Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

In OCHA Race, ICP's Told of Interview Panel, Red Cross, S. Africa in Mix

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, February 12, more here, Video I here -- After Inner City Press reported on UK Prime Minister David Cameron's angry or "rude" call to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and more than a month after Inner City Press exclusively reported on Cameron's second and third nominees to replace Valerie Amos, then on a United Arab Emirates candidate, on February 12 Inner City Press learned more about the selection process.

  Beyond Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson, who as on many similar issues Ban Ki-moon has put in charge of this process, Inner City Press is informed that the interview panel consists of two senior UN officials and two outside officials, including "the Swiss chief of the International Committee of the Red Cross."
   That would be Peter Maurer, formerly Switzerland's Ambassador to the UN. As one source put it, this puts the UK with its "weak" candidates "even further behind the eight ball."

   Non-UK candidates, as Inner City Press has already first reported, include Germany's Martin Kobler, the United Arab Emirates' Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi -- for whom Ban was heavily lobbied when he was in the UAE recently -- and, Inner City Press now hears, "a South African candidate." We'll have more on this.

 Back on February 9 Inner City Press asked the UN more about the process, and a protest:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask a follow-up on the replacement of Valerie Amos.  The group Avaaz has said that it has collected 70,000 signatures saying that Andrew Lansley is not qualified to head OCHA. I wanted to know whether the UN is aware of that petition, what they think of it, and also how the selection process jibes with what the Secretary-General said in the UAE, which is that people should be involved in decision-making.  What is the process for which either aid groups or individuals that are beneficiaries of UN humanitarian assistance have to impact this important decision?

Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq:  The Secretary-General stands by what he said.  The Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, is in charge of the process of determining a successor and is relying on people both inside and outside the system in terms of helping with that determination.  Beyond that, we wouldn't have much detail to give until a selection is made.  Regarding the petition:  Yes, the United Nations has received that petition.

Inner City Press:  And will the candidates be interviewed generally, I’m asking generally?  And two, is Martin Kobler in the final list?

Deputy Spokesman Haq:  I wouldn't confirm any names of candidates.  There is a list of candidates, and there are people who will be interviewed, yes.  And with that, Mr. Šimonovic, please come up. (video here, transcript here.)

 Meanwhile, UK Channel 4 today reported that a decision will be made this week.

  Citing Inner City Press' exclusive reporting on  Caroline Spelman and Stephen O'Brien, the UK's second round of candidates after opposition to Andrew Lansley, C4's Lindsey Hilsum says Germany's candidate Martin Kobler led in a poll of 200 UN staff by Avaaz.

  Whatever the other merits, there is now another unaddressed scandal at the UN Mission in the DR Congo, MONUSCO, which Kobler is in charge of. As exclusively uncovered by Inner City Press, UN Police posts in Kobler's mission were for sale, by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Cote d'Ivoire to the UN. Click here for that.

  Inner City Press 24 hours before this report sought comment and explanation -- particularly for the UN having sat on this report since April of 2014 -- from Kobler and MONUSCO, but so far, nothing.

  Shouldn't Kobler have to answer? Watch this site.

   Back on January 14, Inner City Press was informed by sources of a minister from the United Arab Emirates, Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi, a member of the ruling family of Sharjah, put forward as a candidate by the UAE. The UAE has, it was noted,, the "Humanitarian City." And the UAE did give $1 million to OCHA's CERF last month.

  But the UAE sought, and has been unable to obtained, UN Asia Pacific Group consensus support for their candidate. This is a set-back.

The UK's second duo of candidates, after opposition to Andrew Lansley: Caroline Spelman and Stephen O'Brien. Are those who oppose and opposed Lansley being lobbied?

  Germany's candidate Martin Kobler, a close observer emphasizes to Inner City Press that Kobler was for a time the UN's first choice to be UN Special Coordinator on the Middle East, before after opposition by a Permanent Five Security Council member the position went to Robert Serry.

  Now Serry is to be replaced by Nickolay Mladenov, currently UN envoy in Iraq. The UK -- seeming to reflect a lack of confidence it will retain OCHA -- sought to name one of its national to replace Mladenov, but was shot down by Iraq. That process is now in its final stages.

  While Inner City Press exclusively published the Mladenov to Serry switch before midnight in New York on January 30, eleven hours later one of the board members of the UN Censorship Alliance put it out without any credit at all. That's UNCA - Inner City Press quit and co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access, after attempts at censorship and refusal of UNCA's board to issue even guidance about not stealing exclusives. Call it sleaze.

  Back on November 26, minutes after the UN announced the departure of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs chief Baroness Valerie Amos, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq if the vacancy would be advertised for candidates from all countries, or if it is set aside for Amos' United Kingdom.

  On January 30 Inner City Press was reliable informed that UK Prime Minister David Cameron telephoned Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and said -- "rudely," according to denizens of the UN's 38th floor -- that despite the UK's submission of two additional names, below, Ban "must" pick Andrew Lansley.

  These sources say that Ban, as if to prove independence, will NOT choose Lansley but will keep the post UK, choosing on a progressive basis the female candidate, Caroline Spelman. Are those opposed to Lansley being lobbied for her?

  We'll have more on this.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]