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As UN Bans Inner City Press E-Asks Spox Dujarric About EA302 Turkey UNCDF Cameroon GSDM Uganda China Censorship 300+ UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFT Q&A, NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 11 – Inner City Press on July 5 was banned from entering the UN, the day after it filed a criminal complaint against UN Security for physically removing it from covering the meeting about the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget, as witnessed and essentially cheered on by senior UN official Christian Saunders, tearing its reporter's shirt, painfully and intentionally twisting his arm and slamming shut and damaging his laptop. On August 17, Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale issued a letter banning Inner City Press from the UN - for life. With no due process. She and Guterres have put the UN in the US Press Freedom Tracker, here. Smale said, again, that the UN would answer Press questions to the Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and his Office; Dujarric said the same on camera. On March 11 two hours before the briefing Inner City Press submitted 603 questions: "There are more than 300+ questions UNanswered.  While appreciating and using what was sent on January 29 after it was read out in the briefing room, no answers on Dec 17 or 18 or 19 or 20 or 21 - another FIVE days in a row, even as SG's direct conflicts of interest and failure to disclose emerge, and a newest low. While appreciating the lone partial response to Question Feb 28-3, nothing on Dec 24 or Dec 26 or Dec 27 or Dec 28, or January 2, 3 or 4 or 8 or 9 or 10 or 11 or 14 or 15 or 16 or 17 or 18 or 21 or 22 or 23 or 24 or 25 or 28 - that was FIFTEEN week-days in a row, apparently under orders, then a simple post-facto answer. Now what? No answers on January 30 nor 31 nor February 1 nor 4 nor 5 nor 6 nor 7 nor 11 nor 12 nor 13 nor 14 or 15 nor 18 nor 19 nor 20 nor 21 nor 22 nor 25 nor 26 nor 27 nor March 1 nor 4 nor 5 nor 6 nor 7 nor 8 nor 10. No answers at all during those four days of the US v Ho trial showing corruption in the UN says it all. This ban is just censorship - and Inner City Press must be allowed back into the noon briefing to ask its questions in person and follow up on them. 

March 11-1: On the Ethiopia Airlines crash, on which yesterday's Inner City Press questions were not answered or acknowledged despite the attempt to ascertain the fate of the names raised by concern by UN staff in Somalia, please now explain the discrepancy between yesterday's UN News Centre figure of 19 (or if one counted, 20), and this saying 22 - and answer yesterday's Inner City Press question, not repeated here given the inclusion of names raised with concern to Inner City Press by their colleagues. 

March 11-2: From the Advance Copy of the ACABQ report on the SG's re-configured GSDM proposal, which Inner City Press has published today, please provide SG's comment on inter alia "Taking into account the significant number of French-  speaking clients in the African region, the Advisory Committee notes with concern the  time zone gap between the region and Montréal, the centre that would provide French- speaking services to clients in Africa. The Committee expects that the Secretary-General  will provide more detailed information."  And, on Uganda," Upon enquiry, the Advisory Committee was informed that since the inception of RSCE, approximately $7.71 million has been invested in RSCE office space, in addition to $9.77 million invested in training and technology facilities which are not related to the scope of the global service delivery model. The Advisory Committee expects the Secretary-General to provide further information to the General Assembly, at the time of its consideration of this report, on the investments made in RSCE. Considering the significant number of proposed abolishments, the investments made in RSCE to date, the request of the General Assembly in resolution 72/266 B, and its key regional role, the Advisory Committee trusts that the Secretary-General will ensure the optimal use of RSCE’s capacity and the implementation of mitigation measures for its affected staff.  The Committee recommends that the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to provide more information on this matter." 

March 11-3: Also on Uganda, perhaps relatedly, what is the SG's comment and action on President Museveni's threat to pull Ugandan troops from AMISOM? 

