Ki-moon Moves For 2d UN Term, Human Rights Groups Go Silent To Keep
Access, Press Controlled
June 13 -- Ban Ki-moon has been subject to critiques for
being weak on human rights for nearly all of his four and a half
years as UN Secretary General. While such weakness is surely a
comfort to many UN member states, to others at least on paper it
should be a problem, in supporting him for a second term.
So how did
Ban seek to turn this around?
way is to
control what people say. In the run-up to Ban's drive for a second
term, Human Rights Watch had been critical of Ban's record. But
after HRW director Kenneth Roth met with Ban this Spring, and Inner
City Press asked HRW on the record if Roth had brought up Ban's record
Sudan or Sri Lanka, the response by HRW's UN Director,a former
preserve our ability to have frank discussions with UN officials and
advance our advocacy goals, we don't typically communicate on the
content of discussions we have with them.”
course, should not condition listening to or acting on human rights
concerns on the silence of their interlocutors. (Separately, it is
unclear to whom HRW would communicate what it raised: only donors?)
non-answer, delivered less than ten days before the June 6 campaign
kick off for a second term as UN Secretary General, is certainly
better for Ban.
Ban & book; rights communications withheld to keep access
Spring a group of ethnic Tamils came to the UN trying to deliver a
petition calling for an international investigation into what they --
and Ban's own Panel of Experts -- call the killing of tens of
thousands of Tamil civilians by Sri Lanka's government.
City Press to cover their demonstration across First Avenue from
Ban's office. The Ban administration told them that a mid level
official would be willing to accept the handover of their petition in
the lobby of the UN General Assembly, but that no members of the
press should be among their group.
stood to the side, to not hear anything that was said, and took two
photographs of the handover. Shortly thereafter, Inner City Press
was told that if photos of the handover were published, the Ban
administration would not meet again with that group.
are in the wider world worse ways to silence people. But questions
as to whether these actions are appropriate to the UN, not only for
the past five years, but for five to come. Watch this site.
* * *
1 Candidate Anointment, Global Model UN Had 10, Staff Union Charged
With Just What Ban Does
June 11 -- With the UN Secretary
General for the next five
years about to be anointed with only one candidate and no
competition, the ironies abound. Even the Global Model United
had ten candidates to lead its upcoming meeting in Incheon, South Korea.
a June 10
briefing, Inner City Press asked the winner, Tatiana Makarova of the
Russian Federation, about the competition. As
written up by the UN
itself, “Asked how she had been selected to be Secretary-General
and if there had been more than one candidate, Ms. Makarova said that
10 people had been nominated from around the world in a long and
difficult process. Debates and interviews had followed.”
by contrast, there have been no debates at all. He made his pitch in
closed door meetings with regional groups, and now awaits a Security
Council rubber stamp vote on June 16, when he won't even be in the
country but rather visiting Security Council member Brazil.
nation's Permanent Representative told Inner City Press later on June
10, “once the Big Five signed off on Ban, it was a done deal, the
rest of us are just window dressing.” He referred to the second
stamp, even more rubber, set for the General Assembly on June 21.
competition, sources in Ban's office tell Inner City Press that
recently the re-appointment has been the focus of that offices work,
putting pressure on member states to get instructions from their
capitals within 24 hours and issue statements.
Deal signed for GMUN in Incheon, other deals not shown
contested UN Staff Union election held from June 7-9, the incumbents
who have been critical of Ban are
charged with using their UN offices on 48th Street for campaigning -
meanwhile, Ban's Office just to the south has long been devoted to
politicking. What could happen, before June 16 and 21? Watch this
* * *
Ban Ki-moon 2d Term Set June 16 in Council, June 21 in GA
June 10 -- The final steps of the one
reannointment of Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General have now been
scheduled. The Security Council met behind closed doors on June 10
and decided that they will vote -- or merely “gavel” -- Ban has
their single recommendation on June 16.
they say, the
General Assembly will take final action on June 21. There was no such
scheduling of date for other candidates to be presented, as even the
International Monetary Fund did. The IMF said candidates by today,
June 10, interviews and a decision by June 30.
the UN, Ban
announced on June 6 in a press conference at which Inner City Press
asked him if he didn't think there should be more than one candidate,
given what he's said about democracy and the Arab Spring. Ban said
it's up to member states.
Ban & Assad, both in the news, one set to be re-annointed
closed door meetings with regional groups, Inner City Press asked
Ban's spokesman Nesirky if he would be giving a speech or taking
questions in the General Assembly.
back to the meetings with regional groups and others, all of which
were behind closed doors. Those, apparently, were the interview,
except for commitments the Permanent Five members who could block Ban
those working for the UN there is dissatisfaction with Ban for making
the UN lower profile, less independent, more partisan. Many diplomats
too, have voiced that, for example when the scathing review of Ban by
outgoing Office of Internal Oversight chief Inga Britt Ahlenius was
in the world
of diplomacy, once the fix is in few see an upside to speaking out.
“What can we do?” one Latin American country's Permanent
Representative asked Inner City Press.
the Permanent Five members, and clearly they like a relatively quiet
and pliant Secretary General. To go otherwise would be akin to
allowing a sixth veto. And so it goes.
* * *
Ban Pushes for 2d Term, Sees No Need or Time for Other
6 -- Ban Ki-moon on Monday told the press he is seeking
a second term as UN Secretary General. Inner City Press asked Ban
he thought the UN should have a more formal process of soliciting
more than one candidate, holding interviewed, developing a short
“It's up to
member states,” Ban said, then said it would be natural if both the
Security Council and the General Assembly took up his request for a
second term this week, while the Presidents of Nigeria and Gabon are
at the UN. So, no time for any other candidates to declare.
intends to meet
with the African Group Monday at 3, then on Tuesday with the Eastern
European states then Western European and Other Group and GRULAC.
was to tell the Asia Group, at a breakfast Monday morning, that he
wants a second term. Ban said they have supported him.
press conference, Inner City Press interviewed a Deputy Permanent
Representative who attended the meeting. He said that no vote was
taken, but rather “acclamation.”
Ban & Gaddafi: one candidate elections not shown
Press asked if Sri
Lanka spoke, and the DPR said yes, Syria as well. He did not see any
North Korea representative in the room, he said. We will have more
pm -- US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo,
exiting the Security Council, answered about Ban second term by
saying the US will be issuing a statement. In the IMF race, Timothy
Geithner hedges on whether US supports Christine Lagarde, there being
a Mexican candidate Agostin Carstens in the race. So why this
one-candidate process at the UN?
for Mar 1, '11
BloggingHeads.tv re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption
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
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
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.