Erdogan Says Will Put Xinjiang on UN Council Agenda, Didn't on Sri
Lanka, China's Reaction
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, July 8, updated --
While the 150 deaths in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous
Region are covered, with China's consent if not control, in media
worldwide, very little is being said at the UN, particularly in its
Security Council. Following a July 6
meeting on North Korea, the
issue did not arise. Nor July 7 as the Council met about West
But on July 8, Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan told a meeting
of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Istanbul,"We will put
the events happening in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region onto
the agenda of the United Nations' Security Council."
May and June
2009, Inner City Press asked Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
now-retired UN Ambassador Ilkin about putting the issue of over 10,000
civilians in Sri Lanka on the Council's agenda. Both demurred.
on May 11 told Inner City Press that
the UN should “cooperate with the government of Sri Lanka because
we have to cooperate in all efforts against terrorism.”
On June 2,
Ambassador Ilkin told Inner City Press emphatically that Sri Lanka is not on the Council's agenda.
because of the involvement of Muslims in Xinjiang, Turkey's prime
minister wants it on the Council's agenda. What standard is Turkey
Turkey's Erdogan and UN's Ban, two men, two standards?
asked a senior Chinese diplomat at the UN about Erdogan's statement.
It is an internal matter, the Chinese diplomat said. After Inner City
Press' follow-up, he conceded that Chinese authorities should have
handled the beating of Uighur factory workers in South China better:
they "didn't do enough to disclose what they knew."
Muslims have rights, but not to kill. He likened it to African
American in the United States, saying they have grievances but cannot
break the law to express them and "burn down public buildings
and kill innocent passersby."
Turkish prime minister's vow to the GCC to put the issue on the
Council's agenda, the Chinese diplomat smiled. He said, "So be
it." Watch this site.
of 5:30 p.m., July 8 -- the Chinese Mission to the UN, working
quickly, "demarched" the Turkish mission and reportedly the
actual Turkish plan or desire to try to put Xinjiang on the Security
Council agenda is no more. This is how it works. Watch this site.
* * *
G-8 Spouses, WFP Flies in Ghanaian Children for "Simulated
Feeding," $500,000 Cost and Ms. Sheeran Disputed, re N. Korea
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, July 7 -- During the upcoming G-8 meeting in Italy, the UN
World Food Program is flying school children from Ghana to Rome for a
"simulated food distribution" display for the spouses of
G-8 representatives. WFP has ordered staff not involved in the
display to not come to work that day. They will, however, received
"special leave with full pay."
City Press wrote about
this last week, quoting an internal WFP e-mail. On July
7, Inner City Press called in to what was described as a WFP press
briefing about the G-8 and asked for response to criticism of the
event as insensitive to beneficiaries of UN aid and for the cost, as
well as about limitations WFP accepts from the government of North
on the conference call -- who will remain unnamed at their request --
at first did not answer the question, and then stated that the event
would cost only a fraction of the figure Inner City Press used its its July 2
Press asked to be given on the
record WFP's figure, including staff time, accommodation and air fare
-- and carbon offsetting of the jet travel, if any. Four hours later,
after close of business in Rome, a WFP spokesman said that an answer
might be forthcoming. In the interim, WFP had scrubbed up and
approved a quote from the "background" briefing for a less
critical wire service piece.
so, beyond the
WFP e-mail below describing the event, here is the basis for Inner
City Press' estimate of cost:
to the WFP website, 'WFP employed 10,200 people in 2008 (91 percent
of staff serve in the field.)' That means about 1000 work at WFP
Headquarters in Rome. Even accounting for a satellite building that
will stay in operation -- though who knows how many staff will show
up or be able to get near it -- we estimate that 800 staff go home
and that the average grade is the mid range of a P4 (grades are
higher at WFP headquarters than in the field). The direct cost for
such a post is about $100,000 but one must add to that pension, staff
assessment and a large "post adjustment" because the dollar
is weak against the Euro. Therefore a more realistic annual cost for
a mid range P4 is perhaps $150,000-160,000.
The work year has 260
days, so a single day of labor lost costs the organization $576.
