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Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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World Bank Can't Deal With Libya Rebels, Says Danger Drives It Out of Yemen

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, April 14 -- Minutes after Robert Zoellick touted the World Bank's engagement with civil society in the Arab world, Inner City Press asked him if the Bank has had any contacts with the Libyan Transitional National Council based in Benghazi.

  No, Zoellick answered, since its founding in 1944 the World Bank can deal “only with established governments.” He went on to describe World Bank assistance to those fleeing Libya, referring to a program with Bangladesh to get its nationals out and provide then assistance once back in Bangladesh.

But Bangladesh's Permanent Representative to the UN has told Inner City Press that most of his nationals remained trapped in Libya, unlike for example Belgium which immediately flew its 78 citizens out.

Zoellick implied that some part of the $500 million program just announced with Tunisia will help those fleeing Libya to that country. We'll see.

Inner City Press also asked Zoellick about Yemen, whether World Bank programs continue there and what it would take to change that -- that is, if there is a limit to the repression that the World Bank would accept.

Zoellick replied that nearly all of the World Bank's international staff have been removed from the country for safety reasons, although a “resident” remains to work on “the bank [or Bank?] brief” there. He mused that the World Bank likes to watch things, to be ready. But ready for what? Watch this site.

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In DC, Session on Corruption Hunting Is World Bank Ad, ICC Tales, Gaddafi

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, April 13 -- A World Bank session on “Corruption Hunting” Wednesday at the International Monetary Fund's & World Bank's Spring Meetings devolved into little more than an advertisement for the Bank's work, from Indonesia to tigers, and for its lack of planning and coordination.

  Robert Zoellick spoke at the beginning and the end of the session, starting by bragging of forcing restitution payments to Indonesia and ending with the World Bank's work to preserve tigers, along with ASEAN.

 At the beginning he invited those in attendance, including the press, to later ask questions. But after each of the six other speakers went over-time, the public and press were excluded.

  International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo brushed off the moderator, Bill Connor, saying “don't ruin my last story.” Connor backed off, as he'd do later for Giovanni Kessler of Olaf and Boon Hui Khoo of Interpol.

  Ocampo's story began with the “Ukraine mafia” doing business in Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ended with “Ronald Desmet,” whose aircraft “9QCMC” flew the DRC's Bemba as well as Viktor Bout, and who according to Ocampo had Gaddafi's private number.

  Libya was mentioned, as not being included in the World Bank report, but Mubarak of Egypt and Ben Ali of Tunisia did not come up at all.

Zoellick & Ocampo nearly fall asleep on April 13, interaction not shown (c) MRLee

 Rather, Giovanni Kessler of Olaf bemoaned not being able to better share information, and Singaporean Boon Hui Khoo of Interpol complained of lack of resources.

  Khoo predicted that the UN Security Council will never deem corruption a threat to international peace and security, and therefore the ICC won't have jurisdiction.

  Not mentioned, or able to be questioned about, was Ocampo's Wikileaked briefing to Susan Rice and Alejandro Wolff at the US Mission to the UN, urging them to speaking publicly about Bashir of Sudan having $9 billion dollars, and naming Lloyds Bank. There has been no follow through on this. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

 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.

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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

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