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     .


Follow us 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

At UN, Australian Briefing on Burkina Faso, Of S. Sudan Arms Embargo

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 4 -- The day Australian Ambassador and UN Security Council president for November Gary Quinlan got his program of work agreed to, the Council then met behind closed doors on Libya, South Sudan and, at Quinlan's request, Burkina Faso.

  The Burkina Faso briefing, which Inner City Press first reported on Tuesday morning, was to have been by UN envoy to West Africa Mohammed ibn Chambas. But first a source told Inner City Press that "the connection was too weak;" later, Quinlan mentioned the curfew there as well.

  The Security Council agreed to "Elements to the Press" on Libya; on South Sudan and Burkina Faso, for now there were summaries by Quinlan.

  On Burkina Faso, Inner City Press asked Quinlan if there had been any discussion of the spread of what some call the African Spring, noting for example that a statute of Joseph Kabila was toppled in Beni in Eastern Congo, even as Kabila asks UN Peacekeeping for military support.

  Quinlan said there has been some discussion of the regional aspect, but not in detail. Inner City Press asked if France had acknowledged in the Council's consultations having helped Burkina Faso's 27 year ruler -- who came to power on the back, so to speak, of Thomas Sankara -- escape the country.

  Quinlan said he hadn't heard of the allegation that France help Compaore get away. Well, here it is: president Francois Hollande told reporters in Quebec City that "we did it... to avoid drama and other convulsions."

  On South Sudan, Quinlan did not engage with a staged question -- a US official tells a media what it has told the Council, the media passes it through then asks the Council president about it -- but did say, in answer to another's question, that Australia is in favor of an arms embargo.

   All afternoon it was said that Libya envoy Bernardino Leon would take press questions. But when he left, it was straight out of the UN. The question will have to wait, then. Not so with Quinland on Day One (or Two), to his credit.

   Midday on November 4 Quinlan and at least three members of his team came to brief the press. Quinlan gave a more detailed than usual opening statement, far from uninteresting, and then the questions -- and to some, the problems -- began.

  The first question was set aside for the old UN Correspondents Association, a former Reuters reporter who asked about “The Ukraine.” (To explain, UNCA is an organization whose board tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN, becoming the UN's Censorship Alliance.) Next came France 24, then Agence France Presse and a US state media.

  At that point Inner City Press, on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, noted that the correspondent for Al Mayadeen, with a different perspective, stood up and walked out. Was it a message?

  Seems so: the next was Associated Press and then Newsweek / Israel Radio, with questions about the Golan Heights and North Korea. Inner City Press, called on next, thanked Quinlan for FUNCA and asked that he hold Q&A stakeouts after each closed consultation. (He said, to his credit, that's the plan.)

  Inner City Press asked the legal basis for airstrikes on Syria and if international law wouldn't be better served by seeking Security Council approval. Quinlan said no member of the Council has brought it up, and that his own country is acting in Iraq under a request from that country's government, and is sending a couple hundred trainers.

Quinlan has scheduled a briefing and, he hopes, adoption of a “technical” resolution on sanctions for November 25. Inner City Press asked him about the “regime change” letter by Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group expert Dinesh Mahtani, which it exclusively published and which led to Mahtani's resignation. Mahtani's letter, here, referred twice to Australia.

Quinlan said the training and qualification of experts will be discussed and addressed, and that impartiality “must be a given.” We'll have more on this.

  The briefing continued with Voice of America - a second US state media, both under the US Broadcasting Board of Governors; perhaps for that reason after the former Reuters UN reporter was called on, the current stood in the back with a member of the Australian mission delegation.

  Then, described as the last question, came Al Jazeera, saying it “heard” that Burkina Faso would be addressed in the Council and asking when). The briefing was set to end -- when there was a (polite) rebellion.

A reporter from Armenian media said she had her hand raised the whole time, and asked about Ukraine. Quinlan to his credit decided to stay and answer. Here's hoping its a harbinger of the coming Security Council month, at least in terms of accessibility to the media. Watch this site.


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 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]