Thursday, April 27, 2017

When UNSC Met Trump, Ban Ki-moon Failures Arose, ICP Asks Ban Spox Which Evicted It


By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Follow up
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – When the UN Security Council's 15 members traveled to Washington on April 24 for lunch with US President Donald Trump, the topic of previous Secretary General Ban Ki-moon came up, sources exclusively told Inner City Press. The sources say Trump recounted offering to renovate the UN for $500 million rather than the more than $2 billion Ban ultimately spent, and Trump having asked Ban what kind of heating the UN building used. Ban didn't know. On April 27, Inner City Press asked Ban's, now Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric to respond to that and the UN not solving problems. Dujarric alluded to a Congressional hearing featuring "then developer" Trump, and entirely evaded that he spoke for and defended Ban for years. This is why Guterres should have, and still should as quickly as possible, get his own new spokesperson. Ban, who spent the $2 billion and whose relatives used the UN to try to sell real estate in Vietnam, didn't even know what kind of heating the UN used. It was for reporting on Ban's corruption links that Inner City Press was evicted from, and is still restricted inside, the UN, with Dujarric's involvement in both. See Para 9-10 of UN "Aide Memoire" to US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, here. The need for reform was clear then, and it is clear(er) now. In the run-up to the trip, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell in one of many curtain-raisers reported that only the Permanent Members ever chair the Council (false) and that the Elected Ten cannot vote (also false). Trump in five minutes of remarks online here chided the Council for inaction on Syria, called for action on North Korea and hoped for cost savings and, more importantly, better performance. In one step for UN reform and transparency, a resolution was adopted on April 19 to henceforth webcast to the public the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which Inner City Press has covered and critiqued for some time. Inner City Press notes that a similar, even more basic reform is needed: due process rules for journalists at the UN, where currently there are none. As to the NGO webcasting, US Ambassador Nikki Haley on April 19 said, “Today's vote will bring increased transparency and accountability to the United Nations. Now all of these meetings and votes will be open for the world to see. This major win at that will greatly assist organizations that stand up to oppressive governments around the world.” We agree: see below. But when will the needed reforms - any reforms - for content neutral accreditation of media at the UN, and due process of some sort before UN censors can throw the Press, happen? After the UN Department of Public Information gave Inner City Press two hours to leave, for having covered an event in the UN Press Briefing Room related to the Ng Lap Seng UN corruption case, there has been no appeals process. Pro-UN media only recently arrived have been given office space; Inner City Press' long time shared office is being given to an Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom whose correspondent Sanaa Youssef rarely comes in and never asks questions. For fourteen months and for now ongoing, Inner City Press is required to have UN minders to cover events on the Conference Building's second floor, unlike other media. It is lawless censorship and must be addressed. 

Back on July 20, 2015 two non-governmental organizations were accredited in the UN Economic and Social Council on July 20, with very different votes.  Freedom Now, with the support of the United Statees and 28 other counties, was accredited after losing 11-4 in the UN NGO Committee (see below). The speeches before the vote emphasized how the UN should accept even NGOs it agrees with.

 But on the NGO Committee's recommendation to accredit the Palestinian Return Centre, many of these same countries voted to disregard the recommendation and to exclude PRC. They said that one year was not enough time to get questions answered; PRC was accuse of links with Hamas, for which it has threatened to sue. 13 countries voted to exclude PRC, including France, Germany, the US and UK, Colombia, Burkina Faso and Greece.

  Sweden and 17 other countries abstained; 16 voted to uphold the recommendation and let PRC in, which occurred. Popularity contest or principle?

Back on May 29 in the UN's Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, the application of Freedom Now was pushed to a vote by the United States; it was badly defeated, with eleven votes against and only four votes for, with one abstention (India) and three NGO Committee members absent: Guinea, Mauritania and, tellingly, Turkey.

  The “No” voters included Sudan, on which outgoing UN aid coordinator Valerie Amos refused to comment on May 28, here, and Burundi amid its crackdown and simultaneous submission of abusive police officers for service in Herve Ladsous' mission in Mali, MINUSMA, here.

  Freedom Now speaks up for (some) political prisoners, and usually effectively (that the Zone 9 Bloggers are still in jail is telling.) Freedom NOw can and will continue their work without the dubious “legitimacy” this Committee can confer. But the question arose, why did the US push it to a vote that it knew it would lose, and badly?  Why didn't the US work to “turn” some of the votes, at least from “No” to abstention or absent?

    But the “No” camp had their points on May 29. The chair of the Committee repeatedly refused to explain why for example the vote on Freedom Now could be pushed for, while another item in the morning, similarly pushed, was deferred. South Africa raised this, and later the Chair made a point of admonishing them, “for the record,” he said.  He did not appear impartial, whatever that means in the UN. Inner City Press live-tweeted it, here and here.

On W Sahara, French PR Told ICP Rights "In Our DNA," Russia DPR on Draft, Now Here


By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – In front of the UN Security Council's Western Sahara closed door consultations on April 25, Inner City Press asked French Ambassador Francois Delattre why there is no human rights monitoring in the mandate of the MINURSO mission, as urged by for example Amnesty International. Delattre said human rights "is in our DNA," but said there are many ways to work for human rights. Video here. Inner City Press asked about Horst Kohler as Antonio Guterres' nominee as Personal Envoy on Western Sahara. Delattre smiled and answered in German. Then and the next day, as Inner City Press got versions of the draft, Morocco diplomats and state journalists walked freely up and down the UN's 2d floor, while Inner City Press was confined to Department of Public Information minders. After the meeting, Russia's Deputy Permanent Representative Petr Ilyichev said the real work on the MINURSO resolution, which he still expects to be put to a vote on April 27, was at the level of experts, not in the April 25 meeting. Periscope video here. And here now, the draft resolution:
The Security Council, Recalling and reaffirming all its previous resolutions on Western Sahara,
Reaffirming its strong support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy to implement resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), 2044 (2012), 2099 (2013), 2152 (2014), 2218 (2015), and 2285 (2016),
?Reaffirming its commitment to assist the parties to achieve a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect, 
Reiterating its call upon the parties and the neighboring states to cooperate more fully with the United Nations and with each other and to strengthen their involvement to end the current impasse and to achieve progress towards a political solution, 
Recognizing that achieving a political solution to this long-standing dispute and enhanced cooperation between the Member States of the Maghreb Arab Union would contribute to stability and security in the Sahel region, 
Welcoming the efforts of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), under close review and reiterating the need for the Council to pursue a rigorous, strategic approach to peacekeeping deployments, and effective management of resources,
Emphasizing the need to regularly evaluate MINURSO’s performance such that the mission retains the skills and flexibility needed to effectively carry out its mandate, 
Further emphasizing that hiring, retention and assignment processes of the United Nations for MINURSO should allow for mission structures to quickly and easily adapt to changing operational environments, and noting the Secretary-General’s intention to reform  these processes to make the Organization more nimble, 
Recognizing the important role played by MINURSO on the ground and the need for it to fully implement its mandate, including its role in supporting the Personal Envoy to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution,  
Expressing concern about the violations of existing agreements, and calling on the parties to respect their relevant obligations, 
Welcoming Morocco’s positive response on 26 February 2017 to the Secretary General’s call for both parties to withdraw from the buffer strip in Guerguerat,
Expressing deep concern that elements of the Polisario Front remain in the buffer strip in Guerguerat, including its obstruction of regular commercial traffic,    
Taking note of the Moroccan proposal presented on 11 April 2007 to the Secretary-General and welcoming serious and credible Moroccan efforts to move the process forward towards resolution; also taking note of the Polisario Front proposal presented 10 April 2007 to the Secretary-General,
Encouraging in this context, the parties to demonstrate further political will towards a solution including by expanding upon their discussion of each other’s proposals and further encouraging the neighboring countries to make contributions to the political process, 
Taking note of the four rounds of negotiations held under the auspices of the Secretary-General and recognizing the importance of the parties committing to continue the negotiations process, 
Encouraging the parties to resume cooperation with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in implementing the January 2012 updated Plan of Action on Confidence-Building Measures, including programmes focused on linking people who have been divided for more than 40 years due to the conflict and further encouraging the parties to consider additional appropriate confidence-building measures,
Stressing the importance of improving the human rights situation in Western Sahara and the Tindouf camps, and encouraging the parties to work with the international community to develop and implement independent and credible measures to ensure full respect for human rights, bearing in mind their relevant obligations under international law, 
Encouraging the parties to continue in their respective efforts to enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps, including the freedoms of expression and association,
?Welcoming in this regard, the recent steps and initiatives taken by Morocco, and the role played by the National Council on Human Rights Commissions operating in Dakhla and Laayoune, and Morocco’s interaction with Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council, 
Commending the technical visit of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to Western Sahara in April 2015, and to the Tindouf refugee camps in July-August 2015, and strongly encouraging enhancing cooperation with OHCHR, including through facilitating further visits to the region, 
