Monday, April 27, 2015

IAEA Praises Sudan Nuclear Path, Then Amano Takes No Q on It or Africa, Censorship Alliance


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- Amid talk that the next UN Secretary General, and heads of UN system agencies, should not be picked by and beholden to only the most powerful countries, when International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukio Amano held a UN press conference on April 27 one expected such a question, even a simple one based of a Wikileaks released cable about how he got the job.
  But the first question was set aside for UNCA, now the UN's Censorship Alliance, this time in the person of its Number One outright censor, blocking access to an anti-Press complaint he made tot he UN from Google's Search, here.
  It's ironic, because by this logic Iran could censor the number reported about it that are leaked, including at the IAEA. But the IAEA press conference stumbled on, Iran top heavy with nary a question about India, much less African.
 In fact, the IAEA's Africa Regional Officr Jin Kwang Lee was quoted this month that "Kenya and Uganda join their sub-Saharan Africa counter-parts, Ghana, Nigeria, Sudan and Niger while in North Africa - Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Libya have taken notable steps."
  Sudan? Nuclear? But the IAEA took no questions on this. Among other censorship-related reasons, which is why the new Free UN Coalition for Access opposes any set aside of first questions, particularly for an organization like UNCA whose Board members have tried to get independent Press thrown out of the UN. It's time to cast a skeptical and reforming eye more widely in the UN system. Watch this site.


How should the next UN Secretary General be selected, to improve the Organization? That was the question on April 27, first in a 10 am press conference by the campaign called "1 for 7 Billion: Find the Best UN Leader."
  Inner City Press asked the panel if, as happened last time, increase trade and aid funding by a candidates' country should at least be disclosed, if not prohibited. William Pace of WFM replied not only about countries spending hundreds of million of Euros, but also about the heads of international agencies using their posts to campaign.
  Since UNDP's Helen Clark is known to have told associates and underlings she would like to be the next SG, Inner City Press asked the panel for comment. They were diplomatic, including on the UK, said to be a reformer on the SG post, having insisted it retain the Emergency Relief Coordinator positioon, albeit in the person of Stephen O'Brien and not Cameron's first nominee (and National Health Service destroyer) Andrew Lansley.
  Natalie Samarasinghe of UNA-UK said the campaign around (well, against) Lansley was a positive step forward; she said that social media makes secret processes less possible. (But see the replacement at Yemen envoy of Jamal Benomar by a Mauritanian official who has not made public financial disclosure).
  Yvonne Terlingen, now Senior Policy Adviser at WFM,  also cited the OCHA process or campaign. WFM's Pace seemed to conflate the entire UN press corps with the UN Correspondents Association, a group that for example tried to censor Press coverage of how Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous got the job, then tried to get the Press thrown out.
  The new Free UN Coalition for Access seeks to open the UN and these processes - watch this site. 
  Back on April 24 across the street from the UN at the International Peace Institution there was a panel about #NextSecGen moderated by former Indian Ambassador to the UN, and former Security Council member, Hardeep Singh Puri.
   The post is said to be slated for the Eastern European Group, and the question and answer (or comment) portion was top-heavy with the Permanent Representatives of Croatia and Slovakia (also the chair of the Budget Committee) and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia laying out of the positions of the ACT group, echoed by Costa Rica.
   Inner City Press asked what about improving the transparency and place of merit in the selection of Under Secretaries General? Recently UK Prime Minister David Cameron's attempt to put Andrew Lansley of National Health Service infany atop the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was defeated as reported in detail by Inner City Press, see credits in the Telegraph and UK Channel 4.
  But, the position has stayed with the UK in the person of Stephen O'Brien (deemed better than the initial candidate by panelist Edward Mortimer).  Should USG positions be “owned” by P3 countries, like France has owned UN Peacekeeping four times in a row (following a horse-trade for Kofi Annan becoming Secretary General) and the US has held Political Affairs twice in a row?
   While Political Affairs USG Jeffrey Feltman came directly from the US State Department with the baggage that may carry, particularly in the Middle East, the most extreme example is Herve Ladsous of UN Peacekeeping,video hereVine here.
  When asked by Inner City Press about his history and qualification adopted the position of refusing all questions from Inner City Press and having his spokespeople, at least one of whom was present at IPI on April 24, go so far as to grab the UNTV microphone to avoid questions.  Ladsous went so far as to say "I don't answer you Mister" at IPI itself, video here.
  On the overall USG question Jean Krasno of the City College of New York favored “selecting candidates for these positions on merit rather than geographical. We want the highest quality people, serving in an impartial matter.”
Natalie Samarasinghe of the UN Association of the UK said, On the USG issue, we want an SG who has the freedom to make merit based appoints. At the moment as you have seen it is very unevenly applied. We need to condemn it. That pressure is very positive.”
  Mortimer said he was among those who wrote to Ban Ki-moon (selected by the US and China, more than one attendee said, some citing John Bolton's book) about Cameron's first nominee for OCHA. He said that Press oversight is important.  Puri said a good SG would pick good USGs. We'll have more on all this.