Multiplied by 800, one gets about $467,000 -- plus related security
costs, the cost of flying in the Ghanaian children to eat corn-soy
blend in view of the G-8 spouses, the construction of a fake
schoolhouse by WFP's pool, etc. In addition there is the Italian
government paying rent on a building that is not being used to manage
food aid but as a set for this theater. The last public figure on
the website for the building costs was about $45 million per annum
with a daily cost of roughly $123,000. So $467,000 plus $123,000
yields about $590,000.
a senior WFP official on Tuesday's conference call said that costs
were only "a fraction" of $500,000, Inner City Press
formally asked for WFP's estimate of costs, and for confirmation that
a WFP staffer was expelled from North Korea.
UN's Ban and WFP's Sheeran, luncheon
June 2, 2009, 'simulated feeding' not shown
At deadline nine hours
later, the following arrived:
the question regarding the planned event at WFP headquarters on
Friday 10 July, I refer you to the response given during the
teleconference earlier today. On the question of DPRK, I have the
senior WFP official said one WFP staff member in DPRK has had to
leave the country because his visa was not renewed by the
authorities. A number of other WFP staff members have been
reassigned, or rotated to new duty stations because WFP's operations
have contracted and the number of people required to support WFP's
activities have gone down.
WFP continues to operate under the new conditions imposed by the DPRK
authorities, it has not formally accepted them, and WFP is continuing
to push for a return to the original terms of agreement negotiated
with the government at the launch of the current emergency
operation," the official added.
We continue to
wait for WFP's cost estimate. Inner City Press immediately followed
up on the above, asking for the costs, if the WFP staff member who
had to leave DPRK was from South Korea, and another question.
questions were sent to WFP chief Josette Sheeran's e-mail address.
Ms. Sheeran, on whom Inner City Press has previously reported,
including where possible praising her work, has taken to hiring yet
more former colleagues from the Washington Times, most recently
Elizabeth "Lisa" Bryant.
the UN system community in
Rome, many believe that Ms. Sheeran engaged in a quid pro quo with
FAO chief Jacques Diouf, hiring a relative of his for an information
technology post in exchange for FAO hiring the husband of her
personal assistant, Tanujah Rastogi. They snark that since Ms.
Sheeran Shiner bragged that while editing the Washington Times she
ran story after story about the Clintons and Whitewater, the Obama
Administration with Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State might want
to see a change at the top of WFP. Through in the snafu of the
$500,000 simulated feeding program and.... well, watch this site.
you know, Italy will be hosting the G8 Summit next
week and leaders from more than two dozen countries will be in
L’Aquila. We are honored that the Italian government has asked WFP
to host an official program at our headquarters on Friday, 10 July,
as part of the spouse program.
This visit is a profound testament
to the increasing visibility of WFP's work -- and an opportunity to
help the world better understand the important work we do. On our
premises, we are arranging a simulated food distribution and a
symbolic African schoolhouse, where a small group of Ghanaian
schoolchildren will help celebrate our work. (You may have noticed
the large exhibit being erected this morning behind the pool.)
to the security precautions mandated by the Italian government
and the visiting delegations, only those employees involved in the
event or deemed necessary for critical operations by their managers
will be permitted on the main building premises during the morning of
July 10. Among other things, parking will be severely limited at our
main building and automobile access limited in Parco de Medici in
But we encourage you to take advantage of this special
exhibit and bring your families, including your children, on the
afternoon of 10 July – anytime after 2:00 – so they can get a
taste of our field work and meet the schoolchildren. If you cannot
bring your family on 10 July, note that the tent and displays will
remain up on Monday, 13 July, so we invite you to bring family
members to see the display then.
this is a special event,
we realize it might cause some inconvenience. We hope you can
appreciate what an historic opportunity this is for some of the
world’s most influential people to understand what we do and to see
the impact of their donations.
are some guidelines for the
day: If you work in the main building, please do not come to the
office Friday morning, 10 July. The St. Martin’s building will
remain open. As much as possible, please work from home... We expect
the main building to re-open for business as usual at 2:00, so if
it's feasible for you to return, please do so. If returning to the
office in the afternoon is not feasible for you -- we recognize that
some of the Parco de Medici transit options do not run in the
afternoon, for instance – you are authorized special leave with
full pay. Thank you,
Chief of Internal
Communications, World Food Programme
Via C.G. Viola 68,Rome, Italy
one WFP staffer, anonymous from fear of retaliation, asked if Josette
Sheeran would similarly "parade around Food Stamp recipient in
the United States," and went on to suggest that if the G-8
spouses wanted to see "needy Africans" while in Italy, they
could check out the camps on Lampedusa...