UNDP Suspends Egypt & Tunisia Programs, Ban
February 2 -- As in Cairo peaceful demonstrators are beaten
while the police and army watch, the UN's
responses have been at
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said “I once again
urge restraint to all the sides.” The UN Development Program
defended its work with
Egypt's police, but also told Inner City Press
that all of its programs in Egypt have be put on hold.
asked incoming Security Council President Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti
if Ban's Department of Political Affairs chief Lynn Pascoe would or
even could raise Egypt, Tunisia or Yemen in the so-called “horizon
scanning” briefing set for February 23.
said one or two
issues would be negotiated in advance. Given the composition of the
Council, and Ban's need for votes for a second term, it seems clear
that the protests against autocrats will not reach the Security
what it would take to put it on the Council's agenda, the takeover of
the Suez Canal? There was some laughter in the press room, but no
asked both Ban's spokesmen and UNDP the following, beginning on
provide Ban Ki-moon's view on UN system
programs like “BENAA”
with Egyptian authorities which NGOs say ban credible human rights
lawyers from giving lectures to the police because of their political
opposition to the NDP, and instead invites MOI officials complicit in
torture to give human rights presentations. Also, please state the
status of UN system programs in Egypt.”
Martin Nesirky on January 31 declined to answer but said that he'd
made inquiries. Inner City Press re-sent the question to UNDP, adding
a request to “please state the status of UNDP programs in Egypt and
Tunisia, and if Administrator Clark has any comment on calls for
democratization in Yemen, given that she just traveled there.” On
February 2 UNDP answered the Egypt and Tunisia but not Yemen)
Stephane- Hi, questions re Egypt (and Tunisia) programs, response
to critique of BENAA, any comment on democratization in Yemen,
Somalia follow up, thanks
From: Spokesman Dujarric [at]
Date: Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 10:51 AM
To: Inner City
BENAA Programme aims to help strengthen the culture of Human
Rights among government officials. The project has so far trained
1000 Judges, 800 prosecutors and 3500 police officers including
security officers on basic Human Rights issues including "What
the Egyptian Constitution says on Human Rights", Egypt's
obligations to international and regional agreements and conventions
on human rights; and what treaty bodies are reporting on Human Rights
in Egypt. The training is delivered by University professors,
international experts and local NGOs. The absolute majority of the
trainers were independent trainers. There were some training sessions
that were conducted by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
on issues of obligations to international agreements. The project is
also supported by the Governments of Holland and Sweden as well as
the European Union.
UNDP projects in Egypt are on hold.
UN's Ban & Mubarak, Ambassador's demarche not shown
GEF programmes and MDG related programmes – maternal
health and poverty reduction are ongoing. All other programmes are
on hold and will be reviewed, in consultation with national partners,
to reflect the national priorities and needs.
Clark had and has to say about Yemen, where Ali Abdullah Saleh the
ruler for 32 years now tells protesters he'll leave in 2013, remains
to be seen. Watch this site.
reason for Ban's statement “I once again urge restraint to all
the sides” may be the demarche to his office by Egypt's Ambassador
Maged Elaziz, complaining that Ban didn't also blame protesters for
Egypt's Ambassador has been trying to get a UN system job
for some time. But Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on February 1
confirmed to Inner City Press that he had complained. Then, another
statement by Ban “urg[ing] restraint to ALL the sides.”
* * *
Police Guard UN Mission of Egypt, UNDP Banned Rights
29 -- As protests continue in Egypt, even in New
York Egypt's Mission to the UN is guarded by police, some brought
down from The Bronx. Inside an otherwise empty UN, Inner City Press
messages from the Egyptian diaspora responding to its reporting
earlier on Saturday, some pointing to UN system
complicity in Mubarak's repression.
for example the UN Development Program's work with Egypt's police,
called BENAA, founded by Murabak's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a UNDP
to be taken down as some have been, “media
Society Organizations have been targeted, including the
crucial group of university students.”
But a Wikileaked
embassy cable in a non-highlighted portion
“NGO contacts have
criticized the UNDP project as ineffective, complaining that it has
banned credible human [rights] lawyers from giving lectures to the
police because of their political opposition to the NDP, and instead
invites MOI officials complicit in torture to give human rights
the UN system in
Egypt “BANned credible human lawyers from giving lectures to the
police because of their political opposition to the NDP, and instead
invites MOI officials complicit in torture.”
that BAN Ki-moon is so silent on whether Mubarak's 30 year emergency
law allowing censorship should be eliminated.
