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Press & Public Banned from UN Communications Group, Accreditation Mulled

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 -- A group of UN spokespeople which considers such issues as media accreditation is meeting in New York today and tomorrow, and Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access asked to observe or at least get a summary.

  On May 20, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said no, it is internal, and declined to take a follow up question. But previous UNCG Annual Principals Meetings have come out with statements like that it is "important for the United Nations family to engage with all forms of new media, but that some, such as blogs, present particular challenges for accreditation."

   Even today, the UN lags behind the OSCE in raising concerns about the detention by Ukraine authorities of journalists like those of Life News, which put on YouTube video of “UN” marked helicopters in Ukraine. Inner City Press asked Dujarric about this on May 20 and was told that no one in the UN system has even raised the issue to Kyiv, unlike the OSCE. Video here.

   Inner City Press wrote to UNICEF to asked to attend or get access to a webcast of the UNCG meeting but was told: “The UN Communications Group meeting is co-hosted by UN DPI and UNICEF. It’s an internal meeting so isn’t open via webcast or otherwise.”

   But if it concerns topics like accreditation, shouldn't it be open or summarized? Watch this site.


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