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In Afghanistan UNDP Abandons Local Staff, Censorship By Guterres and Irish Mission

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Video Q&A
BBC - Guardian UK - Song - SDNY/FOIA

UN GATE, September 2 – Each day, the current United Nations gets worse. And Inner City Press, banned now for the 1258th day by Secretary General Antonio Guterres continues to report on it, on August 16 publishing a UN internal memo about moving international staff to Kazakhstan. On August 16, 17 and 18 it in writing asking Guterres and his UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming about it - no answer. And no one they let in asked, or seemingly had the memo.

Now this about the UNDP's abandonment of Afghan staff, from whistleblowing sources to Inner City Press: "UNDP in Afghanistan is refusing to help national staff to leave the country. While other international organisations have evacuated all staff including guards and drivers, the United Nations Development Programme is declining to evacuate any national staff. The response is that it is not United Nations policy to evacuate national staff.     National staff are at risk because they served the UN and now are left to fend for themselves. Many are in hiding, including one woman who is forced to hide in a basement in fear of life or forced marriage to Taliban militia.     The Resident Representative, Abdallah Dardari, got himself out to Kazakhstan quickly despite the chance to remain within a well-guarded compound. All the better to avoid any responsibility when national staff start to get their throats cut by the Taliban simply because they worked for an international organization.     There are still UN humanitarian flights out of Afghanistan. Staff and their families could be got out if UNDP management accepted their moral responsibilities."

 This is today's corrupt UN that can't even take questions.

On August 30, the UN Security Council after significant watering down a draft resolution on Afghanistan nevertheless witnessed abstention and speech from China name-checking, to denounced, "ETIM," the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. No one mentioned the mass imprisonment of Uighurs. And Guterres' teams did not answer any of Inner City Press' written questions. Video of Q&A for access.  Song.
and now, podcast here.

  So during the August 30 meeting, the last in August, Inner City Press wrote to the incoming UNSC Presidency for September, Ireland's Geraldine Byrne Nason, and her spokesperson Meghan Boroughs, for access at least by WebEx to their September 1 "press" conference.

  The Mission's self-described spokesperson replied that she referred the request to MALU - which does not response or explain - and the Irish PR held a presser with another spokesperson, Irwin, and did not answer written questions on Haiti, Cameroon, South Sudan, and Afghanistan. A fish rots from the head. Watch this site.

On August 26, this from a State Department Spokesperson:   "we have received confirmation that roughly 500 of the 1,500 Americans that we were tracking as potentially being in Afghanistan have been evacuated.  Second, over the past 24 hours, we heard from an additional roughly 500 people purporting to be Americans in Afghanistan who want to leave. We immediately began attempting to reach these individuals by phone, text, and email. Based on our experience, many of these will not turn out to be U.S. citizens in need of our assistance. The new submissions speak to the realities of the situation we have been addressing over the past 12 days – the situation is dynamic and so is the data.  Third, we are now in contact with the roughly 1,000 Americans we believe remain in Afghanistan. And, the vast majority – over two thirds – informed us that they were taking steps to leave. We believe many, if not most, of these individuals are nearly or already out of the country. And, we know that dozens more do not wish to leave Afghanistan for a range of reasons.  The Department of State will continue to provide updates on our progress" Unlike the UN.

 On August 18 Dujarric announced, as news, the two day old memo. Here is UNAMA's email:

