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UN Says Layoffs in UNTV Won't Impact Service, in Static-filled Webcast, Live Streams for Sale?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 28 -- On the eve of UN Television shifting to a “skeleton crew” and laying off dozens of long time workers, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesperson Eduardo Del Buey about the cuts. Video here, from Minute 5:50.

  There won't be any impact on service, Matthew,” he assured. He pulled out a piece of paper and read an if-asked answer, that the Broadcasting and Conference Support Section was re-organized in 2010 and 2011 and that most of the contractual technicians got trained in the new technology.

  But he reiterated the UN's written answer to Inner City Press of the day before, that it entirely up to contactor TeamPeople who to hire, and how many people to hire, and how to treat them. This is not what the UN's Global Compact preaches with regard to, say, clothing and sneaker manufacturers. But the UN is above that, right?

  TeamPeople also seems to be above answering questions. The Free UN Coalition for Access has directed questions at TeamPeople, without response. Perhaps it's only for SOME people.

  In fact, even the webcast of the June 28 noon breifing where Inner City Press asked these questions had loud static making it unintelligible, video here from Minute 0:42 through 2:02.

  And as has been noted in the UN, a slew of Department of Public Information officials responsible for all this are conveniently gone when it “hits the fan.” We'll have more on this. Watch this site.

Footnote: earlier this week, the UN chose not to live webcast the stakeout of Lakhdar Brahimi about Syria, then counseled FUNCA on “#patience.” On the morning of June 28, a speech by High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was live webcast -- but not by the UN. FUNCA has asked why, here.

  Meanwhile Streamworks International continues to say to contact them to “book delivery of this stream” -- that is, of the UN's ostensibly free live webcast. What's going on?

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