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UN's Defense of UNCA One Party Rule Cites League of Nations, Reforms Withheld

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 4 -- The UN is trapped in the past. When pressed for even basic reforms, its officials fall back on history, saying that things have been done a certain way for decades and therefore must remain so.

   At a January 17 meeting with the new Free UN Coalition for Access, UN official Stephane Dujarric went so far as to cite the League of Nations as the reason to continue with a one-party system in representation of the media.

   It was said that the meeting would be committed to writing by the UN, but more than two weeks later this has been done only selectively. So here's a bit more.

   Dujarric said, "it's in everyone's interest that there is one organization... we can't deal with three or four federations of journalists." So he seeks to maintain only one interlocutor, as he put it: the UN Correspondents Association.

   But there are major and now irreconcilable problems with UNCA as an interlocutor and more fundamentally, for example the drive by UNCA's leadership in 2012 to expel and dis-accredit from the UN the investigative Press.

   Dujarric is the one who received and processed the complaint, by Voice of America which said it had the support of Reuters bureau chief Louis Charbonneau and Agence France Presse's Tim Witcher, both of which remain on the UNCA Executive Committee in 2013.

   Dujarric never told Inner City Press about the complaint. When asked about due process again on January 17, he said "if there was a point that a person was de-accredited because of complaints, then they would have access to them."

   That is not due process. And UNCA cannot even if it pretended now to care be the advocate on this issue -- it was UNCA "leaders" who pushed the complaints, and UNCA "met with the UN (very quietly)" to bring it about.

   Neither the 15 members of UNCA's executive board in October 2012, nor Dujarric and his colleagues on January 17, 2013, would say who these UN officials were.

  In defense of his position that the UN prefers to deal only with UNCA, Dujarric said UNCA has "testified to UN committees, and that UNCA was designated as a successor by the League of Nations."

  It seems increasingly the UNCA is LIKE the League of Nations.

   Ironically, at the January 17 meeting Dujarric and more so his colleagues including his boss gave some seemingly positive answers to some FUNCA questions, on photo ops, GA passes not through UNCA, more information in the Media Alert.

   But when Dujarric belatedly wrote or signed an answer on February 1, none of the positive answers were included. Asked about it, he replied, "I think a number of the questions you raise were, in fact, answered to you in person during our meeting with last month" -- and please publish my letter.

  His goal, it seems clear, is to make it appear that even those positive answers his boss gave to FUNCA never occurred, that UNCA is the only game in town. That is not the case.

   Dujarric asserted "bad blood" between Inner City Press and UNCA's past president (click here for some of why), and emphasized the fact that UNCA has a new president, Pamela Falk.

  But as noted, Falk has said nothing about the 2012 censorship drive, nor the 2013 tearing down of flyers and attempts to re-assert a one-party system. She is a lawyer, but doesn't seem to understand the principles of free speech and equal treatment. As some say, the UN can corrupt everything. Meet the new boss.

   Even Dujarric, when asked of the absolute right to form and press forward an alternative to UNCA said, "I have no right to deny you, even if I wanted to deny you." That's right. Watch this site.

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