World Cup, UN Drop Ball as Street Kids Rounded up, Lemke Moonlights,
June 14 -- In the run up to this month's World Cup, the UN
system tried to make itself relevant, promising to protect children
throughout South Africa, to burnish the image of the Continent, to
have wealth and tourist dollars move to lower income zones.
first game on June 11, Inner City Press asked UNICEF about reports of
the confinement of street children in Durban to quasi Bantustaans,
help centers with out services on the outskirts of the city. UNICEF's
representative promised to look into it and revert, but no answer
titled (but part time) special envoy on sports, Willi Lemke, chided
the press for reporting any negative aspects of the Cup. Now, with
stadium workers protesting being underpaid being met with concussion
grenades and tear gas, where is Mr. Lemke?
the UN job, Inner City Press asked him when he would quit his Werder
Bremen posts in Germany. Now, when Inner City Press asked him to
explain his continued moonlighting on the Werder Bremen board, Lemke
stuttered that it is only part time. How much time? Four day a week,
he said -- quickly changing that to four days a month, or even a
year. Which is it? Could it be a conflict of interest?
UN's Ban and Museveni in Uganda, Durban roundup not shown
June 14, Inner
City Press went to watch the morning's game(s) at the German Mission
to the UN on First Avenue. The Mission had sent out an invitation on
June 10, that all games in the first round would be shown in their
lobby, with food and drink. But as Japan - Cameroon began on Monday
morning, a lone Mission staffer sat in front of a hardly big screen
TV. Maybe later. Watch this site.
the corner (kick) from the German Mission at the Japan
Society, crowds were check in by Japanese Mission staff, presumably
to root against Cameroon in the Society's plush basement. Outside, a
well behaved protest signed letters to Ban Ki-moon about the
Millennium Development Goals. Surely somewhere there is UN document
claiming that the World Cup is promoting the MDGs...
& Uzbek Bloodbath, UN Gave No New Money, Just Along for
June 13 -- In Kyrgyzstan over 100 people have been killed in
the southern region of Osh in what's being described as ethnic
violence. 75,000 Uzbeks have fled Kyrgyzstan, making it a cross
border threat to international peace and security.
Central Asia is
fraught with water wars and border closings, problems that as Inner
City Press has documented, the new United Nations "preventive
diplomacy" center in Turkmenistan has done very little to
president (and former UN
staffer) Roza Otunbayeva asked Russian
President Dmitri Medvedev for military help, he said there was no
legal basis to intervene in this "internal matter." Russia
took this position as tens of thousands of civilians were killed in
Sri Lanka, so what's a hundred Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan?
Otunbayeva's request to the Russia dominated regional group
Collective Security Treaty Organization, made up of former Soviet
republics including Uzbekistan and Belarus, where overthrown
President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, is in exile.
say that it is
Bakiyev, his family and supporters who have stirred up ethnic strife
in order to return to power, or to create a diversion from attempts
to prosecute Bakiyev for corruption and for killings by security
forces during his tenure. There had been a request for UN help with
an investigation of and tribunal on Bakiyev, but then no follow
the UN's Regional Center for Preventative Diplomacy announced loudly
that the UN would give $12 million for elections in Kyrgyzstan. But
when Inner City Press inquired it was told by the UN that
your Q&A with Martin earlier this week on UNDP/Kyrgyzstan...
the $12 million refers to projects already being or to be implemented
in the immediate period leading up to elections in order to help
address the constitutional crisis facing the country (i.e.
constitutional referendum and elections) and to support the country’s
most vulnerable groups that are directly affected by the situation -
the kind of groups being helped include rural youth, students, women,
and unemployed in all provinces of the country."
it was no new
money at all.
UN's Ban and Speaker of Kyrgyz Parliament on
violence against women, Uzbeks not shown
Now on June
13, the UN puts out a statement that
said the United Nations was urgently assessing
humanitarian aid needs. The Secretary-General and the OSCE
Chairman-in-Office agreed their respective special envoys and that of
the European Union would coordinate their response to the crisis. The
three envoys are either ready in Bishkek or on their way."
is Jan Kubis
there or not? Jenca? And who is talking to Bakiyev? Watch this site.
Ambassador to the UN, meanwhile, has been most focused
on his country's water war with Tajikistan. He recently called Inner
City Press aside about a Tajik water event at which, he said, the
Tajik government cravenly paid all travel and hotel expenses. We have
other questions pending about Uzbekistan, including with UNICEF. Stay
* * *
Met Otunbayeva Twice Before Bakiyev Was Toppled, Johnny
April 15 -- Days after the UN refused to answer if Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon met with Rosa Otunbayeva before she replaced
President Bakiyev as ruler of Kyrgyzstan, then referred only to a meeting
by Ban's political advisor Lynn Pascoe, Inner City Press
learned that Ban attended two meeting with Ms. Otunbayeva, before
City Press that Ban attended two meetings, one closed and an open one
with parliamentarians, at which Otunbayeva spoke to him. While Ban
did not do a projected media availability on April 15 after he
briefed the Security Council on his Central Asia trip, Inner City
Press caught up with Lynn Pascoe in his wake.
asked Pascoe to confirm or deny that Ban met twice with Otunbayeva.
To his credit, Pascoe confirmed it. There were three things, he said.
The first, the S-G with parties, opposition parties, Rosa Otunbayeva
spoke. And then with the parliament. In the first, she raised the
question of opposition folks who were demonstrating. The S-G said,
I'm going to be taking meetings, I have Pascoe. So I did it.
Farhan Haq, when Inner City Press asked in
Ban had met Otunbeyeva, said he would not comment on the new leader.
when Inner City Press asked Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesman,
Nesirky mentioned only the Pascoe meeting. He used the word
"singular," which no longer makes sense: there was more
than one opposition leader met with, and more than one meeting, even
UN's Ban and Bakiyev, just before his
overthrow, Otunbayeva meetings not disclosed
April 12, Inner
City Press asked
a "readout on what opposition leaders did
the UN delegation meet with while in Kyrgyzstan?"
I think it is singular rather than plural, and it was Ms.
Otunbayeva. This was a meeting with about half a dozen
representatives, mostly journalists and including Ms. Otunbayeva. This
took place during the Secretary-General’s visit. The
Secretary-General was in other meetings, and he asked Mr. Pascoe and
a number of other advisers who were travelling in that delegation to
Central Asia to meet with them and they were then able to report to
the Secretary-General on the conversation.
Press: Did they make any predictions? Or is it possible to get
kind of a readout of what was discussed at the meeting?
I do not think it is possible to have a readout of that meeting
in itself, because that goes beyond normal diplomatic practice.
asked Pascoe about this on April 15, that his meeting was with
"mostly journalists." Pascoe said, "I saw that and I
cringed a little bit, there were several opposition figures."
some it appears
that the UN is playing down -- to put it diplomatically -- Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon's pre-overthrow meetings with opposition leader
why? Some point
to the obvious double standards of having denounced the ouster of
President Zelaya from Honduras and the leader of Niger, but not this.
On that, we will continue to report. Watch this site.
Footnote: the split
between Pascoe and the UN spokespeople is highlighted, not to
discourage Pascoe from saying what happened, but to encourage the
Interim Leader Worked for UN, No Comment from UN, Pending Kubis
April 8 -- With the world temporarily focused on or at
least looking at Kyrgyzstan, much of the focus has been on new
"interim" leader Rosa Otunbayeva. One salient fact,
however, has been missed: Rosa Otunbayeva has worked for the UN, in
Georgia, from 2002 to 2004.
went back and found a
quote from Rosa Otunbaeva:
head Roza Otunbayeva said she hoped that both sides would
still make an attempt to give concessions in order to advance the
talks, and she pledged continued support from the United Nations. "The
U.N. will do everything possible to create conditions
conducive to trust and constructive work," she said (Kuchuberia,
Inner City Press asked UN Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq
new [interim] leader of Kyrgyzstan is a former senior UN official,
having served as the Deputy and Acting SRSG in UNOMIG during the
previous SG's tenure. Does the Secretary-General believe that the new
leader is someone he can work with, given her UN credentials?
as the SG announced, Jan Kubis will travel there tomorrow
as his special envoy. We will await his travel and meetings as we
evaluate the situation in the country; we wouldn't have any comment
on the leadership there at present."
Kyrgyz question, can the UN confirm that the current 'interim'
leader of Kyrgyzstan is a former Acting UNSRSG? And has the current
SG or his staff had any communications with her prior or subsequent
to the fall of the Baliev Government yesterday?"
that close observers say that Ms. Otunbayeva was chosen as interim
leader due to her "international connections."
with then UNSG Annan, Ban Ki-moon's Kyrgyz visit not shown
But the UN's
wouldn't comment on the leadership in Kyrgyzstan while Jan Kubis
prepares his visit. I can confirm that Rosa Otunbayeva had been
Deputy SRSG for UNOMIG from 2002 to 2004. "
can possible next UN Secretary General Jan Kubis perform in
Kyrgyzstan? Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
S-453A, UN, NY 10017
Inner City Press are listed here,
and some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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