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At UN, Decline in War Deaths Proclaimed, But Drug War, Boko Haram, Ideology

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 3 -- Hours before a third UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine, the Director of the Human Security Research Project Andrew Mack held a press conference about the new "Human Security Report."

  Under a slide headed, "A Huge Decline in War Deaths," he distinguished the rising death counts in the "war on drugs" in Mexico and Central America.

  Inner City Press, after thanking Mack on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access, asked Mack how accurate death counts are, given the lack of clarify in Syria, including in light of the contractor the UN chose to count.

 The UN has now stopped counting, though Qatar at the Human Rights Council earlier on Monday used a figure of 150,000; eight days ago NBC's David Gregory said one million have been killed, before correcting himself and saying this included those displaced.

  Mack said he feels most data is credible, citing the previous Iraq Death count. To Inner City Press' follow up, Mack explained that beyond counting those with bullets in them, to include deaths from sickness one would have to have and use baseline statistics for comparison.

  Inner City Press asked Mack about Boko Haram in Nigeria. Mack said the top five "wars" involve "Islamic radicals" and then Western intervention to confront them. He said Al Qaeda "has no popular support" and can only overthrow "pathetic" states like Mali.

  But what about Ukraine? The Security Council is set to meet at 3:30 pm. Watch this site.

Footnote: Not only at the "Human Security Report" press conference, but recently for Bolivia's vice president, the old United Nations Correspondents Association didn't even send any of its 15 executive committee members. On Ukraine on Saturday, the UN automatically gave its first question at a press conference held on ten minutes notice to the UNCA, which for more than a year has meant, to CBS via Pamela Falk.

  The UN knows the politics of the questions it will receive that way, and apparently likes it. UNCA's descent into censorship should preclude them getting any automatic first questions. Once that is resolved, thanks can be unbranded, as they should be.


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