At UN, African "Drums" Have Sponsors
Called Chinese, No Board of Directors Information
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
March 24 -- While the UN Visitors'
Lobby throbbing with the sounds of African drumming on Tuesday night,
about the event's sponsors went unanswered. Secretary General Ban
of the talking drum, but officials of his UN Department of Public
declined to explain the role of the World Harmony
Foundation, the longest
acknowledgement in the brochure DPI produced for the event "with the
gracious support of the Ministry of Culture, Cameroon."
Ban Ki-moon's rostrum were not only diplomats from Cameroon, but also
self-described Chinese businessmen, doing interviewed with CC TV.
Press asked a senior DPI official, who are these sponsors?
You'll have to ask Cameroon's delegation, was
the answer, they're the one's we deal with. Follow-up
inquiry led to two answers:
"the Chinese guys are the sponsors," and for anything more to look at
the World Harmony Foundation's web site, www.whf-foundation.org.
is, the web site of this sponsor of a UN event has no information on
of Directors or even "Sponsors."
Sponsors," it says "will be listed soon,
being updated." Under board of
directors, it says "page
is being updated, sorry for any inconvenience." Some say it is all
convenient. The sponsor, it appears, is "Under Construction."
official in charge of the event said that only upon arrival did he
"something was weird," and ask about the co-sponsors. He hearkened
back to the last UN Staff Day, in which this same World Harmony
brought a team of acrobats from China for an event in a less than half
General Assembly Hall. Inner City Press
asked, what are these sponsors looking for? A photo with the Secretary
was the answer, or a UN award they can use for prestige in their
UN lobby, March 24, sponsors of African
"Drums" event, (c) M. Lee 2009
One of the
"Drums" event's sponsors is listed as the "recent recipient of
the 2009 Millennium Development Award," but sources connected with the
event earlier this month say this is not at all clear. That event was sponsored
mid-coup by Madagascar, awards were handed out to people
not even on the
program. Tuesday's program gave a
"very special thanks" to "Ms. Loula Loi Alafoyiannis,
Euro-American Women's Council, for her tireless efforts."
observers of this murky world at the UN's edges where it interfaces not
with NGOs but also with business say that former UNEP director Noel
looking for $180,000 a year as the part-time director of an affiliate,
World Harmony Alliance. How these entities raise and make money is
question, for another column.
drums, it must be said, were impressive and well-played. Reportedly
flown in on a separate cargo plane, and ran into problems at customers.
were tam-tams and tambours; there was the Ambassador of Sudan, slated
that evening with joint African Union - UN chief mediator on Darfur
Bassole. Among Ban Ki-moon's staff, Vijay Nambiar, Kim Won-soo and Lynn
were in attendance.
on Tuesday, Inner City Press
asked Ban Ki-moon if he intended on Wednesday to name American Peter
to the #2 UN top in Afghanistan.
Tomorrow is the day, Ban said, while playfully
declining to confirm that
Galbraith has the post. The Obama administration has already told the
that he does, while denying they want to create and fill a Number Two
the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai. This seems to be their strategy,
it will apply to UN headquarters is not yet known.
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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.
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