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At UN, Sandy "Blew Out" Chiller Unit and Email, UNSC Lights Went Out

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 1 -- Even after a $2 billion Capital Master Plan renovation, when Hurricane Sandy arrived in New York on October 29, it flooded the UN's diplomatic pouch unit and shut down its basement "chiller" unit, Inner City Press has learned.

  This led to a shutdown of the UN's server and e-mail system; a supposed back-up in New Jersey didn't pick up the slack. Some wonder, is this any way to run an Organization?

   When the UN Security Council was moved out of its Chamber by the storm on October 31, Inner City Press went and covered in person the Council's rare meeting and vote on Somalia in the North Lawn building. Afterward it looked into what damage had caused the relocation.

   Even Thursday morning, there were no lights in the Council's offices and consultations room. Incoming president for November India held its bilateral meetings outside of the UN in its Mission on 43rd Street, while telling Inner City Press it would return to the Council suite to adopt the program of work on November 2.

  By noon on Thursday, the lights in the Council had been fixed. But the UN Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary General once again held no noon briefing, now making it a week.

  Nor did they answer e-mailed questions, on Sudan, Bahrain, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, even as the latter country's Universal Periodic Review took place November 1 at the UN in Geneva.

  Well (and dangerously) placed UN sources tell Inner City Press that a locker room in the third sub-basement filled with four feet of water, which came "shooting" out of the storm drains, and cascaded over the UN's loading dock. Could it happen again? It could. What will be done? Watch this site.

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