Monday, July 28, 2014

To Ukraine, Russia's Churkin Asks If US Speaks Differently in Private, Of Kyiv Dutch Delay


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- After Russian foreign minister and US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone on July 27, the US State Department issued two read-outs, or a readout in two stages.
  The second, an "additional point" by a Senior State Department Official, was that Kerry "underlined our support for a mutual cease fire verified by the OSCE and reaffirmed our strong support for the international investigation to show the facts of MH17."
  On July 28 Inner City Press asked Russia's Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin about this read-out: does the US support a ceasefire?
I supposed he said they did,” Churkin replied. “What their message is in private to the Ukrainians is a different story... There was a phone converation between Vice President Biden and President Poroshenko [then] they went up another stage in escalating the conlict after thaat and immediately.”
Churkin said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has estimated the civilians killed in the conflict at 1,100 and said, “I do hope watching TV coverage... they will understand this is an extremely dangerous crisis and course of action and will give a proper signal.” He said Ukraine would listen, since they “depend on the advice of the US and their politcal support.”
  Inner City Press also asked Churkin if Russia think the Dutch and Australians would need Security Council action to send police, armed or unarmed, to Eastern Ukraine. 
  Churkin replied that Kyiv has been dragging its feet, most recently saying their deal with the Dutch will need ratification by a parliament that has been dissolved. Even if re-called on July 31, will there be a quorum? Churkin said he would leave it up to the Press' “literary talents” to find the right word for this. Watch this site.
 Back on July 25 at the UN  Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq:
Inner City Press: Is there any UN involvement in trying to bring about this deployment? Does the Secretary-General believe that such a deployment would go through the Security Council? Should go through the Security Council? Should the consent of the separatists be sought to avoid a conflict? What’s the UN’s thinking on this deployment of armed individuals into a conflict zone?
Deputy Spokesman Haq: I believe that this is an issue that may come up, among the members of the Security Council in the coming days, so I’ll leave it in their hands.
  Five hours later Security Council member Mark Lyall Grant of the UK said
Its early days, the negotiations between The Netherlands and the Ukrainian government are continuing, as I understand it, in Kyiv. The Australians are obviously involved as well in terms of negotiating the bilateral agreement. When that happens, I think it is quite likely that the Dutch government may want to inform the Security Council of that agreement, and I think it also quite likely that the Security Council will want to take note of that agreement, very possibly in a resolution. I wouldn't expect that to be controversial, and that could happen very quickly after agreements have been reached in Kyiv.” 
  Meanwhile at the International Monetary Fund's July 24 embargoed briefing, Inner City Press asked IMF  Deputy Spokesperson William Murray:
Inner City Press: "On Ukraine, what is the IMF's estimate or thoughts on the impact of the downing in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine, and its impact, if any, on the IMF's program?
MR. MURRAY: You know, we're concerned about conflict in the region and a statement we issued the other day addresses that issue.
 But what about MH17 and its aftermath? The IMF didsubstantively answer Inner City Press' Gaza and Israel question, here.  Watch this site.

 
  

In UN Security Council, Syria & Iraq Oil Sales President Statement As Passed Lists ISIL and Nusra, Nothing on FSA Much Less Western Sahara, Total, Chevron, Exxon


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 -- After the UN Security Council met behind closed doors with the Syria Commission of Inquiry's Paulo Sergio Pinheiro and Karen AbuZayd on July 25, the two Commissioners and UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant came to take questions from the press.

  Inner City Press asked Lyall Grant about the then-pending, now adopted Presidential Statement on illicit oil sales. From the UK transcript:

Inner City Press: This draft presidential statement on oil, illicit oil in both Syria and Iraq, is it on track to be adopted on Monday? It seems like there was a request to go wider about state sovereignty and non-state groups selling oil. What was the UK's view on things like the sale of Western Sahara resources, or South Sudan, other places?
Amb. Lyall Grant: Well, the discussions on the PRST have been continuing for several days. There have been some outstanding issues, including around the definition of "sovereignty", but my understanding is that the text is now under final silence procedure, ending on Monday morning, and there is a reasonable likelihood that it will be adopted therefore on Monday.

 And on July 28 the Presidential Statement was adopted -- very much tied to Syria and Iraq, and to ISIL and the Al Nusra Front. On those, it it laudable. Do any Free Syrian Army affiliates sell oil?  