Background: When Ban Ki-moon was selected as UN Secretary General in 2006 it was an untransparent process, with secret ballots in the Security Council.  
   On February 7, 2015, both processes were criticized by "The Elders." Appearing at the Munich Munich Security Conference, four Elders including Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan along with Gro Harlem Brundtland, Martti Ahtisaari and Graça Machel unveiled a UN reform plan.
  Beyond Security Council reform, they specifically criticized Secretary General selection process for lack of transparency and choice, and suggested a single seven year term to avoid simply trying to get re-elected.
  To replace Ban, the Elders say "we call on the General Assembly to insist that the Security Council recommend more than one candidate for appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after a timely, equitable and transparent search for the best qualified candidates, irrespective of gender or regional origin. We suggest that the next Secretary-General be appointed for a single, non-renewable term of seven years, in order to strengthen his or her independence and avoid the perception that he or she is guided by electoral concerns."
 Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access, fighting for transparency including a Freedom of Information Act at the UN, agree and believe the Elders should have gone one level down, more timely, and criticized the ownership of Under Secretary General positions by P3 Security Council members like Peacekeeping and France's Herve Ladsous, and the process to replace Valerie Amos as OCHA, here (and above).
  Even further down, the under-performance of Team Ban, including for example UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, has been enabled and concealed by what has become the UN's Censorship Alliance, formally the United Nations Correspondents Association. These forms of decay are not UNrelated.
  On November 14, 2014 this organization in decline formally announced a slate of six officers -- all without any competition at all. It was a pure rubber stamp, "yes," with the only question being turn-out. The top post was handed (back) to Giampaolo Pioli, who engaged in outright censorship while last using the position. 
  Pioli, who had rented one of his Manhattan apartments to Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador, unilaterally granted Kohona's request to use UNCA to screen inside the UN a government film denying war crimes.
  Then Pioli demanded that reporting of these facts must be removed from the Internet (compilation of audio here) or he would use UNCA to try to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN.  
 Voice of America, then on the UNCA Executive Board, wrote a letter to the UN asking that Inner City Press' accreditation be reviewed; a Freedom of Information Act request showed that VOA said it had the support ofAgence France Presse and Reuters (which they tried tocensor its anti-Press complaint to the UN by claiming it is copyrighted, here.)
  Now in 2015 Pioli has returned. Reuters has on the board its current correspondent as well as its retired UN bureau chief. Agence France Presse, which had been off the UNCA Executive Committee after having used it to complain about Press reporting on Herve Ladsous, wanted to return but did not make it; it was handed a seat on another board announced by UNCA.
 Only News Agency of Nigeria, which ran in 2013, did not run this time: its UN office space was taken away in 2014, ostensibly due to scarcity when UNCA is given a big room that sits empty and locked most of the time, then opens for events that could and should have occurred in the UN's Press Briefing Room, open and on UNTV. This is the UN's Censorship Alliance.
 As to the Secretary General's race, an earlier reform letter's signatories included Avaaz, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Equality Now, FEMNET, Forum-Asia, Global Policy Forum, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Social Watch, Third World Network, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy and the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
The new Free UN Coalition for Access, formed in response to the decline in media access and transparency generally under Ban Ki-moon, heartily agrees with the need to reform and improve the Secretary General selection process. 
 Candidates so far including Helen Clark of UNDP, who virtually never takes press questions while in New York, the headquarters of UNDP, amid untransparent layoffs, and Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, an agency which on November 3 led an event about journalists at which not a single question from a journalist was taken. There's also among others, in this SG race we will closely cover, a Latina trio, Kristalina Georgieva, Miroslav Lajcak, Kevin Rudd, Dalia Grybauskaite, Vuk Jeremic, Danilo Turk, Jan Kubis - that is, unlike the UN's Censorship Alliance, at least there is some competition. We'll have more on this.
  Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, is appearing in polls as running for president of his native South Korea in 2017. Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson about it, who said Ban is “currently” focused on his current job. This has been repeated in South Korea, here. The UN is being used; the UN is in further decline; but there are moves afoot to stem the tide of decay. Watch this site.

