Under Fire for Inaction on Myanmar, Japan is Offered Good Offices
Post, Sources Say, Rejects It So Far
August 3 -- Facing questions of what the UN has accomplished
on Myanmar through its “Good Offices” mandate, since Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's chief of staff Vijay Nambiar has filled the
post, the Good Offices are being offered to a variety of Japanese
officials, sources tell Inner City Press.
Takasu left, he was reportedly offered the Myanmar
“Good Offices” post.” Takasu turned it down; Japanese mission
sources, while fully believing that Takusa would be offered a senior
UN post, say that he is going to retire.
the UN Myanmar post, which Ibrahim Gambari vacated when he went to
UNAMID in Darfur, is now being offered to two other Japanese diplomats,
including the highest placed one in the UN system. With Ban Ki-moon in
Japan this week, watch this site.
questions have built up, without being answered, about the UN's “Good
Offices” on Myanmar mandate, particularly since Nambiar took over from
Inner City Press has repeated asked for information about the work
and accomplishments in any. On June
22, Inner City Press asked:
Press: on Myanmar, there’s a lot to be said, but there’s a
recent report, Bloomberg and Jane’s Intelligence Review, which is
respected in the field, giving more credence to Myanmar developing
nuclear weapons. A whistleblower, to coin the phrase, has left the
country and has produced photographs of a facility near the new
capital. Does the UN have any, either the good offices role? What
is the UN’s knowledge of that, given that the IAEA [International
Atomic Energy Agency] is unable to inspect? And two, what really has
been accomplished through this good offices role in the past six
months? We have heard very little, and that may be part of Ms.
UN's Ban, Gambari and Nambiar: Japanese official or
Mr. Choi not shown
Nesirky: First, the Secretary-General has been outspoken
about what is going on in Myanmar, first on the elections, the need
for the elections to be transparent and inclusive, and for all the
political actors to be able to take part if they so wish. He’s
also been very outspoken on the need for the release from house
arrest of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Also, on the first part of your
question, this is something, whether allowed into the country to
inspect or not, the International Atomic Energy Agency would be
keeping an eye on, and let’s see what the agency has to say about
that. [He later added that the IAEA had said: “The IAEA has seen
the media reports and continues its analysis of information on
Myanmar, as it does with information on other countries.”]
23, Inner City Press followed up, as
"one reporter" --
Press: Yesterday, during the response by Ms. [Angela] Kane and
[Catherine] Pollard, they declined to say, to respond to this part of
the [Inga-Britt] Ahlenius memo that said — it is only one country
among many but it was the first one listed, Myanmar — and the
senior UN official who spoke later, for some reason, declined also to
discuss it. I guess I want to ask you, what have been the
accomplishments of the good offices mandate since Mr. [Ibrahim]
Gambari let it go, and another official took it over. What has been
done? There has been an ASEAN [Association of South-East Asian
Nations] meeting, various countries have spoken about the election. Has
the UN made any comment? What’s the UN doing on Myanmar?
We’ve made comments in answer to you and to others, and I
said just to you the other day that there are important elements
here; the need for transparent and inclusive elections, that’s
absolutely critical. There is also the need for political prisoners,
including Aung San Suu Kyi, to be released unconditionally and
quickly. And we continue to work, as I also said to you before; the
good offices [team] is not one individual, if you like, it’s people
working behind the scenes. Not everything that happens is in the
true. At the same time that Takasu left, Japan's representative on
the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
Misako Kaji also left, despite her term running through December
2010. While Japan quickly nominated Akira Sugiyama to replace her,
this “clean sweep” of Japanese at the UN has caught the eye of
some. Watch this site.
earlier good one about the Good Offices has Cote d'Ivoire SRSG Choi
returning to New York to take on the part time Myanmar good offices
role, and to manage Ban's campaign for a second term. But Choi has said
he'll remain in Cote d'Ivoire until there is an election....
On August 2, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky
who is in charge of the UN, with Mr. Ban traveling in Japan and DSG
Asha Rose Migiro on annual leave. While Nesirky insisted that Mr. Ban
is always in charge, Inner City Press asked if anyone had formally be
made officer in charge. Even the following day on August 3, no answer
was given. Watch this site.
* * *
Official Says No FOIA Needed, Myanmar & Sudan No Comment
22 -- Ban Ki-moon's desire for a second term as UN
Secretary General was on display on Thursday, when two separate press
conferences were held to rebut the critique of
Secretary General for Investigations Inga Britt Ahlenius.
and her human resources Assistant SG Catherine Pollard
provided a dense, some say misleading defense of Ban's reaching
to determine Ahlenius' choice of a deputy.
Kane says it
would be improper, however, for her as USG for Management to answer
Inner City Press' request for Team Ban's response to Ahlenius'
statement that Ban has failed on such issues as Myanmar and Sudan.
Inner City Press asked who would take questions on Myanmar and
and Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said you may have an opportunity
to 6 pm
that afternoon, a self described “senior UN official,” whom we'll
refer to as SUNO or as “he,” while it may have been a woman, took
questions off camera from the Press.
Press asked for example about
Ban, despite the centrality of gender
balance to his defense, having named of High Level Advisory Group on
Climate Change Financing consisting of 19 people, all men, until
was replaced by Minister Lagarde of France, the Senior UN Official
said the criticism by the Presswas “unfair,” since a woman was added to
19 member Group in the end. A Ban advisor -- to play by the rules, we
cannot say whether the same or a different one -- similarly this week blamed
began by asking for a defense of what Ahlenius and others call Ban's
failure on Myanmar and Sudan. The Senior UN Official deflected this
by saying that on some issues you move favor and some slow.
South Sudan there is the deadline of a planned referendum. The
Official countered that he only wanted to talk about Ms. Ahlenius'
critique -- which, of course, included Myanmar and Sudan, as well as
Congo and Cyprus, but who's counting?
Press asked about the division of powers question at the heart of
Ahlenius' critique, that under the rules she should had the
independence, as UNDP does, to appoint her own D-2 level officials.
The UN Official responded first that in practice, “systematically,”
Helen Clark of UNDP checks on such appointments with Ban.
have to, and Clark is also not in charge of investigating Ban Ki-moon
and the Secretariat. The founding documents of OIOS say that it
should have the same hiring independence as UNDP.
disagreed, surreally. It can't be the same, he said, “mutatis
mutandi... you should know... what applies to [you] does not apply to
[another journalist]... you have a beard.” Then the Official
turned to take other questions.
UN's Ban and Ahlenius at farewell, per UN, 50 page
memo not shown
bragged about Ban's UN's transparency, Inner City Press asked why the
Compacts Ban signs with his officials -- now to their credit
including the heads of peacekeeping missions -- are only placed on
the UN's intranet, and not for the public, or “we the peoples,”
and why the UN under Ban stopped moving toward, or even talking
about, a Freedom of Information Act.
a FOIA, the
Senior UN Official replied, “ask the member states, let them
legislate, then we'll do it.” He pauses. “If the member states
insist, our way of decision making would have to be modified” for
“this kind of perfect transparency.” So, no UN FOIA. So much
for transparency. Watch this site.