UN, Two Tier Cafeteria Akin to Funeral Parlor, Lounge
May Re-Open on Lawn
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 5 -- As the UN's "dry"
period, without a
UN bar in the Delegates' Lounge, stretches into its sixth week,
sources tell Inner City Press a new "floating" bar may
open. It would be on the second floor of the UN's new temporary North
Lawn building, sometimes called UN-KIA, facing the river.
contractor, Aramak, has been ready to go for weeks. Emails have been
exchanged, now getting into such issues as from where the physical
bar would come. There's talk of removing the bar in the so-called
South Lounge -- right outside the Security Council. This bar, open
while Sergei Lavrov was Russia's Ambassador, has been closed for
year. Put the bar to use!
revamped cafeteria has opened. Strangely, the divider between the
Delegates Dining Room, relocated down from the fourth floor, and the
regular cafeteria is no more than a grey velvet curtain. "This
looks like a funeral parlor," a source told Inner City Press.
"You expect when you look behind the curtain to see gleaming
Press looked behind the curtain this week, like looking from second
class up into first on an airplane, the Delegates' Dining Room was
less than half full. U.S. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff was
there, dining with Joseph Vernor Reed. Palestine's Permanent Observer
Riyad Mansour emerged to chat with the Press.
democratic that before," he argued. "One day the curtain
can come down." Just like...
Crowd in UN North Lawn building, where
everybody knows your name
Delegates' Dining Room is empty, the side rooms are still in use for
catered events, the Aramark staff dressed up in tuxedos. Last week
Dmitry Titov of UN Peacekeeping's Rule of Law unit hosted an event
about human security. An invitee asked the Press to show where the
event was held. But in the fourth floor foyer, a security officer
apologetically blocked the way. "They've said no Press,"
she said. It is increasingly that way in this UN.
the end of
Security Council presidency reception at the end of January, one wag
posited a theory under which the quality of a mission's food is
inversely proportioned to its level of democracy. Bad "Western
Three" food was contrasted to sumptuous spreads of undemocratic
countries. In the UN this is said deadpan, without a hint of irony.
Straight no chaser. Like on the North Law soon.
* * *
Dodges Protest of Ban's TRNC Trick in Cyprus, Questions Refused
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 4 -- Following UN Secretary General's largely
failed and protested visit to Cyprus, back in New York the UN spin
machine doggedly presented things as rosy, alongside an upbeat view
of Alexander Downer.
asked Ban's Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq to comment on February 2 on
Cypriot parties' boycott of the reception for Ban, due to his meeting
at the "presidential" compound in the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus. From the UN's
City Press: About his trip, I wanted to ask about the reports that,
while he was in Cyprus, four of the Greek Cypriot parties, European
parties, the Greens and two acronyms, DEKO and EDEK, boycotted his
reception. They say because he met with Ali Talat at the
presidential office in the break-away region. Where did he meet with
Mr. Talat and what’s his response to the boycott by these important
parties in Cyprus?
Spokesperson Haq: As for Cyprus, I would leave it, as you know, the
Secretary-General is on his way back from Cyprus. He will brief the
Security Council about this and his other travels tomorrow at 3 p.m.,
and he will meet with you after that at approximately 4:30 p.m. at
the Security Council stakeout. So, I’ll leave it for him to
media stakeout on Wednesday, February 3, Inner City Press was not
allowed to ask him a question. In fact, no Greek or Greek Cypriot
reporter was allowed. The only question allowed by Ban's spokesman
Martin Nesirky was from a Turkish journalist. And Ban's answer was,
as always, rosy. But is this just propaganda?
stakeout, a Greek Cypriot told Inner City Press there was no reason
to even wait to here Ban Ki-moon speak. Ban has allowed Alexander
Downer to destroy the process, he said, opining that beyond himself,
what Downer cares about in this post is retaining the British bases.
there's Downer's claim that his work for business
consultancy Bespoke Approach could never conflict with the Cyprus
role that Ban has given him. Only at the UN.
UN's Ban, Downer and leaders at reception, 4
boycotting parties not shown
to the single
Cyprus question allowed by Nesirky was Ban's non-downer answer:
was very much encouraged by such a strong commitment by both leaders
to continue their negotiations. And I was again, very much encouraged
and touched by the strong support of the people from both sides who
were chanting, in unison, shouting 'resolution now.' These were all
the loud and clear voices from the general population, regardless of
where they were from, both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot. That
was quite moving for me. I felt a strong sense of responsibility
[about] what the United Nations can do more to facilitate this
Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned negotiation. My observation was that a
solution was possible and a solution was within reach, and, in fact,
they made significant progress in power-sharing and governance. I was
quite encouraged by this. Of course, there are many more important
issues: property; border and security issues. I hope they will
continue. President Dimitris Christofias told me that he will issue
some sort of plan for further negotiations, despite this planned
[Turkish Cypriot] election, and that is quite encouraging. And I am
going to have my special adviser, Alexander Downer, continuously
engaged, so that this negotiation will be facilitated."
is not "continuusly" engaged -- rather, he is drumming up
business for Bespoke Approach. Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece
Dimitris Droutsas, whom Inner City Press asked Thursday morning about
the IMF, will meet with Ban Ki-moon and then the Press on Thursday
afternoon. Watch this site.