UN, GlaxoSmithKline's Pricing
of AIDS Drugs Raised, Clintons Press Flesh, Flex Muscle, IKEA Turns
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, February 23 --
The UN's love affair with corporations became overheated on Monday,
commitments by pharmaceutical and furniture companies to disease
were praised without reference to their roots or limitations. With Bill Clinton slated to arrive later in
the afternoon, the UN's own noon briefing was cancelled to allow, among
GlaxoSmithKline to be praised by Kari Stoever of the Global
Neglected Tropical Diseases.
Press asked about criticism of GSK by
Medecins Sans Frontieres, for continuing to gouge on pricing on
medications. MSF's Sophie Delaunay, the participant in the briefing to
most questions ended up being directed, responded that GSK's exclusion
drugs was "not satisfactory." Video here,
from Minute 32:20.
Later Inner City Press asked Ms. Delaunay about MSF's report
the UN's own performance in Northern Congo as civilians were being
the Lord's Resistance Army. Ms. Delaunay called the situation
outrageous. Video here,
from Minute 43:40.
Of North Korea,
she said that the UN's
refugee agency UNHCR is incapable of guaranteeing safe passage from
dictatorship where, she said, nothing has improved for people since at
2002. Off-camera, she told Inner City Press that MSF has not been able
to access the conflict zone in Sri Lanka, click here
for that story.
UN's Ban and Bill Clinton in 2008, GSK's
exclusion of HIV drugs not shown
When Bill Clinton came to the UN in the afternoon, a
handful of reported
waited by the elevator. The UN's own photographers were whisked up for
photo-op with Ban Ki-moon. Afterwards Clinton stopped to shake hands
but not to
answer questions. A diplomat representing the Polisario Front of
Sahara, approached by Bill Clinton, thanked him for James Baker's role
trying to mediate with Morocco. Afterwards he asked Inner City Press,
Clinton know who I was?" It seemed
doubtful. "But he felt your pain."
The day ended with an upbeat tropical
diseases reception facing over the East River in the
Delegates' Dining Room, where corporate philanthropy was praised
equivocation. Omnipresent through the day were IKEA and UNICEF, with
about their partnership and children in India. Not long ago, IKEA was
using child labor in India. Perhaps they've turned the corner. UNICEF
will take only six percent of the commitment. Meanwhile Bill's wife
said to be looking for a new head of UNICEF, at latest in 2010. Beneath
happy surface there are power games at work.
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
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