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UN's Post-Sandy Review Admits Snafus, Urges Plan to Relocate to Another UNHQ

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 6 – The effects on the UN of Hurricane Sandy, even after more than three months, continue to be felt. And now a copy of the UN's “After Action Review - Storm Sandy” has surfaced,or leaked, and Inner City Press is exclusively publishing it here.

  There are many understatements, for example that “communications to Member States, staff and to the wider public during the immediate period following the storm were unsatisfactory.”

  Member states led by Algeria, then the head of the Group of 77, lambasted Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his team for failing to send them a single e-mail during the storm.

  The Review recounts that the UN didn't even have current contact information for its own member states: “On Monday 29 October at 11:35am, a broadcast message was sent out, advising Member States and all staff of the need to relocate all vehicles to the 2B Garage level as a preventative measure. It was later discerned that the mailing list used to contact Member States did not contain the latest accurate contacts for all Member State Missions to the UN.”

  In one of most interesting recommendations, the Review suggests that the UN beginning planning to work out of a headquarters other than in New York City:

events could affect the UN Secretariat campus in NY, requiring closing for a much longer period because of severe damage to UN facilities, infrastructure (including disruptions to New York City’s core infrastructure (i.e. public transportation; electricity; wireless communications, etc.)... Recommendation: SEPT should take up the issue of contingency planning for major events, ones that could realistically require relocation of UN functions to another UN headquarters.”

  The Review does not say where this might be, or how it might impact UN staff. Some of the staff most impacted are in Publishing, “affecting approximately 300 staff and included three leased digital printers which produce 95-99% of all the official documentation requirements.”

  Now machines are running even after-hours on the North Lawn Building's second floor. Many functions in the third sub-basement 3B are still suspended, as in the less known 4B and 5B.

  As Inner City Press reported earlier today, after a fellow member of the Free UN Coalition for Access was injured and put into a UN wheelchair, the UN Medical Service still has no X-Ray capability. So who will be accountable? Watch this site.

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