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In UN, Weapons Ads After Florida Shooting, Inner City Press Asked What UN OKed, UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope I, II, III

UNITED NATIONS, February 20 – The UN has been the venue for bribes paid from Macau based operative Ng Lap Seng and now Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee - but on February 13 the UN allowed an Indonesia based weapons company to advertise not only machine guns and drones but even tanks inside the UN. Periscope video here. Inner City Press began filming the surprising display, and by day's end the mannequin soldier and separate Darfur peacekeeper were covered in white sheets. But is that enough, for the UN? The tank ad was for Pindad, with offices in Bandung and Jakarta. On February 14, with the display still there now with running video, Periscope here, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Farhan Haq, who contrary to the later closing of the exhibit said it was entirely up to Indonesia, UN transcript here and below. Later when Inner City Press asked the representatives of the Indonesia mission at the exhibit, they began filming Inner City Press. Even after the UN, which first said it had no role, belatedly ended the weapons advertising, there is a lack of clarity about which part of the exhibition and ad the UN approved: the tanks or the automatic weapons? On February 20, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the exhibit that featured the advertisement of automatic weapons, tanks and rocket-launchers downstairs had been… the UN had asked for it to be cancelled.  So, I just wanted… I had this very simple question, which was… because it had gone beyond what had been approved, so it seems important.  And yesterday, Farhan [Haq] said there is a UN committee that had approved some sort of display…? Spokesman:  There's a circ… there's a public document, which we can share with you, which lists the process of the way exhibits are organized, whether in the public area or in the not-so-public areas. Inner City Press: But, in that area of 1B, what type of armaments?  Because the thing was from… from the beginning of day one… many people have asked me, did the UN ever go take a look?  Because it was there for three days with a looping video of machine guns and with an enormous advertisement for… for tanks. Spokesman:  Look, we trust that Member States will abide by their commitments. Inner City Press: But, what was the agreement?  I think you understand the question.  The question is, what… did the UN agree to tanks… what… what part of the armaments did they agree to…?  Can you find out? Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the details.  If I can find out, I shall." He could easily find out, as could his deputy. The previous day on February 19, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq, Periscope video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the display that took place last week down in 1B regard… with… advertising essentially weapons, including tanks, rocket launcher, and automatic weapons, I understand that it was closed on Thursday… it was closed down, and on Friday, Stéphane said that what was agreed to wasn't what was shown, and, therefore, the UN asked for it to be closed.  This was after the UN said it had no role in it.  But I wanted to know — it seems important — what did the… which part… because… given the controversy, particularly in the light… after the Parkland, Florida, shootings about automatic weapons, which part of the exhibit did the UN, in fact, agree to, and which part of it went beyond that?  Was it the tank or the automatic weapon? Spokesman:  The way the dis… the things that were being displayed were not what the organisers said would be displayed. Inner City Press: But which things?  Do you see what I… it seems… Spokesman:  I understand what you're saying, but, ultimately, the… we trust that Member States, when they're telling us what they're going to show, that those are accurate.  That was not accurate in this case. Inner City Press: Who did they tell?  Did they tell DPKO (Department of Peacekeeping Operations) or Department of Management? Spokesman:  We have a committee that deals with exhibitions inside the building. Inner City Press:  Is there a way just… just in order to understand the UN's position on this, is there a way to know what they said would be shown and what part of it led to the UN closing it, so that future Member States cannot run afoul of this rule? Spokesman:  We'll be clear with Member States as that proceeds, but regarding any concerns about the organizers, again, I would suggest that you talk to the organizer.  Have a good day, everyone." A committee? What did the UN approve - the tank or the automatic weapons? Back on February 16, Inner City Press asked Haq's boss Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you about the… the… the display, which is now gone that was downstairs, that I had asked you about yesterday.  You said you would look into it.  After that, I noticed that they put up a sign saying ask the organizers.  The UN is not embracing… it was basically showing automatic weapons, okay.  But, I did speak to the organizers as the sign encouraged me to do and as I believe Farhan [Haq] told me to do, and what they said is that the purpose of that… that advertising exhibition was it was all about peacekeeping, that these were items to be sold to countries for peacekeeping.  So, I just wanted to ask you…Spokesman:  "My understanding is that what was agreed upon and what was actually shown were not the same things, and that's why we've asked them to take it down." The UN transcript omits Inner City Prss asking Dujarric what it was that the UN agreed upon, and why Haq claimed there was no UN role. We'll have more on this. After Inner City Press asked lead UN Spokesman Dujarric, a fig-leaf sign was put up, that the UN was "not endorsing." Would the UN accept a child pornography display? Meanwhile Dujarric intoned, "The Secretary-General is writing today to Florida Governor Rick Scott and to Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations, to express his profound sadness at the horrific gun massacre that took place yesterday in Parkland, Florida." While in the UN automatic weapons were being advertised. (After Inner City Press asked and filmed, it came down on the afternoon of February 15.) It's like Guterres eulogizing Ruud Lubbers, without mentioning his sexual harassment. Today's UN is corrupt. From the UN's February 14 transcript: Inner City Press: Down in the 1B basement of UN, on the… I guess it's some kind of hallway between the GA (General Assembly) and the Vienna Café area, there's a display of armaments, of arm sales.  It's an Indonesian weapons company called Pindad, and they have ads for tanks and machine guns.  They have two peacekeepers now covered by a sheet, at least overnight.  But I was wondering… I mean, maybe it's up to Member States what they do, but given that… that some of these are purely offensive weap… purely, you know, attacking weapons — they're not defensive weapons — like tanks that the UN, I don't think, buys.  What is… who approved that?  And what's the purpose of… of marketing weapons inside the United Nations building? Deputy Spokesman:  Well, as always, regarding exhibits that are sponsored by Member States, you would have to ask… check with the Member States about the exhibit.  That's the responsibility of the Member State." There were photos of VIP aircrafts, while Secretary General Antonio Guterres is out of town again. His global communicator Alison Smale, who continues to restrict Inner City Press, recently traveled to promote a Chinese airline. How far will today's UN go to placate some countries, while ignoring others and restricting the Press? On January 26 UN "global communications" chief Alison Smale flew to Charleston, South Carolina for a photo op and UNTV video with China's Xiamen Airlines for having painting the UN's "SDGs" logo on the side of an airplane. This without having answered Press questions about her Department of Public Information's malfeasance with resources allocated by the General Assembly for Kiswahili and about the lack under her "leadership" of any content neutral UN media access rules. Afterward, when Inner City Press asked for the mp4 video of her South Carolina junket - Inner City Press is informed that the plane she celebrated could not in fact fly - it was told to "Ask UN Webcast," which is under Smale. They were asked - and have not given the video. Nor has Smale offered any response to a detailed petition two weeks ago, while re-tweeting her former employer the NYT and current boss Antonio Guterres. But who is making who look bad? And how can a former NYT editor have no content neutral media access rules, and no answers? As she restricts Inner City Press from its UN reporting on Cameroon, Myanmar, Kenya, Yemen and elsewhere? We'll have more on this. While any country would try to get the UN to promote its airline, if the UN would do it, Smale is the UN official who responsible for Inner City Press being restricted and evicted as it reports on the UN bribery scandal of Patrick Ho and China Energy Fund Committee. Smale hasn't even deigned to answer petitions in this regard, in September (she said she recognized the need for the "courtesy" of a response, never given) and in January -- too busy flying to South Carolina to promote an airline:

Today's UN of Antonio Guterres, who just met with ICC indictee Omar al Bashir, and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed who has refused Press questions on her rosewood signatures and now the refoulement of 47 people to Cameroon from "her" Nigeria, has become a place of corruption and censorship. On January 30 as Inner City Press sought to complete its reporting for the day on Guterres' Bashir meeting and Mohammed's Cameroon no-answer, it had a problem. It was invited to the month's UN Security Council president's end of presidency reception, 6:30 to 8:30 - but with its accreditation reduced by censorship, it could not get back into the UN after 7 pm, to the already delayed UN video. It ran to at least enter the reception - but the elevator led to a jammed packed third floor, diplomats lined up to shake the outgoing UNSC president's hand. Inner City Press turn to turn tail back to the UN, passing on its way favored, pro-UN correspondents under no such restriction. Periscope here. Inner City Press has written about this to the head of the UN Department of Public Information Alison Smale, in Sepember 2017 - no answer but a new threat - and this month, when Smale's DPI it handing out full access passes to no-show state media. No answer at all: pure censorship, for corruption. Smale's DPI diverted funds allocated for Kiswahili, her staff say, now saying they are targeted for retaliation. This is today's UN. Amid UN bribery scandals, failures in countries from Cameroon to Yemen and declining transparency, today's UN does not even pretend to have content neutral rules about which media get full access and which are confined to minders or escorts to cover the General Assembly.

Inner City Press, which while it pursue the story of Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng's bribery of President of the General Assembly John Ashe was evicted by the UN Department of Public Information from its office, is STILL confined to minders as it pursues the new UN bribery scandal, of Patrick Ho and Cheikh Gadio allegedly bribing President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, and Chad's Idriss Deby, for CEFC China Energy.

Last week Inner City Press asked UN DPI where it is on the list to be restored to (its) office, and regain full office - and was told it is not even on the list, there is no public list, the UN can exclude, permanently, whomever it wants. This is censorship.


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