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On Rule of Law, UN Cites Haiti But Not Cholera or IDP Deaths, Due Process Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 30 -- With the "Rule of Law" the topic in the UN Security Council on Wednesday, one might have expected such legal topics as the UN's responsibility for introducing cholera into Haiti or the application of its supposed Human Rights Due Diligence Policy to be on the agenda.

   But, at least in public, there was only one speaker: Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson. Then the Security Council's 15 members went into the smaller consultations room.

  The representative of a country which attended but had to leave after Eliasson finished asked Inner City Press, "an issue like this has to be behind closed doors?"

  Inner City Press later put this to January's Security Council president Masood Khan, on camera. He affably replied that since it was an "interim report," it was closed consultations. But the report was commissioned a full year ago.

  Is it that the Security Council doesn't trust the other members of the UN?

   And so we are left with Eliasson's three page public statement. It is full of buzzwords but mentions a few of the countries where there are UN peacekeeping missions: Liberia, South Sudan, Cote d'Ivoire and Haiti.

 Of course of Haiti it does not mention accountability for cholera.

   Nor on Cote d'Ivoire does it mention UN envoy Bert Koender's cover up of the murders at the Nahibly IDP camp and the UN peacekeepers' role. How can the UN preach rule of law if it doesn't practice it itself?

   A simple but currently open example of this is the UN's refusal to answer what it rules of due process are when a complaint is filed with it against an accredited journalist.

  On June 20, 2012 Voice of America filed a request with the UN's Stephane Dujarric, citing its bureau chief Margaret Besheer, asking that Inner City Press' accreditation be "reviewed."

  Voice of America said it had the support of UN Correspondents Association "colleagues" at Agence France Presse (Tim Witcher) and Reuters (Louis Charbonneau, who had already filed his own complaint, secretly of course).

  Dujarric thanked VOA's Steve Redisch for the complaint and said he'd call him about it -- but never told Inner City Press.

  After the unconstitutional complain was exposed and questioned from Capitol Hill -- Voice of America is a US government agency under the State Department -- Inner City Press' accreditation was extended. But, according to VOA documents, Dujarric assured VOA that Inner City Press had received a warning.

  What type of warning? Did it, still unconstitutionally, concern the content of coverage?

  For now, despite a direct request from the New York Civil Liberties Union, and now the Free UN Coalition for Access, Dujarric and those above him have not answered the basic question of due process: that is, of the rule of law. Watch this site.

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