Ban Is Protested in Tunisia, Ben Ali Envoy
Remains at UN in NY
March 22 -- As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was
in Tunisia, in New York his spokesman Martin Nesirky would
not say when asked by Inner City Press if Ban believes Tunisia should
continue to prohibit some political parties.
at the UN in
New York, Inner City Press asked the remaining Tunisian Ambassador
Ghazi Jomaa who represented Ben Ali how long he can stay. “In
Tunisia we have separate diplomatic corps,” he explained. Regimes
may change, but I can stay.”
said that 40
Tunisian Ambassadors, political nominees, had been forced to leave
their posts, but not him. Ghazi Jomaa told Inner City Press, “I
remember you asked the President of the General Assembly.” Yes.
the March 22
noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Nesirky:
Press: there’s a report of a protest very much saying, “Ban
Ki-moon get out of Tunisia” by this group called Hizb At-Tahrir in
Tunisia.. yesterday the idea was that protest wasn’t directed at
the UN, wasn’t anti-UN; he just happened to be in the wrong place
at the wrong time. But what is his response, I guess to a protest
very much directed at him by a group that says it has applied to
become a political party and been denied by the Government there? Is
he aware of the grounds of the protest and what does he think of it?
Nesirky: Well, I haven’t spoken to the Secretary-General
about that particular protest.
Ban in Tunis Hotel, banned political party not shown
he said, more generally
speaking, after the incident in Cairo was that the whole point of a
democratic transition is that it then allows for peaceful
demonstrations. And it is important for people’s voices to be
heard, whether you like what you hear or not, and it is important for
their voices to be heard. Where you draw the line is where
demonstrations are no longer peaceful, where they are threatening or
violent. I am not saying that was the case in Tunisia. I am
speaking in general terms.
Press: What about groups such as this being prohibited from
being a political party? [inaudible]
Well, this is something for the Tunisian authorities to
work on. This is clearly something that is in transition and is
really for them to be able to work on that and to address that.
revolution in democracy as always. Watch this site.
* * *
to Libya Al-Khatib's Pay from Jordan Raises Press Questions at
UN, Stonewalling Continues
20 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon settled on Abdel-Elah
Al-Khatib as his envoy to Libya, questions were raised by Inner
City Press about
Khatib's business dealings including as a director of
Bank, which is a co top 20 owner of Union des Banques Arabes et
Francaise along with the Libyan Foreign Bank, a 100% owned subsidiary
of Gaddafi's Central Bank of Libya.
UN has yet to
address these conflict of interest, instead telling Inner City Press
file a financial disclosure at some later date.
problem that the UN should have foreseen and acted on has arisen. Inner
City Press is told that Khatib still
receives a salary from Jordan as a Senator. A person cannot work for
the UN and receive money from a government at the same time. But
Khatib insists he can, and Ban is in too deep, the sources say, to
even try to enforce the UN rules.
Al-Khatib as his envoy, Ban did not mention or take questions on
Al-Khatib's outside business, but did say that “he is now serving
as a senator of Jordan.” That set off red flags, as the UN charter
says that anyone working for the UN should not appear to be
affiliated with a government.
Ban & al-Khatib in 2007, directorships & Jordan pay not shown
their citizens with Ban and previous Secretaries General to get
UN posts is one thing. But to be concurrently “serving as a senator
in Jordan,” which is being protests, and be ostensibly representing
the UN in Libya?
was turned down by Lakhdar Brahimi and Kemal Dervis, neither of whom
work for and receive pay from a government, before Ban settled on
has become a lawless place of opaque conflicts of interest, where
topics on these questions are not answered, are even retaliated
of the March 16 noon briefing:
Can I ask you, on Mr. Khatib, I just… I saw yesterday a
clip in which they said he has a spokesman, Bahaa el-Kousy. Is it…
is there a UN spokesman, UN staff member assigned to be his spokesman
on this trip? Did he bring somebody in from… that he knows, do you
know who this individual is?
I believe this is someone from within the UN system. I can let
you know. But this was simply to help to coordinate the
Special Envoy’s media work while in the region.
And is he a USG [Under Secretary General]? What is his
position and compensation for this role?
Envoy; I’d need to check precisely what the rank
spokesman's office has yet to provide any answers on Al-Khatib's post
or pay or vetting. Without any answer from Ban's spokesperson's office,
it's been learned that Bahaa Elkoussy is "UNIC Beirut
Director" - we'll have more about UN system in Beirut soon.
its March 11 noon briefing:
Mr. Al-Khatib, earlier this week I had asked whether
his outside business interests in a Jordanian cement company, and in
the bank, that actually he is co-owner of another bank with the
Libyan Central Bank controlled by [Muammar al-] Qadhafi, whether
these will be suspended during his service for the UN as an envoy to
Libya. Is there an answer to that, given that he is [inaudible]…?
No, not specifically to that. Just that he
is a senior official, and just as with other officials of that rank,
he would be required to fill out the standard financial disclosure. So,
he will go through the same financial disclosure process as
what time frame? Has he filled it out yet? Has OIOS
[Office of Internal Oversight Services]…?
He was only just appointed, Matthew!
understand, but it seems to raise possible conflicts
of interest even as his service begins.
don’t file a financial disclosure the
minute you get appointed.
only the UN, that’s an official has to file a
form after the person is already named?
there is any particular conflict regarding
Mr. Khatib, it would be incumbent on him to remove any particular
conflicts before he begins work. However, in any case, any conflicts
would be determined once he goes through the financial disclosure
process, which he has to do, just as with any other senior
on that, follow up? There will be conflict of interest
here. Someone going to Libya to mediate or work on the human rights
issues and then he has interests in the regime, within the regime, if
That’s not proven; that’s just based on
something that, a report that he is saying. No, no, like I said, if
there is anything that poses a conflict of interest, it would be
incumbent on him to remove that before he begins his work. He is
going through the same sort of vetting process as anyone else, which
includes of course, the financial disclosures. Yes?
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