Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

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

For Reform at USUN, Obama Nominates Isobel Coleman from CFR

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 12 -- More than nine months after Joseph Torsella left as the US Mission to the UN's Ambassador on Management and Reform, and his first proposed successor withdrew, on September 12 the Obama administration announced a new nominee:  Isobel Coleman.

   She has been at the Council on Foreign Relations since 2002; before that she was at McKinsey, and founded NursingHands, Inc. Of her most recent book, her website says, "Through case studies on Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, Thailand, and Ukraine, Pathways to Freedom explores the structural factors and policy choices that shaped eight important transitions—some successful, others less so."

  It was published by CFR in May, 2013. Particularly on Ukraine, and on Thailand in light of this year's coup, might there be updates?

   Management and Reform has historically been an important position at the US Mission and remains so today, given for example the need for a Freedom of Information Act for the UN. But will this nomination proceed?

   Back in November, 2013 Inner City Press reported that Torsella would leave by the end of the year, then on November 21 that the Obama administration nominated to replace Torsella the lawyer Leslie Berger Kiernan. 

  On January 30, without explanation, her nomination was withdrawn, notified to the press by email after 6:25 pm:


Leslie Berger Kiernan, of Maryland, to be Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations for U.N. Management and Reform, with the rank of Ambassador, which was sent to the Senate on January 6, 2014.

  We noted that Leslie Berger Kiernan authored a legal treatise chapter on "Political Patronage and the Revolving Door," processes too prevalent in the UN.

 Back on November 15 the US Mission's Ambassador Samantha Power announced that Torsella would be leaving by the end of 2013.

  Inner City Press immediately tweeted it, along with the suggestion of 21 audit salute, since Torsella focused on the issue of releasing UN audits, pushing forward from where things were under his predecessor at the US Mission, Mark Wallace.

(Wallace went, notably, to United Against a Nuclear Iran which appears dis-united on the issue of new sanctions, with president saying no but spokesperson saying members say yes.)

  Torsella pushed for Fifth (Budget) Committee proceedings to be on UN Television. The Group of 77 responded that other committees like the Second on development and Fourth which included decolonization and work on the rights of Palestinians should also be filmed.

  Both have happened -- improvements in technology are also involved -- and it's all to the good.

   The G77 meeting at which Bolivia became as Inner City Press first reported the successor to Fiji was not initially televised; when Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access complained, the UN official in charge said it was belatedly on, check before asking.

   But it was UN staff which also complained, and this automatic defending of the UN is one of the things wrong, in the bigger picture for example on the UN bringing cholera to Haiti.

  Where does or would Isobel Coleman stand on it? And a newly arising issues, on which Inner City Press has reported: should the US State Department continue supporting the UN's bid for immunity for allegedly bringing cholera to Haiti?

  We'll have more on that. For now, this on less reported parts of Torsella's legacy:

Torsella to his credit wasn't just about the money. The issue of lack of accountability in Sri Lanka got delegated to him, in part because military figure Shavendra Silva was cynically put on Ban's Senior Advisory Group on Peacekeeping Operations.

  (Click here for longer form reporting on Sri Lanka and last weekend's Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.)

  In classic UN form, Ban stayed away telling Inner City Press it was a decision of the member states. Without saying more, Inner City Press can report Torsella worked on this.


Share |

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]