Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ban Ki-moon Bans Press from UNSC Stakeout on Dropping Saudi From Yemen Children and Armed Conflict List

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 2 -- When the UN Security Council held an open debate on Children and Armed Conflict on August 2, a main topic was Secretary General Ban Ki-moon having dropped the Saudi-led Coalition for the annex to the report, despite killing 1,200 children in Yemen.

  But during the debate, Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat locked the doors to the Security Council stakeout, effectively Banning from covering the meeting the vast majority of journalists accredit to cover the UN. Periscope video here. 

   As speeches were given by Sudan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Jordan, Myanmar, Viet Nam, Qatar, Azerbaijan and Syria were given, the doors to the Security Council stakeout remained locked. While Ban Ki-moon and his chief of “Public Information” Cristina Gallach have shown a penchant for censorship of critical coverage, even if one wanted to look at this exclusion the most benign light, it was to save the cost of a single Security officer.

 This while Ban Ki-moon, when he left the Council refusing to answer a Press question, has with in even inside the UN a number of security guards. Why? How much will be spend in his upcoming junket to Los Angeles and Calgary? How much was spent campaigning in South Korea?

The UN Secretariat of Ban Ki-moon's bungling of Yemen mediation has become ever more clear, according to multiple sources and documents exclusively seen by Inner City Press, see below.

Now Ban's bungling and worse have become more public. He put Saudi Arabia on the annex to his Children and Armed Conflict report, for what it has done in Yemen. Then he reversed course - and when slammed by human rights groups and others, had first his officials, then on June 9 did himself, spin scribes about how he had been blackmailed, how he had only sold out in order to help Palestinians who would be left without aid. 

On August 2 as Ban Ki-moon entered the UN Security Council meeting on Children and Armed Conflict, Inner City Press asked him about what he had received from Saudi Arabia. Ban did not answer. Video here.

  Inside the Security Council, Ban claimed that his dropping of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition from the annex was “very closely considered” -- “After very careful consideration, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition was removed from the annexes.” What was so “very careful”?

When Ban Ki-moon came out of the Council, Inner City Press nearly alone at the stakeout asked him again, Has Saudi Arabia's coalition been permanently removed? Ban only waved, did not answer. (He's been known to oust and evict, at least through his Spokesman and DPI chief Cristina Gallach.)

   At the day's noon briefing Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Dujarric to clarify, which didn't happen - he wouldn't even answer simple yes or no questions. But back at the stakeout, Inner City Press asked Leila Zerrougui and she answered at length, video here.

   On Dujarric's comment that the US is not in the Saudi coalition, she referred to a “Note Verbale” listing 10 countries. That seems to include Egypt, whose state media Akhbar Al Yom's Sanaa Youssef for once was around, as usual asking no questions. That and previous UNCA presidency seems the basis to try to use her to take over Inner City Press long time office, despite Akhbar Al Yom not even complying with the UN's stated rules.

   Saudi Arabia's Ambassador also did a long stakeout, denying that Saudi Arabia pressured Ban Ki-moon. Inner City Press asked, What about Jeffrey Feltman, and Saudi Foreign Minister AL Jubeir repeatedly calling him? He acknowledged the calls.

  Some ask, So is it that Feltman pressured Ban on behalf of the US?