Sunday, July 2, 2017

From Cyprus Talks, UNSG Guterres Left July 1, UN Still Won't Tell Press Where To, UNaccountable

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos here

UNITED NATIONS, July 2 – Before UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' fly-by the Cyprus talks in Crans Montana in Switzerland, Inner City Press repeatedly asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric who long Guterres would stay at the talks, and where he would be from July 1 to July 5. It's a simple question that the administrations in Washington, New York's City Hall and elsewhere know they would have to answer. 

But today's UN is so unaccountable, is so not held accountable, that Dujarric twice dodged the question and has now himself disappeared, not unlike the Cyprus talks (UN) common document, not answering. Dujarris is supposed to be Guterres' spokesman, not Aleem Siddique. Where is the Secretary General of the United Nations? As Inner City Press reported on June 30, many member states are mystified by the slow pace and even scheduling of Guterres' supposed reform plan. As to We the Peoples and the Press, censorship continues

In an otherwise empty UN on the evening of June 4, Cyprus talks or attempts to talk ended at 11 pm, with Secretary General Antonio Guterres announcing in the third person that talks would continue "in June," then taking no questions. Nor did those he met with take questions, including Inner City Press' audible question about hydrocarbons. Guterres headed to the Cyprus talks in Switzerland on June 29-30, to only be back in New York on July 5. Now it's reported that Guterres left the talks in Switzerland on July 1 - but no word from the UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, whom Inner City Press twice asked where Guterres would be between July 1 and July 5. If Trump or De Blasio did this, there would be an outcry. Inner City Press emailed the obvious question to Dujarric - while noting that he and his (tag) team refused to answer any of Inner City Press' nine questions, including on Morocco's Rif, Cameroon and UN corruption, from June 12-13. We'll have more on this. On June 30, Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the delay in reform, and where Guterres will be from July 1 to 5. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: what was said going to be the reform, the reform of the development system of the UN, I thought it was going to be done in June.  But I'm finding it's now 30 June.  So, has a written proposal been made?

Spokesman:  The Secretary-General will brief the Member States on Wednesday in the morning.  He will brief ECOSOC [Economic and Social Council] and outline his vision for the reform of the UN's development system.  And that will be a public meeting.

Inner City Press:  You'd said yesterday that, you know, wait for him to get to Switzerland before saying what his next moves are. What are his next moves between now and Wednesday?

Spokesman:  Right now, he's focusing on the discussions in Crans-Montana.  So I don't want to preempt when he will leave the discussions as they're still ongoing.
  On July 1, Dujarric issued a statement that "last night, a clear understanding emerged of the essential elements of a package that might lead to a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. The Conference on Cyprus continues at the political level this morning. The Secretary-General remains fully engaged in these efforts to deliver a comprehensive settlement to the people of Cyprus." Full engaged from where? On June 29, Inner City Press asked Dujarric UN transcript here: Inner City Press: the Secretary-General at the Cyprus talks, are they going on over the weekend?  How many days does he plan to participate in them?

Spokesman:  Let’s get him there, and then we can talk about when he leaves.

Inner City Press:  Will we talk about it?

Spokesman:  Go ahead.  Next question?
   No, this is the question. "When Actually Employed" envoy Espen Barth Eide was present but did not take questions on June 4.  Now on June 9, the spokesman for Guterres (now on a week long Central Asian junket) has issued this: "The Special Adviser is preparing this document based on conversations with all the conference participants. It will be prepared before the conference, in order to help guide the discussions on security and guarantees" and  "In line with the statement issued following the meeting of the Secretary-General with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akinci, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nicos Anastasiades, in New York on 4 June, and following consultations with all participants, the Conference on Cyprus will reconvene in Geneva on 28 June 2017. The Conference on Cyprus will reconvene at the political level under the auspices of the Secretary-General, with the participation of Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci, as well as Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom as guarantor powers, and in the presence of the European Union as an observer." On June 5, with one hour's notice, Eide was the guest at a truncated UN noon briefing. Inner City Press asked Eide about the hydrocarbons issue, and how many days he works and gets paid. He said twenty day a week, correcting that to money, and said that hydrocarbons barely came up in the meeting. At least he answered the question - later on June 5 when Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Dujarric how many days Yemen enovy IOCA works, and if he will disclose for Burundi envoy Michel Kafando, Dujarric cut the question off - despite the fact that When Actually Employed envoy disclosed less - while indulging Moroccan state media three rounds of questions. On Sunday while Inner City Press arrived at 6:30, and was in the conference room well before 7, even the photo started more than 10 minutes late. Downstairs, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he wasn't "here for a blame game." Video here. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that one side was imposing pre-conditions. Video here. Upstairs, in came UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who'd remained silent for 18 hours on the London Bridge attacks, accompanied by his equally UNresponsive spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Jeffrey Feltman and Katrin Hett and Espen Barth Eide. There was the three-way handshake, Alamy Live News photos here; Periscope video here. To the side, a dinner setting was on a table facing out toward First Avenue. A stakeout afterward was scheduled. Would the latter include Eide? After the UN's envoy on Cyprus, whom UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said was full time, said he has no current plans to return to Cyprus, Inner City Press on May 31 asked Dujarric: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you about Cyprus. I'm sure you've seen the President of Cyprus has said that Mr. [Espen Barth] Eide was out of line in speaking about hydrocarbons as exploration as a risk, and then mostly I wanted to ask you about this quote by the… the… by the spokes, Aleem Siddique, saying that Mr. Eide has no pl… no current plans to return to the island.  So I just wanted to know, where do things stand from the Secretary-General's point of view on this… this thing that was thought to be coming to a conclusion?  And also just about Mr. Eide, is he "when actually employed?"  When he says he's not going back, is he still working on the case?  Where does he work [inaudible] work?

Spokesman:  Mr. Eide continues in his role.  I'm not going to comment on whatever comments were made on the hydrocarbons.

Inner City Press:  Is he a full-time envoy?

Spokesman:  Yeah, he is, as far as I know.  If he's not, I'll correct… the record will be corrected, but I believe he is. 
 Update: now in the UN transcript there's this: "[He later added that Mr. Eide is on a “when actually employed” contract.]" Added to who? Perhaps Dujarric announced it over his public address system piped into the office the UN gives to (Dujarric) friendly journalists. But Dujarric evicted Inner City Press from the UN Press Briefing Room and from Inner City Press' long time times office S-303 (see paragraphs 9-10, here); he keeps Inner City Press restricted. He did not email this correction to Inner City Press. On June 1 Inner City Press asked him, UN transcript here: I'd asked you yesterday about Espen Barth Eide, and I did see your correct… your amplification that he's "when actually employed".  So, I wanted to know, in these cases where there are envoys that are "when actually employed"… and this is… it's not… is it possible to know, just in the last… without getting into the specifics of his diplomacy, in… in the course of the last 365 days, how many days has he… has he… and I'm saying it because it's public money, so I… I know there's a balance.  Can you get that number?

Spokesman:  I… we can see.  I don't know if it's tabulated at the end of the year or when they're tabulated if there's…

Inner City Press:  However it's tabulated.

Spokesman:  Yeah.  All right. 

  Seven hours later, nothing. The UN is corrupt.