At UN, Chomsky and Ramsey Clark Advise Nicaraguan
Assembly President, Socialists and Socialites, Kennedy Expenses?
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
October 26, updated Oct. 31
-- A mix of leftists
like Noam Chomsky and socialites like Michael and Eleonora Kennedy have
been named special senior advisors to UN General Assembly President
d'Escoto Brockman, Inner City Press has learned. On October
22, Inner City
Press asked the spokesman for d'Escoto, Enrique Yeves, to confirm
leftist Maude Barlow had been named an advisor on water. Yeves said
that her name and others had never been announced. Inner City Press
asked for a
list of advisors, which has now been received.
Chomsky, Slobodan Milosevic defender Ramsey Clark and historian Howard
among those formally advising d'Escoto, a Nicaraguan priest who
served as the Sandinistas foreign minister. (Click here
for a previous Inner City Press story). The list of 15 outside
advisers, and three
from within the UN, includes liberation theologian Leonardo Boff -- but
brother Clovodis, also a theologian -- and Brother
David Andrews of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference,
doctor Kevin Cahill, former Algerian foreign minister Mohammed Bedjaoui and Belgian
sociologist Francois Houtart.
While listed as an outsider,
Olivier De Schutter is concurrently a UN Rapporteur, on the right to
food. The UN personalities include ECLAC
Alicia Barcena -- whose name is misspelled, click here for the
full list as received by Inner City Press-- economist
Jomo Kwame Sundaram, and the Saudi chief of UNFPA Thoraya Obaid, which
strange given Nicaragua's complete ban on abortion.
Michael and Eleonora Kennedy, socialists and socialites advising UN's
Inner City Press asked Yeves if d'Escoto
would comment on Nicaragua's banning of the non-governmental
Oxfam, as a stooge of Western interests. Yeves declined to comment.
D'Escoto previously told
Inner City Press that at the UN, the democratization he is calling for
does not mean openness to the media. One then is left wondering
who is advising d'Escoto on which advisers to select, or who put in a
for the socialites Michael and Eleanor Kennedy, described viewing the
the window of their Central Park South apartment.
We also note the law practice
of Michael Kennedy, son of Robert Kennedy, and that his wife Eleanora
has served on the board of directors of the MADRE organization. Doctor
Cahill is described as having been "caught behind the lines" in Managua.
Inner City Press asked Yeves if any of these
advisers are being compensated, or having their travel and expenses
paid by the
UN. Such so-called Daily Sustenance Allowance payments can told
dollars a day. An answer is anticipated this week.
From the list provided to Inner City Press:
SPECIAL SENIOR ADVISORS TO THE PRESIDENT OF
THE 63RD SESSION OF THE
UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1. Brother David Andrews CSC (USA).
2. Ms. Maude Barlow (Canada).
3. Mr. Mohammed Bedjaoui (Algeria).
4. Mr. Leonardo Boff (Brazil).
5. Mr. Kevin Cahill (USA).
6. Mr. François Houtart (Belgium).
7. Mr. Noam Chomsky (USA).
8. Mr. Ramsey Clark (USA).
9. Mr. Richard Falk (USA).
10. Mr. Michael Kennedy (USA).
11. Ms. Eleonora Kennedy (USA).
12. Mr. Olivier De Schutter (Belgium).
13. Mr. Joseph Stiglitz (USA).
14. Sir John E. Sulston (UK).
15. Mr. Howard Zinn (USA).
From the transcript
of the October 22 UN noon
briefing, video here:
Inner City Press: Did the President name
Maude Barlow of Canada as a
sort of expert on water -- did I miss that?
Inner City Press: Was that announced …?
I think it is
part of the experts he has been calling to help him, and I don’t think
was a formal announcement, because he has many experts who are helping
Inner City Press: Are there experts’ names
who haven’t been announced
Spokesperson: Sure. I think we distributed them at the beginning
of the presidency, but probably you are right -- it was not really
noticed so I
will prepare a full list and distribute it.
Inner City Press: Not to be crass, but does
that kind of status, does
that trigger like daily subsistence allowance, (inaudible) visa, what
purpose of that post?
financial or contractual arrangements involved. These
are senior advisers for the President from
different sectors, different nationalities, who are providing this
of their own initiative, or in agreement with the President of the
Assembly, but without any formal administrative contract or
should be clear.
Inner City Press: If they fly around and go
to meetings, who’s paying --
is the UN paying for that, or are they paying for that?
question -- I can check that for you.
We will await further answers.
Update of October 31 -- a reader we
much respect has questioned the use of the term "leftist" in the
article above. Perhaps we used it too loosely; the irony we aimed at
was that several thinkers who critique the UN from what we perceive to
be the left, or said otherwise, not from the right, are now in line
through d'Escoto to get UN travel and hotel funds. An Under Secretary
General remarked to Inner City Press, about Ramsey Clark being on the
list, that "it is probably consonant with d'Escoto's own thinking."
Which of course is d'Escoto's right. His Office's reasoning in naming
these 15 advisors without making any public announcement seems worthy
of note. But his invitation to, for example, his adviser Joseph
Stiglitz raised the level of debate, click here
for Inner City Press' October 30 story. And keep those comments coming.
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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