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UN's Ban Has "No Idea" If Sexual Violence Increases, Speaker Slams Kristof

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 10 -- The UN has a Sexual Violence and Conflict office, which Inner City Press questioned last month about UN Peacekeeping's under-performance in Walikale in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 But Wednesday at the UN a more fundamental critique was offered by Andrew Mack of the Human Security Report Project, which is funded by Sweden Switzerland and the UK, for now.

  Inner City Press asked Mack about the Sexual Violence office - should it be collecting more data?

  Mack said that when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon offers briefs to the Security Council on this topic, he has "absolutely no idea" if sexual violence is increasing or decreasing. Mack said there were moves in 2010 to start collecting such data, but nothing was done.

  Will the UN Security Council, on which the UK has a Permanent seat, take any action on this?

   Mack also criticized a op-ed in New York Times in 2008 by Nicholas Kristof saying the 75% of women in Liberia had been raped. Mack said Kristof "mis-read a report" - the figure Mack said for being a victim of sexual violence is 18%, which is high, but the same as in the US. Video here, from Minute 21:55.

   This is the same Kristof who recently wrote about the mistreatment of women by Bangladesh - only in terms of the Grameen Bank founder, whom he'd met at the Clinton Global Initiative, with no mention of Bangladesh saying that the plight of the Rohingya is "not our problem." And so it goes. Watch this site.

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