was criticized on March 7 by Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77
and China. (The UN has yet to respond.)
on Friday night asked Commissioner Kelly how he could be partying
directly over the FDR Drive, when he was quoted by the UN has saying
this location was so unsafe it must be fortified and restructured on
an emergency basis with $100 million otherwise due to US taxpayers.
to present it as an emergency, instead saying “What they're trying
to do is always improve.” Then he said, “the money has been
asked if he meant handed back to the US Treasury.
head and said, of the House Republicans, that “what they tried to
do is get the money back from the UN. That wasn't allowed... Peter
King got it back” for the UN.
Peter King as the protector of the UN, in that he is currently
criticized for sponsoring Congressional hearings focused on “Muslim
Kelly at DVF Awards at UN March 11, $100 M not shown
ironies on Friday night. Taryn Davis of the American Widow Project
spoke of US soldiers killed in Iraq with no mention that barely 100
feet above the UN cafeteria, the UN Security Council refused to
authorize US action in Iraq.
who was initially not listed on the program, arrived with high
security. Clinton was in the UN building for the first time, one wag
snarked, while the US Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice
is not here much either.
made one of the few references to the UN, if only in passing, saying
it was an honor “to be in this building.” Not a word, however,
about the criticism by Doctors Without Borders and others of the UN
“taking sides” in Somalia, in a way that harms humanitarian work.
the UN's noon
briefing on March 10, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about both of these: the $100
million held back from the US Treasury for the NYPD / Kelly
“demanded” security renovation, and the UN in Somalia:
Press: Médecins Sans Frontières has put out a statement
it’s largely criticizing the DFID [Department for International
Development], the UK, cutting back on funding to some countries and
saying it should be security-related. But their position is that
they have put out is that the UN is not neutral in Somalia. They say
that because the Resident Coordinator wears both political and
humanitarian hats, it shows that the humanitarian side is in the
service of the, quote, “the UN’s political aims” and that it
has compromised the UN’s ability to safeguard independent
humanitarian assistance. And I just wonder, this critique has been
made before, of the UN decision there, but is it, is it a conscious
decision by the UN to blur, to merge these two things? Is there a
place for humanitarians that is not totally aligned with the UN and
the Security Council support of the [Transitional Federal Government?
What do you make of the Médecins Sans Frontières saying
work is actually impaired by the UN’s process in Somalia?
: I’ll ask my colleagues who deal with this specifically. But as I
recall, Mr. [Mark] Bowden, sitting right here, has spoken
quite clearly on that topic already. But if there is anything
further, then we’ll let you know.
Press: The other thing is, earlier this week in the Fifth, in
the resumed Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), this $100
million tax equalization fund came up. And the head of the G-77,
María Luz Melon [of Argentina], said that the scope was supposed
have been presented… any change of scope like this was supposed to
have been presented to the Budget Committee in advance, raised a
number of questions about it. I am wondering, what is… there
didn’t seem to be a response at that time; what is the
Secretariat’s response to G-77 saying that the $100 million was
As I have mentioned numerous times, this is US money and this work
that needs to be carried out is something that US authorities have
agreed to and have agreed to fund from the fund that you mentioned. If
I have anything further specifically responding to the point you
have mentioned, then I will be happy to let you know. But at the
moment I do not.
Press: Okay. Because they… When you look into it, you will
see, they cite a specific resolution, 62/87, said that any change of
scope or this is also going to delay the Capital Master Plan, that
this was supposed to come back to the GA. I am just sort of…
Well, I think it would be for the Capital Master Plan
people, the people in charge of the renovation of the building, to
say whether that would constitute a delay or not. That is not our
understanding. Let’s hear from the Capital Master Plan, all right?
City Press then asked the head of the CMP, Michael Adlerstein, all he
said was “You should asked them,” Argentina. And so it goes at
* * *
in Abyei, UN Flew in Torcher Haroun,
7 -- Amid the torching of villages in Abyei by
Sudanese nomads, the UN flew into
Abyei Ahmen Haroun, indicted by the
International Criminal Court for organizing nomads to commit war
crimes in Darfur, it confirmed to Inner City Press on March 4.
Inner City Press over the weekend asked Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky to
all previously requested specifics of ICC indictee Ahmed Haroun's now
second flight with the UN, and did DPKO tell the Security Council?
Was it a special or scheduled flight? How much did it cost? Did the
UN ask why Sudan's air force couldn't make the flight? Did OLA
consider and approve this? When will Patricia O'Brien hold a press
conference and take questions?”
March 7, with
Nesirky not having answered any of the questions, he used his noon
briefing opening to deliver praise to the government of Omar al
Bashir, also indicted by the ICC for genocide, for now agreeing to
try to avoid violence. Inner City Press asked:
on Sudan, I mean, I heard your message lauding this
agreement between the SPLM and the NPC. Has the UN seen, and can it…
seen this report, and can it confirm that three villages were burned
down in Abyei, 300 buildings destroyed, and what’s the relation
between that… is this the violence that the agreement that you are
applauding will be stopping or… and what was, did Ahmed Haroun,
this indicted ICC [International Criminal Court] individual, what was
his role? Did he sign this for the NPC, and do you think that
villages will no longer be burned down in this way?
of all, it is precisely that kind of violence and
damage with human, as well as material, cost that this agreement
would be designed to stop, and to try to stop. Governor [Ahmed]
Haroun of South Kordofan, as you know, is responsible for the
Misseriya’s respect for the rule of law and finding a solution to
their migration, and so that is why his role was crucial in that
What do you say to those who say that, since he is
actively charged by the ICC with organizing nomadic tribes to burn
down villages that may be relying on him, transporting him may be not
a good idea?