 
  

On Yemen, Talk of How Near Was Deal Before Saudi Strikes


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- In a UN announcement about Yemen on Saturday morning the other shoe dropped and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar as envoy. Then on Monday, the UN Security Council heard Benomar's last briefing; Russia's Ambassador Churkin spoke to the press as he left the Council.
 Churkin said, "They were very close. Only as far as I can tell from his description of the situation. They agreed on a whole series of arrangements for settling the political crisis. The only remaining issue was the way the collective leadership would be structured. The role of president Hadi, how the collective leadership was going to work. So it's one remaining issue, but it’s a very big issue."
 Of the Saudi-led airstrikes, Churkin said, "We were very unhappy because we knew what the consequences were going to be. We are involved in a major evacuation campaign of Russian citizens and a number of other countries including dozens of American citizens who were taken out of Yemen."
 Switching to Syria, Churkin told the press, "Now there is another very dangerous phenomenon, you can see it in Yemen now, you can see it in Syria, where the terrorist groups are being involved with others to pursue political certain objectives in a military campaign. We see it in Yemen and we see it in Syria, you could read a number of American newspapers over the weekend where they’re describing how the recent military successes of the opposition are explained by the fact that the Free Syrian Army is cooperating with Jabhat al Nusra. So this seems to be a new step in legitimizing terrorist groups in that part of the world."
  Asked if any other Council member(s) also expressed this view, Churkin said "I was the only one who voiced this concern. It happens quite often."
 Later Benomar and the Council's president for April spoke, but both during the UN's noon briefing, where Inner City Press asked more questions, watch this site.
  Three times Inner City Press has asked the Office of the UN Spokesperson why Ould Cheikh Ahmed is not listed on Ban's webpage of public financial discloure and to say, yes or no, if he has an interest in a business which received funding from the Gulf. Three times the Office of Spokesperson promised to look into and give an answer, but never did. 
 On April 24, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric:
Inner City Press:  Okay.  I'm also informed of a letter from political parties in Yemen, including those representing Houthis and others, directed at the Secretary-General making two requests.  One, that Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed not be named as a replacement to Mr. [Jamal] Benomar and that someone be appointed or retained who actually they will speak with.  And I wanted to know… you may not know of this letter yet, but I'm reliably informed it is either there or on its way…

Spokesman:  All right.  I will look for the letter.

Inner City Press:  And I guess my question would be, do you… has the Secretary-General… since we've already… we've heard from some of the ambassadors from the Security Council that he's put forward a name.  Did he put any effort to speak to the parties on the ground in Yemen, the actual Yemenis?

Spokesman:  I think the… when we're ready to announce the person, we will.  Obviously, for a… an appointment as delicate as this… as this ongoing… to represent the Secretary-General in this ongoing crisis, it is normal to have as broad of a consultation as possible, and what is obviously extremely important is that once that envoy is named, that adviser is named, that all the parties give him access and engage with him.

