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As UN Silent on Occupy Wall Street, Ban Added B of A Chair to His Energy Group

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 13 -- On protests taking place less then 100 blocks south of the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has had no comment for ten days.

  Back on October 3, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky if there was any UN comment on the arrest of 700 non-violent protesters. No, Nesirky said, "I don’t have anything immediate for you. If I get something then I would certainly let you know."

  The UN has said nothing since. On October 11, Inner City Press reported on an Occupy Wall Street action targeting Bank of America largely for its involvement in funding mountain top removal coal mining. Click here for video from Inner City Press.

Protest of Bank of America across from Zuccotti Park, (c) MRLee

   On October 13, Inner City Press asked Nesirky why Ban had, only on September 20, 2011, named Bank of American chairman Charles O. Holliday Jr. to the UN's High Level Group on Sustainable Energy Access. Video here, from Minute 41:18.

  Was Ban aware of the mountain top coal mining issues at Holliday's Bank of America? What does Ban think of mountain top removal?

  Nesirky's response was that Ban took part in a conference in Norway about sustainable energy. Inner City Press asked for a response to the critique that Ban naming Holliday to the UN position was inconsistent with sustainable energy, given Bank of America's record. Video here, from Minute 43:40.

Holliday of Bank of America to left of Ban - reflecting badly on both?

"I heard you the first time," Nesikry said. But did he? The request for UN comment on Occupy Wall Street was made by Inner City Press ten days ago. Is Ban Ki-moon's UN blind?

  Ban's UN certainly doesn't like to answer questions. Consider:

Ban Ki-Moon doesn't deign to talk about pop stars. On Saturday, the United Nations' secretary general observed the 20th anniversary of South Korea's admission to the UN with a press reception at its consulate on E. 45th St. Among the guests were some Korean pop acts, including DBSK and 4 Minute. Ban thanked them for coming and accepted a CD from one artist, but his receptiveness did not extend to what we think was a legit question about his teeny bopper guests. When The News' David Yi asked Ban why it was important for the acts to be there, he reports the UN chief turned away and three of his handlers "pushed" him aside. "How dare you ask a question like that to the UN secretary general?" said one. Seriously? [Click here, last item.]

  Inner City Press has twice asked the UN to confirm or deny, and which security was involved: South Korean mission security? No answer at all.

Footnote: After just returning from Norway, Denmark and Sweden, Ban head tonight to Washington for President Obama's reception for South Korea's president. Then Ban head to Switzerland. Will protesters catch up with him?

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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

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