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UN Ban Names Bank of America & Shell On Sustainable Energy, Banning Qs?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 27 -- Sustainable Energy for All was UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's topic when he spoke to the press this morning along with World Bank president Jim Kim. Inner City Press tweeted photo here.

  A handout praised Bank of America, as predicted, despite its role in funding mountain top removal coal mining. Also named for praise was Shell, embroiled in environmental scandals in Nigeria and elsewhere.

  These contradictions should be answered by the UN.

  But Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky, who canceled the day's UN noon briefing for this, took only two questions. First was CBS -- will they report it? -- by coincidence the president of the UN Correspondents Association, about Iran.

"Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. President, to both, in light of the Iran deal in Geneva, do you foresee, since you’re speaking of energy, an increase in the sale of Iranian oil because of the lifting of transportation and insurance sanctions? And Mr. Secretary-General, do you see a UN resolution necessary to do that?"

  The second question was about nuclear power. Jim Kim said the World Bank does not fund such projects. [The UN did not transcribe that.]

   Why did the "press encounter" - Ban's last one had no questions at all -- end then? Why was the UN system's noon briefing canceled for a two-question stakeout?

   We must note that a former UN correspondent who was thrown out, Pincas Jawetz, told the new Free UN Coalition for Access that he was banned from attending the press encounter, though he showed an invitation from the organizers. Mr. Jawetz actually knows about the environment, and SE4ALL, and reports on it.

   The new Free UN Coalition for Access protests this. UNCA, on the other hand, played a role in Jawets' ouster. That's why UNCA is now referred to as the UN's Censorship Alliance.

   Back in Warsaw, Ban Ki-moon's response on including coal industry lobbyists, for example in the recent climate change talks was that "We must work together so that everyone can be part of the solution. Of course we recognize the importance of coal and fossil fuels in many economies at this time."

   But Bank of America's presence is part of a growing trends of commercialization at and of the United Nations. On November 26 for example, alongside singer Mohammed Assaf was his corporate promoter from Dubai-based MBC media group, permitted to use the UN press conference as an advertisement for MBC.

  Inner City Press wrote about it, and others have picked it up, saying for example that the "corporate storyteller" of MBC "was there to essentially use Assaf's appearance at the UN as an advertisement for MBC, which is wrong."

   But at the UN, the corporate infiltration continues.

   Earlier this same week, a fine play about violence against women was sponsored by the Italian oil company ENI, which also openly advertises with and sponsors the pseudo press advocacy group Ban partners with.

  One point is, these partnerships hurt the United Nations or what it is supposed to be.

   The UN decided to cancel, preempted by Ban's and Kim's press encounter on SE4ALL, its normal noon briefing, at which questions for example about the Haitian refugees drowned off the Bahamas and bombings in Sudan could be asked. So Inner City Press will cover the Sustainable Energy for All event. Watch this site.


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