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

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


Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

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 UN's Amos Leaves, From Denials on CAR to Standing Up to Saudi, Aid in Evolution

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 14 -- When it emerged that Valerie Amos was leaving the UN and her post as Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, the focus turned to who would replace her: David Cameron's first choice Andrew Lansley, or one of Cameron's two second choices, Caroline Spellman or Stephen O'Brien, would get the (UK) post.

  The shift in interest wasn't entirely fair to Amos, who while sometimes reliably following the line of her country, which has now held the OCHA post three times in a row, also showed independence, most recently by chiding if only implicitly Saudi Arabia for trying to politicize aid to Yemen, which it has bombed.

  Inner City Press was first to report Cameron's begrudging submission of the alternate candidacies of Spellman and O'Brien, and the victory of O'Brien, as credited in the Telegraph, UK Channel 4 and IRIN (which was spun off from OCHA under Amos' watch).

 But on the eve of Amos' farewell reception at the UN, which among others US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Anne Richards will attend, Inner City Press offers this admitted partial recap.

   After taking over the OCHA post in 2010, following fellow Brit John Holmes (he of passionate ambivalence about the Tamil Bloodbath on the Beach in Sri Lanka), Amos started quietly. In 2011 when Tony Blair visited the UN, it was by her side. But she branched out: for example into Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan in Sudan, on which she always to her credit took questions.

  On Syria, Amos was unwilling ever before ISIS' takeover in Iraq to talk about OCHA operation in Raqaa; she did however get into specifics on aid workers killed and kidnapped.

   In 2014, she told Inner City Press she was disappointed by MSF's criticism of the UN in Central African Republic. But given that in 2015 it is revealed that the UN system -- not OCHA -- helped cover up rapes of children in CAR by the French Sangaris forces, and that Amos' fellow USG Herve Ladsous pushed to get the whistleblower who revealed this fired, according to a UN Dispute Tribunal rule not contested by OHCHR (only Ladsous denies it), we'd bet MSF was right.

  This is the balance, this is the dance: the MSFs and Aids-Free Worlds of the world tell the truth, and the range of UN USGs push back, some as colleagues, others like Ladsous as unaccountable drone.

  Amos was and is no drone, that we can say. We wish her well in future endeavors. We will have more on this.


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 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]