   And what are its implications? Its whittling down, from the language on countries' sovereignty over natural resources that mirrored that in the Rio +20 document on sustainable development, seems to help, in Western Sahara, US firm Kosmos, and more generally, Chevron and Exxon, and Total of France, among others. We'll have more on this.

  Back on July 25, Karen AbuZayd spoke of abuses not only by the government but also, in response to a question, by what she called the Islamic State of Iraq and [Syria], ISIL. 
  Inner City Press when called on asked her about ISIS' takeover of border crossing, renaming as Islamic State and attacks on non-Sunni Muslims in Mosul.
In this context, what did she think of hers or another Commission of Inquiry covering the group's abuses in Iraq as well? Bigger picture, does the state by state focus of the UN make sense in this context?
  AbuZayd said she prefers not to call them “Islamic State,” it give them too much credit. Pinheiro resisted any talk of expanding his Commission's mandate -- Syria is enough.
  A US state media asked about foreign fighters, including pro-government; Pinheiro said that Hezbollah is the only group of foreign fighters he's away of.
 This is strange, given that the UN's own recent report on Syria humanitarian access notes that “on June 29, the Islamic State issued a statement announcing that the Caliphate included people from the following nationalities: Caucasian [sic], Indian, Chinese, Shami (Levantine), Iraqi, Yemeni, Egyptian, North African, American, French, German, and Australians." Watch this site.
Footnote: one wanted to ask AbuZayd about developments -- to put it mildly -- in Gaza, where she used to head UNRWA, but this too was deemed beyond the scope of the stakeout. Another former Gaza hand, John Ging, has been speaking on the topic this week. Perhaps we'll hear from Ms. AbuZayd. We'll be watching.

 
  

On Gaza Ban Ki-moon Quotes His Own Statements, First Softball Question Set Aside, Nothing on Qatar-Funded Jet or Leaked Draft(s)


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 -- On Gaza it was seven hours after the UN Security Council's midnight meeting when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement, stressing that the Council had supported his call for a ceasefire. 

  Then Ban did a four-question stakeout, reciting his statements and saying that his earlier call for a 12 hour ceasefire had been respected.  There are many claims of causation.

  In Jerusalem, Ban was asked -- but did not answer -- about accepting a Qatar-funded private jet to travel to the region. It seemed clear Ban should be asked what was the UN's role in the "Framework for a Sustainable Ceasefire" rejected by the Israeli cabinet, then leaked in different versions by Israel and Qatar, to Haaretz and Al Jazeera, see Inner City Press critique, here.

   But back inside the UN, Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq controlled the question, setting aside the first one for the head of the old UN Correspondents Association, a pure softball question that invited Ban to repeat what he had just said.

  At the end, Haq gestured to the UN Television boom microphone operator, no more questions. Seven hours earlier after the Council's midnight meeting, an UNCA executive committee member tried for both stakeouts to get the UNTV boom mic operator to set aside first questions as well. This is how it is working, or not, at the UN. The new Free UN Coalition for Access will have more on this.

