Restrictions by UN Security Council Come from 2 Permanent Members, UN
Source Says, US, France and Russia Eyed, Even Ban Excluded
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 5, updated --
Monday by at least two UN
Security Council members about "involuntary interaction"
with the media and non-Council member states, incoming Council
president Yukio Takasu of Japan faced a series of questions about
restrictions on press access.
asked Takasu to confirm that in the morning's consultations, two
Permanent members had said non-Council member states should wait out
by the staircase, and the press be confined behind the staircase.
from Minute 18:06.
Takasu, who had earlier
spoken about the need for transparency, did not answer about the
meeting, but said access should be "equivalent" at before
the Council moved to the UN basement from its longtime home on the
Takasu, tellingly, also spoke of Council members' desire to leave the
consultation room "without being seen." Is this
transparency or invisibility, one wag questioned.
exclusively Monday morning on the Council's closed
door meeting and move to push the press further away, has since
learned that the concerned raised in the meeting including a move to
bar representatives of the Office of the Spokesperson for the
Secretary General from the consultations room.
freedom and access, then, this is a question of separation of powers.
Inner City Press at Monday's noon briefing asked Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe who controls UN
Security and the building: the Secretariat or the Security Council?
Okabe answered. But, Inner City Press followed up, does this mean
merely the 15 states on the Council, just the Permanent Five members,
or the full UN membership of 192? Ms. Okabe declined to answer,
saying that meetings were being set up.
from the first
of these meetings, the UN correspondents were banned. And a request
to meet with the Japanese Mission, since they hold this month's
Council presidency, was rejected by the Secretariat's Security
Council Affairs unit, which said both that the complaints came from
among Permanent members, and that these members are the ones to
decide, since they remain on the Council.
correspondents guessed that the move to restrict access came, perhaps
surprisingly, from the U.S. Mission. Ambassador Susan Rice is known
to have been incensed at the leak last year -- again, to Inner City
Press -- of a draft resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea.
Correspondents note that unlike other P-5 Ambassadors, Susan Rice
keeps a number of body guards between herself and the press corps.
Old UN stakeout, with bodyguard - not to be seen again?
Araud is at times acerbic toward the press. The UK's Mark Lyall Grant
is businesslike, conducting recent stakeouts on Myanmar -- which he
called Burma -- and Sri Lanka. Russia's Vitaly Churkin often jokes, how
with the press, and Chinese's recently arrived Ambassador Li Baodong
held a free wheeling stakeout. These could all be public faces for
closed door push-back at the press. One reporter surmised that the
complaint may have been triggered by questions -- or rather, "good
mornings" -- directed Monday morning to Ambassadors Li and Araud. We
will crack this case. Watch
whichever of the Permanent Five is trying to push non-Council membes
and the press away, they should step forward, and not use mid-level UN
Secretariat staff as their mouthpiece. If the U.S. Mission, as the U.S.
Constitution, is committed to freedom of the press and access to public
servants, the U.S. should become the most vocal in ensuring continued
press access. The UK and France also speak about press freedom. And
where is Ban Ki-moon and his team on all this?
Update of 4:20 p.m.
-- Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar is said to have inquired
what the Press' next move will be. While there's talk of a "sit in at
the stakeout," watch this site.
* * *
UN, Security Council Moves to Push All But 15 Nations into the Hall,
Cut Press Access: Turf Wars
Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
NATIONS, April 5 -- Outside the first consultation meeting in the new
UN Security Council chamber, both reporters and members states not on
the Council were Monday in disarray, on the verge of losing even more
A representative of UN Security Council Affairs told Inner City Press
that the media will be moved further back, where they can't even see
Council members enter. And member states other than the 15 Council
members will be relegated to an open hallway by the stairs, under the
The UN representative said that Council members complained of
"involuntary interation" with the press and even other member states
"like India and Germany," wanting a way to leave without seeing either.
Inner City Press countered that the media, and non-Council member
states, must be consulted, but was told to quiet down.
In what passes for news, in the beginning of the month consultations
led by April's Council president, Yukio Takasu of Japan, the U.S. asked
for a briefing about the elections in Sudan. Since U.S. envoy Scott
Gration is in Khartoum appearing to praise the process as "as fair as
possible," the U.S.'s request struck some as strange.
Nigeria requested a briefing about the chaos in Guinea Bissau, in which
the police arrested the Prime Minister last week. Apparently Myanmar
will not be discussed. Ambassador Takasu will hold a press conference
later on Monday. Watch this site.
The background: After its final March meeting,
the Council was moved from its longtime location on the second floor
to a suite of rooms in the UN's basement.
windows, but the UN says it is secure, safer than Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon's office atop the boxlike Temporary North Lawn Building.
Council, everything has changed. The suite of rooms has a closed
metal door and a sign, "Consultation in session, Security
Council members only."
seems to mean
that Permanent Representatives of member states not among the
Council's 15 members -- including for example India, Germany and South
Africa, to name a few -- can't even go into the Council's lounge, as
for years they did upstairs.
Council reform -- getting less rather than more inclusive.
stakeout with the
15 Council members' flags has been set up where the Vienna Cafe used
to be. It is at some remove from the Security Council doors; members
can leave by the stairs or garage without walking by the stakeout.
The new UNSC chamber under construction
reporters milled around between the stairs and the Council doors.
Spokespeople of only two of the Council's members, one permanent and
one in its second of two years on the Council, deigned to speak to
the press scrum. By 10:15, Inner City Press was the only media left,
on a rickety chair without a table by the stairs. Several Permanent
Representatives asked Inner City Press how to get into the Council.
"Through the General Assembly," was the reply. Watch this
* * *
Central Asia, UN Ban Blind to Corruption, Skips Prisoners Rights and
Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
NATIONS, April 3 -- As the UN's Ban Ki-moon traipses Central Asia,
what of political
prisoners, UN hiring scandals and simmering
cross border conflicts?
Apparently for the UN Secretary General, these don't exist. Before Ban
started his trip, Inner City
Press asked why the UN was not even to solve the dam-based
Tajkistan and Uzbekisan. Don't call it a conflict, Ban's spokesman
Martin Nesirky said. What what should it be called?
As Inner City Press has reported,
Uzbekistan opposes the Tajik dam so much it shut the country's border.
Why isn't the vaunted Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy
for Central Asia involved?
A UN source alleging corruption in the UNRCCA notes
the website of the Center, there is not a single word about the Dam.
but there is a tender announcement for the fitness equipment for the
gymnasium at the UNRCCA building - the former elite Demiryolchy
Hotel. The question is whether the procurement of the fitness
equipment is reconciled with the UN budget rules and regulations, or
whether it is a good UN background for the unsolved Dam conflict.
the left click Tenders
Tnders page you could see translation: The Regional UN Center
(UNRCCA) announces the tender: Fitness equipment for the gymnesium)
is set of pictures.
Jenca (Slovakia), SRSG and head of UNRCCA, has published an article
“Developments in Central Asia and the role of the UNRCCA” in
International Issues & Slovak Foreign Policy AffairsIssue no.02
/2009, Publisher: Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy
Association (RC SFPA)
curiosity is that it can be read only if the reader would pay 25 Euro
(€) in advance (from each the price of Jenca’s article would be
here. the UN
staff in general and of Jenca’s status in particular are not
supposed to publish the UN related staff for money (not saying about
would be the first country in the SG tour – 2 April (would SRSG
Jenca inform the SG of the fitness equipment tendered – especially
of the ball to play at the beach?
the Fall of
2009, Inner City Press asked and was given the run-around about a
hiring scandal in this Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for
Central Asia. Inner City Press posed this question in writing:
a message dated 8/27/2009 3:50:47 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, montas
[at] un.org writes:
Please refer your DPA questions to Jared
I've been referred to you for a response
to the allegations below concerning hiring in the Regional Center in
Turkmenistan (the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive
Diplomacy for Central Asia).Also, please tell me when Jan Egeland's
job with DPA ended, what he did during his tenure and how much he was
on the RCPDCA, while here is more to this story,
but let's start on deadline with confirmation or denial of the
During 2005-2007 Mr. Miloslav Jenca, Slovakia ,
worked in Tashkent as the OSCE Head of Office/OSCE Project
Co-coordinator in Uzbekistan together with Ms. Polina Pomogalova ,
Uzbekistan , as his local general support staff:
Pomogalova at OSCE, Uzbekisan, page 3
2007 the UNRCCA ( United Nations Regional Center for Preventive
Diplomacy for Central Asia) was inaugurated
by Lynn Pascoe, DPA in
April 2008 Mr.
was appointed UNRCCA Head and SRSG, (“…Mr.. Jenca,
currently the Director of the Office of Slovakia’s Foreign Affairs
Minister, recently served as head of mission for the OSCE centre in
Tashkent , Uzbekistan …”)
Ms. Polina Pomogalova was appointed the Personal Assistant to the
SRSG Jenca at UNRCCA: see the UNRCCA web site:
Polina Pomogalova, Personal Assistant to the Special Representative
of the UN Secretary-General Ambassador Jenca…”
could it be that Polina Pomogalova without a single day of the UN
experience was shortlisted for an interview by PMSS while other
candidates with the extensive UN experience in Central Asia and
technically cleared to the positions of this category were not
included? How could it be that the UNRCCA interview board recommended
exactly Polina Pomogalova? The answer seems clear: she was the
protégé of SRSG Jenca and it was he who had arranged
Again, there is more to this story, but let's start on deadline with
what is the UN's / DPA's . the Center's response?
majority of the
above was simply never responded to, just as the UN's Department of
Political Affairs refused to respond to or address nepotism and
hiring scandals in its Africa II unit and the Central African
Republic. This lack of accountability extends to the UN's approach to