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Landlocked South Sudan & CAR Discussed At UN, Then Taken to Censors

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 7 -- When Nepal's Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN envoy for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, came to take questions in the UN's Press Briefing Room at noon on May 7, there were only three questions, or questioners.

  Inner City Press asked him about two particular landlocked countries in the news: South Sudan and the Central African Republic. What has the UN, with an entire office devoted to the subject, been able to do about Sudan's charging of South Sudan to export its oil to Port Sudan?

  Gyan Chandra Acharya gamely answered, about the connection between lack of development and conflict, while acknowledging that Austria, host of the November conference he was promoting, is both landlocked and affluent. (He called it, "land-linked.")

For that conference, there will be a preparatory session this coming weekend at the "Glen Cove Mansion" featuring the Permanent Representatives of Austria, Zambia and Paraguay, program here.

Footnotes: Speaking of promotion, UN associate spokesperson Vannina Maestracci gave the first question to UN Correspondents Association 2013-14 president Pamela Falk, who used it to pitch a 1 pm event with Gyan Chandra Acharya in the third-floor room the UN gives to UN, which has become the UN's Censorship Alliance.

  UNCA board members in 2012 tried to get the investigative Press thrown out of the UN, as exposed by Freedom of Information Act requests; in 2014 they have refused to act but rather dragged their feet for a dues-paying member to whom French Ambassador Gerard Araud said, "You are not a journalist, you are an agent."

  The UN tries to prop up the group by giving it a big room where it hosts events: it is an Alliance. Whatever Gyan Chandra Acharya says in such a setting - Inner City Press is boycotting, with all due respect to the co-sponsors - he could and should have said in the open and free UN briefing room, on UN TV.

  Speaking of UNTV, after during the UN's ironic World Press Freedom Day event on May 1 an UNCA members tweeted that Falk said "GA commends UNCA every year," UNTV camera cuts to @innercitypress shaking head in disbelief, too funny" -- the UNTV control room, multiple sources, got a complaint about their camera angles. This is called attempted censorship, as is this Digital Millennium Copyright Act filing with Google. Watch this site.


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