  Just after midnight on July 27-28, the UN Security Council convened to adopted the Presidential Statement below.
 Afterward, Inner City Press asked Jordan's Deputy Permanent Representative why no vote had been called thedraft resolution, if there was one or more vetoes or abstaining votes that would block it.
  He said things haven't reached that stage; rather it was a matter of seeing when the members of the Council thought a resolution would be useful to support of ceasefire. 
  Some ask: so is that the UN Security Council's only function?
  Inner City Press asked Israel's Ron Prosor about thedifferent drafts leaked to Haaretz and Al Jazeera (which Inner City Press noted, here). Prosor went wider scope with his answer. A ceasefire did not sound closer.
  Prosor was also asked about Ban Ki-moon flying around in a Qatar-funded private jet - a question on which Inner City Press first reported eight days ago, and on which Ban himself should answer.
 Palestine's Riyad Mansour cited as a precedent a 1994 Security Council resolution providing protecting in Hebron, by Norwegians in white shirts, he said. He said he wished the Presidential Statement had called for Israel to pull out of Gaza, and that he wished for a resolution. We will continue on this.
  Inner City Press immediately inquired and was informed it was to adopt a Presidential Statement; the version below was provided. But why not a resolution? Why proceeding so cautiously, compared most recently with the July 21 resolution on MH17 in Ukraine?  
     As to the UNSC, here's the PRST as provided - and adopted:
UNSC Presidential Statement
The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation  as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond. The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the efforts of international partners and the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014 and urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned  in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).
  Earlier, with even the “humanitarian pause” over in Gaza, the draft "framework" agreement rejected by the Israeli cabinet on July 25 was leaked from both sides. 
   But the versions leaked by each side were different.
  On Al Jazeera a one-page document was waved around, which had Qatar in the first paragraph as one of the signatories making commitments, which provided for the opening of “border and non-border” crossings and specified fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles, and a $47 million commitment by the US.
  In the “5 pm Confidential Draft” published by Ha'aretz, Qatar is the last paragraph (without Egypt), fishing rights and the $47 million from the US are not specified, nor are “non-border” crossing being opened.
  At least, the two sides leaked different stages or versions of the draft. Or is there more to this, in the spin war that this stage of the Gaza war has become?
  (The drafts are different; Al Jazeera is saying Ha'aretz stole its scoop. There may be more to this.)
  Meanwhile, silence at the UN with the draft Security Council resolution of Jordan and the Arab League not scheduled for a vote, and canned statements from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who after taking a Qatar-funded private jet from New York to Doha refused through his spokespeople to answer Inner City Press' follow-up questions on who paid for the rest of his travel. Watch this site.

 
  

On Gaza After UN Security Council Adopts Midnight Presidential Statement, Inner City Press Asks Jordan About Resolution, Prosor of Israel about Leaked Drafts


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 -- After the UN Security Council called no vote on a draft resolution on Gaza pending for the last nine days, at midnight on Sunday, July 27 (or Monday, July 28) the Council convened to adopted a Presidential Statement, below.

 Afterward, Inner City Press asked Jordan's Deputy Permanent Representative why no vote had been called the draft resolution, if there was one or more vetoes or abstaining votes that would block it.

  He said things haven't reached that stage; rather it was a matter of seeing when the members of the Council thought a resolution would be useful to support of ceasefire.
 
  Some ask: so is that the UN Security Council's only function?

  Inner City Press asked Israel's Ron Prosor about the different drafts leaked to Haaretz and Al Jazeera (which Inner City Press noted, here). Prosor went wider scope with his answer. A ceasefire did not sound closer.

  Prosor was also asked about Ban Ki-moon flying around in a Qatar-funded private jet - a question on which Inner City Press first reported eight days ago, and on which Ban himself should answer.

 Palestine's Riyad Mansour cited as a precedent a 1994 Security Council resolution providing protecting in Hebron, by Norwegians in white shirts, he said. He said he wished the Presidential Statement had called for Israel to pull out of Gaza, and that he wished for a resolution. We will continue on this.

  Inner City Press immediately inquired and was informed it was to adopt a Presidential Statement; the version below was provided. But why not a resolution? Why proceeding so cautiously, compared most recently with the July 21 resolution on MH17 in Ukraine?  
     As to the UNSC, here's the PRST as provided - and adopted:
UNSC Presidential Statement
The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation  as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond. The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the efforts of international partners and the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014 and urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned  in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).
  Earlier, with even the “humanitarian pause” over in Gaza, the draft "framework" agreement rejected by the Israeli cabinet on July 25 was leaked from both sides. 
   But the versions leaked by each side were different.
  On Al Jazeera a one-page document was waved around, which had Qatar in the first paragraph as one of the signatories making commitments, which provided for the opening of “border and non-border” crossings and specified fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles, and a $47 million commitment by the US.
  In the “5 pm Confidential Draft” published by Ha'aretz, Qatar is the last paragraph (without Egypt), fishing rights and the $47 million from the US are not specified, nor are “non-border” crossing being opened.
  At least, the two sides leaked different stages or versions of the draft. Or is there more to this, in the spin war that this stage of the Gaza war has become?
  (The drafts are different; Al Jazeera is saying Ha'aretz stole its scoop. There may be more to this.)
  Meanwhile, silence at the UN with the draft Security Council resolution of Jordan and the Arab League not scheduled for a vote, and canned statements from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who after taking a Qatar-funded private jet from New York to Doha refused through his spokespeople to answer Inner City Press' follow-up questions on who paid for the rest of his travel. Watch this site.

