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Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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For UNFPA Top Job Two More Names, As Guterres "Meddles" Before Today's Interviews

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series

UNITED NATIONS, September 12 – The UN system is moving to find a successor at the UN Population Fund for Babatunde Osotimehin, who died suddenly earlier this year. Inner City Press was exclusively informed by sources that the goal is to name a successor before the upcoming UN General Assembly high level week - for which the UN is both UNprepared and UNfair - and that the finalists range from Costa Rica and Panama to Senegal and a Belgian in Kenya. Now Inner City Press is informed of two more candidates, Kate Gilmore and Jose Miguel Guzman of the Dominican Republic; the sources say that while Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed was running the process, now Secretary General Antonio Guterres has "gotten involved... Interviews are September 12 (via video feed), but process is very opaque with missions being told people are in, out, in again....Amina is responsible but Guterres meddling as well and it seems pressure back and forth between these two." We'll have more on this; neither has acted on the UN censorship they inherited and their new head of Global Communications Alison Smale hasn't even responded. Strange that the only media reporting on this UNFPA / 38th floor dysfunction is the media slated to be more restricted during General Assembly week than no-show state media like Egypt's Akhbar al Yom (as Egypt runs hard to run, what else, UNESCO.) This is UNacceptable and must be re. The first four candidates Inner City Press named in its September 9 exclusive: Costa Rica second vice president Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, Acting Executive Director Natalia Kanem, Belgian in Kenya Marleen Timmerman, and Senegal's Awa Marie Coll-Seck of Roll Back Malaria is short-listed. But when would the winner actually begin? We'd ask, but Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric literally runs out of the UN Press Briefing Room mid-question, video here. The UN is both unprepared and unfair in the run-up to the 72nd General Assembly high level week, which the UN brags will include 90 heads of state, five vice presidents, 36 heads of government, 3 deputy prime ministers and 55 ministers. At a background briefing on September 8, a UN Department of Public Information official told Inner City Press that the current nearly-useless wifi Internet “should” be fixed in time, and that “there will be a secondary pass for RC to go to basement area, 1B, limited to resident correspondents” - a group of less than 200 of the several thousand journalist the UN says are coming. Inner City Press asked, Why are these passes limited in that way? The UN official said, “That's the arrangement with Security and with the UNCA [UN Correspondents Association] because we have to find some distinction.” So the UN let a group of at most 200 insiders limit the access of thousands of other journalists, with no transparency. This Department of Public Information has been headless since April 1; New York Times journalist Alison Smale was named by Secretary General Antonio Guterres as replacement but has apparently not arrived: she has not answered e-mailed questions about these elitist “distinctions.” Actually, the 200 UNCA insiders include numerous rarely seen state media, for example Akhbar al Yom from Sisi's Egypt, making the “distinction” all the more telling. Similarly, when Inner City Press was for assurance that at least the UN Press Briefing Room would be open to all journalists, the UN official said while missions are told that, there is no guarantee, the Media Accreditation office does not make the bookings. Those are done by the UN Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, who has a history as noted by the Free UN Coalition for Access of "lending" the UN Press Briefing Room to the president of his native France, and to UNCA, evicting the Press which tried to cover the event with Periscope. The UN is closing in on itself, while bragging about all the important people coming to see it. The reformed needed at the UN go well beyond those alluded to in the pre-signed outcome document of the September 18 event. That reform event, tellingly, is not even mentioned on the UN's list so far of UNGA72 events: 12 September: Opening of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly (Preliminary list of items in the provisional agenda); 18 September: High-Level Meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; 19-25 September: General Debate of the General Assembly 72nd Session; 20 September: Signing Ceremony of the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; 20 September: Security Council High Level Meeting: Reform of UN peacekeeping, implementation and follow-up; 26 September: High-level plenary meeting to promote and commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons; 27-28 September: High -level meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (resolution 71/287). Watch this site.


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