Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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, d'Escoto Fears for Obama's Life, Dubious of Responsibility to Protect, Gutierrez to Be Invited

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, April 14 -- The responsibility to protect, a doctrine that if a government cannot or does not serve its people others may step in to do so, was called by the President of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday a "new cosmetic improvement" on the "right to intervene." Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, formerly Nicaragua's foreign minister, said that R2P reminds him of the United States' interventions in Latin America "to protect its interests."

  Inner City Press asked d'Escoto about his appointment earlier this month of former Indian Ambassador to the UN Nirupam Sen as his advisor on the Responsibility to Protect, as well as on the global financial crisis, and asked if d'Escoto is a supporter of or skeptic about R2P. D'Escoto answered that he has "reservations" about R2P, and may organize an interactive panel on the topic.

   D'Escoto has already scheduled for June 1-3 a meeting on the global financial crisis. Inner City Press asked, in light of d'Escoto's public praise of Barack Obama, who might come to the event from the U.S. government. D'Escoto answered that he "hopes God protects Obama," comparing him to Martin Luther King. Immediately after that, d'Escoto praised a book asserting that the CIA killed John F. Kennedy.

  When Hillary Clinton engaged in such free association on the campaign trail, there was a fire storm. For d'Escoto, it was one of his least controversial statement. He began the press conference by referring to the UN's failure to bring about a Palestinian state. Asked about his past, he said he is more of a Sandinista today than in 1979.

D'Escoto and Evo Morales": Obama, Mother Earth Day, R2P and Sen's G-4 Visa not shown

  On why Sen sought and took the post, on April 6 Inner City Press asked d'Escoto's spokesman Enrique Yeves

Inner City Press: I’ve noticed now subsequent to that [inaudible] on the website of the President, a letter appointing Nirupam Sen of India as “Special Senior Adviser” on three topics, including responsibility to protect.  First, is the Ambassador a proponent of the responsibility to protect or a doubter, and does this position involve a G-4 visa; do these positions, these Special Adviser positions?  And what’s the difference between the Special Advisers, the Senior Advisers and Specials?  Is this along the lines of Mr. De Schutter’s or is it something else?

Spokesperson:  No, he is a Special Adviser.  In this particular case -- as you know, Ambassador Sen had ended his work in the Mission here -- he has been so involved in many of the issues that he talked with President d´Escoto and they both agreed that it would be a very good idea to start giving him advice on all these issues that are mentioned in the letter until the end of the presidency of President d´Escoto.  And…

Inner City Press: Is it a paying position, does it involve a G-4 visa?

Spokesperson:  It is not a paid position.  And on the G-4 visa, to be honest, I don’t know, but I can find out for you.

Inner City Press: Is this the exact same phrasing and status as Mr. De Schutter, Noam Chomsky and…?

Spokesperson:  That’s correct.  As you know, none of these Special Advisers are getting any salary or have any contractual arrangement as such.

Inner City Press:  [inaudible] Ambassador Sen will come as required or will he be based here?

Spokesperson:  He is based here and he has already been giving advice since 1 April, which is when his assignment started.

Inner City Press: I’m sorry, I forgot to follow up.  On responsibility to protect, can you say something about whether he is thought to be a proponent or a doubter on responsibility to protect?

Spokesperson:  Well, I think this is a question for him to answer than for me.  But obviously, you will have a chance to talk to him.

  See above -- d'Escoto is a doubter, or "has reservations." On April 7, Inner City Press asked

Inner City Press: To this question yesterday of the G-4 visa, did you get to the bottom of it?  Whether the Special Adviser, particularly the new one…?

Spokesperson:  I understand now that it is up to the [ United States] State Department to decide on this issue, because the Permanent Representative of India is entitled to a G-1 visa and he is now informing the State Department of his new status and he will know what kind of visa he is going to get.

Inner City Press: But it’s the position of the President of the General Assembly that these part-time…this is a part-time position, right?  It’s a part-time Special Senior Adviser?

Spokesperson:  Correct.  I have asked him.  Well, I already did and he said he is waiting for an answer from the State Department, so we don’t know yet.

Inner City Press: But he’s definitely seeking one and it’s based on that position?

Spokesperson:  Yes, that’s correct.

   And so, as soon as he obtained the assignment, Sen applied to the State Department for the visa status...

  On Tuesday, D'Escoto described upcoming trips to Venezuela and Cuba, and to Alaska to meet with indigenous people. He has invited to the UN for an April 22 event about "Mother Earth Day" the theologian Leonardo Boff, saying he asked Lula if Boff could come. The Mother Earth Day, sponsored by Bolivia, will feature Bolivian president Evo Morales, who Tuesday ended a five-day hunger strike or fast. Afterwards Inner City Press asked if fellow theologian Gustavo Gutierrez would also be coming. Good idea, d'Escoto said, thank you for reminding me, I'll see if Gustavo can come. And then d'Escoto was gone.

  Click here for a new YouTube video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -