Inner City Press


In Other Media-e.g. Somalia, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia   For further information, click here to contact us          .

Home -

Search is just below this first article

How to Contact Us


Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"

Inner City Press Podcast --

In Ban's UN, Sun Myung Moon's Paper is Praised, While Gambari Raises Him Funds, WFP Demurs

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

UNITED NATIONS, June 5, updated June 8 with Gambari confirmation --  Fresh off finding in UN Headquarters a conference for corporations charging a $1000 entrance fee, on June 4 Inner City Press asked UN Under Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari about his June 8 speech at an event fundraising up to $20,000 per table. The sponsor of the event is the Sun Myung Moon-founded World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations. When Inner City Press told Mr. Gambari of this connection, he expressed surprised, then gratitude for the ongoing heads-up.

            But now it appears that the green light for Sun Myung Moon may come from the top of the UN. To the 25th anniversary celebration of the Sun Myung Moon-owned Washington Times on May 17, Ban  Ki-moon sent his commendations that "for the past quarter of a century, The Washington Times has championed the values of democracy and a free press." Sun-myung Moon's "Family Federation for World Peace and Unification" bragged about Ban Ki-moon's statement, and Mr. Ban's Deputy Spokesperson confirmed and provided his May 17 statement to Inner City Press on Tuesday.

            It is beyond the scope of this article, for now, to question the Sun Myung Moon empire's commitment to democracy, given its entanglements with dictators from Paraguay to Bolivia. It is worth noting again that Moon, Sun Myung, not Ban-ki, has been quoted in Time magazine that "the present U.N. must be annihilated by our power. That is the stage for Communists. We must make a new U.N."

            It was on that basis that Inner City Press in late 2006 inquired into then-World Food Program candidate, now WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran Shiner's 20-year open connection with the Sun Myung Moon "family." While Inner City Press has held off further inquiry with WFP on the issue -- the same is not true of others, further discussed here -- it will be interesting to see whether Ibrahim Gambari in fact makes his June 8 fundraising appearance, and if so what he says.

Mr. Ban and Mr. Gambari

Inner City Press does not have $20,000 or the other fees required to attend Friday's event, but notes this from Tuesday's noon briefing transcript:

Inner City Press: Down in the basement, yesterday and today, there's this conference called the World Diversity Leadership Summit, and it's being sponsored by the United Nations, by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG).  I tried to attend yesterday but they said it's a closed meeting.  It actually costs $1,000 to attend this conference.  I'm wondering what the UN's policy is on giving its facilities for a for-profit conference, costing $1,000?

Deputy Spokesperson:  I am not aware of this conference, so I'd have to look into that for you.

Question:  If you could, that would be good.  Because it says EOSG right at the top, hosted by the EOSG, and then "entry fee $1,000."

Deputy Spokesperson:  Thanks for the tip off.  I'll look into it for you.

[After the briefing, correspondents were informed that the conference, which is co-sponsored by the Global Compact, is open to the media and United Nations community free of charge.]

            What about Mr. Gambari's speech at a fundraiser hosted by Sun Myung Moon's WANGO?

Update of June 8 -- At the UN noon briefing on June 7, Inner City Press formally asked Ban Ki-moon's Deputy Spokesperson about Mr. Gambari's slated speech, and about the review process before such invitations are accepted. On June 8, five minutes before the noon briefing, the following arrived:

Subj: Re:  Gambari-Wango, thanks
From: [Deputy Spokesperson at]
To: Inner City Press
Date: 6/8/2007 11:55:09 AM Eastern Standard Time

Mr Gambari says he was invited by the President of WANGO who is well known to him but he was unaware of WANGO's affiliation to Moon. Moreover, they are to honor several African NGOs and he would be joining the event in a personal capacity as an African and perhaps in connection with my previous work on Africa.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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

Search WWW Search

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service.

            Copyright 2006-07 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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