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Inner City Press Podcast --

At the UN, An Absurd No at the Stakeout, Auditor Brodeur Is Sought, No Comment on Drowned Haitians

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, May 10 -- "Absurdno," said Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN Ambassador. He said this was the answer of Serbs displaced from Kosovo to being told that they didn't want to return. "Their response was immediate and emotional," Amb. Churkin said, describing a meeting during the Security Council's recent trip to the region. "They want to go back."

            Inner City Press had asked about a statement made earlier by Slovakia's Ambassador Peter Burian, the questions of the internally displaced and of the Kosovo precedent must be addressed. U.S. Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters that the votes are there for independence, if Russia does not veto. (One wag said this was be an absurd "no.") Each day the time of decision grows closer.

            At Thursday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked spokesperson Michele Montas:

Inner City Press: And also, and this may be slightly, there's been this report of a ship of people leaving Haiti that was rammed by Turks and Caicos -- that's the report -- and many people drowned.  There's a discussion that something may be filed with the UN or not.  Does the Secretary-General, the Secretariat or you have any comment on this event in international waters?

Spokesperson:  I think it is a tragedy, and we have no specific comment on -- this is essentially an issue right now between Turks and Caicos Islands and Haiti.


Inner City Press: This is a request to get the Head of the Board of Auditors, Mr. Brodeur.  Spent a lot of time yesterday trying to find him down in the basement, he was in different rooms.  But is there some way to get, not only on the North Korea-UNDP audit, but on a variety of things on which he audits the UN, to get somebody from the Board of Auditors...

Spokesman:  Yes, you asked that question before, Matthew Lee, and I said yes, it is possible, and they are open to coming and answering questions.  The problem is that they have to get the agreement of the other members of the Board to do so.  And as soon as I get something I will let you know about when they will coming and if they will be coming.  But they have expressed their willingness to talk about different issues that you’ve been asking about concerning the Board of Auditors.

Correspondent:  OK.  But given that he's the head…

Spokesperson:  But you know, chasing him in the basement is not probably the solution, the way to do it.

            While omitted from the transcript, Inner City Press repeated that Mr. Brodeur should come to the briefing room, as Ms. Montas said he is " to coming and answering questions." We'll see.

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