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To IOM's Swing ICP Asks Of Aussie Push to Nauru Then Cambodia, Noise

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 19 -- As the UN's summit on refugees and migrants began, Inner City Press asked the International Organization for Migration's William Swing about IOM's dubious participation in Australia confinement of refugees in Nauru, then transfer with IOM participation to Cambodia. Periscope video here.

Swing called this a “stereotype,” and insisted IOM's Nauru role is "extremely limited" and that it only does things voluntarily. But when detention or deportation are the alternatives, can thing be said to be voluntary?

And if IOM charged Australia $15 million, how limited is that?

   With Swing was Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who was visibly angry at how noisy the stakeout was. Well, it was his and Ban's head of Public Information Cristina Gallach who put it there, either unaware or not caring about the level of noise from the security checkpoint right next to it. Explanatory Periscope here.

 It's like the prohibition on drinking even water in the “Media Centre,” while water flows freely on the 38th floor. We'll have more on this.

Earlier, Inner City Press asked the President of the General Assembly's 70th session Mogens Lykketoft, why seven non-governmental organizations had been BANned from participating. Periscope video here; UN letter here.

Lykketoft said, in essence, those are the (UN) rules. Inner City Press asked him if at least the identity of the countries who had done the blocking -- for example Morocco for Independent Diplomat -- could be named. No, he said. This is today's UN.

  The Friday before UN General Assembly week starts in earnest, reporters at the UN were told of some of the upcoming meetings and how, despite restrictions, to cover them.

Inner City Press asked the head of the UN's Department of Public Information Cristina Gallach why DPI says the non-resident correspondents, the vast majority of journalists covering the UN, will be placed in basement Conference Room 1 where no only food and beverages but even water is not allowed.

   Gallach's reply cited to “professionalism” and rules, both of which she invoked when she ousted and then evicted Inner City Press from the UN earlier this year.

Ironically, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric less that an hour later explained having violated the rules (about those without cameras not attending photo ops) so that South Korean print journalists could witness Ban's speech to politicians visiting from Seoul.

The UN's rules are selectively implied, in this case to censor.

  Last October 19, 2015 Inner City Press asked Gallach about her attendance at the South South Awards of Ng Lap Seng, the Macau-based businessman under house arrest for bribery at the UN.

  On September 16, Inner City Press asked Gallach about the since-released Office of Internal Oversight Services audit, which found that her DPI did not due diligence on events by Ng Lap Seng fundees.

  Gallach said that the outside event - the case in Federal court - is being followed. So Inner City Press asked for her response to testimony in the case that South South News, which unlike Inner City Press the rule-invoking Gallach left in its UN office despite or because of it not asking any questions at the UN, was named as a “conduit of bribery.” This, she did not answer.

   After the briefing, which included film maker Richard Curtis whom Inner City Press asked about the Next SG race, Gallach's staffer asked for further information about the water(less) issue.

  Inner City Press added the exclusion of non-resident correspondents from access to the UN's EZTV which shows more events than the UN webcast. See flier here of the Free UN Coalition for Access, also ejected and sign torn down under Gallach. What will change? We'll see. Watch this site.


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