Inner City Press:  If you get the letter, will you squawk it?  Does it mean that these parties that wrote…

Spokesman:  I think…

Question: …once consulted…

Spokesman:  It's an ongoing humanitarian crisis.  It's an ongoing conflict.  And we are trying to get the political process back on track.  So we'd like to have a special envoy as soon as… a Special Adviser as soon as possible, and again hope that all the parties engage with him.

Question:  Didn't you have one? That's my question.  Didn't you actually have a Special Adviser?

Spokesman:  Yes, we have Mr. Benomar…

Question:  Is it your understanding that he's entirely unwilling to continue in the post?

Spokesman:  Well, I think he's… he's… he's expressed his desire to move on and, as we said, we are… we're in the process of naming somebody shortly.

   No response about the letter, either. This does not bode well.
  After Saudi Arabia was allowed to oust UN mediator Jamal Benomar for being insufficiently supportive of its airstrikes, the UN is being promoted, again, as an honest broker.  How so, when the UN is UNtransparently naming as a replacement mediator an individual who previously failed in Yemen, refusing to make public financial disclosure?   How weak and untransparent is today's UN?  It it apparently considering appointing as replacement envoy to Yemen a partial individual whom one side has indicated it would not speak with.


 
  

Amid Talk of Next SG, ICP Asks of Pay to Play, How UN Peacekeeping Was Won (by France) But Lost to Open Merit-Based Process


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 -- How should the next UN Secretary General be selected, to improve the Organization? That was the question on April 27, first in a 10 am press conference by the campaign called "1 for 7 Billion: Find the Best UN Leader."
  Inner City Press asked the panel if, as happened last time, increase trade and aid funding by a candidates' country should at least be disclosed, if not prohibited. William Pace of WFM replied not only about countries spending hundreds of million of Euros, but also about the heads of international agencies using their posts to campaign.
  Since UNDP's Helen Clark is known to have told associates and underlings she would like to be the next SG, Inner City Press asked the panel for comment. They were diplomatic, including on the UK, said to be a reformer on the SG post, having insisted it retain the Emergency Relief Coordinator positioon, albeit in the person of Stephen O'Brien and not Cameron's first nominee (and National Health Service destroyer) Andrew Lansley.
  Natalie Samarasinghe of UNA-UK said the campaign around (well, against) Lansley was a positive step forward; she said that social media makes secret processes less possible. (But see the replacement at Yemen envoy of Jamal Benomar by a Mauritanian official who has not made public financial disclosure).
  Yvonne Terlingen, now Senior Policy Adviser at WFM,  also cited the OCHA process or campaign. WFM's Pace seemed to conflate the entire UN press corps with the UN Correspondents Association, a group that for example tried to censor Press coverage of how Under Secretary General Herve Ladsous got the job, then tried to get the Press thrown out.
  The new Free UN Coalition for Access seeks to open the UN and these processes - watch this site. 
  Back on April 24 across the street from the UN at the International Peace Institution there was a panel about #NextSecGen moderated by former Indian Ambassador to the UN, and former Security Council member, Hardeep Singh Puri.
   The post is said to be slated for the Eastern European Group, and the question and answer (or comment) portion was top-heavy with the Permanent Representatives of Croatia and Slovakia (also the chair of the Budget Committee) and the Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia laying out of the positions of the ACT group, echoed by Costa Rica.
   Inner City Press asked what about improving the transparency and place of merit in the selection of Under Secretaries General? Recently UK Prime Minister David Cameron's attempt to put Andrew Lansley of National Health Service infany atop the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was defeated as reported in detail by Inner City Press, see credits in the Telegraph and UK Channel 4.
  But, the position has stayed with the UK in the person of Stephen O'Brien (deemed better than the initial candidate by panelist Edward Mortimer).  Should USG positions be “owned” by P3 countries, like France has owned UN Peacekeeping four times in a row (following a horse-trade for Kofi Annan becoming Secretary General) and the US has held Political Affairs twice in a row?
   While Political Affairs USG Jeffrey Feltman came directly from the US State Department with the baggage that may carry, particularly in the Middle East, the most extreme example is Herve Ladsous of UN Peacekeeping,video hereVine here.
  When asked by Inner City Press about his history and qualification adopted the position of refusing all questions from Inner City Press and having his spokespeople, at least one of whom was present at IPI on April 24, go so far as to grab the UNTV microphone to avoid questions.  Ladsous went so far as to say "I don't answer you Mister" at IPI itself, video here.
  On the overall USG question Jean Krasno of the City College of New York favored “selecting candidates for these positions on merit rather than geographical. We want the highest quality people, serving in an impartial matter.”
Natalie Samarasinghe of the UN Association of the UK said, On the USG issue, we want an SG who has the freedom to make merit based appoints. At the moment as you have seen it is very unevenly applied. We need to condemn it. That pressure is very positive.”
  Mortimer said he was among those who wrote to Ban Ki-moon (selected by the US and China, more than one attendee said, some citing John Bolton's book) about Cameron's first nominee for OCHA. He said that Press oversight is important.  Puri said a good SG would pick good USGs. We'll have more on all this.

