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UN In Denial Over Sha's Award to Chinese General for Foundation UN Took Money From

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 1 -- When UN Under Secretary General Sha Zukang handed a “World Harmony Foundation” award to former Chinese military leader during Tiananmen Square Chi Haotian, for many the UN had hit a new low.

  Perhaps for that reason, or in retaliation for USG Sha's drunken insults to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, when Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky on November 1 if Sha gave the award in his personal or official capacity, Nesirky replied that when the reports of the event "surfaced late last week online, that was the first we had heard about it... no further comment for now." Video here, from Minute 13:01.

  “Is Sha on leave?” Inner City Press asked. Nesirky said he didn't think Sha is on leave. Of course not - Sha is quoted alongside Ban Ki-moon at the closing of the Shanghai Expo on October 31.

But the UN also knows more about the World Harmony Foundation than it is letting on. As Inner City Press exclusively reported a year ago in October 2009, the UN took $110,000 from the WHF and its chief Frank Liu for a UN Day Peacekeeping concert in connection with which Lui told Inner City Press he was supposed to get a photo with Ban Ki-moon.

  When Inner City Press questioned the “pay to play” aspect of the funding and photo-op, the Ban face time was canceled, and instead Liu and associates were given photos with Under Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari.

UN's Sha Zukang, the General and, at left, Frank Liu, UN reform not shown
  It was never confirmed if this was in Gambari's personal or official capacity, but it seems clear that the Executive Office of the Secretary General knew about it.

So questions exist as to what the UN knew, and when, about Sha's role in handing Liu's WHF prize to Chi Haotian. Watch this site.

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UN Sings For Its Supper as Sponsors Strut in Green Room, Pay for Play on UN Day

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 24 -- As the UN celebrated itself with a concert in the General Assembly Friday night, the sponsor it took $110,000 from lurked around trying to get pay-back.

  On stage, UN peacekeepers were praised, even for their work in Rwanda. Across First Avenue, after an open photo op with the sponsors by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had become untenable, or at least unsavory, Under Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari arrived in at the UN Millennium Hotel to take photos with the Chinese businessmen who paid money for access to the UN.

  Still, this wasn't enough. Ban's pre-concert photo op, it emerged, had initially had three phases: artists, member states then sponsor. The last was officially cut out. But witnesses at the photo op, with the exception of the UN's organizer, tell Inner City Press that sponsor Frank Liu of the World Harmony Foundation and six of his associates still managed to get access.

  In the green room behind the General Assembly rostrum, Inner City Press spoke with Frank Liu. He complained about being excluded. They come and ask you for money, he said, and then this. Without apparent irony, he said that he perhaps shared Inner City Press' desire to "reform the UN."

  Head UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy strode into the green room. He spoke with the director of the Culture Project, and with Mr. Frank Liu, to whom he had written in July offering a full tour of DPKO's 24 hour Situation Center, in exchange for sponsorship of the concert.

  The UN, at the pre concert press conference, claimed that despite the wording of Le Roy's letter, there was no quid pro quo. The UN admitted that these same sponsors, the World Harmony Foundation, took photos with Ban Ki-moon after an event they paid for in March, but called the photos "ad hoc." These arguments wouldn't stand up in a New York City vice raid, or subsequent court appearance.

UN Day concert press conference, $ponsors' access not shown

  Rather than reflect on how bad the March pay to play incident in the General Assembly lobby made the UN look, the UN decided to try to take Frank Liu's money without openly being dominated. So, for example, it told Liu he couldn't bring onto the stage or even in the building the harmony bell he stores, during the year, in a garage in Queens.

  Lui, who complained to Inner City Press about this, had the bell brought to the Isaiah Wall across the street, and rang it along with personalities from South Korea. Take that, thirty eighth floor, was the message. Then USG Gambari made his appearance, ostensibly in a personal capacity, on the 29th floor of the UN Millennium Hotel. In the group's program, Gambari was listed as Deputy Secretary General, but Gambari later told Inner City Press this was "their fault," and Liu ascribed it to translation.

  So the UN tried to be able to say they had taken Frank Liu's money without taking anything from him. But he and his associates were given passes into the UN, used the Delegates Dining Room, got access to the Green Room and the top UN officials. The staged denial or withholding of certain accesses and acts took on the flavor of the client or "date" negotiations often broken up on shows such as Police Women of Broward County. But who will go undercover and expose some current UN officials? Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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