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Obama Speech at UN Doesn't Mention Yemen or S Sudan, Much Less Ban's Nepotism

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- The UN was primed for Barack Obama's final General Assembly speech as US President. Would the UN's decay in the last eight (really, ten) years come to the fore?

First Obama came late; Chad's Deby took his place. Then Obama spoke for 47 minutes but did not even once mention Yemen, where US-supported airstrikes have killed more than 1,000 children. He did not mention South Sudan.

He said, “we’ve pushed for transparency and cooperation in rooting out corruption” - but did not mention the ongoing UN bribery case, of John Ashe (RIP) and Ng Lap Seng, much less Ban Ki-moon's lack of transparency, on nepotism and jobs for insiders like Han Seung Soo.

Han is Ban's mentor, now a UN official moonlighting on the board of South Korea's Doosan and of Standard Chartered, the UN's bank. Who is Obama's “we”? And where is the push?

While many will focus on inaction in Syria, which allows the UN Secretariat to blame “the member states,” what about the UN killing more than 10,000 people with cholera in Haiti, then citing immunity?

   What about the increasing bursts of rape and sexual abuse by peacekeepers, even as the US Mission's Ambassador for “Reform” Isobel Coleman delivers praise to Ban Ki-moon's supposed “zero tolerance” policy -- while Ban's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous has publicly linked the rapes to “R&R”? Video here.

   How about Ban's own increasing nepotism -- promoting his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee to the top UN job in Kenya without recusal -- and the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe UN bribery case? What has the Obama administration done or even said about any of these?

   The US continues to support the Saudi-led Coalition's airstrikes on Yemen; Ban took the Saudi-led Coalition off the UN's Children and Armed Conflict annex.

This undermines other UN human rights lists -- but Ban is leaving the UN (coyly running for president of South Korea, and using the UN to do so), as Obama leaves.

There is lip service to multi-lateralism, but while Ban Ki-moon has actively harmed the UN, the Obama administration has done nothing. Who will they choose to come after Ban? Watch this site.


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