Background: When Ban Ki-moon was selected as UN Secretary General in 2006 it was an untransparent process, with secret ballots in the Security Council.  
   On February 7, 2015, both processes were criticized by "The Elders." Appearing at the Munich Munich Security Conference, four Elders including Ban's predecessor Kofi Annan along with Gro Harlem Brundtland, Martti Ahtisaari and Graça Machel unveiled a UN reform plan.
  Beyond Security Council reform, they specifically criticized Secretary General selection process for lack of transparency and choice, and suggested a single seven year term to avoid simply trying to get re-elected.
  To replace Ban, the Elders say "we call on the General Assembly to insist that the Security Council recommend more than one candidate for appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, after a timely, equitable and transparent search for the best qualified candidates, irrespective of gender or regional origin. We suggest that the next Secretary-General be appointed for a single, non-renewable term of seven years, in order to strengthen his or her independence and avoid the perception that he or she is guided by electoral concerns."
 Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access, fighting for transparency including a Freedom of Information Act at the UN, agree and believe the Elders should have gone one level down, more timely, and criticized the ownership of Under Secretary General positions by P3 Security Council members like Peacekeeping and France's Herve Ladsous, and the process to replace Valerie Amos as OCHA, here (and above).
  Even further down, the under-performance of Team Ban, including for example UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, has been enabled and concealed by what has become the UN's Censorship Alliance, formally the United Nations Correspondents Association. These forms of decay are not UNrelated.
  On November 14, 2014 this organization in decline formally announced a slate of six officers -- all without any competition at all. It was a pure rubber stamp, "yes," with the only question being turn-out. The top post was handed (back) to Giampaolo Pioli, who engaged in outright censorship while last using the position. 
  Pioli, who had rented one of his Manhattan apartments to Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka's ambassador, unilaterally granted Kohona's request to use UNCA to screen inside the UN a government film denying war crimes.
  Then Pioli demanded that reporting of these facts must be removed from the Internet (compilation of audio here) or he would use UNCA to try to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN.  
 Voice of America, then on the UNCA Executive Board, wrote a letter to the UN asking that Inner City Press' accreditation be reviewed; a Freedom of Information Act request showed that VOA said it had the support ofAgence France Presse and Reuters (which they tried tocensor its anti-Press complaint to the UN by claiming it is copyrighted, here.)
  Now in 2015 Pioli has returned. Reuters has on the board its current correspondent as well as its retired UN bureau chief. Agence France Presse, which had been off the UNCA Executive Committee after having used it to complain about Press reporting on Herve Ladsous, wanted to return but did not make it; it was handed a seat on another board announced by UNCA.
 Only News Agency of Nigeria, which ran in 2013, did not run this time: its UN office space was taken away in 2014, ostensibly due to scarcity when UNCA is given a big room that sits empty and locked most of the time, then opens for events that could and should have occurred in the UN's Press Briefing Room, open and on UNTV. This is the UN's Censorship Alliance.
 As to the Secretary General's race, an earlier reform letter's signatories included Avaaz, Amnesty International, CIVICUS, Equality Now, FEMNET, Forum-Asia, Global Policy Forum, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Social Watch, Third World Network, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy and the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
The new Free UN Coalition for Access, formed in response to the decline in media access and transparency generally under Ban Ki-moon, heartily agrees with the need to reform and improve the Secretary General selection process. 
 Candidates so far including Helen Clark of UNDP, who virtually never takes press questions while in New York, the headquarters of UNDP, amid untransparent layoffs, and Irina Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, an agency which on November 3 led an event about journalists at which not a single question from a journalist was taken. There's also among others, in this SG race we will closely cover, a Latina trio, Kristalina Georgieva, Miroslav Lajcak, Kevin Rudd, Dalia Grybauskaite, Vuk Jeremic, Danilo Turk, Jan Kubis - that is, unlike the UN's Censorship Alliance, at least there is some competition. We'll have more on this.
  Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, is appearing in polls as running for president of his native South Korea in 2017. Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesperson about it, who said Ban is “currently” focused on his current job. This has been repeated in South Korea, here. The UN is being used; the UN is in further decline; but there are moves afoot to stem the tide of decay. Watch this site.

