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March 1, 2011: Libya

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At UN on Libya, Ban Ki-moon Refuses to Take Questions on Leaked Report

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- Six hours after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's plan for "post-conflict" Libya was published by Inner City Press, Ban purported to take questions, along with the author's report Ian Martin and waning mediator Abdul Ileh Al Khatib.

  But Ban's departing deputy spokesman Farhan Haq refused to allow the Press any questions about the report, choosing instead to select questions about topics other than Libya, and from another questioner about one aspect of the "leaked" report.

  Then Ban walked away from the microphone -- "Pyongyang style," as one wag put it. Inner City Press continued to seek answers to questions raised by the reports, including the suggestion that independent media should be monitored

  "It's an internal report," Ian Martin said. But it was produced with UN money, by consultants beyond the UN who brag publicly about it, as Professor Dirk Vandewalle has at Dartmouth University.

  In two noon briefings during what is said to be his final week at the UN, Haq refused to answer questions about the report. His associate, on a day Haq skipped, claimed that it "is not a UN document."

  Ban's also departing political chief Lynn Pascoe, when Inner City Press asked him August 25 about his Department's then unpublished report said "I won't say anything on the fantasy that some of you spin out." But click here to view the "fantasy," unspun.

Haq, Ban, Pascoe & Kim: answers to questions not shown

  How can the UN be considered a public institution if it creates plans in secret?  If it then denies that the plans are even UN documents? 

   If refuses to take questions about those plans when disgusted whistleblowers who feel they work for a dying organization -- more precisely, an institution which is being killed -- choose at risk of retaliation to leak them?

  Ban Ki-moon's UN has hit a new low. Click here to read the Martin (and Vandewalle) reports, and ponder why the UN cannot or will not take questions about them.

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On Libya, Leaked UN Report Sees 200 Military Observers, NATO but Not AU Role Given by Ban Ki-moon: Exclusive

By Matthew Russell Lee, Must Credit ICP

UNITED NATIONS, August 26 -- Before rebel fighters entered Tripoli, and before UN Special Adviser Ian Martin traveled this week to Doha and Istanbul to belatedly meet with National Transitional Council officials, Martin on August 22 handed a detailed plan to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

  After its requests to the UN to release the document, at least to member states, were denied, Inner City Press obtained a copy of the report and is putting it online today, here (10 page Martin report) and here (longer background report).

  The UN Secretariat is proposing up to 200 Military Observers, to begin with a Multi-National Force led by two member states, up to 190 UN Police, and additional elections and other civil staff.

  The report estimates that Gross Domestic Production could decline as much as 47%. It puts frozen Libyan assets at $150 billion, and recommends that many of the assets not be sold and quickly returned to Libya (Paragraph 136).

  Martin's report offers some praise of the Qadhafi -- its spelling -- regime, for example in the fields of health and education (Paragraph 71). It speaks of "reforms" by Saif al-Islam, now indicted by the International Criminal Court, and former Prime Minister Ghanem.

   It asserts that the (TNC) opposition engaged in some killings and property seizures, even constituting war crimes, and like Qadhafi used child soldiers (Paragraph 88).  It several times expresses doubt about Qadhafi's "alleged" use of foriegn fighters or mercenaries.

  The report assumes at a minimum sending military and police advisers and liaisons, saying that "no specific [Security] Council mandate would be required for these type of tasks."

  It flatly says that "the Security Council's 'protection of civilians' mandate implemented by NATO does not end with the fall of the Qadhafi government and, therefore, NATO would continue to have some responsibilities." (Introduction, Paragraph 8)

  Significantly, while it envisions a continued NATO presence, particularly in Tripoli, it allows for no role for the African Union. It archly notes that only in Qadhafi's post-coup declaration was Libya said to be part of Africa. As Inner City Press has reported, even staff in the UN Department of Political Affairs Africa Divisions have expressed outrage at this, as well as the central role assigned to "the Brit" Ian Martin, to the agitated displeasure of DPA chief Lynn Pascoe when Inner City Press asked him about it on August 25, click here for that.

  Troubling, but perhaps indicative of Ban Ki-moon's UN, is the report's recommendation that non-State media be "monitored" lest it "rush to resort to public opinion."

Ban & Ian Martin - nouveau L. Paul Bremer?

  While Pascoe called "extraordinary" the failed mediation work of Ban Ki-moon's envoy for Libya Abdul Ilah Al Khatib, Martin's report mentioned Al Khatib only once, as a person consulted with. (Al Khatib has throughout remained a paid Senator in Jordan.)

  Also consulted were UN funds and programs (the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes wants in and UNDP plans a "Surge" and to play a role in procurement), the International Migration Organization and the World Bank -- but, despite discussion for example of currency stabilization and exchange rates, NOT the International Monetary Fund.

  Even to compile the report, the UN and Martin reached outside of the UN System and hired Dartmouth professor Dirk Vandewalle as a consultant. When Inner City Press first asked, UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq refused to even confirm Vandewalle's hiring.

  This week, when Inner City Press asked that the report be released in light of Vandewalle's public description of his role, Haq said no, and his associate spokesperson even claimed the report is "not a UN document."

  One of the many questions arising from the report is under what mandate, and with what accountability, the UN Secretariat developed this "post-conflict" Libya plan, and then refused to share it even with member states.

  There will be many other questions. For now, in advance of the (August 16 video) meeting convened by Ban Ki-moon, Inner City Press is making the UN's plan public, as it should have been. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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