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Free Press Report of UNESCO Omits Countries, Banned from Transcript

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 -- At the UN they purported to talk of “World Trends in Freedom of Expression” on July 9, launching a 105-page UNESCO report on the topic which didn't mention particular countries or governments at all. Click here to view the report.

  How can threats to press freedom be assessed, much less combated, if one holds back from naming countries?

  But this is how much of the UN operates. Its in-house UN Correspondents Association, UNCA, promoted the UNESCO event without criticizing or even noting the lack of country-specific information. This was also true of most but not all of UNESCO's panelists who praised the report.

  The new Free UN Coalition for Access, on the other hand, notes as none of UNESCO's panelists did that the head of UNESCO Irina Bokova is campaigning to replace Ban Ki-moon as Secretary General, on the theory that it is the Eastern European Group's turn to hold the post (she is from Bulgaria; Helen Clark of UNDP is also among the candidates, some New Zealand reporting here).

  Of course if you're running for UN Secretary General, it's convenient to omit criticism of any countries or voters in a report on press freedom. But is it credible?


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