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Of Samoa, SIDS & UN System Travel, World Bank & Suits, Haiti Stonewall

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 23 -- In September to Samoa, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is taking 20 heads of UN system agencies for the third conference of the Small Island Developing States, SIDS.

  On June 23 Inner City Press asked Samoa's Ambassador Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia about what Seychelles' Finance Minister Pierre Laporte said this month at the World Bank, that donors should step up and that per capita income shouldn't be over-emphasized, with island states with small populations. Video here, from Minute 18:45.

  Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia replied that the World Bank is a good partner; UN DESA's Wu Hongbo said pragmatically, “We will know when the time comes what they bring to the table.”

Last month Inner City Press was informed by World Bank whistleblowers that, as one of them exclusively told Inner City Press:

The World Bank President, the one who used to work at Dartmouth, took a private jet to get some custom-made suits in Asia (12 or 13). Then he expensed them as if they were his presidential uniforms. The Accounting office in Chennai where all travel and business expenses are audited, scrutinized and approved, rejected his submission. He turned around and issued a complaint against the accounting office to the Ethics office, which told him to go and take a hike and to pay for his own wardrobe.”

  This is emblematic of the UN system under Ban Ki-moon, where basic accountability question aren't even answered, like Inner City Press' June 20 written question to Ban's two top spokespeople, “please confirm or deny asap that the Secretary General got handed or served with legal papers in one of the Haiti cholera lawsuits, on information and believe this morning near the Asia Society?”

  Receiving no answer at all, even three days later, Inner City Press asked spokesman Dujarric, who denied Ban is evasive, but did not explain his office's failure to answer this basic question.

  Now they will all fly around. Will any more questions be answered? Watch this site.

Footnote: While Inner City Press thanked Wu Hongbo -- as it turned out, for his honesty -- the bigwig duo of old UN Correspondents Association asked questions they would not report on, on CBS or the Huffington Post, and tried to block another journalist's question about marine sanctuaries, tomorrow's topic, see video here at Minute 23:08.

  Maybe these bigwigs of the UN's Censorship Alliance can go on the UN's junket too, since they're already given a big room, even as actual working journalists are thrown out, that they leave empty. UNreal.


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