Election, UN Is Silent on Observers, War Crimes,
6 -- In the run up to Myanmar's military dominated
election, the degree of capitulation by the UN and Western permanent
members of the Security Council became painfully clear.
General Ban Ki-moon, who declined to even mention the recommendation
of UN Special Rapporteur Quintana for a war crimes investigation in
his “Report on Human Rights in Myanmar,” said that he “expects”
the election to be free and fair.
appointed a more than
interim replacement to fill the General Assembly mandated Good
Offices on Myanmar post, and he has allowed its staff time to be
reallocated within the UN Department of Political Affairs.
Council met on November 5, and afterwards the Permanent
Representatives of France and the UK came out to speak to the press.
Neither mentioned Myanmar; the UK did not even take questions.
president of the Council this month and makes much of “getting
Myanmar in the footnotes of the program of work.” But why wait
until after a scam election to have a meeting about it?
Development Program, meanwhile, two days before the election released a
Development Report stating that Myanmar jumped up six places in global
development between 2005 and 2010. Even UNDP affiliated economist
Amartya Sen, when questioned by Inner City Press, said the Myanmar data
(and UNDP's report on it) are not credible.
hit Myanmar, Inner City Press asked if the UN thought the election
should be postponed or modified in the hardest hit areas. We have to
do an assessment first, was the answer. Since then, nothing has been
UN's Ban greets Than Shwe, election observers
or human rights recommendations not seen
briefing on November 5, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman
I have some Sudan questions, but I wanted to ask about
Myanmar first because of the upcoming election on Sunday. It’s
been reported that the Government there is extending an invitation to
diplomats and UN representatives to tour polling stations on Sunday.
It’s also… that some diplomats have said that they won’t go on
the tour, but will make their own arrangements to make some
observation. I wanted to know, since the Government there forbid
outside election observers, but said it would ask the diplomatic
community, including the UN, to do it, what’s the UN intending to
do on election day in Myanmar?
me find out.
hopefully before the day, is that possible?
wouldn’t be a bad idea, yeah. Okay?
later, right before the polling began, still no answer from the UN.
Watch this site.
Update: 40 hours
more later, this
-- with no description of what the UN did during the polling, and no mention of the reported 90
day state of emergency...
* * *
Skeptical of UNDP's Data, Separatists Data
By Matthew Russell Lee
-- While the UN Development Program has just
reported that Myanmar jumped up six places in development from 2005
to 2010, economist Amartya Sen who UNDP calls the seminal contributor
to the first Human Development Reports called that into question on
asked Sen about UNDP's portrayal of Myanmar's improvement, Sen
said “I am skeptical of those numbers.” Speaking “non UNese, as
a citizen of the world,” Sen specifically questioned the accuracy
of Myanmar's reporting of its hospital services and school data.
before Myanmar's controversial, military heavy elections on
November 7, which the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in
Myanmar has called deeply flawed, while calling for a Commission of
Inquiry into war crimes in the country.
Ki-moon, on the other hand, did not mention to call for a
war crimes inquiry in his report to the General Assembly entitled
“Human Rights in Myanmar,” and has said he “expected” the
Myanmar elections to be free and fair.
UN ESCAP's Heyser & Amartya Sen: one upbeat on
Myanmar, Sen skeptical
on the podium with Sen, tried to defend the report, saying
that a country like Myanmar might have moved up in the ranking simply
because there were other countries near to it. But Sen was
questioning if the data UNDP is relying on is accurate.
does not appear
that UNDP verifies or even assesses the accuracy or completeness of
the data it uses. On November 1, Inner City Press asked Ms. Klugman
if the Cyprus number includes data from the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus. She wrote the questions down, took Inner City Press'
card and said she would respond.
November 4 when
asked, she did not have an answer. Afterward, another UNDP
communicator approached to say that UNDP uses the UN definitions.
Pressed by a Turkish journalist, he said that the UN does not
recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But how does
Cyprus report on this territory? Or are there parts of the world
whose data simply are not included in UNDP's report? UNDP should name
them. Watch this site.
* * *