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UN Brags of MDGs, Dodges Online Questions of Oceans & the Future, FUNCA

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 1 -- The UN is bragging about the Millennium Development Goals, even as what's to come after is being fought about.

  Last week Inner City Press wrote about Palau's and others' push for a post-2015 “Sustainable Development Goal” about the oceans.

  On June 28, Inner City Press attended the UN's press conference in New York about the MDGs and asked about it. But the UN insisted that the briefing was embargoed until now, July 1, and that the participants could not be named. Why?

  Hardly any other journalists at the UN cared about the MDGs press conference. While the UN Correspondents Association almost cravenly goes to any and all briefing in order to say their name, this one, they missed. (The Free UN Coalition for Access thanked the briefers - who must remain nameless, by choice.)

  On the question of the oceans, they agreed that when the MDGs were agreed there was less awareness: not even carbon and climate change were the focus yet. They agreed with Inner City Press' critique of the urban slums data, not taking into account the shift of population toward the cities. (MDGs Report at page 50.)

But here is something wrong with the UN system and its supposed interface with the public on these issues. The UN's “Greening the Blue” twitter account did not respond on the carbon impact of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's travel, when asked back on June 21 by the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info.

  UNDP's Olav Kjorven didn't answer on his carbon footprint, nor on whether the UN system favors an Oceans SDG. (Inner City Press is told that Ban Ki-moon doesn't understand the concept and asked for a briefing.)

  UNDP is pitching the #Post2015 tumult in “194 countries,” because a video they paid for said it involved Rwanda and 193 countries. But when asked by FUNCA what the 194th country is -- Somaliland? -- they did not respond, but just dropped the 194 claim in favor of 750,000 people. It's a one way mirror, throughout the UN system.

 Palau by contrast and its partner the TerraMar project are reaching out and responding, ready to press for September 2014. Watch this site.

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