Dining Workers Face Oct. 29 Layoffs, Launch by Taylor Swift,
October 18 -- Workers in the UN's Delegates' Dining Room
face layoffs and furloughs on October 29, when the facilities is
slated to close for all except special events. On October 18, Inner
City Press asked UN Under Secretary for Management Angela Kane about
the layoffs. She ascribed them to the contractor Aramark, and added
that only events with “over a certain number of people” will be
able to use the space going forward.
October 18 the DDR has every table in use, with a South Korean food
promotion including -- full disclosure -- free lunch for journalists.
The shinsunro spicy seafood soup was particularly good. But from Ms.
Kane, no reprieve.
contract with the UN to run these facilities. That they can modify it
with so little fanfare is surprising.
Ban Ki-moon and Angela Kane, workers at UN facing
layoffs not shown
While Ms. Kane
and various UN
spokespeople all claim to “hope” Aramark treats its workers
fairly, it appears that no one is even seeking to enforce the
October 15, the
space was also full, for an event thrown by Saudi Arabia's mission to
the UN. On October 25, the UN Delegates' Dining Room is being rented
out, ostensibly with no control or review by the UN, for a “launch”
by music personality Taylor Swift, first questioned by Inner City Press.
Press asked who has approved this commercial venture, the response
was that Aramark has the right to rent the space out. Why retain that
right is Aramark is closing down its service to the UN and laying its
workers off? Watch this site.
Kane is rumored to be heading to Geneva to replace the former chief
there, who has moved on to Vienna. Last week when asked, Kane called
this just a rumor. We'll see.
* * *
Meeting with Sudan Archbishop Excludes Press, No Answers on
11 -- The UN says that the situation in Sudan is of
much import to it. But then the UN refuses to answer questions, and
refuses to let the Press cover what the UN is doing about Sudan.
of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon included a 4:30 meeting
with “Sudanese Church Leaders.” Every other appointment continued
the name of the counter-party.
meetings begin with a
photo opportunity. This one was no different -- except only UN Photo
and not the Press was allowed to photograph the meeting.
asked the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit if it could
photograph beginning of the meeting. It was confirmed that UN Photo
was going; the staged handshake would take place. But “Farhan” --
on information and belief, acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq -- said
no, Inner City Press could not attend the already scheduled
photo op. No reason was given.
City Press went to the North Lawn building, two stories below
Ban Ki-moon's office. Francis Deng, the Sudanese advisor to the
Secretary General on Genocide, went up, stopping to confirm to Inner
City Press that he was attending the meeting. Then a UN Photo staffer
went up. But Inner City Press was not allowed.
the meeting, Inner City Press waited and spoke with the Episcopal
Archbishop of Sudan, Daniel
Bul. He told Inner City Press that everything must be done to
ensure an on time and peace referendum, that was the only way to
protect the churches in North Sudan.
He told Inner City Press: "they have to push
to have a peaceful Sudan, the referendum [in time] - once done, you've
brought a peaceful country."
But few whom Inner City Press spoke while
covering the Security
Council's four day trip to Sudan were hopeful for an on-time much
less peaceful referendum. And the demonstrators in Khartoum on October
9 were saying that only unity could bring peace.
Inner City Press asked about resource
sharing, Abyei and oil. The Archbishop said the CPA contains the
mechanism: 50 / 50. But even now the mechanishm is hardly working.
Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Archbishop, Ban
and UN protection not shown
Archbishop Bull and his delegation -- Inner
City Press also spoke with Caritas' Permanent Delegate to the UN --
have other meetings set up. Let's hope those are more transparent,
and that those met with can bring more to the table. Watch this site.
Footnote: also at the UN on Monday, Inner City
Press directed a
question about Sudan's external debt to Eckhard Deutscher, Chair of
the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization for
Economic Co-operation and Development: would OECD countries be
willing to forgive some of Sudan's $37 billion in debt, as a way to
sweeten the pot, or make the loss of oil revenue more palatable?
Deutsche responded with platitudes, about the IMF's good programs.
But a Permanent Five ambassador on the Sudan trip told Inner City
Press that Sudan (and South Sudan) are not eligible for the HIPC
program. So what is being done?
* * *
Darfur IDPs Who Spoke to Council, UN Has No
11 -- The day after the Sudan trip
of the UN
Security Council ended, the UN in New York had no answers to issues
that arose on the trip, including the reported questioning and intimidation by
authorities of Internally Displaced Persons who spoke
to the Council, and the destruction
the village of Sora in Eastern
Press asked these two questions -- there were more questions to ask,
including about the dismantling of the Kalma IDP camp in Darfur and
the UN's Lear Jet for Ibrahim Gambari -- UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky
said by rote, “we'll look into it, next question.” (He was
equally dismissive or evasive on two questions about the Congo.)
of the IDPs was reported
a day ago, and the destruction of Sora was
tucked in a report by OCHA's Georg Charpentier, but apparently not
raised by him to the Security Council Ambassadors when he briefed
In Abu Shouk Oct 9, IDP
& Amb Churkin, subsequent intimidation and UN community not shown
asked two Permanent Five members' Permanent Representatives about
Sora, and the dismantling of Kalma Camp, in the Dubai airport.