Menkerios (r) with Mbeki & Hillary Clinton,
Haroun not shown
think the point here is that, as I just said, his role in
ensuring that Misseriya respect the rule of law and also in helping
to find a solution to their migration is really crucial. And,
indeed, the talks between the Ngok Dinka/SPLM and the Misseriya/NCP
really can’t take place without his participation.
impossible to deal with murderous nomads without the UN flying in a
Sudanese government official indicted by the ICC for organizing
nomads to murder in Darfur. Is the resulting and continuing murder
March 7 Inner City Press on deadline asked the three
spokespeople of the US Mission to the UN the following question, so
far without response:
the US State Department / Administration find the new Satellite
Sentinel Project imagery, confirming the deliberate burning of three
villages in Sudan's contested Abyei region, useful? How is the Obama
administration focusing on Abyei? Do you agree with the conclusions
of the Satellite Sentinel Project that it's systematic targeting of
civilian infrastructure, and as such, evidence of a possible war
questions to the US Mission to the UN that have gone unanswered.
Watch this site.
* * *
of ICC Darfur Indictee Haroun to Abyei in Sudan, Impunity
updated -- The UN
has for a second time offered a free UN
flight in Sudan to Ahmed Haroun, under indictment by the
International Criminal Court for war crimes in Darfur, the UN
admitted Friday in response to questions from Inner City Press.
March 3 the UN
Security Council met about renewed fighting in the disputed Abyei
region. Back in January, Inner City Press got the UN to acknowledge
they had flown ICC indictee Haroun from South Kordofan, where he
serves fellow ICC indictee Omar al Bashir as governor, to Abyei.
UN has defended
this controversial flight by saying that Haroun and Haroun alone
could stop violence in Abyei. The UN never explained why the
government of Sudan, which has an air force currently bombing civilians
in Jebel Marra in Darfur, couldn't itself fly Haroun.
UN said it was
a scheduled flight, then UN Mission in Sudan chief Haile Menkerios
Inner City Press that it was a special flight. Inner City Press is
told such flights cost $40,000, and the UN has confirm no
reimbursement has been sought from the Bashir government.
violence has continued, making the UN flight of ICC indictee Haroun
harder to justify even by the UN's own argument.
of the Security Council, Inner City Press asked Council president for
March Li Baodong of China if the UN Peacekeeping official who briefed
the Council, Atul Khare, had mentioned if Haroun would again be flown
in a UN helicopter. Li Baodong did not directly answer.
the March 4 UN
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's
spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm or deny that that the UN would
once again fly ICC indictee Haroun to Abyei, even now that his work in
connection with the first flight has proved ineffective.
check. Ten minutes later, Nesirky's deputy Farhan Haq announced
by speaker to all UN correspondents that yes, Haroun attended today's
meeting in Abyei, and yes, “he was transported” by the UN.
even for one of the few people indicted for war crimes by
the ICC. Meanwhile Ban Ki-moon brags about the Security Council's partial
referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC -- a referral that Ban
Ki-moon did not even call for until after the Council voted to make
and enshrining lawlessness, with no transparency or
accountability. Watch this site.
of 3:48 pm -- Human Rights Watch, via Richard Dicker, submitted
is the second time in recent weeks the UN has transported Ahmed
Haroun who is charged by the ICC with war crimes in Darfur. We have
real concerns because the U.N. should not be in the business of
transporting Haroun. There needs to be an extremely high threshold of
urgency for such action by UNMIS.”
from the Missions to the UN of France, the UK and the US,
with the latter two asked if they knew in advance of the UN's new
flight of ICC indictee Haroun. Given her
social media, & after hours of non-response by the US Mission
to the UN,@AmbassadorRice
has been asked directly as well. Watch
-- Then this, from UK Mission to the UN spokesman Daniel
spokesperson, I would only reiterate the message that my two
Ambassadors have both said on the record (and published by Inner City
Press) first time around: that we aren’t going to second guess how
UNMIS fulfills its mandate to provide good offices to the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) parties in efforts to resolve
differences through dialogue and negotiations. I’d only add that
this work is particularly important at this sensitive time, to
contain any potential escalation after the recent Abyei violence.”
again that violence has persisted despite the UN flying ICC indictee
Ahmed Haroun in the first time, and that it is the role of UN member
states to oversee the UN Secretariat, not to defer in this case to
what some see as its promotion of impunity - but at least the UK
would put its position on the record.
-- this too has come in, perhaps in response:
Subject: Haroun and Abyei
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
questions! Have you noticed perhaps that the United
Nations seems to be unaware of who is causing the violence in Abyei.
And yet "diplomatic sources" report seeing the burial of 33
bodies - all southerners.
the violence started when SPLM police shot at them
(Hitler used a similar ploy to invade Poland) - and today thousands
of civilians fled Abyei fearing another crisis like in June 2008. The
Dinka Ngok villages north of Abyei, such as Maker, have been
burnt to the ground. The end explains the means. There is a
creeping ethnic cleansing going on in the Abyei region despite the
agreements of 2005 and the Court of Arbitration ruling in 2010.
Abyei - what is his cv? It is, as you correctly point
out, that of arming arab militias to burn villages. I hope to see
more of your questions pinning the UN to the responsibility to
for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.