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UN Deaf, Dumb & Blind, Security Council 2 Days With No Wi-Fi

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 4 -- The UN claims it wants to help journalists report on its work. Forgetting for a moment their willingness to conduct raids on media offices, leading to the anonymous leaking of raid photographs, even on the most humdrum basics the UN under-performs.

  On April 3 while Inner City Press covered the UN Security Council, the UN's wireless Internet became weak and then stopped working all together.

  After a complaint to the Department of Public Information's Media Accreditation and Liaison unit, it was said that the Office of Information and Community Technology would fix it.

But on April 4, while Inner City Press covered the Council's session on Yemen, again there was no wi-fi. This time, for obvious reasons, Inner City Press bypassed the non-responsive and complained to OICT as the Free UN Coalition for Access.

(FUNCA's twelve and counting most needed reforms submitted to DPI as far back as February 10 have yet to be implemented by DPI; are even simple things at the UN un-reformable?)

OICT responded in writing: “We are aware of the wi-fi issue happening today. Yesturday it started in the early afternoon and we had it resovled shortly after. Today it started around 10:30 and we are working to resolve it.”

FUNCA replied that “it seems obvious that since the problem persists today, it wasn't really resolved or fixed yesterday. Can you state what the problem is, that OICT is trying to fix? Thank you.”

There was a response, but no answer: “The network team is handling the issue and the Helpdesk is not aware on the actual issue at hand.”

Things happen. This is the Security Council, two days in a row. Who's in charge here?

Footnote: As Inner City Press has asked, again without answer, there has been no chief of OICT since mid 2012.

The Group of 77 has complained in the Budget Committee about the failure to fill the post -- Inner City Press reported that after the UN's failure during Hurrican Sandy, even to send an e-mail to member states, a more “political” OICT chief was sought. But it remains unfilled, and the UN lurches on. Watch this site.

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