Inner City Press

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

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

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

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

At UNESCO Norway Pulls Funds Because Gry Ulverud Not Given Job in Paris Where UNEP Solheim Goes

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 27 – That jobs in the UN system are essentially for sale is on display at UNESCO, where Norway is pulling funding because its candidate Gry Ulverud didn't get the top educational post. (Italy got, or in context probably bought, the position for Stefania Giannini.) On September 26 Inner City Press asked the UN in writing, "September 26-3: On reports that Norway is cutting its funding to UNESCO because it was not given a high position there, what is the SG's comment and action on this? Is such a quid pro quo approach acceptable or the norm in his UN system?" By the next day, no answer. Aftenpost behind a paywall describes a demarche of UNESCO boss Audrey Azoulay by representatives not only of Norway but also Denmark and Sweden. This is ironic because these two countries are moving to cut funds to UNEP because of (Antonio Guterres-like) travel waste by UNEP chief Erik Solheim, who happens to be Gry Ulverud's husband. Does her losing out on the UNESCO job make Solheim less tempted to spend public money flying to Paris? Nothing, it seems, can stop Guterres' Lisbon air shuttle on the public dime, for which he has been willing to have Inner City Press which asks about it roughed up and banned, even on September 26 from a UN human rights speech by Michelle Bachelet it had RSVP-ed for and had a ticket to, video here. Today's UN system is corrupt. The UN talks a lot about freedom of the press but this summer at its headquarters in New York has twice physically ousted critical Inner City Press, banned by Secretary General Antonio Guterres from entering the UN since July 3 when it was covering the UN Budget Committee. This was captured on video and now the September 23 NY Post, here.

And so, seeing that the Paris-based UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has whole sections devoted to Protection of Journalists and Fostering Freedom of Expression, Inner City Press reached out to UNESCO's Director of Freedom of Expression Guy Berger, whom it had questioned in the UN Press Briefing Room back in March before being banned from that room, about UNESCO sexual harasser Frank Larue, and to the New York-based liaison Ricardo de Guimarães Pinto.

A similar request for action directed first to a.azoulay [at], then to dg [at] was blocked: it seems Ms Azoulay accepted mail and information only from within UNESCO. So much for protecting journalists.

Here is what Inner City Press has sent to UNESCO, Berger and de Guimarães Pinto: Dear Messrs. de Guimarães Pinto (NY), Berger (Paris), DG:

This is a formal request for freedom of the press action by UNESCO. I am an investigative journalist who has covered the United Nations system for a decade. But but I have now been banned from the UN with no end in sight since July 3, when I was physically ousted from the UN for the second time in 11 days, while I was doing reporting.

I am told by the UN that the “suspension” of my access to the UN, now for 22 days, is for a review of being physically ousted by UN Security from covering the UN Budget Committee meetings on July 3, the type of meeting I have staked-out and covered for 11 years, the last two as a non-resident correspondent. I managed to film some of my ouster, beginning half way through as UN Security Lieutenant Ronald Dobbins tried to grab my phone, video here.

Something has gone wrong in the UN - on which UNESCO must act, immediately -- when a journalist typing up notes from an interview with the UN Budget Committee chair has been approached and assaulted by UN Security officers at least one of whom had and has a personal vendetta springing from previous (and accurate) Press coverage.

But it has become or exposed a more systemic problem: I have been banned from the UN for doing my job as a journalist, with no due process, no end in sight.

USG DPI Alison Smale has gone on a three week vacation, after vaguely claiming I was uncivil as my arm was being twisted, and that a few e-mail responses to my questions by the UN spokespeople means the UN is respecting my rights as a journalist.)

DPI has caused this problem by downgrading Inner City Press to “non resident correspondent” status for my coverage of the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case, which allows UN Security to target me any time I cover a meeting after 7 pm. I am allowed by rule to stay for such meetings, and for an hour afterward. But this is not been communicated to or accepted by these UN Security officers.

The only solution is to restore Inner City Press, which produces substantial UN coverage, to its long time shared work space in UN Room S-303 (which sits almost entirely unused) and to restore me to resident correspondent status. And then to ensure rules, and the rule of law and freedom of the press at the UN, going forward. If you have any questions, I am available (for now outside the UN gates) on my cell phone, or on email here. Please confirm receipt of this request.”

  They did not even confirm receipt. So much for protection of journalists.


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 2006-2015 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for