Run-Up to Copenhagen, of UN Web Sites Lost and Posts Empty by U.S.
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 28 -- On climate change, while even
Yvo de Boer of
the UN says it's unlikely the deal will be sealed in Copenhagen in
December, the UN Secretariat still maintains that there is no Plan
And apparently that is true: while they got "SealTheDeal2009.org"
to advocate for an agreement, "SealTheDeal2010.org"
recently obtained by another, through GoDaddy.com.
With all the
resources the UN is devoting to Copenhagen, one might have expected
them to at least take the 2010 domain name off the table. But perhaps
they thought it would show a lack of faith.
response to Inner City Press' article documenting nepotism in the
Office of the President of the UN General Assembly, including PGA Ali
Treki bringing his daughter and a cousin into the Office, Inner City
Press has been informed that Treki asked the United States to second
a staff member to his office on the climate change issue. The Obama
administration has yet to come through.
UN's Ban signs Seal the Deal, 2010 not shown
October 27 UN
City Press: I’ve been told that the, the Office of President Treki
asked the United States to appoint a staff member to cover the issue
of climate change, I guess to second a staff member from the United
States Mission or the United States State Department to serve in the
Office. Is that something you’re aware of? Is that true?
Jean-Victor Nkolo: Well, I don’t think I would like to go into
staffing matters in a specific office at the United Nations. I don’t
think that would be proper. But what I can tell you is that the
Office of the President of the General Assembly is definitively
staffed by a wide array of personnel coming from all horizons --
Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America. It’s a very
international team and I think that it will be good that the
international profile of this team continues to be reinforced. What
I wouldn’t like to comment on are specifics regarding staffing
City Press: Is there currently somebody, I mean maybe you can
comment on this one, is there, on the issue of climate change, is
there currently a staff member of the Office covering that issue?
Nkolo: What I can tell you is that we are only a few a weeks after
the General Assembly started its session, and as you know, the work
of any session of the General Assembly starts in mid-September. It
takes some time, usually, to actually have all the positions filled
and this process is still ongoing and it does not, it’s not limited
to the climate change issues. There are other areas that are being
filled and the cabinet of the President of the General Assembly is
working hard to make sure that all areas are filled quickly, but as
efficiently and professionally as possible.
filled the climate change post, this close to the Copenhagen meeting?
Watch this site.
* * *
Copenhagen, Un's De Boer and Sachs Dubious, Off Message on Upbeat
Seal the Deal
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 26 -- UN climate negotiatorYvo de Boer was quoted in
the Financial Times last week that "a fully fledged new
international treaty under the [UN framework] convention [on climate
change] - I do not think that will happen. If you look at the limited
amount of time remaining to Copenhagen, it's clear."
at the UN,
Inner City Press asked Janos Pasztor, Director of the
Secretary-General's Climate Change Support Team, how what de Boer
said is consistent with the more upbeat "Seal the Deal"
message emanating from the 38th floor. Video here,
from Minute 50:05.
it with Mr. de Boer extensively afterwards," Pasztor replied.
"Not everything he said was quoted. His message is total
consistent." Pasztor added that they will go for an ambitious
agreement in Copenhagen. We we cannot get a legally binding treat, he
said, they we'll do it later.
Press asked Pasztor if the UN is claiming de Boer was misquoted by
the FT, he did not say yes; So apparently de Boer was read the riot
act, and told to get back on message.
Some say de Boer is lucky -- Ban's deputy
envoy to Afghanistan got fired for going public with his claims of
electoral fraud in Afghanistan being covered up.
UN's Ban and de Boer: on the same page on
deal being sealed?
October 6, another
advisor Jeffrey Sachs told an audience including the Press that
he doubts the deal can be sealed in Copenhagen. When Inner City
asked Pasztor about this, he replied that Sachs represents and
advises Ban only on the Millennium Development Goals. But perhaps
Sachs too has now been read the riot act. If even the UN's small
"global goods" team cannot stay on its polyanna message,
can they be surprised as other fall away?
