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EU Attacks UN Tax and Cyberspace Authority Proposal, D'Escoto Advisers Muse

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

UNITED NATIONS, May 15 -- Faced with the global financial crisis, the Sandinista, former and current Nicaraguan President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d'Escoto Brockman has convened a GA session for June 1, and released his own draft outcome document which proposes a UN Taxation Authority and body to regulate cyberspace.

"This is a subject I don't have any expertise on," d'Escoto said when Inner City Press asked. Video here from Minute 7:25. The European Union, Inner City Press has learned, has written to d'Escoto in protest of his draft, which they say ignores a text that was being negotiated.

   Two d'Escoto advisers held a press conference on the topic on May 14, but instead of addressing the controversy, Michael Clark held forth at length on his ideas of the end of money. As Inner City Press confirmed during Clark's May 1 press conference -- video here from Minute 26:24 --  Clark previously served the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and then lobbied for U.S. companies to get more business in India, in the U.S. - India Business Council. So did he believe in what he was doing then, or now? Apparently it's been an evolution.

  While the May 14 press conference lasted an hour, it was organized in such a way that not all questions, including one on the European Union letter, could be asked.

UN's Ban and D'Escoto, taxation and cyberspace and answers not shown

  Some in the press corps think that d'Escoto is over-briefing about this financial session. But his Office is not even answering the obvious questions. The main spokesman for d'Escoto is away, which may explain it. Previously, Inner City Press has asked his office for d'Escoto's view on carbon offsetting his travel around the world, without receiving an answer.

  D'Escoto himself seems a nice and gentle man. After his press conference -- at the most recent of which he took only three questions, refusing one about the contentious UN Gaza report -- journalists descend on him like locusts for, as one put it, "crazy quotes." Now security officers surrounded d'Escoto as he moves gingerly off the podium. It is all coming to a head: Watch this site.

Footnote / analysis: clearly, there is a need to re-think the under-regulation of finance. But grandstanding and pontificating, and ignoring major blocs drafts of document and then refusing to take questions, seems unlikely to be effective. There are still two weeks to be more effective. Given the importance of the topic, here's hoping.

  On Sri Lanka

 On Friday May 8, Inner City Press asked Deputy Spokesperson Okabe:

Inner City Press: On the invitation by the Government of Sri Lanka to the Secretary-General to visit, is there any progress in thinking? In the alternative, is the Secretary-General, is he considering invoking Article 99 or responsibility to protect or making some other move of some type on the situation in Sri Lanka?

Deputy Spokesperson: I have nothing beyond what we’ve been saying from this podium this week on Sri Lanka, including what the Secretary-General himself has said earlier this week.

   What Ban said did not involve calling for a cease-fire, did not respond to the invitation to visit Sri Lanka, or the accelerating rate of civilians death over the weekend, during which no statement issued about Sri Lanka. Watch this site.

 Channel 4 in the UK with allegations of rape and disappearance

  Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

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