 
  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In Burundi, RPA Radio Told Not to Live-Stream Crackdown, UN Still Silent


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 26 -- Amid the crackdown after  Pierre Nkurunziza was "nominated to run" for a third terms as President in seeming violation of the Arusha Peace Accord, the UN of Ban Ki-moon has said nothing. 
  Perhaps as Ban does more and more, he will "outsource" the UN reaction to Geneva, while he for example cavorts with those who, like in Burundi, go after independent journalists
  In Burundi, the RPA was raided and told to stop live-streaming the crackdown. 
  Ban's office has yet to confirm getting a letter from civil society in Burundi, below, just as it hasn't confirmed a letter from parties in Yemen Inner City Press asked about on April 24. Perhaps both are "lost in the mail" on the 38th floor.
Here is the US' statement on Burundi, just issued:
"The United States deeply regrets the decision by Burundi’s ruling party, the National Council for the Defense of Democracy–Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD), to disregard the term-limit provisions of the Arusha Agreement by naming  President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for a third presidential term.  With this decision, Burundi is losing an historic opportunity to strengthen its democracy by establishing a tradition of peaceful democratic transition. 

The United States continues to support the Burundian people's peaceful pursuit of their democratic rights and freedoms.  We regret this significant missed opportunity, but the hard work of building democratic practices and institutions must continue.  In that spirit, we urge all parties to participate in the legislative and national elections and ensure these electoral processes are inclusive, transparent, credible, free and conducted in an environment without threats, intimidation, or violence.

We specifically call on the Burundian government to respect the rights of all peaceful political parties and their candidates to campaign, hold meetings and rallies, and express their views.  We also call on the Burundian government to respect the right of the media to report freely on the electoral process and campaigns.  We further urge the government to cooperate fully with the UN Electoral Observer Mission (MENUB) and all international and domestic electoral observers throughout the entire electoral process, as well as on the election days.       

The United States calls on all parties in Burundi to abide by the non-violence charter signed March 9 and refrain from any violent acts, including hate speech or other provocations, that could feed the climate of fear and instability.  We renew our calls on all candidates, their supporters, and Burundian citizens to reject all forms of violence, and on the national police, the Burundian military, and all security force personnel to provide security in an impartial manner throughout the electoral processes.

We commend the neighboring countries for their efforts to receive the almost 15,000 Burundians who have fled the country over the past month, and encourage their continued close coordination with UNHCR and support to provide asylum to those fleeing political violence and persecution. We urge all regional actors to refrain from any acts that could contribute to the climate of instability in Burundi.  

