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UN Won't Confirm to ICP Ban's Trip to DRC & Rwanda, Secrecy for Secrecy's Sake?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 16 -- A week ago the UN refused to confirm to Inner City Press that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would travel to Mozambique, even though UNICEF announced it.

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask if you can confirm that the Secretary-General was traveling to Mozambique. The reason I ask, I know you sometimes say, or you often say that travel…

Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: No, probably always.

Inner City Press: But in this case, UNICEF and, and other UN agencies are the source of the report, so I am thinking maybe, either do they not follow that policy or is that-

Spokesperson: Well, typically, as you know, the Secretary-General’s travels are announced by me or by others at Headquarters. And so, if and when we have an announcement to make, we will make it, okay?

  Today, Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey finally confirmed the Mozambique trip, from May 20 to 22.

   But when Inner City Press asked him about Ban's trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which the MONUSCO peacekeeping mission has already announced, Del Buey refused to confirm it. Video here, from Minute 8:40.

  What possibly can be achieved by this lack of transparency, this secrecy for secrecy's sake?

Inner City Press is informed that Ban and World Bank president Jim Kim will also travel to Rwanda. One assumes that the World Bank will confirm it. Could Ban learn from them?

Last year, Inner City Press was threatened when it reported that reclusive UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous would travel to Damascus, even though it was a Security Council Permanent Representative, from a Permanent Five member no less, who had said it.

The level of pomp and faux secrecy at the UN has been on the increase. But is anything more being accomplished? Watch this site.

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