Monday, December 5, 2016

On Myanmar, ICP Asks UN if Ban Ki-moon Will Go, Is Told "Not Realistic"

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- Myanmar was the quiet topic of the UN Security Council on the evening of November 17, between meetings on South Sudan and Syria chemical weapons.
 Inner City Press was informed that while the US requested the closed door briefing, the US agreed as a condition that there would be no outcome to the meeting. 
The briefer was Vijay Nambiar, Ban Ki-moon's envoy on Myanmar as he was, disasterously, on Sri Lanka. And sources tell Inner City Press that amid the burning of Rohingyas' homes and rapes and killings in Rakhine State, Nambiar advised the Council to go easy on Myanmar and give them time. This is is disgusting, all around.  The UN has refused to provide a summary of what Nambiar said. 
On December 1, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: on Myanmar, I'm sure you've seen the… the opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal by José Ramos-Horta, former UN employee, saying the Secretary-General should go… go to Myanmar and… before his term expires in order to prevent this ethnic cleansing or genocide.  So I wanted to know, what's your response to that… to that recommendation?  And also whether the Secretary-General or anyone in the UN has spoken to Bangladesh about reports that the fact the border is entirely sealed and those trying to flee the army's violence cannot cross it?

Spokesman:  I do not believe anybody at the Secretary-General's Office has spoken to the Bangladeshi authorities.  I do believe there has been some contacts from the various funds and programmes and at other levels on the issue regarding the border.  I don't think it's realistic to expect the Secretary-General will be able to go to Myanmar before the end of his term.  That is not to say that he is extremely worried about the current situation and, I think, as expressed by his Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide or the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

ICP Question:  How about his… his… his good offices' envoy?  Is there some… I guess I want to request again… just because the accounts that I heard of what Mr. [Vijay] Nambiar said to the Council was basically give Aung-… give the country time, which some interpreted as basically a hands-off policy…

Spokesman:  I don't think… I don't think… I think it is… the authorities in the country need to live up to their responsibilities, and we need to make sure that happens.  I don't think anyone here is taking a hands-off policy.
Ban Ki-moon can be hands-on:
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not even recuse himself.
  On September 27, Inner City Press directly asked Chatterjee about it, on Periscope. here. Vine here. Chatterjee hardly answered the long-standing questions; nor did Ban's spokesman. Neither set up the requested interview. 
Likewise, Inner City Press' requests for a copy of Ban Ki-moon's October 14, 2016 speech to the Council on Korean Americans, for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought, and its questions about a UN Ethics Office opinion on that and on Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo being a UN official and on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered Bank and South Korea's Doosan have gone unanswered, even as reiterated at the November 4 UN noon briefing. Video here.
On September 24, Inner City Press put these conflict of interest questions to Han Seung-soo, who left after the briefest of answers, here. 
Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is involved with KD Power in mining projects in Myanmar's eastern Shan State, see below -- and in greenwashing "renewal energy" projects in Myanmar, here, consonant with Ban and his spokesman's silence on Morocco using corporate wind power projects to greenwash a land- (and map-) grab of Western Sahara for COP 22, here.
On November 17, Inner City Press again asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, this time the deputy, Video here, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: my second question on Myanmar was, it’s now eight days ago that… when Stéphane [Dujarric] asked, I sent him links, including to a Myanmar Government website, about Ban Ki-moon’s brother through KD Power, engaged in mining in the country, and with Bosung Powertec, engaged in a tour with a visiting UN delegation.  So I’m just wondering, this… the South Korean mission also asked me for the same links, and I gave them to them.  I’m not sure in what capacity they asked for them, but it seems like… what is the answer on the brother of the Secretary-General engaged in financial activity in Myanmar as part of a UN visiting delegation?  Have you determined what was his role in what the Government says is a UN delegation?
Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq:  I haven’t any information about him participating in any UN work.   
 Why not?