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Yemeni Nobel Winner Visits UN with Press, Ban's Member State Requirement Bypassed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 22 -- When before the Yemen resolution vote in the UN Security Council Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner Tawakul Karman asked the Office of the Spokesperson of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to hold a press conference, she was told it could only be done if sponsored by a member state.

  As Inner City Press previously reported, the head of that office Martin Nesirky has refused to disclose which member states sponsored press conference. Inner City Press was contacted and asked to sign Karman and those traveling with her into the UN as guests, so they could speak to the media.

And so at 3 pm on October 21 as the Yemen meeting began, Inner City Press waited for Karman in the General Assembly lobby. Video here and below.

  The door to the audience section of the Security Council was locked, though the meeting was supposed to be open. After an inquiry it was unlocked.

  When Ms. Karman and five others arrived, the meeting had yet to begin. UN Security kindly let Inner City Press sign in six people. Ms. Karman had her picture taken for this visitor's badge. Video here at Minute 3.

Tawakkul Karman & translator at stakeout, Ban-ning not shown (c)MRLee

  They proceeded then through the General Assembly basement and security check, neck-area hallway and to the area in front of the Council where Inner City Press usually works. Karman sat down with the journalists, many of whom took pictures with cell phones, and spoke to them through a translator.

  After the resolution was voted on, and after some conference, Karman went to the UN TV stakeout and called the resolution week -- but that's another story, another video, here.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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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

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

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