UN, Screening of Miral Has Schnabel Looking for Color, Gucci
March 14 -- The UN went glitzy Monday night, premiering
Julian Schnabel's movie “Miral” in the General Assembly hall. At
a pre-screening reception, Schnabel posed for pictures with President
of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss, Willem Dafoe and others.
Victoire!” Schnabel called out to Jean Victor Nkolo, who served the
UN in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before serving as
spokesman for Ali Treki and now Deiss. “Come into the picture, we
need some color!”
the pictures, including Inner City Press, cringed at the comment,
Deiss continued to smile for the camera. Maybe the UN can only handle
one form of political correctness at a time.
mean well, but features wooden dialogue and historical inaccuracies,
like referring to the League of Nations in the late 1940s. More
interesting is the controversy generated by its screening in the UN
General Assembly Hall. For example Long Island Congressman Peter
King, fresh from speaking in favor of the Obama administration's gift
of $100 million in US Tax Equalization Funds to secure the UN from
threats from the FDR Drive, loudly boycotted Monday's UN screening.
introducing the film thanks “Jean Victoire” again, along with
Gucci. Deiss, criticized online for inviting the screening, afterward
told a critic that now that he's seen the film, he support it even
more. (He'd previously claimed to have seen it before inviting it
into the GA).
Deiss, Julian "We Need Some Color" Schnabel, and
Jean "Victoire" Nkolo, (c) MRLee
pro and anti Israel arguments about the film, why a commercial
venture was allowed to promote itself in the General Assembly Hall is
a good question. Harvey Weinstein, asked if the controversy would
actually help market the film, said it's not about profit, it's about
that why Gucci
had advertisements in front of the GA Hall? Watch this site.
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Glitzy DVF Awards Have Kelly Partying In Space He Called Unsafe
March 12 -- The UN cafeteria, suspended over Manhattan's FDR
Drive, Friday night hosted Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, Diane Sawyer,
Diane von Furstenberg and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, as
DVF awards were given to Elizabeth Smart, the American Widows Project
and programs in Kenya and India.
heightened security with Secretary of State Clinton in attendance,
one irony went unaddressed. In a controversy earlier this year,
citing security, the UN kept
$100 million owed to the US Treasury in
Tax Equalization Funds.
Press asked on what basis the $100 million had been retained, the UN
responded that Kelly's NYPD had advised it, and Hillary Clinton's
Department of State had given the OK.
has yet to name which US
official approved the “keep the ($100 million) change,” and the
change in scope and duration of the Capital Master Plan renovation
was criticized on March 7 by Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77
and China. (The UN has yet to respond.)
on Friday night asked Commissioner Kelly how he could be partying
directly over the FDR Drive, when he was quoted by the UN has saying
this location was so unsafe it must be fortified and restructured on
an emergency basis with $100 million otherwise due to US taxpayers.
to present it as an emergency, instead saying “What they're trying
to do is always improve.” Then he said, “the money has been
asked if he meant handed back to the US Treasury.
head and said, of the House Republicans, that “what they tried to
do is get the money back from the UN. That wasn't allowed... Peter
King got it back” for the UN.
Peter King as the protector of the UN, in that he is currently
criticized for sponsoring Congressional hearings focused on “Muslim
Kelly at DVF Awards at UN March 11, $100 M not shown
ironies on Friday night. Taryn Davis of the American Widow Project
spoke of US soldiers killed in Iraq with no mention that barely 100
feet above the UN cafeteria, the UN Security Council refused to
authorize US action in Iraq.
who was initially not listed on the program, arrived with high
security. Clinton was in the UN building for the first time, one wag
snarked, while the US Permanent Representative to the UN Susan Rice
is not here much either.
made one of the few references to the UN, if only in passing, saying
it was an honor “to be in this building.” Not a word, however,
about the criticism by Doctors Without Borders and others of the UN
“taking sides” in Somalia, in a way that harms humanitarian work.
the UN's noon
briefing on March 10, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky about both of these: the $100
million held back from the US Treasury for the NYPD / Kelly
“demanded” security renovation, and the UN in Somalia:
Press: Médecins Sans Frontières has put out a statement
it’s largely criticizing the DFID [Department for International
Development], the UK, cutting back on funding to some countries and
saying it should be security-related. But their position is that
they have put out is that the UN is not neutral in Somalia. They say
that because the Resident Coordinator wears both political and
humanitarian hats, it shows that the humanitarian side is in the
service of the, quote, “the UN’s political aims” and that it
has compromised the UN’s ability to safeguard independent
humanitarian assistance. And I just wonder, this critique has been
made before, of the UN decision there, but is it, is it a conscious
decision by the UN to blur, to merge these two things? Is there a
place for humanitarians that is not totally aligned with the UN and
the Security Council support of the [Transitional Federal Government?
What do you make of the Médecins Sans Frontières saying
work is actually impaired by the UN’s process in Somalia?
: I’ll ask my colleagues who deal with this specifically. But as I
recall, Mr. [Mark] Bowden, sitting right here, has spoken
quite clearly on that topic already. But if there is anything
further, then we’ll let you know.
Press: The other thing is, earlier this week in the Fifth, in
the resumed Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), this $100
million tax equalization fund came up. And the head of the G-77,
María Luz Melon [of Argentina], said that the scope was supposed
have been presented… any change of scope like this was supposed to
have been presented to the Budget Committee in advance, raised a
number of questions about it. I am wondering, what is… there
didn’t seem to be a response at that time; what is the
Secretariat’s response to G-77 saying that the $100 million was
As I have mentioned numerous times, this is US money and this work
that needs to be carried out is something that US authorities have
agreed to and have agreed to fund from the fund that you mentioned. If
I have anything further specifically responding to the point you
have mentioned, then I will be happy to let you know. But at the
moment I do not.
Press: Okay. Because they… When you look into it, you will
see, they cite a specific resolution, 62/87, said that any change of
scope or this is also going to delay the Capital Master Plan, that
this was supposed to come back to the GA. I am just sort of…
Well, I think it would be for the Capital Master Plan
people, the people in charge of the renovation of the building, to
say whether that would constitute a delay or not. That is not our
understanding. Let’s hear from the Capital Master Plan, all right?
City Press then asked the head of the CMP, Michael Adlerstein, all he
said was “You should asked them,” Argentina. And so it goes at
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