 
  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On Gaza UN Security Council Set to Adopt Presidential Statement at Midnight, After Wasted Week


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- After the UN Security Council called no vote on a draft resolution on Gaza pending for the last nine days, at 9:30 pm on Sunday, July 27 an "urgent" meeting was called for midnight.

  Inner City Press immediately inquired and was informed it was to adopt a Presidential Statement; the version below was provided. But why not a resolution? Why proceeding so cautiously, compared most recently with the July 21 resolution on MH17 in Ukraine?  

   As set forth below, what of the different drafts leaked of the proposed "framework for a sustainable ceasefire"?  As to the UNSC, here's the PRST as provided:

[Draft] UNSC Presidential Statement

The Security Council expresses grave concern regarding the deterioration in the situation  as a result of the crisis related to Gaza and the loss of civilian lives and casualties.

The Security Council calls for full respect of international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilian population, and reiterates the need to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of civilians and their protection.

The Security Council expresses strong support for the call by international partners and the Secretary-General of the United Nations for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire, allowing for the delivery of urgently needed assistance, and they urged all parties to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond. The Security Council commends the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their efforts in this regard.

The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative. In this regard, the Security Council welcomes the efforts of international partners and the convening of the international meeting to support the ceasefire held in Paris on July 26, 2014 and urges all concerned regional and international parties to vigorously support efforts to consolidate an agreement between the parties.

The Security Council emphasizes that civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected, and called on all parties to act consistently with this principle.

The Security Council calls for the full implementation of resolution 1860 (2009) and stressed the need for immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip, including through urgent additional contribution to UNRWA. The Security Council recognizes and commends the vital role played by the Agency, along with other United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations, in addressing the critical humanitarian needs in Gaza.

The Security Council urges the parties and the international community to achieve a comprehensive peace based on the vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders as envisioned  in Security Council resolution 1850 (2008).
  Earlier, with even the “humanitarian pause” over in Gaza, the draft "framework" agreement rejected by the Israeli cabinet on July 25 was leaked from both sides. 
   But the versions leaked by each side were different.
  On Al Jazeera a one-page document was waved around, which had Qatar in the first paragraph as one of the signatories making commitments, which provided for the opening of “border and non-border” crossings and specified fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles, and a $47 million commitment by the US.
  In the “5 pm Confidential Draft” published by Ha'aretz, Qatar is the last paragraph (without Egypt), fishing rights and the $47 million from the US are not specified, nor are “non-border” crossing being opened.
  At least, the two sides leaked different stages or versions of the draft. Or is there more to this, in the spin war that this stage of the Gaza war has become?
  (The drafts are different; Al Jazeera is saying Ha'aretz stole its scoop. There may be more to this.)
  Meanwhile, silence at the UN with the draft Security Council resolution of Jordan and the Arab League not scheduled for a vote, and canned statements from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who after taking a Qatar-funded private jet from New York to Doha refused through his spokespeople to answer Inner City Press' follow-up questions on who paid for the rest of his travel. Watch this site.

 
  

In Ukraine, US State Department Official Says Supports Mutual Ceasefire Verified by OSCE, International Investigation of MH17


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- After US Secretary of State John Kerry called his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on July 27, the US State Department issued two read-outs, or a readout in two stages.

  The second, an "additional point" by a Senior State Department Official, was that Kerry "underlined our support for a mutual cease fire verified by the OSCE and reaffirmed our strong support for the international investigation to show the facts of MH17."

   While the second part of the sentence includes the word "international" that Russia pushed for in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 investigation resolution adopted on July 21, the first part of the sentence caused more surprise: a ceasefire? 

  While the second read-out didn't say so, did this mean only in the area around the site where MH17 went down? We'll have more on this as it develops.

  The first (part of the) readout, by a Senior State Department Official, was that

"During a phone call this afternoon, Secretary Kerry urged Foreign Minister Lavrov to stop the flow of heavy weapons and rocket and artillery fire from Russia into Ukraine, and to begin to contribute to deescalating the conflict.  He did not accept Foreign Minister Lavrov’s denial that heavy weapons from Russia were contributing to the conflict.