Egypt UN Mission Jan 29, 9 pm, cops from 50th
Precinct, (c) MRLee
Administrator Helen Clark, notably, was in Yemen earlier this month
praising the government, as if the protests there and in Tunisia and
elsewhere were not taking place.
There is more
to be said about the UN's system's work including with BENAA, which lists
supporters the Ford Foundation, EU and members and others. Watch
* * *
UN Dormant, Ban Silent on Emergency Law
29 -- Chants of “Mubarak must go” echoed
Saturday against the white metal walls of the UN's temporary North
Lawn building on 1st Avenue in Manhattan. But the UN was empty.
General Ban Ki-moon and his Deputy, Asha Rose Migiro were
out of town. And the UN system has had little to say or do about the
calls for an end of censorship and repression in Egypt.
noon press briefing, Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky was asked
if Ban thought that Egypt's 30 year old emergency law should go.
Nesirky said that "one of the ground principles of democracy is to
protect and ensure the freedom of speech of the people,"
but refused to directly comment on the emergency censorship law.
little to say about Tunisia. He did not send an envoy to the
country -- a decision taken, Inner City Press is informed by well
placed UN sources, on the advice of Ban's chief of staff and Myanmar
envoy Vijay Nambiar.
Council did not meet on January 27 or 28, and has not scheduled any
meeting for January 31, the last day of Bosnia's quiet presidency.
President Barack Obama called Mubarak and talked to or at the press
for four minutes on Friday, but did not mention the UN, just as he
did not mention it and Darfur in his State of the Union speech
earlier in the week. -- all men -- but not Susan Rice, his Ambassador
to the UN.
On Saturday Obama held a meeting on Egypt with "his national
security team" which included eleven people
for CNN's show GPS with Fareed Zakaria, the prime minister of the
Permanent Security Council member United Kingdom David Cameron called
Mubarak a “friend of Britain... We’ve worked together over many
issues, not least the need to combat Islamic extremism.”
week ago and on
Saturday morning, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Nesirky when
Ban will act on the request by the UK, Mexico and others that he
replace Nambiar with a full time envoy to Myanmar.
time did not answer that, nor a request for UN comment on Myanmar
affirming the disbanding of the political party of Burmese democracy
activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
Sat Jan 29 by empty UN, Ban comment on emergency law
so as people
take risks to oppose repression from Tunisia to Egypt and elsewhere
such as Yemen, the UN is increasingly silent, un-transparent,
marginalized. Saturday's chants echoed off empty UN buildings. How
long can this go on? Watch this site.
Does the Secretary-General concur with Ms. Pillay that the
30-year-old emergency law should be lifted and then that
investigations should be conducted into the use of excessive force
and the reported deaths of five civilians participating in the
clearly, it is obvious that where there are reports
of excessive use of force, that those reports should be investigated. I
think that is fairly clear. Yes?
other question was concerning Ms. Pillay’s call for the end of
the state of emergency that legalizes censorship and enhances police
powers and so forth.
the Secretary-General said very clearly this morning that he
believes that one of the ground principles of democracy is to protect
and ensure the freedom of speech of the people. And he also spoke
about the need for freedom of expression and association to be fully
you. Is the Secretary-General worried of any kind of domino
effect, because of what has happened in Tunisia and what is going on
now in Egypt? Is he worried because the Arab world order is in
has made very clear… he has spoken today about Egypt, but not
just about Egypt. He spoke about Tunisia and Egypt and indeed
elsewhere. And the key point is that leaders in the region should
understand that it is an opportunity to address legitimate concerns
that the people in those countries have. And it is through dialogue
with the people that the leaders can better understand what the
people of those countries aspire to, what they wish for. And then
they will be better able to address the challenges that they all
face. But the key thing is that this should be done without violence
and through dialogue.
the Secretary-General taken note of the incarceration and house
arrest of Mr ElBaradei? Does he have anything to say about that?
was asked a similar question just earlier, and the
Secretary-General is aware of the reports — and there are differing
reports out there. He is aware of the reports that there are, and if
I have anything further on this topic then I’d let you know a bit