March 11-4: On UN discrimination alleged by staff, in this case at UNCDF / UNDP, what is the SG's comment and action of staff complaints to Inner City Press that " Take Judith Karl - existing Executive Secretary- as an example. Few months after receiving her official separation letters from UNDP as a result of UNDP's reform process, to which her post and skills were deemed unnecessary, and her attempts of securing three other D1/D2 posts were also unsuccessful, Ms. Karl, receives favorable treatment from the former UNDP Administrator and gets appointed as UNCDF Executive. Sources do confirm that she was not in the top shortlisted candidates for the Job but that is the power of political appointments in the UN.   Ms. Karl's lack of relevant experience and wrong appointment is not the main focus of this article, but rather the elite "North" team she managed to form to lead the agency responsible for the poorest of the poor. Racism and widely noticed corruption are the normal norm at UNCDF headquarters, staff here say. The historic  absent interest of all UNDP Administrators in supervising UNCDF have allowed each Executive Secretary to do what they want, when they want, all under the radar.  Here are the names and countries of senior management team of UNCDF: Judith, Executive Secretary (USA), Xavier, Deputy Executive Secretary ( France), Henri , Director Financial Inclusion (France), David, Director Local Governance ( UK), Esther, head of partnerships (USA), Andrew, Head of Evaluation (UK), Anders, Head of Investment Platform (Sweden), Ruth, Managing Director of Better Than Cash Alliance (Australia), Vincent, Asia Regional Coordinator (Dutch), Christel, West Africa Regional Coordinator (France), Dmitry, East Africa Regional Coordinator (Serbia)... Meaning, if you ever aspire for a management position at UNCDF, you must be from the North." 

March 11-5:  On press freedom and, today, Turkey what is the SG's comment and action if any on that Thomas Seibert, a reporter for the Berlin-based Tagesspiegel daily, and Jörg Brase, a correspondent for public broadcaster ZDF, flew to Germany on Sunday after their accreditation to work in Turkey was not renewed?  AGAIN, immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal.

March 8-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on the holding over of barrister Michele Ndoki, whom the government previously shot, on charges like Maurice Kamto of "rebellion"? 

March 8-2: On UN corruption and bribery, yesterday evening Inner City Press saw in front of the UN and questioned Francis Lorenzo, who pleaded guilty to UN bribery. Please immediately state the last time convicted UN bribery felon Francis Lorenzo entered the UN (same for former El Salvador Ambassador Carlos Garcia, who it was shown facilitied Lorenzo's illegal acts, and for Patrick Ho), and state whether Lorenzo is affiliated in any way to the Dominican Republic mission to the UN. 

March 7-4: AGAIN - immediately state who, with public funds, the SG invited to eat halibut with him on March 4, and why it was not on his public schedule. Please state whether the UN considers "The Century Fund" to be a media and if so, why - and, AGAIN, immediately explain how it is legitimate to ban from enter into the UN the media that has been asking about these and other questions, with no hearing or appeal.

March 6-3: Please immediately provide the SG's comment and response to the Staff Unions' complain that DSS funds are being diverted to for profit events of CulinArt and USG Smale's DGC: " "the Department of Safety and Security is currently ceding some of its funding to serve profit-making ventures, both a contractor, CulinArt, and another Secretariat department, the Department of Global Communications, by providing security services for their ventures, that is, Friday nights activities at the Delegates Lounge and United Nations Tours, respectively. The funds to provide those services from the UNDSS’s annual budget are substantial and are not reimbursed. Why should UNDSS continue to provide those services out of its budget free of charge when cuts are being made elsewhere?" 

March 5-1: On Cameroon, what is the SG's comment and action if any on the continued detention of Michèle Ndoki has been been held by the  Special Operations Unit in Yaounde since she was arrested by security forces under unclear circumstances? Again, as not answered, on Cameroon and Nigeria, what are the comments and actions of the SG and separately of the DSG on the Nigeria court decision that the refoulement of Mr. Ayuk Tabe and 46 others was illegal and they should be returned to Nigeria from Cameroon? What is the SG's comment and action on the reported burning down of Bamunkumbit in NW Cameroon by government soldiers? 

March 4-6: On Sudan, what is the SG's comment and action on that ICC-indicted Omar al-Bashir on Friday delegated his powers and authority as head of the ruling National Congress Party to its deputy head, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun - who is also indicted by the ICC? Again, how many times has Mr. Guterres met Bashir, and why? Has he met Ahmed Haroun? 

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