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

Venezuela FM Arreaza Met UN Guterres , Then Canada Bragged of Same, No Read-Outs

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos

UNITED NATIONS, October 30 – When Inner City Press went to the UN's 38th floor for Sweden's foreign minister's 4:30 pm meeting with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on October 30, there was a delay. Then suddenly, instead of Sweden, Guterres rushed in with Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. He did a fast and perfunctory handshake and rushed into his office with Arreaza. An hour later, Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland bragged how she and her Peruvian counterpart Ricardo Luna Mendoza had met with Guterres about Venezuela. Guterres, unlike his predecessor, issued no read-outs, entirely untransparent. And what is he accomplishing? Based on Cameroon, nothing. When Venezuela's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza took questions at the UN after meeting Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he focused on the new US sanctions announced earlier that day. Inner City Press, covering the UN, asked about the Guyana land dispute - and he said, yes, it was discussed, the process continued. Guterres' canned readout said: "The Secretary-General took note of the assessment of the Venezuelan Government regarding the situation in the country. The Secretary-General reiterated his view that a political solution based on dialogue and compromise between the Government and the opposition is essential, and urgent, to address the challenges faced by the country in a context of respect for rule of law and human rights.  He expressed support for ongoing regional efforts and the work of the international facilitators who are assisting the parties in trying to reactivate a process of negotiation. The Secretary-General and Minister Arreaza also discussed the Good Offices Process on the border controversy between Guyana and Venezuela." Venezuela was the topic for the first time of a UN Security Council "Any Other Business" meeting on May 17, right after another closed door meeting on Somalia and Eritrea. The title of the meeting is “the situation in Venezuela and efforts by regional organizations to resolve the crisis per Chapter VIII of the UN Charter" and the briefer will be not USg Jeffrey Feltman but his Assistant, ASG Miroslav Jenca. The request, as announced by US state media, was by the US Mission to the UN. This comes hours after that Mission declined, at least as of this report, to answer on the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization helping North Korea with patent filings for the production of sodium cyanide, a violation of UN sanctions. (After that, the president of the Security Council for May said he was UNaware of WIPO, whose North Korea work is right on its website.) It is important that the UN system be held to account, to end both corruption and censorship - and as noted below, its impunity for bringing cholera to Haiti, while being cited offering help on cholera in Venezuela. Back on May 2 when US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Michael Fitzpatrick took press questions about Venezuela, as reflected by the transcript, he called Nicolas Maduro's plans for a constituent assembly "corporatist" and Venezuela's plan to stop attending Organization of American States meetings a "step backward for themselves." He chided the government for not accept help "even from the UN" for medical issues (the UN, one noted, introduced cholera to Haiti.) Fitzpatrick said the US has been using the OAS its way to be in contact with Venezuela, given the lack of an exchange of ambassadors. The moderator called in order on Reuters, EFE and Bloomberg, then CNN en Espanol and CBS; Fitzpatrick declined to say if Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would attend the planned ministerial meeting of the OAS, saying the date and location have not yet been selected.  Back on April 20 after US Vice President Mike Pence announced that Donald Trump will attend ASEAN and related meetings this November, the State Department held a half-hour telephone press briefing by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy. Responding to a mere five questions, Murphy began with Voice of America, answered a Malaysian outlet's question about visas to the US from that country and then told Reuters the US will continue its freedom of navigation operations. The issue of human rights, raised this week in the UN Security Council session by Ambassador Nikki Haley, was not addressed, though a question was taken about the Philippines anti-drug controversies. Even of the five questions, many were deferred to others in consular affairs or the Department of Defense. As to the UN,  early reports on possible Trump administration budget cuts have triggered push-back by former State Department staffers, some using pseudonymous Twitter accounts.

  Back on March 2 holdover Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Ambassador William Brownfield on the record insisted that the US' relationship with the United Nations is excellent. He cited an upcoming UN conference later this month at which he said he will be representing the United States. We'll see.

  Meanwhile on March 1, despite the billions of dollars the US gives to the UN, the UN website was down for hours, no one seemed to care. At the UN, the Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach used public funds, one quarter from the US, for a training to tell DPI-accredited NGOs that Detroit, Michigan is a "third rate city" in "flyover country;" DPI had already evicted and continues to restrict the investigative Inner City Press which alone reported on the dissing of Detroit, and other UN corruption.

On US inauguration day on January 20 at the US Mission to the UN the photos of Obama, Biden, Kerry and Samantha Power came down. As of February 17 they have not been replaced.
  But as elsewhere an "Alt USUN" Twitter account continues in a parallel online universe the views of Power, most recently calling out new Ambassador Nikki Haley for only attending three of 13 UN Security Council meetings, on Ukraine, ISIS and Israel - Palestine.

  Fair enough. But how many meetings did Samantha Power attend? And after the Israel - Palestine meeting Nikki Haley took questions at the Security Council stakeout, not pre-screened by Power's spokesman Kurtis Cooper - who remains at the US Mission, tweeting, along with many others.

  In fact, Isobel Coleman who did nothing when the DC-based whistleblower protection group Government Accountability Project wrote to her about the UN's eviction of the investigative Press, here, still as of February 17 lists herself as the US representative on UN reform. Is it true?

   In the UN itself, Obama and Hillary Clinton nominee Jeffrey Feltman has gotten his UN contract extended. Inner City Press first reported, from multiple sources, that Feltman sought this so that his UN pension would hit the five year vesting dateline. The UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric called Inner City Press' question, and by implication Inner City Press, "despicable." Or is that, deplorable?

  Meanwhile Voice of America, which was shown under the US Freedom of Information Act to have asked the UN to throw out the investigative Press, has now asked about Jared Kushner (video via here) and asked the UK about Nikki Haley's inexperience. Like we said, an alternative universe.

  Other former State Department officials like Bathsheba Crocker wring their hands about changes in foreign policy. But what did they do, when the UN killed 10,000 plus people in Haiti with cholera? They had their time to try to improve the UN, and largely failed. It's time to #MoveOn.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

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 2006-2017 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for