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JPM Chase Closing Mission Accounts Not Solved In Closed UN Meeting

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, February 4 -- The move by JPMorgan Chase to close the accounts of many countries' missions to the UN was the hot topic in the closed door session of the UN's Host Country Committee meeting on February 3.

  But when the meeting ended the Committee's chairman Minas Hadjimichael, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus, left through a side door facing the East River and proceeded through unplowed snow out to First Avenue.

  Inner City Press, which has covered the bank issues and tries to cover the Host Country Committee despite Hadjimichael declaring it closed, ran and caught up with him on First Avenue.

Was there a solution of banks?” Inner City Press asked.

   Hadjimichael said, “It was not an item on the agenda of the meeting. It came up under Any Other Business.... America replied, saying they would try.”

   Last month, Patrick Kennedy from the US State Department came to New York to tell ambassadors he was working on it. Inner City Press asked Hadjimichael for an update. He said he thanked the US for trying, but “ I am worried there is no solution, the deadline is approaching.”

Chair of Host Country committee: Chase not shown

   Observing through the glass of the closed ECOSOC chamber on Thursday, Inner City Press saw Iran spoke, and heard that Uganda among others also spoke out. After the last meeting with Kennedy, Egypt's ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, spoke out against Chase's cut off. Now he has other worries.

But what about the Secretariat, which after Inner City Press' last article put this out:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 8:05 AM
Subject: Your questions on Chase Bank
To: Inner City Press

We can say the following in reply to your questions at the noon briefing:

Some ambassadors emerging from the US briefing about their accounts being shuttered think the UN should withdraw all its accounts with Chase. Has this been broached with the administration? Being weighed at all?

We understand that this was raised by one Member State delegate in the briefing with Ambassador Kennedy. The UN Secretariat has not been approached in this matter.

Will Chase open an office in the UN building after the CMP?

Under the CMP, the new UN building design includes space provision for banks. No agreements have been entered into with any banks for this space.

   Watch this site.

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

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