"Secretary Kerry provided an update on his meetings in the Middle East and Paris this past week and the ongoing efforts to achieve a ceasefire."
 Back on July 25 at the UN  Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq:
Inner City Press: Is there any UN involvement in trying to bring about this deployment? Does the Secretary-General believe that such a deployment would go through the Security Council? Should go through the Security Council? Should the consent of the separatists be sought to avoid a conflict? What’s the UN’s thinking on this deployment of armed individuals into a conflict zone?
Deputy Spokesman Haq: I believe that this is an issue that may come up, among the members of the Security Council in the coming days, so I’ll leave it in their hands.
  Five hours later Security Council member Mark Lyall Grant of the UK said
Its early days, the negotiations between The Netherlands and the Ukrainian government are continuing, as I understand it, in Kyiv. The Australians are obviously involved as well in terms of negotiating the bilateral agreement. When that happens, I think it is quite likely that the Dutch government may want to inform the Security Council of that agreement, and I think it also quite likely that the Security Council will want to take note of that agreement, very possibly in a resolution. I wouldn't expect that to be controversial, and that could happen very quickly after agreements have been reached in Kyiv.” 
  Meanwhile at the International Monetary Fund's July 24 embargoed briefing, Inner City Press asked IMF  Deputy Spokesperson William Murray:
Inner City Press: "On Ukraine, what is the IMF's estimate or thoughts on the impact of the downing in Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in Eastern Ukraine, and its impact, if any, on the IMF's program?
MR. MURRAY: You know, we're concerned about conflict in the region and a statement we issued the other day addresses that issue.
 But what about MH17 and its aftermath? The IMF didsubstantively answer Inner City Press' Gaza and Israel question, here.  Watch this site.

 
  

Rejected Gaza Draft Ceasefire Framework Differently Leaked & Worded, Israel & Qatar, Ha'aretz & Al Jazeera


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- With even the “humanitarian pause” over in Gaza, the draft agreement rejected by the Israeli cabinet on July 25 is being leaked from both sides. But the versions leaked by each side are different.
  On Al Jazeera a one-page document was waved around, which had Qatar in the first paragraph as one of the signatories making commitments, which provided for the opening of “border and non-border” crossings and specified fishing rights up to 12 nautical miles, and a $47 million commitment by the US.
  In the “5 pm Confidential Draft” published by Ha'aretz, Qatar is the last paragraph (without Egypt), fishing rights and the $47 million from the US are not specified, nor are “non-border” crossing being opened.
  At least, the two sides leaked different stages or versions of the draft. Or is there more to this, in the spin war that this stage of the Gaza war has become?
  (The drafts are different; Al Jazeera is saying Ha'aretz stole its scoop. There may be more to this.)
  Meanwhile, silence at the UN with the draft Security Council resolution of Jordan and the Arab League not scheduled for a vote, and canned statements from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who after taking a Qatar-funded private jet from New York to Doha refused through his spokespeople to answer Inner City Press' follow-up questions on who paid for the rest of his travel. Watch this site.

 
  

On Gaza, UN Offers Canned Statements and UNacted-On Draft Resolution After Ban Ki-moon's UNdisclosed Gifted Travel


By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 26, more here -- As the death count in Gaza rose after the UN Security Council's emergency meeting on Sunday, July 20, what was the response at the UN?

   Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flew around the region, first on a Qatar-funded private jet, then a Saudi jet -- then his spokespeople stopped answering Inner City Press on whose jet or dime Ban was flying. 

  At the Security Council, there was talk about the Jordan or Arab Group draft resolution. But on July 24 on his last day in the Council, French Ambassador Gerard Araud said that no vote had been scheduled on the draft.

    When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finally spoke in Cairo on July 25, it was about a mere 12 hour humanitarian pause. 

