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Kubis Claims UN Impartial, LOTFA Cleaned, Too Early on SG, Maxwell Case Closed?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 18 -- With the UN's envoy to Afghanistan Jan Kubis in New York for tomorrow's Security Council debate, Inner City Press asked him about UNAMA's impartiality, action if any on the murder of UN staff member Louis Maxwell by Afghan National Forces, and corruption in the UN's Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan. Video here.

  Contrary to analysis only on March 12 at Chatham House in London, Kubis claimed that the UN is views as impartial. He acknowledged that the UN is seem as close to the NATO forces, saying the Afghans “blame us for certain deficiencies and problems.”

  On the corruption found in LOTFA -- Inner City Press last year published a series of damning internal audits it obtained from whistleblowers -- Kubis said to check with UNDP. He said they took it serious, because the UN wants to work not only in Afghanistan but more globally.

We cannot be preaching something and doing something different,” Kubis said.

 But isn't that exactly what the UN did when it dismissed claims it brought cholera to Haiti, saying after 15 months of silence that the claims were “not receivable”?

  How can the UN preach the rule of law and accountability after that?

Kubis was asked if it is true that he is a candidate to succeed Ban Ki-moon as Secretary General. “Too early to say,” he replied. Video here, at end.

  But perhaps as a test, what has he done about the murder of UN Security hero Louis Maxell, who defended other staff during an attack on a UN guest house in Kabul, only to be killed by Afghan National Forces?

  Kubis answered, “we are asking questions, unfortunately we are not getting any more specific information. I would say our partners consider it closed. Now and then we will be raising this.” Is that enough? Watch this site.

Footnote:  Kubis' appearance was one in a series of on the record "brown bag" sessions set up by the Department of Public Information. These are appreciated, but do no make up for the failure to have top UN Peacekeeping official Herve Ladsous answer questions raised (video here), or not dole out half-answers to friendlier media who never asked them.

   Nor do they make up for DPI's Media Accreditation chief's own false complaint about quoting UNCA's Pamela Falk and Louis Charbonneau at a session where Inner City Press said, "you are on the record" and Falk said, "he's going to write this up." We will continue on this.

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