Neither was aware, and now Inner City Press has asked if Sora's
destruction was by ground or aerial attacks.
in the opening of his briefing recited verbatim a piece of UNAMID
good news or propaganda, about the UN's role in an agreement signed
in Nyala between the “Rizeigat and Fur tribes.. easing years of
ethnic tensions.” We'll see.
* * *
City Press on Video,
to Darfur after reports of a
brutal campaign by the government of Omar al Bashir against opponents
of his regime and civilians perceived as supporting them.
shown by documents
Inner City Press, is near to turning over five supporters of rebel
Abdel Wahid Nur to that same Bashir regime, in exchange for a promise
by Bashir to commute any death sentence his courts impose.
Council, which ostensibly oversees Gambari's actions
along with the African Union, expressed surprise to Inner City Press
once they saw the leaked documents, consisting of a draft letter and
“Additional Terms” from Gambari to Bashir's foreign minister Ali
El Fasher from South Sudan, US Ambassador Susan Rice told
Inner City Press that she intends to inquire into Gambari's offers
about the Kalma Camp Five while in Darfur. This echoed a statement of
intention previously issued by another Permanent Member of the
the visiting Security Council members, Gambari
of his military officials, in uniform, came to see the Press.
called Inner City Press' publication of his draft documents
“reprehensible” and told Inner City Press to “be careful...
lives are at stake.” Transcription below.
Yeah, a witness to
Gambari's statements later said, the
lives of the Kalma Camp Five are
at risk if the UN turns them over to a strongman already
genocide and war crimes. “Is this what the UN should be doing?”
Gambari, Lyall Grant, Susan Rice, Churkin- oversight
not seen? (c) MRLee
were caught on video and will soon be
published online as such. For now, here is a transcription, prepared
late Thursday night at a guest house in El Fasher outside of
Gambari's UNAMID compound:
happen with the Kalma
Camp Five that you are considering turning over to the government...
or that documents indicate you are considering turning over?”
have these five sheikhs who
have been accused of some very serious offenses. We have no means as
UNAMID to try them... Down the line if ever there was a death
sentence, the President has the prerogative of mercy. All has been
discussed confidentially. I want to say how reprehensible it was
that somebody leaked the confidential communication of the government
of Sudan...endangering the lives of those in the camps. The recipient
of such a leak I think should also think twice about what they do
considering that they are endangering the lives.. We've lost 27
peacekeepers between UNAMID and UNMIS, I mean AMIS.”
Nur saying that if the Five are
turned over, it will make UNAMID complicit in genocide, and that his
group would not cooperate with the UN any more.
was supposed to have
said... I met Khalil Ibrahim yesterday, asked how about how someone
said JEM wants Gambari to resign for Tarabat Market. [He
said he] ever said that, never authorized this... I want to hear from
Abdel Wahid. I've been to Paris twice, I went to Tripoli...What
happened in New York I condemn it. Matthew I have known you a long
time, you should be careful... You are a recipient of a leaked
document... Journalism also is a responsibility. I regard you as a
friend, I used to, I regard you as a friend, I am admitting that.”
said: “He wants all issues resolved almost
before he comes.”
, what are we supposed to do, keep people
members, when they saw
the leaked documents, said they were not aware that you or UNAMID
were in such discussions, and some expressed worry. How much is this
Mission overseen by the Security Council?”
I am responsible to two masters. You
have the AU and you have the UN. The unity of the international
community is key to finding a solution.”
out the door toward his vehicle,
“Transparency you can always say is dangerous, but I think it's
probably a good thing.”
are at stake.”
a witness to Gambari's statements later said, adding that the lives
of the Kalma Camp Five are at risk if the UN turns them over to a
strongman already indicted for genocide and war crimes. Among other
lives put at risk, without oversight, transparency or explanation.
“Is this what the UN should be doing?”
Inner City Press obtained and
published Gambari's draft letter to Sudan's Ali Karti, Gambari had
already expressed anger at Inner City Press' publication
time as UN envoy to Myanmar.
high level meeting on Sudan, Gambari didn't
argue about lives being at risk. He claimed the documents were “old”
(2009) and not newsworthy. “Just leave me alone,” he said, having
in the past declined to respond to questions sentto his UN e-mail
address by Inner City Press. Now, the claim that lives are put at
risk. Is it just opposition to transparency?
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.