Inner City Press

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

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

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

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

At UN, Fast Moves for Ban Includes Monday Security Council Consultations, Sources Say, Not Yet Russia

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 6, updated -- After Ban Ki-moon on Monday morning told the press it would be natural for the Security Council to take up his request for a second term this week, a Council source told Inner City Press that the Council had immediately scheduled consultations for Monday afternoon, after a meeting about the Council's trip to Africa.

  It's strange, the source said, we had expected the Gabonese to meet bilaterally and sound countries out. But they're going for it now, making everyone show their cards.

  Significantly, perhaps, so far nothing has been said by veto-wielding Russia.

  After Ban met with the Asia Group on Monday morning, Chinese Ambassador Li Baodong summoned reporters to the stakeout to express China's support for Ban. He took questions off camera, and Inner City Press asked what China thinks of Ban's performance on Libya under Resolution 1973.

  Li Baodong said China is concerned with the way it has been implemented, that the language of the resolution should not be gone beyond. Ban, he said, is “every month available for a briefing.” But is that all a UN Secretary General can do?

  US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemarie DiCarlo told the press midday on Monday that the US would have a statement about Ban. Inner City Press asked Permanent Representative Susan Rice as she went into the Security Council at 3 pm if the US had a statement about Ban.

  “We'll say something,” Ambassador Rice responded with a smile, “when we're saying something.”

 As it turned out, her spokesman Mark Kornblau had already “said in a statement” that "We welcome the announcement. We have worked constructively with the secretary-general over the past several years on a wide array of complex challenges facing the United Nations and the international community."

  So perhaps Ambassador Rice's quip wasn't about the US position -- ostensibly already sent out to some by Kornblau -- but about the Council as a whole. [It's been clarified that Kornblau was responding by e-mail to a reporter's question.]

  As the Monday afternoon Council session started, Russian sources predicted to Inner City Press that the Russian Mission to the UN will not yet speak on Ban's self-nomination, under the theory of “what's the rush” and also with the perception of two centers of power back in Moscow.

Ban & Lavrov in Moscow, old DESA deal not shown, consultations to come

They talk, historically if nothing else, of a deal for Kofi Annan's second term under which Annan was to have named a Russian official to be the head of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which never happened. What deals have been struck, and with which countries, this time?

While Ban did not answer Inner City Press' question Monday morning about his 2007 statement that top officials should only serve five years, there is talk of chief UN peacekeeper Alain Le Roy being replaced, by another Frenchman. France's foreign minister Alain Juppe has already come out for Ban Ki-moon. Again, what other deals have been struck, and with which countries?

And would calling Monday afternoon consultations force the hand of Russia and others?

Update of 4:02 pm -- after the report above, the Council is in consultations on Ban Ki-moon; one Deputy Permanent Representative wouldn't even predict how long it will last, saying "it depends on how many people want to talk."

Update of 4:25 pm -- the consultations broke up, with one Council member predicting it will be "done this month." Another Council member was more specific, saying "next week." But with this gang you can't be sure: they might "try to ram Ban through at any time," as one wag put it.

* * *

At UN as Ban Pushes for 2d Term, Sees No Need or Time for Other Candidates

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 -- Ban Ki-moon on Monday told the press he is seeking a second term as UN Secretary General. Inner City Press asked Ban if he thought the UN should have a more formal process of soliciting more than one candidate, holding interviewed, developing a short list.

  “It's up to member states,” Ban said, then said it would be natural if both the Security Council and the General Assembly took up his request for a second term this week, while the Presidents of Nigeria and Gabon are at the UN. So, no time for any other candidates to declare.

  Ban intends to meet with the African Group Monday at 3, then on Tuesday with the Eastern European states then Western European and Other Group and GRULAC.

  Ban's first move was to tell the Asia Group, at a breakfast Monday morning, that he wants a second term. Ban said they have supported him.

  After Ban's press conference, Inner City Press interviewed a Deputy Permanent Representative who attended the meeting. He said that no vote was taken, but rather “acclamation.”

