No Action on Korea Shootout, Security Council Theater, Questions Banned
November 24 -- The shootout in Korea reverberated throughout
Wednesday outside the UN Security Council, while within the Council
nothing was done about the showdown.
The Council had two meetings, in
the morning on the Congo and at 4 pm about Ivory Coast. The stakeout
was full of reporters from Japanese media, who burst into action to
chase a mid level North Korean diplomat to no avail.
the morning the
Permanent Representative of South Korea entered the Council's
chambers. He did not go into the consultations, however, but only to
meet with UK Deputy Permanent Represent Philip Parham. On his way
out, he refused to answer any questions.
meeting, Susan Rice of the US stayed inside talking with UK Permanent
Representative Mark Lyall Grant, after Russia's Vitaly Churkin had
left. At the news that the Council would reconvene in the afternoon,
the press was all at(w)itter.
session concerned only Ivory Coast, sending three battalions and two
helicopters from the UN Mission in Liberia for Sunday's runoff
election. After the vote on this resolution, the UK's Lyall Grant
told the mass of reporters that on Korea “consultations continue.” He
said he would take no questions on camera, even about Ivory
UN's Ban & UK's Lyall Grant: neither
takes questions, utmost concern not shown
Ivorian diplomat complained to Inner City Press that his country
hadn't been consulted about the resolution to send in the additional
troops. By then the major powers have left, the Thanksgiving holiday
getting an early start.
that North Korea will be discussion on Monday November 29, on
resolution 1718 (non proliferation). But what of the non nuclear
shootout? A shiny haired South Korean journalist regaled Japanese
reporters with tales of Seoul's prowess.
“We don't need
the Security Council,” he said, “not this time, not when we
fought back.” Reporters scribbled this down, perhaps to become
Gospel in Tokyo. Another reporter asked, why is Thanksgiving four
days? The UN unceremoniously canceled its Friday press briefing.
Wednesday's briefing, acting deputy spokesman Farhan Haq denied that
Ban Ki-moon has seen a UN memo about Korea, and dodged questions
about why Korea had not been in Ban's Monday speech. He pointed at
Ban's November 23 statement, that Ban conveyed his “utmost concern”
to Lyall Grant. But why then no Council meeting? Watch this site.
On the memo,
from the UN's
November 24 transcript:
Press: a memo has emerged for a 6 December meeting of the Policy
Committee of the Executive Office of the Secretary-General concerning
DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea]. I don’t know if
you have seen it, but it’s been leaked and talks about the UN
trying “efforts to re-engage with the DPRK”. It seems to have
been written before this most recent firing, but I just wonder,
first, can you confirm that the document exists and or that there is
a 6 December meeting of the Korean Peninsula/DPRK Policy Committee of
the Secretary-General’s office? And two, does this raise any, does
the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, is a stated desire to
re-engage with DPRK in any way changed by recent events?
Spokesperson Farhan Haq: Well, first of all, you’re aware
of our general policy not to comment on leaked documents, which
applies in this case. In this particular case, as for whether there
was a meeting of the Policy Committee on this, no, in fact there was
not. The document that was reported on Fox is not something that has
been seen by senior UN officials. It was not reviewed by senior UN
officials, and therefore it does not have any particular status.
Press: Is there within DPA [Department of Political Affairs] a
unit that specifically focuses on Korea Peninsula/DPRK that provides
memos to the Executive Office of the Secretary-General?
Spokesperson: You mean does the Department of Political
Affairs have a desk on North Korea?
[inaudible] document, it seems to, unless it’s somehow some
lower-level UN official writing his own grandiose projections, it
seems to be…
Spokesperson: Like I said, this is not something that was
reviewed by senior officials. It could be a working level initial
draft. But it certainly is not something that has undergone any
particular review higher up.
Was there at any time a meeting scheduled for 6 December on the
topic of DPRK/Korean Peninsula?
Spokesperson: Like I said, this not something that has been
discussed at the Policy Committee.
answer the question. Watch this site.
* * *
& Worries, UN Ban Silent in NJ Speech, Hours After White House
23, updated -- With North and South Korea exchanging fire
amid renewed concern about North Korea's nuclear program, UN
Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's November 22 speech at Seton Hall,
billed alternately as a major policy address or Ban's re-election
speech, mentioned Korea only once, in passing and in an entirely
help the helpless to help themselves, just as the UN did for Korea
many decades ago,” Ban said, before praising his own performance in
Myanmar and Darfur.
before Ban gave his major / re-election speech, the wires and
UN press corps were full of news of North Korea and its nuclear
program. Still, no one in Ban's team modified the speech.
Ban speech this month, lagging behind the news
4:30 am on
November 23, the US White House issued a statement on the Korean
shooting. Four hours later, still nothing out of Ban's UN
Secretariat. Watch this space.
am -- Ban Ki-moon has announced that he has “conveyed his
utmost concern to the President of the Security Council.” But
President Mark Lyall Grant told the Press no one has requested a
meeting on the Korea shootout. S-Gs can request Council meetings,
under Article 99 of the UN Charter. So what does utmost mean? What is
ut-ter than utmost? Watch this site.
* * *
UN Ban Speech Ignores Haiti, Congo & Sri Lanka, Brags
22 -- When Seton Hall hosted UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon on Monday, it told the Press to expect a “major policy
address entitled, 'Can the UN Deliver What the World Needs?'”
a time when
for example the UN is
accused of playing a role in the introduction
and spread of cholera in Haiti, and has killed at least one Haitian
demonstrator, one expected this issue to at least be mentioned in the
major policy address. But Ban's speech, as distributed under embargo
to the UN press corps, did not even mention Haiti.
praised his and the UN's role in Myanmar and went on that “We
did the same in Darfur. For years, conflict raged... today, the
mission continues to protect civilians.” This right after the slaughter
at Tawila, which even Ban acknowledged raised issues about
the UN peacekeepers freedom of movement and protection of civilians.
Ban did not
a country where he has been burned in effigy and where after
tens of thousands of deaths, the International Crisis Group said the
UN's inaction should be investigated.
a mention of
rapes in Eastern Congo, and the UN peacekeepers' inaction.
After each of these incidents, the UN has said it can and will do
better. But this is soon forgotten, not even mentioned amid the self
is described in house as Ban's re-election speech: "all the great
things I have done" (and none of the short falls, none of the need to
or commitment to reform - spin, in short.)
An Inner City
Press correspondent at the speech reports on questions about the South
Sudan referendum, Afghanistan and terrorism, still nothing on cholera
in Haiti, mass rape in the Congo.
Ban at a recent speech, re-election not shown
press briefing, Ban's acting deputy spokesman was asked if Ban would
be receiving an honorary degree, as Seton Hall itself had been
announcing since last week. Haq would not confirm it. But the speech,
even as embargoed, began with thanks for the award. Ah,
* * *
Into Crowds, Says Its Only Focus Is Future, Not How
-- With protesters in Haiti
still blaming the UN for
the deadly cholera outbreak, and UN
fire on the crowds, at UN headquarters on Monday Inner City Press
asked the UN's interim humanitarian coordinator for Haiti Nigel
Fisher why the UN had not acted to fully investigate reports of UN
peacekeepers' roles in bringing or spreading the disease. Video here,
“My focus is on
how to stop” the disease, Fisher replied. But even the UN's deputy
special envoy Paul Farmer denounced this approach, call it more
politics than science. Beyond being anti scientific, it appears in
this case that the UN's attempts to brush off complaints and not
fully investigate them has come back to haunt the UN, as suspicions
have only grown.
when the last time cholera had been present in
Haiti. “There has never before been cholera in Haiti,” Fisher
manipulation” the claims by the Mayor
of Mirebalais that the disease may have come from the UN Peacekeeping
base there, staffed by peacekeepers from Nepal. But the Centers for
Disease Control, even Fisher acknowledged Monday, said the strain is
a strain which originated in South Asia.
Nigel Fisher by video, facts on MINUSTAH role not
shown, (c) MRLee
system say that even looking into the role of the peacekeepers from
Nepal is somehow racist. But political correctness can lead to riots
in which UN peacekeepers are shooting into crowds of Haitians. Which
is worse? Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
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.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
are listed here,
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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