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UN Says Ban Held “Press Encounter” With Peres But Didn't Tell Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 29 -- When is a “press encounter” not a press encounter? When the UN claims that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon held one, but the press corps which covers the UN is not informed and is not present.

  On Sunday, June 29 Ban's spokesperson's office sent out a transcript of what it called Ban's “Remarks at Press Encounter with H.E. Mr. Shimon Peres, President of Israel.” What was sent out did not say when it had occurred, nor where, other than “New York.”

  No notice was sent out by the UN's Media Liaison and Accreditation Unit, nor by Spokesman Stephane Dujarric. When Dujarric was in charge of MALU, the new Free UN Coalition for Access formally asked him to begin providing notice of Ban events even if held outside of the UN headquarters.

  But where did this one take place? The only covered, in a style echoing state media, was by the UN's own UN News Centre, which ran a photograph by UN Photo and “reported” that Ban was “speaking at the beginning of a meeting with President Shimon Peres of Israel at the UN Headquarters in New York.”

  But the photo appears to show Ban's own residence, blocks away from UN Headquarters. It was on the door of Ban's UN-provided residence that legal papers in the first case against his UN bringing cholera to Haiti were taped -- but the UN refused to confirm that.

  Last Friday June 20 Dujarric and his deputy Farhan Haq refused to answer Inner City Press' written request for confirmation or denial of the service on Ban of yet more Haiti cholera papers.

  And from June 26 to June 27 Dujarric would not even confirm receipt of Inner City Press' questions about UN Peacekeeping's Herve Ladsous flying the UN-sanctioned leader of the FDLR militia in a UN helicopter without any approval from the UN Security Council.

  The Free UN Coalition for Access is opposing selective answering, failure to answer, and here, failure to notify.

So when IS a “press encounter” not a press encounter, but a scam? How long can this go on, and how much lower can they go? Watch this site.


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