Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

On Donations, HABITAT Cites Compact, UN Defers on Samsung, Censors' Set?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 9 -- How does or should the UN "partner" with big private businesses? The question arose recently when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon used a two-question stakeout about sustainable energy to praise Shell Oil and Bank of America, implicated in the 2008 predatory lending meltdown.

On Monday, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson, and UN-HABITAT chief Joan Clos, about being intertwined with Samsung, Ericsson, even TomTom.

  Clos replied that UN-HABITAT only partners or accepts donations or staff from corporation which are members of the UN Global Compact. But is that enough? Can companies use their contributions as a basis for advertising, even an implicit claim of endorsement by the UN?

  The Samsung question is closer to home, right in the UN Headquarters. Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky about a donation of television screens or sets by Samsung, where the UN reports the donations it gives, and the terms. He said he would check.

  Even before this interim answer was given, another one cut in from long time member of the United Nations Correspondents Association, which as Inner City Press has reported decided to accept a Samsung television screen after being assured there is no conflict of interest by none other than the UN itself.

  While the question Monday was not put to the UNCA representatives in and next to their labeled "Holy Seat," the hissed reply seemed to be that UNCA is not accepting a television screen -- does that mean not accepting any free TV labeled "Samsung," or arguing that it is being lent by the UN out of a donation from Samsung?

  UNCA under its 2013 and apparently 2014 president Pamela Falk sent out this explanation, provided to Inner City Press by an outraged or disgusted UNCA member:

"There was discussion about whether or not UNCA should receive a donation from Samsung and whether or not a Mission was involved. DPI was able to clarify the donation information, which does not involve a mission. This note was received: This is to confirm that once we get the donations from Samsung to the UN, DPI will loan a TV screen to UNCA to replace one of your old ones."

  Is this going forward? And when will the UN answer the questions asked Monday at noon, including about the protests in South Korea about Samsung exposing its workers to environmental diseases?

From the Korea Times in September of this year:

The Lawyers for Democratic Society and a labor rights group of Samsung Electronics have written to the United Nations about occupational diseases among the company’s employees.

The organizations told a press conference in front of Samsung Group headquarters in southern Seoul on Wednesday that the move was designed to pressure Samsung and the Korean Government to take responsibility for occupational diseases and the damage they caused to victims and their families.

The occurrence of occupational diseases and their consequences are clear violations of labor rights, and the UN must be made aware of this development,” said a spokesperson for the protesting groups.

There are numerous avenues of complaints and petitions that protesters can file with the UN, but the Korean groups chose to put their allegations in a letter.

The letter alleges Samsung has been withholding the results of tests and evaluations in suspected cases of occupational diseases.

It says Ministry of Employment and Labor have failed to stop workers being exposed to harmful chemicals and other hazardous substances, and that tougher initiatives are needed to protect workers’ rights.

  Also in that HABITAT portion of the briefing, Inner City Press asked Clos about HABITAT's work in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan. He said they have an office there, then continued that in planning a city (like, say, Tacloban) it is important that 30% be set aside for public space, rather than the two to ten percent that happens under "spontaneous" development. We'll see. Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2013 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]