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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg 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

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

On Chemical Weapons, Sellstrom Spins Swedish Media, Silence on ISIS Threat

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 21, updated twice -- Amid new reports of chemical weapons use in Syria, at 11:15 am Inner City Press was informed that no formal request had yet been made for a UN Security Council meeting. Still one was "expected." Syria has issued a denial which Inner City Press has obtained and puts online here.

Update: at 11:38 am, Inner City Press was told of a request by five countries for a UNSC meeting, at 3 pm or "5 pm the latest."

Update of 12:18 pm: the UNSC meeting will be at 3 pm.

  Three days ago the UN office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the press that the UN "team investigating allegations about the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic arrived in Damascus... Please note the team will not be speaking to the media."

  Now, Swedish team leader Ake Sellstrom is quoted as telling Swedish news agency TT that "it sounds like something that should be looked into. It will depend on whether any UN member state goes to the secretary general and says we should look at this event."

So not only is Sellstrom "speaking to the media," one from his own country, but he is detailing or advising UN member states how to proceed.

  Ban Ki-moon is leaving for his native South Korea on August 21. Saudi Arabia, not a member of the Security Council, has called for a Security Council meeting. The UK has said it will raise it to the Security Council. For now, no Council meeting is scheduled for August 21. There is an August 22 session on Sudan and South Sudan.

  Inner City Press is informed, at least as of 11:15 am, that despite their public statements, either the UK nor France nor any other Security Council member has formally asked for a Council meeting on Syria. But it is still predicted.

  Separate from today's reports of chemical weapons, on August 20 there were urgent dispatches that the ISIS rebels had ordered humanitarian aid workers to leave northern Syria. The Free UN Coalition for Access asked if UN official Valerie Amos of her Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs have any reaction to that. So far, no response. Watch this site.

Update: OCHA's Amanda Pitt has replied:

"I don't have any information on the questions re northern Syria. In any case UNDSS would be the UN department to comment on security issues.

"Re. Somalia, I think the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Philippe Lazzarini, said that  Médecins Sans Frontierès have helped provide medical assistance to the Somali people under extremely difficult conditions for many years and their withdrawal is a reminder that Somalia remains one of the most difficult and dangerous environments in the world for aid workers.

"He also said that, "While MSF’s contribution will be missed, it is one of many entities that were providing medical and related assistance," and pointed out that MSF is working with humanitarians present in Somalia to minimize the impact of their withdrawal.  However, I would definitely suggest you contact the RC/HC's office there as they may well have more recent comment from him on the situation."

We'll have more on this. But how can OCHA have no comment on aid workers being thrown out by ISIS, and refer the question to UN-DSS which never comments? 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 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]