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FUNCA Flyer Criticizing Banning of Press Is Defaced, Under UN Camera

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 23 -- It's small, but telling. And it is a litmus test for the UN. As the UN press corps has moved back into the Secretariat building in the last two weeks, Inner City Press posted two flyers on the door of its office, both from the Free UN Coalition for Access.

  The first, dated May 14-15, concerned problems with the move and the exclusion of the media from the re-opening by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

  The second, dated May 21-22, criticized the UN's (and UN Correspondents' Association's) Media Access Guidelines which ban media workspace in front of the renovated Security Council, bar all but resident correspondents from the Delegates' Lounge, and purport to ban flyers from the doors of journalists offices.

  This last has been explained because this year's president of the UNCA Pamela Falk of CBS does not like her name used, though she chose to head a group which in 2012 sought to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN. Neither flyer, however, named Falk or any other UNCA member: only Ban Ki-moon.

  On May 22, after this protest, a UN Security camera emerged above the office door on which the flyers were posted. Click here for 2-minute video Q&A of May 23 at noon.

  And later on May 23 it was seen: someone stopped and scrawled graffiti defacing the flyers, naming Inner City Press as "viscious" [sic] and "a fraud." Tweeted photos here, and here (showing UN Security camera).

  The question arises: should flyers be banned because the UN can't or won't stop its partners in UNCA from defacing them?

  After Inner City Press and FUNCA complained about the surveillance camera, this was the reply:

Subject: Request for suspension of Media Access Guidelines and information about them
From: Stephane Dujarric [at]
Date: Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:16 PM
To: funca [at]
Cc: Matthew Lee [at]

Matthew, On the camera I went by your office this evening and saw it for myself. We will look into it.

  So now, will the surveillance camera - still up - reveal defacement by one of Dujarric's UNCA partners?

  While Inner City Press and FUNCA are pushing for the removal of this and any other UN Security camera in the press area, this particular camera must have filmed the defacement and defacer of the flyers. So what will the UN do? Watch this site.

Note the UN Security camera directly above the defaced flyers. And watch this site.

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