Bar Re-Opens, Delegate Lounge Tech Help to Close, First Beer
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 25 -- Four hours after UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon answered two Press questions about Myanmar on the second
story of the UN's new building, just down the hall the UN Delegates
Lounge bar belatedly re-opened.
months ago, the long time Delegates Lounge mimicked in the Alfred
Hitchcock movie North by Northwest was closed. At first, no
replacement was planned. The UN Management official scoffed that
there are many bars out on Second Avenue.
delegates and ambassadors as well as this publication complained. As
one denizen put it, many diplomatic problems were solved over drinks,
in a setting that no Second Avenue bar could reproduce. You just go
to the Delegates Lounge, he said, and find everyone you need to speak
not everyone. But in the spirit of the moment, Inner City Press came
to witness the re-opening. A Corona, the first, was offered on the
house. And we're back.
New UN bar on March 25, 2010, Ulysses at the helm
reporting too. Right next to the new Delegates Lounge is the ICT
Resource Center, a booth where lower tech Ambassadors could use
computers and even borrow laptops. It is now slated to be closed,
next Wednesday, under the direct supervision of a cost cutting UN
official named Frank Moser.
if member states complain? Watch this site
Slated to Re-Open Delegates' Bar on March 25, of UN Elitist Venues,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 24 -- Tomorrow, after a UN day featuring the Group of
Friends of the Secretary General on Myanmar meeting, the Delegates'
Lounge will belatedly
re-open. The longstanding "UN bar,"
in the two tiered Conference Building North Lounge, closed just
before Christmas 2009. After months of procrastination and moralism
driving delays, it will reopen in a smaller space in the UN's
Temporary North Lawn Conference Building, sometimes called UN-KIA.
City Press review of its re-opening must wait a day or two, it's
worth reflecting on why the Delegates Lounge was different, and in
ways better, than the usual UN reception circuit. Just in the past
week, there have been events for World Water
Day, sponsored by
Tajikistan, in the new Delegates Dining Room beside the staff
cafeteria, and celebrations of the national days of Namibia and
these are for
diplomats and gate crashers, not for UN staff. At the Tajikistan
event, the stratification of UN culture was apparent. General
Assembly President Ali Treki sat in the raised up space in the
center, with his body guards. Then Lynn Pascoe paid homage to the
Tajiks at another raised up table. It was like diplomatic theater.
is informed, in another UN classic, that several Ambassadors have
complained that their Delegates Dining Room lunch spot is so close to
"the regular people," lowly UN staff. For now, it is
divided from the cafeteria only by a curtain which, it's been snarked
to Inner City Press, makes it appear like a funeral parlor. These
high minded Ambassadors have asked to move their elite lunch room to
the new building, "far from the maddening crowd."
minister on World Water Day- and not a drop to drink
the old -- and better -- Delegates Dining Room, Namibia celebrated
its national day. Many Permanent Representatives were there,
including those of Congo, Spain, Austria, Ghana and others. A
military man from Saudi Arabia was there, and diplomats from
Nicaragua, one of them a Delegates Lounge activist. One gleaned that
the Vatican is carbon neutral, and that India's candidate to replace
Yvo de Boer won't be officially named until March 31 -- this from a
diplomat very democratically offering to divide a piece of cake with
the Fourth Estate. Still, it was too fancy.
more so later
Tuesday at Pakistan's Permanent Representative's house or "residence"
on the Upper East Side. The food was great, the Permanent
Representative's white chemise was flowing, but few UN staff. That's
what the Delegates Lounge is about, hearing what is up. Here's
Today is the last day in the "old" Security Council, by the
monthly schedule of the Gabonese presidency. Between now and April,
all will move down to the basement of Conference Room 4, including
the horseshoe table. Inner City Press asked if a chainsaw would do
it. "Chainsaws are not used here at the UN," was the reply. Maybe they
Parties, From Genital Mutilation to Fergie's Army of Mothers, Still No
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 5 -- The UN is full of good intentions, literally,
this week. There is the Commission on the Status of Women, on the
sidelines of which on Wednesday night an event was held on female
genital mutilation. Amid a spread of cheese cubes and wine, a speaker
from Mauritania urged the half-filled Delegates Dining Room to make
the UN General Assembly "outlaw FGM."
Assembly can't outlaw anything was not mentioned. Nor was the UN's
invocation of immunity to defend against sexual harassment suits, and
failure to discipline its own peacekeepers even when charged with
Uganda described President Museveni canceling a trip out of the
country in order to campaign against FGM in Karamoja. But his
government is accused of killing civilians in the region, bombing
them from the air.
at a press conference about the Chile, Sarah Ferguson showed up,
promoting an idea she said she had just had, of an Army of Mothers of
which she would be General. It may be a good idea, but it would be
better to get it off the ground before chasing off the UN press room
stage an organization like Equality Now, which was not even left
enough time to answer questions, for example questions from Inner
City Press about anti-women laws in the United States and Kenya. We'll
have more on both press conferences.
UN's Ban and Fergie, Army of Mothers and results not shown
a film screening sponsored by the Greek Mission to the UN, set in
village in post coup 1968. A group of boys raise funds to buy a
television set to watch the Apollo 11 moon landing, while preparing
for pre-resignation Spiro Agnew to come for a visit. The audience
laughed, with nary a comment about the budget cut protests in Athens,
the government's new threat to turn to the IMF.
the UN Delegates' Lounge, promised for the first Friday in March, did
not happen. Sources blamed it on the Department for Management. "The
joyless reign of Ban Ki-moon," one correspondent cursed.
in the lobby
of the General Assembly there was Latin music from a band called Coco
Mama, and drinks for $5, plates of food for $10. It was to benefit
Haiti. There were good intentions everywhere.