Ban & Gaddafi: one candidate elections not shown

 Inner City Press asked if Sri Lanka spoke, and the DPR said yes, Syria as well. He did not see any North Korea representative in the room, he said. We will have more on this.

Update of 1:30 pm -- US Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo, exiting the Security Council, answered about Ban second term by saying the US will be issuing a statement. In the IMF race, Timothy Geithner hedges on whether US supports Christine Lagarde, there being a Mexican candidate Agostin Carstens in the race. So why this one-candidate process at the UN?

* * *

Amid UN Praise of Arab Spring, a One Candidate Coronation of Ban Begins

By Matthew Russell Lee, News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 6 -- While leaders in the UN loudly praised the Arab Spring as a move toward democracy, Ban Ki-moon is being anointed without any competition or even debate for another five year term as Secretary General.

If democracy is good in the Middle East, why not in the UN itself? Wouldn't a more formal process, including questions ranging from Libya through human rights to the budget, benefit the UN and its legitimacy?

Even the International Monetary Fund, derided for lack of transparency, last month announced a process whereby candidates can put in their names by June 10, with three or four to be interviewed and a decision made by June 30.

  At the UN by contrast, there is no deadline, and no explanation of the sudden rush. Much is made of the lack of other candidates, but no formal process for nominations was ever announced.

  There is no transparency: the Security Council could take up and adopt, without vote, the dipositive resolution without any notice to the public, in any closed door consultations as early as today.

  Some have said Ban would like to do it with the Presidents of Gabon and Nigeria in town: that is, on the margins of Tuesday's speeches about HIV / AIDS.

  Beginning with an Inner City Press report midday on Friday that Ban would meet with the Asia Group on Monday morning then announce to the press Monday at 11:30, it has been widely reported that the process has begun (and just as widely predicted that there is no opposition.)

  Monday in the UN's North Lawn Building, Inner City Press observed a slew of high UN official going up to Ban's third floor office: Alain Le Roy and Susana Malcorra of Peacekeeping, information technology's Mr. Choi, manager in waiting Franz Baumann -- whom Inner City Press thanked for a recent written answer -- Ban's Special Adviser on Africa and other issues, and top Political adviser Lynn Pascoe, who told Inner City Press “it's just the boss holding his normal Monday morning meeting.” We'll see.

* * *

Amid UN Complaints on Ban Ki-moon's "Arbitrary" 3.7% Budget Cuts, His Pre-Coronation Is Reported

By Matthew Russell Lee, News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, June 5 -- Even before it is decided who should be UN Secretary General from 2012 through 2016, news wire services have predicted with “100%” accuracy that Ban Ki-moon will and should be re-appointed, quoting unnamed “UN diplomats.”

  But why? Beyond questions about silence on human rights issues, and compromising the UN's purported impartiality in Cote d'Ivoire and elsewhere, on June 3 members of the UN's budget advisory committee complained to Inner City Press about Ban's just-made budget proposal.

  “He said it would be a three percent across the board cut,” a member of the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs told Inner City Press. “Then he comes in with three point seven, but implemented very haphazardly. There are no cuts to UN Women, but larger cuts to other departments.”

  Another ACABQ source wondered why member states would move so quickly to rubber stamp Ban for five more years right after he made a controversial but still secret budget proposal.

This wouldn't happen in any democracy in the world,” the source said. In these fiscal times, how leaders proposal budgets is the major issue to judge them on. "Ban just dropped this one on us, the member states haven't even debated or even heard it -- and they want to give him a second term?”

Ban with Zoellick & DSK: successor & musical chairs not shown

Beyond this, as Inner City Press has pointed out since the resignation of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as head of the IMF and before, if that now vacant post goes to an Asian or even South Korean, it would change the UN balance, and quite possible bring out another candidate for the top UN spot.

If Ban is preaching democracy, why not at least wait to see if a competing candidate emerges? 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.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -