Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

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 UN, Kosovo Debate Dominated by Organs & EULEX Limits, IMF Critique

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 16 -- The Kosovo debates of the UN Security Council, which have become more and more routine, were taken over Wednesday by renewed reports of organ harvesting and trafficking, including by Kosovo's leader Hashim Thaci. (Inner City Press wrote about this issue last year, here.)

   Much of the issue centered around who should investigate the charges. Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who said that EULEX can do it.

  When Inner City Press pointed out that EULEX' mandate is limited to Kosovo and not other countries, Lyall Grant noted that Albania has already agreed to cooperate. But the other countries?

  Russia's Vitaly Churkin told the Press, “EULEX won't do it on its own.”

  UNMIK's Lamberto Zannier did not talk to the Press. His spokesman said Zannier had to meet with Ban Ki-moon (on Tuesday he met only with the “chef de cabinet,” Vijay Nambair) and then go give a talk at the New School.

   Inner City Press received confirmation that Zannier is one of the four candidates for the Secretary General position at the OSCE. Is that what he will tell Ban Ki-moon?

Serbia's foreign minister Vuk Jeremic came and did a stakeout, and Inner City Press asked him about evidence that the UN knew of the organ traffic charge but did nothing, including a 2003 document that Inner City Press has had for some weeks. Jeremic said he would withholding comment for now, but said that there are countries beyond Albania which must be looked at, including Turkey and some countries in the Middle East. Where did those organs go?

Thaci at UN in 1999 - organ charges not shown

Finally for Kosovo Vlora Citaku spoke. She switched gears - some liken her to a Sarah Palin - and told how she was a refugee at 11, with no dress. Inner City Press asked if Kosovo intends to block Serbia's exports and she said no, it wants open flows.

When Inner City Press asked about EULEX's limited jurisdiction, she said since the organ issue involved “human dignity,” she could not imagine any country that would not open its borders to such an investigation. Maybe she never heard of Sri Lanka?

  Since Inner City Press also covers the IMF, it asked about the IMF's critique that promises made in Kosovo's last election, to raise public sector salaries, can't realistically or sustainably be met. She replied that in the past, Kosovars didn't like to pay taxes. Bu now these are being reinvested, so those rose 89% between January 2010 and January 2011.

A cynic asked, what ever the taxes on any organs that got exported? Watch this site.

* * *

IMF Postpones Kosovo & Pakistan, Waiting for Stronger Governments, Dodges on Sudan But Answers on Tunisia

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 6, updated -- Questions of Pakistan and Kosovo and the International Monetary Fund's longing for strong governments arose at the IMF's fortnightly media briefing on Thursday. Inner City Press asked, and IMF spokesperson Caroline Atkinson read out with a cautionary note, the following on Pakistan:

On Pakistan, what is the IMF's thinking after the assassination of Punjab's governor, as the government loses power -- [here Ms Atkinson added, “those are Matthew's words”] -- is it realistic to think the IMF's conditions will be met?”

  In response, she said Pakistan has been given nine additional months. But what will be different then?

  Later in the briefing, Ms. Aktinson read out the rare Balkan question, also from Inner City Press:

On Kosovo, what are the IMF's views on Mr. Thaci's proposal to double public sector salaries, and on the Council of Europe's allegations this once and seeming future PM was involved in organ trafficking?”

  How ever distasteful the organ reference may have been to Ms. Atkinson, she replied that “we have, as Matthew may know, an eighteen month” program with Kosovo, the December consideration of which has been postponed.

  A link between these two may be that while the IMF does impose conditions on its loans, it prefers to say that governments, particularly legislatures, have approved or even chosen between the choices presented by the IMF. This legitimates the IMF, and also may help in collecting the money down the road.

  Kosovo is in political turmoil, and Pakistan no longer even controls large swaths of its territory -- nor, apparently more importantly to the IMF, its political space.

Protest in Tunisia, IMF role & even acknowledgment of question not shown

  Submitted but not acknowledge during the briefing by Ms. Atkinson was this question, about Tunisia:

On Tunisia, given the IMF's role and statements, what can IMF say about the unrest that has followed the death of protester Mohamed Bouazizi and others?”

  We will await the IMF's acknowledgement and answer of this question, and a more detailed response on Sudan and the IMF's role in the debt issues, on which the UN has said “the Bretton Woods institutions are taking the lead.” Watch this site.

Update of 1 pm - Two hours after deadline, the following arrived, with the notation that it should be attributed to an IMF spokesperson:

We deeply regret the recent surge of violence in Tunisia. The IMF remains engaged with the Tunisian authorities and follows the developments closely. Unemployment in Tunisia has declined slightly in the last decade, but remains high, especially among the young. In this context, IMF staff continues to encourage the authorities to pursue structural reforms critical to achieve higher growth, enhance competitiveness and address the problem of persistent high unemployment. Such reforms include measures to increase productivity by improving the business environment, reforming labor market policy, increasing capital investment, and modernizing and strengthening the financial sector.”

We'll have more on this.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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.

* * *

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

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -