Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

MRL on Beacon Reader

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

At End of Azerbaijan's UNSC Month, Of African Splits, Lamb Chops & Layoffs

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 31 -- When Azerbaijan held its End of Security Council presidency reception Wednesday night, it came minutes after competing meetings of Western and African diplomats two stories below, on the issue of Kenya and the International Criminal Court.

  The Westerners' meeting, delayed by getting locked out of the Permanent Five's clubhouse, ran past the 6:30 pm time set for the reception. When those in attendance poured out, most headed straight upstairs to the South Dining Room: for example, Australia's Gary Quinlan, Luxembourg's Sylvie Lucas, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant.

  France's Gerard Araud left later than the others, accompanied by his staffer who used to work for the ICC. Even the (south) glass door he tried to use to exit was locked.

 To some, it echoed the way he and the French mission locked out the Press and sunlight in hand-picking which media could accompany and cover what was described as the "UN Security Council's Africa trip" earlier in the month.

  That was one example of how today's Security Council is dysfunctional. Saudi Arabia, of course, has said that as well, and after saying it is giving up the seat that without competition it won, the Saudis were not present at Wednesday's Council reception.

  Previous Council member India was, through its Deputy Permanent Representative. There was talk of the perennial, Security Council reform and General Assembly President John Ashe's strangely selected advisory group of six (none of whom were seen, at least by Inner City Press, at Wednesday's reception).

  Ban Ki-moon instead was accepting an award, on behalf of the UN, not for diplomacy but rather historic preservation - not the various anachronisms of the place, but its Capital Master Plan renovation.

  (No mention was made that the UN is trying to take over the Robert Moses Playground right outside the window to construct an unimaginative building that, according to staff union sources, may not be needed given the massive layoffs that are planned, including at UNICEF and UNDP.)

  The North or Delegates Dining Room, full now of people in evening wear, will stop serving lunch on December 20, leaving the Aramark workers once again laid off. They ask, who chose Aramark as the UN's caterer, if they don't even want to keep the cafeteria open past 4:30 pm during General Debate week?

   Azerbaijan for its reception didn't go with the standard Aramark package including sushi but rather sausages, plov and lamb chops, all excellent.

   Plov is a dish prevalent throughout the former Soviet space, and both Russia's Vitaly Churkin and his deputies were there, as was China's Permanent Representative Liu Jieyi. Elsewhere, to be diplomatic or in UNICEF's spirit, there were young children and the Red Sox' impending World Series win. And no, President Obama did not remain in Boston for the game.

At Azerbaijan's reception, UK's Lyall Grant carried by flag for the Western P3, fresh from his Reuters-echoed bid at Security Council reform: turning off speakers microphones when they surpass their allotted time, as he saw at the African Union in Addis Ababa on the French-led trip.

  If that can be learned from the AU, how about their deferral request for Kenya and other complaints about the ICC? This will be discussed on Thursday morning, in a session that is not even listed in the day's UN Journal. Did we say dysfunction?

Footnotes: Several of these dysfunctions -- the lack of transparency in media selection for the Africa trip, for example, but also the banning Wednesday from the Council's "quiet room" of Polisario, a party to a Council agenda item -- are being challenged by the new Free UN Coalition for Access. 

 @FUNCA_info was formed because the stultified throw-back, which still demands the first question then wastes it, wouldn't challenge these things, even tried to get the Press thrown out. (The UN has threatened to suspend or withdraw Press accreditation for merely hanging the sign of UNCA, one floor down.)

 Neither the first question demander nor her deputy were seen on Wednesday night, unlike if the US or UK were throwing the shindig. The UN preaches justice, even freedom of speech and press, but is run by very, very few, with little transparency. In ways large and small like this, we aim to change that. Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]