UN, Kung's Ethics Cover Bayer and PetroChina, Some Say, Copenhagen
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 6 -- The UN Global Compact, which has already
rebuffed activists' complaints about PetroChina and its dealings in
Darfur and seems ready to reject complaints against Bayer and its
pollution in West Virginia, on Tuesday embraced an ethics manifesto
by theologian Hans Kung.
a heady and surreal session in a 4th
floor dining room at the UN, Hans Kung spoke against casino
capitalism, but said there was still no consensus against the
charging of interest. Along with
former IMF chief Michel Camdessus and four others, he has launched the
six page "Global Economic Ethic" manifesto.
asked Global Compact chief Georg Kell how this manifesto relates to
the Global Compact, which rejected complaints
membership by saying that the wrong subsidiary was named. Might
principles require less legalism and more engagement on the
substance, for example on the pending complaint with the Compact
"our colleague from the UN press corp," was that "there
are no silver bullets." He directed the Press to the Compact's
web site's presentation of a project -- sponsored, he noted, by
General Electric -- showing how complicated the world is, using
sample "dilemmas" about doing business in emerging markets.
To those who think this sounds like a defense of PetroChina, or even
of employing child labor -- they
need the money, don't they? -- we
refer to this
Compact press release.
Bayer, West Virginia pollution and Compact answer not shown
ceremonies of the event was Swiss Ambassador Peter Mauer, who called
Kung "the best that Switzerland has to offer the world."
Not raised was sponsor Norvartis' position against donating any of
its research into H1N1 swine flu vaccine to even the poorest
countries. Is that the best
that Switzerland has to offer the world?
Back to Camdessus, some say Switzerland is about to lose its IMF
seat. But that's another story.
also at the event, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's advisor Jeffrey
Sachs spoke of climate change, and said that "we probably will
not complete negotiations at Copenhagen." Inner City Press went
down to the
day's noon briefing and asked:
City Press: Jeffrey Sachs, speaking at this event, the Global Compact
event, said that probably negotiations will not be completed before
or at Copenhagen. So I wanted to know is he, is this the
Secretariat’s view? Is the seal the deal…?
Michele Montas: No, it’s Mr. Sachs’ view.
City Press: It’s his own personal view?
the event, one of Inner City Press' table-mates said of Sachs, never
forget the debilitating orders he gave to Russia. Another wag mused
that since Ban's deputy envoy to Afghanistan got fired for
disagreeing with his boss(es) about fraud in the Afghan election, why
would another Ban advisor so casually disagree with Ban's "seal
the deal" mantra? Watch this site.
* * *
At UN, BASF Dodges W. Sahara
Phosphorus Fall-Out, Global Compact's PetroChina Denial
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, March 2 -- When
the UN Global Compact held a meeting on "current anti-corruption
by its corporate participants" last week, there were more than a few
ironies. Chosen by the Compact as its corporate participant and thus
poster-child was the chemical firm BASF. But when Inner City Press
chief compliance officer Eckart Suenner about alleged irregularities in
firm's export of phosphate from the contested territory of Western
the firm's refusal to make public an expert opinion it claims
transfer, Suenner dodged the question.
Not only at
the press conference on
February 26, when he said while he hadn't heard about, BASF has
"dual use and stuff," but in the three days since Inner City Press
sent him evidence of the refusal of Anne Forst of BASF's
Center" to provide the expert opinion, no response from BASF has been
received. Video here,
from Minute 24:44. The
inquiry focused on a shipment of 25,000
phosphates from the Bu Craa mines in Western Sahara, carried by
the ship Novigrad to the harbor
the Global Compact claims to be moving toward
transparency and credibility, its board recently
dismissed a detailed complaint
against PetroChina and subsidiaries for their activities in Sudan.
of the dismissal, the Compact's Sir Mark Moody-Stuart has
written that the issue will be re-visited at an upcoming meeting of the
Inner City Press
on February 26 asked when this will take
place, and for the views on the matter of another participant, Jermyn
Brooks, head of Global Private Sector Programs of Transparency
Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell argued that PetroChina is
member of the Compact, only its subsidiary CNPC is. Video here,
UN's Ban and Global Compact, BASF's W. Sahara
phosphates not shown
In fact, the opposite appears to be
true. In any
event, should Compact participants
be hiding behind a shell game of subsidiaries, in which all members of
conglomerate can cite an affiliate's membership in the UN Global
the most controversial parts of the company can say it was not them who
TI's Jermyn Brooks, who gave a detailed
Inner City Press'
question about gray money being used to bolster the reeling banking
least admitted he was "ducking" the PetroChina question, saying he
doesn't have enough information. When he does, and when the Compact
revisits the question -- Kell would not give a date -- we will have
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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