UN and its Mail, on Free Press, Sri Lanka and Middle East, True
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 24 -- The UN being the United Nations, people write it
letters. They plead for action by mostly get ignored. A current Under
Secretary General, speaking candidly but not only background, said of
e-mail from Sri Lanka's Tamil diaspora, "I just delete them."
He was angry
when this was reported by Inner City Press. But why
waste such people's time?
spotlight, the UN shows disdain. Recently a press freedom
organization, the Inter-American Press Association, wrote to Ban
Ki-moon, about crack down on media and reporters in Venezuela. Ban's
spokesman Martin Nesirky first said he'd never heard about the
letter. Then they told reporters that the letter was received.
camera, Nesikry got asked: but what about this now acknowledged
letter, would Ban have any reaction? No, Nesikry said, you should ask
the free press
group's vice president Gonzalo Marroquin came to the UN, it emerged
that UNESCO was unaware of the letter and that the group, in candor,
didn't even expect any help from Ban Ki-moon. They wrote the letter
to raise the issue. To this has the UN sunk.
UN's Ban reads letter, his USG deleting, entries on
free press, not shown
presentation to DC based law students, an Arabic television reporter
chided Inner City Press for exposing UN corruption. The stories are
all true, he said, they are actual exclusives. But in my region -- he
is from Egypt -- people put their hopes in the UN, he said. They come
asking for help on Palestine and southern Lebanon. Exposing
corruption hurts their chances or their hopes.
hopes should be tempered.
Maybe they have been wasting their time,
thinking this UN could or would actually act. Look at the UN's
marginalization, growing every year. Look at the ejection of
peacekeeping missions, even from Africa. Look at the letters and
emails, ignored and deleted...
* * *
Volcanic Ash, ICAO Has No Standards, No Answers of EU's African
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, April 21 -- The expectation was of volcanic ash when the two
heads of the International Civilian Aviation Organization arranged to
speak to the Press on Tuesday. They had come to the UN to meet with
Ban Ki-moon, amid ash-trigger flight cancellations which even killed
off the UN Security Council's long planned trip to the Congo to try
to save its peacekeeping mission.
Ban, they claimed that ash was not among the three main issues
discussed: climate change, security against terrorism, and the
reconstruction of Haiti.
asked, about criticism of ICAOs lack of leadership during the six
days of flight cancellations. It is up to member states to decide
when to close their air space, was the answer. But shouldn't ICAO
develop standards, for the effects of ash concentration? It is not
easy, the president off ICAO's Council Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez said.
asked about the decision by the European Union to block --
"blacklist" -- all aircraft from 13 African nations, as
well as about the U.S. decisions after the so-called Nigerian
UN's Ban and ICAO's Benjamin: it's all about the Benjamins
Benjamin, ICAO Secretary General, tried to
chide Inner City Press for mixing the two issues, and said that the
U.S. blockages have all been resolved. But what about the EU
two men insisted that their only focus was safety. But when Inner
City Press asked for their response to many letters asking that ICAO
let in Taiwan -- province of China! -- at least as an observer, given
the number of flights in and out of Taipei, they shook their heads.
So are the letters a waste of time? Yes they are, was the answer from
Raymond Benjamin, ICAO Secretary General. Video here.
Only at the UN. Leaving
the stakeout, one correspondent muttered, "What ashes."