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UNGA Begins With Bill Clinton & Edible Insects, Offline Internet, Press Barred By UN DPI

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 17 – Slipped into the UN on the Saturday before General Assembly high level week, in an event listed in the UN Media Alert but from which the Press was barred (video here) was none other than Bill Clinton. So said the master of ceremonies in the UN's ECOSOC Chamber on September 16, fielding questions from Clinton friend Denis O'Brien accused of profiteering in Haiti, where the UN has also failed. On stage were teams of “social entrepreneurs,” with ideas ranging from an archived off-line Internet deemed good enough for refugees, apparently according to UNHCR, and a sort of Uber for rickshaws in Pakistan. A previous winner, purveyor of insect meals to the poor, also spoke. But the UN webstream from ECOSOC went dark before the promised arrival of Clinton. And outside, the machinery of surveillance was being put in place: Inner City Press Periscope here. We'll have more on this. Earlier on September 16 with the UN Media Alert listing a 4:30 pm event about refugees, ostensibly Secretary General Antonio Guterres' signature issue, Inner City Press was stopped from entering the UN, even through the Visitor's Entrance, to cover the event. Two UN Security officers were unaware of the Media Alert or what it was. As the time passed 4:30 pm, their supervisor returned to say that his "boss, Millie McCormack," said the Press could not come in. Video here. No one present from, nor any preparation by, the UN Department of Public Information, now run by Alison Smale who has not responded to numerous petitions to her since September 1, even while attended fashion shows. The UN is both UNprepared and UNfair - including on such issues as Myanmar, Yemen, Burundi and Cameroon. Next up,on September 18, US President Trump, Ambassador Nikki Haley and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the UN's ECOSOC Chamber. September. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric has repeatedly said he will distribute a list of meetings and bilaterals of his boss, his third Secretary General in a row, Antonio Guterres. As of the evening of Friday, September 15 it has not happened. Dujarric tried to limit his "background" briefing at 10 am on September 15 only to his friends in the UN Correspondents Association, a group which accepted advertising funds from Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng's South South News then provided the venue for Ng's photos with Dujarric's previous boss Ban Ki-moon. Now several disgusted UNCA members have forwarded Inner City Press this UNCA bragging, how UNCA has negotiated to exclude the vast majority of journalists covering UNGA from access to the Conference Building: the UNCA members "have access to B1 area with secondary passes AND without cameras...The UNCA chair in the Press Briefing Room now has a plaque alerting visiting media that the seat is reserved." Way to try to let the "visiting media" and the UN-based media which covers corruption know who you think is boss. The bragging concludes, "As in previous years an email was sent to Lt. Eugene Whyte with the NYPD containing the list of the broadcasters who have paid for a spot / fiber connection on Press Island so that media outlets without NYPD passes have access. They are:
TIMA // EUROVISION // CBS // SPHYNX // CCTV // AL JAZEERA // CBC // CNN // BBC //AL ARABIYA // AP // XINHUA // NHK // VOA. Thank you for your attention, UNCA Access, Space and Security Committee" including Sherwin Bryce-Pease, Meilssa Kent,
Nabil Abi Saab, Giampaolo Pioli." This information is sent only to people who pay money. 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.We'll have more on this.


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