 And before any press questions, it was said "Mr. United Nations Secretary-General has to leave." But where to? On whose plane? Because the UN has stonewalled, the questions have to be asked and pursued.
  US Secretary John Kerry, to whom nearly all of the media questions were directed, denied that Israel's cabinet had voted down the larger proposal; Kerry headed to Paris to meet with the foreign ministers including those of Turkey and Qatar.
  But there, no deal was announced. Al Jazeera put online a draft they said Israel had rejected; an Israeli columnist criticized what he called the draft Kerry submitted and was criticized. 
 One issue was whether a ceasefire or humanitarian pause should involved Israel pulling its forces out of Gaza. But Ban, flying on undisclosed aircraft, issued canned statements that did not address the issue.
  Intentions for peace are not enough.
  On the most basic transparency, at the July 25 noon briefing Ban's deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq refused to tell Inner City Press on what kind of plane, paid by whom, Ban traveled to Cairo. 
  After belatedly telling Inner City Press Ban took a Qatar-funded private jet to Doha, and later a Saudi plane, now the UN won't answer basic questions about Ban's most recent outside-funded trips. 
   Ban's announcement was a shift down from remarks the UN had sent out, then retracted. At 7:22 AM Eastern Time in the US, Ban's Office of the Spokesperson emailed out Ban's remarks.  Seven minutes later at 7:29 AM they e-mailed again: "PLEASE RETRACT - Secretary-General's remarks to press in Cairo have not been delivered."
  While not required, Inner City Press decided to hold off reporting any of this, expecting Ban to speak with US Secretary of State John Kerry soon thereafter.
    Two hours later, the Wall Street Journal's Jay Solomon published a story quoting what Ban was "expected to say" --
"'On this, the last Friday of Ramadan, I call for an immediate, unconditional humanitarian pause in the fighting in Gaza and Israel,' Mr. Ban is expected to say Friday, according to a draft of his prepared comments. 'We can build on this initiative by supporting international efforts to put in place the elements of a longer-term cease-fire plan.' A spokesperson for Mr. Ban said the transcript was mistakenly released by the U.N. on Friday.”
   While still awaiting Ban's expected -- changed? -- remarks with John Kerry (a reporter on the scene says the UN flag has been placed and replaced at the site of the press availability), it's worth asking, how does the UN get "its" press corp to sit on Ban's remarks released, with no embargo, and then "retracted"?
   Inner City Press has reported on, and the Free UN Coalition for Accessseeks to counteract, this dynamic, for example here when the UN's Correspondents Assocation - known for more than one reason as the UN's Censorship Alliance -- provided Ban with a soccer photo op. 
  Significantly in these pre-released remarks, Ban once again cites the bombing of the UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun without saying anything about who did it - despite for example the widely reported series of IDF tweets. So again: why was Ban's pre-released statement sat on?
   The Free UN Coalition for Access also asks: how can it be that the UN does not disclose when Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepts free travel on a private jet, and on July 24 would not tell Inner City Press how and on whose plane Ban flew to Iraq? Video here.
 We note that, along with a Newsweek piece that credited Inner City Press' exclusive, Solomon is one of two reporters trailing Kerry who've asked / tweeted about Ban using the Qatar funded private jet.
   Agence France Presse reported Ban's later retracted remarks, so for without correction. But AFP did not mention Ban's silence on who bombed the UNRWA school in Beit Hanoun.
  When Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Haq about the AFP report, Haq said AFP had been spoken to. But the report(s) remained online.
   This follows the UN's only belated acknowledgement, after Inner City Press asked several times, that Ban began his Gaza-related tour by flying on a Qatar-funded jet to Qatar, then Cairo.
 Bigger picture, does the UN, while claiming to abide by its own stated ethics rules, simply not have time for them and waive them?  When Inner City Press asked on July 23, UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq said, if you are here as a lawyer, "You're not entitled to be at the noon briefing."Video here from Minute 4:26.
  Here's the July 24, 2014, video:

  On the audio file, Haq referred to UN Radio. Here it is, for download at mp3 - but it cuts off the question asked of Ban about the Qatar-funded plane, that the State Department transcribed. 
The UN has previously censored its transcripts to omit the Free UN Coalition for Access and what was said to Ban; when Haq answered Inner City Press that Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir was dead, he "corrected" this in the transcript without ever telling Inner City Press that his answer was wrong, or had been "disappeared" in the transcript.

  On July 24 after Inner City Press asked for basic UN financial information -- last ten free trips -- Haq said, "You are not a prosecutor." Video here.
And here's the July 23, 2014 video:

On July 21, the UN belatedly answered Inner City Press' July 19 inquiry about Secretary General Ban Ki-moon accepting a free Qatar-funded, British registered private jet for his current travel about Gaza. Video hereand embedded below.

   We'll have more on this.