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After AFP Used UN Photographer's Shot of Ban at COP21, Spox Claims Only Small Outlets Do It, Smale

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series; video

UNITED NATIONS, August 11 – When Ivanka Trump met UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on July 28, it was not listed in the UN Media Alert. But Guterres had UN Photo, a UN in-house unit of the UN Department of Public Information, come and document the ceremonial handshake. These photos soon turned up on Associated Press, for sale (like so much else at the UN, particularly at DPI whose director took now convicted Macau businessman Ng Lap Seng's funds even for the UN's slavery memorial, audit here.)  Guterres' Spokesman Stephane Dujarric on August 3 insisted to Inner City Press that it is "small outlets" that improperly use and sell UN Photos. Small like AP, Reuters and Agence France Presse? Inner City Press on August 11, with a new head of DPI Alison Smale in-coming in September, asked Dujarric for an update, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on DPI.  I had asked you a couple of times about this, the issue of the running of photographs taken by UN Photos by wire services, without even crediting the UN.  What steps have been taken?  Have any credits been changed?

Spokesman:  I understand that all the right credits.

Inner City Press:  I still see one of Ban Ki-moon in Le Bourget…

Spokesman:  Okay, I'm saying with the major agencies we deal with, I think everything has been straightened out, and whatever miscommunication has been straightened out.  As I said, it's been… what has been the case for years is that a number of small outfits or websites will sometimes use the photos without credit, and we chase after them every time we hear about them.

Inner City Press:  Well, I… I asked you about one in particular that says "Mark Garten/AFP" and it's a picture of Ban Ki-moon at Le Bourget and it's still up, so…

Spokesman:  I'm just saying… so all these things are chased after and there are a lot of them and we chase them.  The rules are clear, is that the UN distributes its photo products free of charge, and agencies, individuals, groups, whatever, are not allowed to resell them.

Inner City Press: And on North Korea, has… or DPRK, has the Secretary-General spoken with his predecessor, Ban Ki-moon, on this?

Spokesman:  I'm not aware that he has or that he has not.

  Global Communications... While the UN has belatedly told Inner City Press that how its Ivanka Trump photos showed up on AP is "not normal" and is being looked into - the UN Spokesman on August 2 told Inner City Press is is all about AP - there's more. UN Photo material has been used by Reuters and Agence France Presse (AFP) with NO MENTION of the UN, see here (RIP) and here. Both have permanent seats on the executive committee of the UN Correspondents Association, to which Dujarric "lent" the UN Press Briefing Room then evicted and still restricts Inner City Press. Is that normal? The "AFP" photograph Inner City Press asked Dujarric about is one of Ban Ki-moon in Le Bourget in a cafeteria line - it never appeared in the UN Photo database. We'll have more on this. The Ivanka Trump photos were listed as UN photographer's name "via AP" - but worse, in a previous case, [unmasker] Samantha Power photos showed up on AP with a the name of a photographer paid by the UN, without any mention of UN Photo, here. This is a trend. Inner City Press, for the Free UN Coalition for Access, emailed UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric: "When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres met on July 28 with Ivanka Trump, it was not in the UN Media Alert. However, photo(s) taken by UN Photo appear to have been provided to Associated Press, which put them up for sale. This is a request from the Free UN Coalition for Access for you as UN spokesperson (and former DPI official) to explain both why this meeting was not on the UN Media Alert, and the apparent disparate treatment of some UN media, giving the exclusive photos to AP. Did the UN or any of its staff or contractors charge money for this? On deadline. Please confirm receipt." Dujarric as is his custom neither answered nor confirmed receipt. So at the August 1 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked him again. Video here. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: something that I had emailed you, but I will ask you now.  There was a meeting on Friday between the Secretary-General before he left and Ivanka Trump.  And it wasn't on the Media Alert, but apparently UN Photo was there, but then some people noticed that AP was selling the photos…

Spokesman:  I'm aware of the situation with the AP, which is not normal, and we are in touch with them.

Inner City Press: Can you, are you going to answer like how it happened?  Was money charged?

Spokesman:  I said it's not normal and we are in touch with them.  Obviously, no one is allowed to sell or distribute photos taken by UN photographers without giving proper credit, and no one is allowed to sell those photos.  As I said, we are in touch with them.

Inner City Press:  Why was it [not in the Media Alert]?

Spokesman:  It was a private lunch.  We will go to our guest now.

   A wire service insider said audibly that AP's long time bureau chief was being accused, perhaps even attacked (the trope DPI's and Dujarric's partners in the UN Correspondents Association board like to use). But it is a simple and obvious questions, and one that we will pursue the answer to. Watch this site. The slow pace of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' reforms and appointments, particularly on Africa, are been brought into focus by his just began two week vacation, undisclosed under Inner City Press asked about it. The Special Adviser on Africa position has been vacant and "ad interim" for almost as long as the Department of Public Information, at four months. Inner City Press learned on July 31 that the Africa Adviser position was offered to the now-ongoing head of UN Women; her continuing in her UN Women post is the justification for non action. But what about the Africa positions in the Department of Political Affairs, UNDP and even on Genocide? What about DPI, where Maher Nasser as "ad interim" for four months has yet to take any action on Inner City Press April 1 request to him, and more recently confirmed received by Guterres, to reverse 18 months of censorship? This is a trend: Inner City Press asked  Guterres why he hasn't released his budget speech, or reform plans on May 25, the day after Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric refused to provide the speech to Inner City Press when it asked. Guterres paused then said it should be public, seeming to believe that Dujarric had, in fact, released it. Video here. But he had not and has not. And now with Guterres gone on an UNdisclosed two week vacation, on July 31 Inner City Press sought to cover the UN Security Council End of Presidency reception it was invited to - but had to leave after 15 minutes, to meet the UN Department of Public Information's 7 pm censorship deadline imposed on it for 18 months and counting for asking, including then DPI chief Cristina Gallach, about UN corruption. As Inner City Press left, DPI's Hua Jiang gave  greeting. But it is her department which continues to restrict and censor Inner City Press. It is shameful. On July 19, Guterres spokesman Farhan Haq refused to even tell Inner City Press WHERE Guterres would meet about reform. On July 26, Guterres' postponed Town Hall was listed as "Closed" - thankfully, one of his Assistant Secretaries General publicly tweeted the link. (So, see Periscope video here). Questions were raised about racial discrimination in the UN, specifically the case against UNHABITAT's Joan Clos that Inner City Press has repeatedly asked about. Guterres seemed not to be familiar with it; he said he is protecting whistleblwoers but Mirando Brown and Emma Reilly, following Anders Kompass, would disagree, and there are no Press protections. The Pension Fund CEO is refusing to seat two staff representatives and Guterres says he has no power to change that. Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Farhan Haq about these issues. Haq said that the OIOS investigation of Clos' comments is ongoing - this is not what Clos has implied, some time ago - and on the Pension Fund, he mentioned Ms. Boykin. But her job has been advertised. So does Guterres have the power to defend staff's rights or not? Guterres is "pausing" mobility, and proposing changes to the Departments of Management and Field Support. We'll have more on this. From the UN July 19 transcript: Inner City Press: this retreat that the Secretary-General is planning for 22 July, will you confirm that it's at Greentree?  And number two, are all Member States invited, or are groups invited?  And some Member States have said there was a meeting with something called the Group of Friends of the Future of the United Nations.  Is… did that meeting take place?  Because I looked at his schedule, and I never saw it.  Was such a meeting held?  And was it about reform?

Deputy Spokesman:  This meeting on 22 July is part of the effort to discuss the reforms of the United Nations.  It is, in fact, with all Member States, and it's not at a location that I disclosed, but it's in the New York area.

  UNreal. Also that Guterres, who has only held one solo press conference at headquarters since his election, is said to hold none until September, vacation at some undisclosed dates in August. This lack of transparency is not allow of other leaders. We ad FUNCA will have more on this. Diplomats from a number of countries have complained to Inner City Press about it, for example that in the run-up to Guterres' "retreat" with member states on July 22 at the Greentree estate where many of the now-failed UN Cyprus talks took place, there is "no document, no document at all." Instead, there are letters making the rounds: one to Guterres' chief of staff, another offering Guterres support as a European and a shorter US letter. Yes, reform of the UN would require less buck-passing, like Guterres has done on the outrage of the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization helping North Korea with cyanide patents and using criminal defamation law against the press. The need for reform is also shown every day in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe prosecution which Inner City Press has been covering, here. But Guterres has yet to be transparent, or to end censorship by his Secretariat. We'll have more on this.

   It was Dujarric who evicted Inner City Press, and has kept it restricted in its movements in the UN for the more than 200 days so far of Guterres' tenure. On May 25, Inner City Press asked Dujarric again, video here

On May 25, an NGO representative who corresponded "secretly" with Dujarric to get Inner City Press evicted and restricted was allowed onto the UN's second floor without the UN minders imposed on Inner City Press. This is UNtransparent. Why and how has UN censorship continued, without hearing or appeal?


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