"  From: Marija Sendekovic <> On Behalf Of OSRSG-UNAMA Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2021 5:07 PM To: UNAMA-All Staff <> Subject: Message to all staff    Message to all staff  The security and political landscape has evolved quickly and we may expect further volatility in the immediate period ahead. We understand the anxiety this has caused to all of you in face of such uncertainty.  Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of all personnel.  We have put in place and implemented many approaches and security measures to help protect staff. We will continue to make all necessary adjustments to procedures and work issues in order to safeguard personnel. Many colleagues from field offices have been involved in extensive relocation actions. I thank all the many teams across the UN family who made the relocations possible. I recognize such moves can be a real upheaval and stressful to colleagues and their families. Your safety is of paramount importance to us and we will continue to support you in every way we can.   The relocations were overwhelmingly successful with the vast majority of field-based personnel safely moved out of immediate harms’ way. With a focus on keeping personnel and their families safe, we will be looking to see most national personnel mainly working from homes or the place of relocation.  The UN’s leadership is continuing to explore every viable option to support national personnel in the challenging circumstances.  In order to further reduce risks we are also looking at options to consolidate personnel reporting to the office in to fewer compounds within Afghanistan.  Another step we are taking is to continue to lower the footprint of international personnel in Kabul. No evacuation is currently being considered but it is prudent that only senior management and essential international staff stay in Afghanistan for the time-being.  In parallel to lightening of our international footprint in Kabul, we are setting up a satellite office for the UN in a nearby state in order for some international staff to support our work in Afghanistan. Almaty in Kazakhstan -that is less than two hours flight time from Kabul- has been identified as the location from where a small group of international personnel can work.  We need to display patience and fortitude in the period ahead. As representatives of the United Nations we need to remain level-headed and all work together to shape these events so that they produce the best possible outcome for Afghanistan under the circumstances. These are the moments where the United Nations is called on to perform; let us strive to do our best to meet the great expectations that the Afghan people have on us." 

 The UN has neither responded to or offered any explanation when a lawyer's letter - to UN official Fleming, and Tal Mekel, and to each UNCA Executive Committee member - urged them to have a dialogue about ending the UN's banning and censorship of Inner City Press.

On August 9, an independent (minded) journalist asked Dujarric about the letter, video here, transcript:

Question:  My second question is the law firm ‑‑ what is it called? ‑‑ Quinn Emanuel wrote a letter to the UN asking about reinstatement of our colleague Matthew Lee into the UN press corps. Do you have any comment on that?      

Spokesman:  No. All I can tell you is that we've received the letter, and I'm not aware of any change to his status.     

Question:  You're not aware? I mean, aren't you part of the group that decides the fate of... or even the negotiations... The letter calls for renegotiation [Cross talk]      

Spokesman:  I decide the fate of no one. [Laughter]      Trust me, trust me, my authority is extremely limited, whether at home or at work.       What I can tell you and, joking aside, is that the letter has indeed been received, and I'm not aware of any... and there has been no change in Mr. Lee's status.     

Question:  Has the letter been answered? Do you plan to answer it?      

Spokesman:  It's been received. Whether or not it's been answered, I don't know yet.

The letter was received by the UN's Melissa Fleming, Maria Luiza Vioti and Tal Mekel and to each UNCA Executive Board member, to them citing UNCA's stated goals that it has a charter to supposedly uphold.

What's next? Since the letter, Inner City Press has published exclusive stories not only from the U.S. court systems but about the United Nations, including its agencies UNOPS, UNFPA, UNITAR and UNESCO. (Also credited in AP, Daily Mail, and Nigeria's Sahara Reporters, amid answers from the IMF.)

But none of its written questions have been answered by the UN Spokespeople, and it remains banned from entry to the UN's briefings. This must end.   

 Having asked for a colleagial discussion, and while still offering it, things must turn to the law. UNCA is a New York State non-profit which has not only not abided by its stated goals - it has tortiously interfered with a journalist's right to cover the United Nations.    The United Nations itself propounds Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and has other legal duties that must be addressed by national courts, particularly in the UN's host country... 

Those in receipt of the first, friendly letter:,,,,  and UNCA
Valeria Robecco, ANSA News Agency, Nabil Abi Saab, Al-Araby, Jianguo Ma, Xinhua News Agency, Edith Lederer, Associated, Giampaolo Pioli, Quotidiano, Linda Fasulo, Ibtisam Azem, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed Newspaper, Ali Barada, France 24, Asharq Al-Awsat; Oscar Bolanos, OMB News, Sherwin Bryce-Pease, SABC South Africa - Alexander Hassanein, The Tokyo Shimbun, Maria Khrenova, TASS, Philippe Rater, Agence France-Presse, Kaori Yoshida, Nikkei, Betul Yuruk, Anadolu Agency at,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  We'll have more on all this. Watch this site.


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