The United States will continue to monitor the situation in Burundi closely and take targeted measures, including, where appropriate, by denying U.S. visas, to hold accountable those individuals who participate in, plan, or order violence against the civilian population.  Violence has no place in democratic elections, and perpetrators of such violence will not be welcome to travel to the United States and risk being held accountable in a court of law for any crimes for which they are responsible."
When you go to the UN's 38th floor these days, you might meet a government official who justified the killing of unarmed civilians, having a photo op with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
 So it was on April 14, when Burundi's Minister of the Interior Edouard Nduwimana held a meeting with Ban, his chief of staff and Department of Political Affairs officials. Inner City Press went to the photo op and tweeted out a photo.
 Moments later Inner City Press was made aware that Nduwimana in March 2013 visited the Businde hill where police had just killed nine people, mostly women and child. On video - YouTube here, from Minute 1:41 - Nduwimana told the mourners and survivors, Now you have the martyrs you wanted.
  On April 15, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric why no read-out of the meeting had been given. Dujarric said he had expected one and would try. Finally past 5 pm, more than 24 hours after the meeting, this:
"The Secretary-General met on 14 April 2015 with the Minister of Interior of Burundi, H.E. Mr. Edouard Nduwimana. The Secretary-General noted that Burundi owes its progress to the spirit of Arusha and the determination of Burundians to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation. They discussed recent developments ahead of the general elections to be held between May and August this year.

"The Secretary-General expressed his concern about the rising political tensions in the country and encouraged Burundians to resolve their political differences through dialogue and without resorting to violence. He called on the Government to ensure that the security services manage potential security incidents with the utmost professionalism. He also encouraged the Government to ensure that all political actors are able to participate fully and freely in the electoral process. 'This would contribute to credible elections and reduce further tensions,' the Secretary-General said."
  Meanwhile, Dujarric would not confirm to Inner City Press that Ban has received this letter, in French, from civil society in Burundi:
Les organisations membres de la Campagne " Halte au 3ème Mandat du Président NKURUNZIZA" ont écrit une lettre au Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies et au Président du Conseil de Sécurité pour leur demander avec une grande insistance de voter une résolution sur leBurundi pour :

- Instruire à l'Armée burundaise de désarmer la milice IMBONERAKURE du Parti au Pouvoir CNDD-FDD
- Instruire l'identification et l'arrestation des chefs de la milice
- Instruire à l'Armée burundaise de désarmer toute autre personne ou groupe en possession illégale d'arme à feu

De voter une résolution décidant l'intervention militaire des Nations Unies pour empêcher la commission des crimes contre l'humanité, du nettoyage politique voire du génocide

QUE PERSONNE NE DISE QU'IL N'A PAS SU !
 We'll have more on this.
  Eighty minutes before Ban's meeting with Nduwimana, he met with Amnesty International. Unlike some other rights groups who crave access, Amnesty authorized Inner City Press, when it asked, to report that the topics covered were "the Human Rights Up Front Initiative, regarding which several country situations were discussed, and the Post-2015 agenda." It is appreciated.
  While Inner City Press was asked if having a "criminal" in the UN is rare, the reality is that, for example, Sri Lanka's Shavendra Silva, named in Ban's own report on war crimes in that country, was allowed to become a UN Senior Adviser on Peacekeeping Operations, run by Herve Ladsous.
 Later on April 14, a mere 95 minutes later to be exact, Ban was to raise a champagne or Prosecco toast to the UN Censorship Alliance, which hosts Shavendra Silva's and Palitha Kohona's screening of their government's war crimes denial film, "Lies Agreed To." 
  The then and now president of UNCA had been Kohona's landlord in the past. When Inner City Press in writing called this a conflict of interest, first the move was to try to get Inner City Press thown out of UNCA -- it quit and co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access, FUNCA -- then out of the UN as a whole. This is today's UN, and its Censorship Alliance.