Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media -e.g. Somalia, Nepal, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia  For further info, click here to contact us         .

Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

Myanmar For-Ex Losses Hit 25%, Nobel Winner Quotes ASEAN as Admitting, DPKO's Numbers

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, September 29 -- Two months after Inner City Press exposed 20% losses in Myanmar currency exchanges by the UN, and a month after the UN switched its figure to a mere 5%, Nobel Prize winner Jody Williams restored the level of loss to 25%.  She said that during her recent mission to the region as part of the Nobel Winners' Initiative, an "ASEAN guy" told her that 25% of funds were being lost in foreign currency exchange with "Burma's military junta... even before they start the real stealing."  Responding to a question from Inner City Press, she liked the latter to Nicaraguan dictator Somoza "selling humanitarian relief" after the 1972 Managua earthquake, which she said "fueled the Sandinistas" rise.

  Ironically, Sandinista leader Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann is now the president of the UN General Assembly. Just before d'Escoto gave the final speech of this year's General Debate, Somduth Soborun of Mauritius intoned that "Mauritius severely condemns the decision of Myanmar's military junta to prolong the house arrest of Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi." Given African Union position, Inner City Press asked him about it afterwards. "We supported Nelson Mandela," he said. "So how can we not similarly support Aung San Suu Kyi?"

  Meanwhile, Ban Ki-moon's advisor Nicholas Haysom, a Nelson Mandela lawyer, was asked by Inner City Press to explain why Ban canceled his scheduled September 27 press availability about Myanmar. Sometimes, Haysom said, involvement in delicate negotiations limits the "capacity to stand outside the process and shout." But 19 days of silence from Ban after his envoy Ibrahim Gambari left Myanmar without meeting with either Nobel Peace Prize-winning democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi or General Than Shwe?  

Jody Williams at UN March 2007, before 25% losses

  Haysom said the decision to cancel the September 27 press availability about Myanmar had been Ban's, and that he couldn't explain it. Perhaps the track record on this issue criticize by Jody Williams explains it.

 In the wider UN, Inner City Press asked UN Peacekeeping about its currency losses, and belated received the following this month:

[Inner City Press asked] Please list any and all other countries in which the UN/DPKO/DFS has faced currency exchange losses of over 5% and what DPKO/DFS have done/will do about it.

UN DPKO: "Recently the Organization has sought increased requirements under its programme budget as well as in a number of peacekeeping missions, largely attributable to the generally unfavorable rates of exchange of the United States dollar in relation to a number of other currencies. Additional requirements resulting from exchange rate movements arise across almost all duty stations.  There are a small number of locations, notably  Addis Ababa and Mexico City, where the exchange rates moved in a favourable direction and partially offset the additional requirements elsewhere. "

  We'll have more on this.

Watch this site, and this Sept. 18 (UN) debate.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -