Ban Has No Comment on Himalayan Glacier Gaffe, Doesn't Rely on IPCC
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 3 -- With various ice research related scandals
opening up around UN
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's signature issue of climate change,
Inner City Press on Wednesday asked his spokesman Martin Nesirky for
Ban's views on the misleading of the public about the melting of
While Nesirky dodged the question, Ban's climate
change advisor later in the day told Inner City Press that Ban may
have something to say later on the topic. Meanwhile Doctor Pachauri,
with no guidance from Ban, it attacking those who question him,
refusing to answer questions or apologize. From the UN's
transcription of its February 3 noon briefing, video here:
Nesirky: Last question, Matthew.
City Press: There has been a lot of controversy around the finding of
the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) about the
Himalayan glaciers, and they have essentially back-tracked and said
that they apologized; it was unverified information. Mr. Pachauri
has said he won’t apologize. But, I wonder what, given the
importance of climate change and the IPCC to the Secretary-General’s
agenda, what does he make of this controversy and how can the IPCC
process be reformed to not create this kind of controversy on the
The Secretary-General is obviously aware of these reports and what’s
been happening in the last few days and weeks. But, you know,
ultimately it’s for the IPCC to address this. It’s for the IPCC
to talk about this, and they have talked about this in some detail.
They have said that they regret what happened, and reaffirming their
strong commitment to a high level of performance in their reporting
and so on. So, therefore, it’s not really for the
Secretary-General to weigh in on this specific report. There are many
reports, there are many other aspects to the work on climate change,
which is absolutely vital, as you’ve mentioned; it’s one of his
priorities. So, I think that the most important thing is to focus on
the road to Mexico and how you can improve the prospects for that
meeting and what needs to be done between now and then.
City Press: [inaudible] because… in the last 24 hours… Mr.
IPCC regrets, Matthew, IPCC regrets.
So, I mean, Mr. Pachauri says he wasn’t responsible for it. So, I
guess what I’m saying is, who is in charge of the agency on which
Ban Ki-moon rests his, you know, the case has been made by that
UN's Ban and Pachauri, no one responsible for Glacier-Gate, novel
No, no, Matthew, the Secretary-General does not rest his case purely
on the IPCC. There is an enormous body of evidence and information
out there from various different sources, not just from the IPCC,
however important that may be. And an error in one report does not
undermine the entire science that is clearly proven.
So who apologized
-- the IPCC's website? To have nothing to say about the various
scandals surrounding the IPCC and Pachauri seems strange. It's why
some say Ban is now shifted to rolling the dice on a trip to North
Korea -- our next story, forthcoming.
The UN's and Ban's climate unit under Janos Pasztor, which was told
there was no room for it in the UN's Temporary North Lawn Conference
Building where Ban has his office, is now looking at space in the
Alcoa Building on 48th Street, Inner City Press is told. For now,
they are left behind in the nearly empty UN skyscaper where asbestos
removal has already begun. Meanwhile, Pachauri has wished asbestos on
* * *
UN Spins Statements on Sudan Separatism, Ban's Stance on Sri Lanka
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 2 -- Following a protest of
the UN in Juba, South
Sudan which included calls for "Ban Ki-moon [to] repent before
judgment," the UN belated rushed to argue that Mr. Ban was
misquoted by AFP about disfavoring a vote for self-determination by
the South Sudanese.
Spokesman Farhan Haq came in late for Tuesday noon briefing at the UN
in New York, read a statement
then began to leave the podium without taking any
questions. Inner City Press called out, will you take questions
later? When he did, later, the UN
did not transcribe it.
Press asked Haq both what the UN says Ban told AFP, and how Ban's
statement about making unity attractive does not indicate a
preference. Haq argued that this language is from the CPA. He said he
would later provide Ban's actually words to those interested. Video here,
from Minute 1:50.
Press went to Haq's office before six p.m. on Tuesday, it was closed.
The Deputy Spokesperson handed Inner City Press a print out in which
AFP had dutifully modified the quote. This was taken at face value.
also in Haq's
begrudging Q &A period, when Inner City Press asked about UN
vehicles stolen in Darfur, Haq answered that this would not undermine
the UN's "relationship" with "military leaders of
here, from Minute 3:33.
whether due to personal beliefs or by letting others in his
administration take the lead, has elsewhere come down firmly on the
side of central governments over minorities seeking autonomy.
Protest of UN and Ban in South Sudan, Tribune
Lankan bloodbath on the beach of 2009, for example, he and his
closest advisors were seen as doing little to stop the Rajapaksa
regime in Colombo from bombing civilians in norther Sri Lanka, to
irrelevant from consideration of Ban Ki-moon's statements and
attitudes about Sudan. You can make AFP run a correction, then dodge
and not transcribe questions, but the issue remains and will be
pursued. Watch this site.