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On Migration, UN Calls Puerto Rico a Country, UNclear on Somaliland

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 11 -- When the UN reported on Migrants by Origin and Destination on Wednesday, they listed Puerto Rico to the US among the Top ten country-specific corridors, 2013.

Inner City Press asked John Wilmoth, the director of UN-DESA's Population Division, how the decision was made to list Puerto Rico as a country -- noting that some there certainly want that -- and whether for example Somaliland or Puntland have such designation.

  Wilmoth said that there are 232 "countries or areas." Inner City Press asked who decides which areas get separately listed -- the UN Department of Political Affairs?

  Wilmoth indicated the Statistics Division; afterward his colleague Bela Hovy told Inner City Press to just look at the glossy poster distributed as it lists the 232 countries and areas.

  But who decides?

  The UN has for example tried to dismiss Somaliland, unilaterally giving its airspace to Mogadishu until, after protest, the decision was reversed. Which area has more of the indicia of separateness? Or how is the decision made?

  Inner City Press asked asked about Australia's policy, announced by the just-lost Kevin Rudd, of sending all refugees and asylum seeks to Papau New Guinea. Inner City Press previously asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson if Ban had any comment, having taken Rudd's ground-cover or blue-wash telephone call about it. No, there was no Ban comment.

  And perhaps UN Secretariat comments have been Banned -- Wilmoth and Hovy sure had none.

Footnote: The moderator automatically gave the first question to Pamela Falk of CBS as UNCA's 2013 president. Falk began by saying she hadn't read the study, then asked if there was any Syria connection. It has become clear that she goes only in order to get or take the first question, even when this makes it impossible for other journalist who actually have questions to get called on.

Combined with the stealth trolling, work stealing and attempts to destroy others' business pattern of Falk's UNCA in 2013, this continued UNCA first question is UNacceptable. Watch the Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info. Watch this site.


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