Noting with deep concern the continued hardships faced by Sahrawi refugees and their dependency on external humanitarian assistance,and further noting insufficient funding for those living in Tindouf refugee camps and the risk of potential reductions in food assistance,
?Reiterating its request for consideration of a refugee registration in the Tindouf refugee camps and emphasizing efforts be made in this regard, 
Stressing the importance of a commitment by the parties to continue the process of negotiations through the United Nations-sponsored talks and encouraging the meaningful participation of women in these,
?Recognizing that the consolidation of the status quo is not acceptable, and noting further that progress in the negotiations is essential in order to improve the quality of life of the people of Western Sahara in all its aspects,
? Expressing gratitude for the efforts of the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara, Ambassador Christopher Ross, throughout his tenure, and affirming its continued full support for the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy for Western Sahara in facilitating negotiations between the parties, and calling on the parties and neighbouring states to cooperate fully with the Personal Envoy,
?Affirming full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Head of MINURSO Kim Bolduc, 
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 10 April 2017 (S/2017/307), 
1.?Decides to extend the mandate of MINURSO until 30 April 2018;
 2.?Reaffirms the need for full respect of the military agreements reached with MINURSO with regard to the ceasefire and calls on the parties to adhere fully to those agreements;
3. ?Expresses deep concern with the continued presence of elements of the Polisario Front in the buffer strip in Guerguerat and strongly urges the Polisario Front to fully and unconditionally withdraw from the buffer strip in Guerguerat immediately;
 4.?Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Council within 30 days on whether elements of the Polisario have withdrawn from the buffer strip in Guerguerat and expresses its intention, if there is no full and unconditional withdrawal, to consider how best to facilitate achievement of this goal;
 5.?Recognizes that the crisis in Guerguerat raises fundamental questions related to the ceasefire and related agreements and encourages the Secretary-General to explore ways that such questions can be resolved; 
 6.?Calls upon all parties to cooperate fully with the operations of MINURSO, including its free interaction with all interlocutors, and to take the necessary steps to ensure the security of as well as unhindered movement and immediate access for the United Nations and associated personnel in carrying out their mandate, in conformity with existing agreements;
7.?Emphasizes the importance of the parties’ commitment to continue the process of preparation for a fifth round of negotiations, and recalls its endorsement of the recommendation in the report of 14 April 2008 (S/2008/251) that realism and a spirit of compromise by the parties are essential to achieve progress in negotiations, and encourages the neighbouring countries to make important contributions to this process;
8.?Calls upon the parties to show political will and work in an atmosphere propitious for dialogue in order to resume negotiations, thus ensuring implementation of resolutions 1754 (2007), 1783 (2007), 1813 (2008), 1871 (2009), 1920 (2010), 1979 (2011), 2044 (2012), 2099 (2013), 2152 (2014), and 2218 (2015) and the success of negotiations;
9.?Affirms its full support for the commitment of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy towards a solution to the question of Western Sahara in this context to relaunch the negotiating process with a new dynamic and a new spirit leading to the resumption of a political process with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations;
10.?Calls upon the parties to resumenegotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General without preconditions and in good faith, taking into account the efforts made since 2006 and subsequent developments, with a view to achieving a just, lasting, and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and noting the role and responsibilities of the parties in this respect;
11.?Invites Member States to lend appropriate assistance to these talks;
12.?Requests the Secretary-General to brief the Security Council on a regular basis, and at least twice a year, on the status and progress of these negotiations under his auspices, on the implementation of this resolution, challenges to MINURSO’s operations and steps taken to address them, expresses its intention to meet to receive and discuss his briefings and in this regard, and further requests the Secretary-General to provide a report on the situation in Western Sahara well before the end of the mandate period;
13. Further requests the Secretary-General to update the Security Council within six months of the appointment of the new Personal Envoy on (i) ways in which the Personal Envoy, working with the parties, is progressing towards a mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, and present a clear path forward;  (ii) how MINURSO’s performance measures are being developed and implemented(iii) how structures and staffing can be reorganized to achieve mission goals efficiently, and (iv) how new technologies are being considered to reduce risk, improve force protection, and better implement the mandate of MINURSO;
14. Encourages the parties to resume cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to review and, where possible, expand confidence-building measures; 
15.Urges Member States to provide new and additional voluntary contributions to fund food programmes to ensure that the humanitarian needs of refugees are adequately addressed and avoid reductions in food rations;
16.?Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to ensure full compliance in MINURSO with the United Nations zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse and to keep the Council informed, and urges troop-contributing countries to take appropriate preventive action including pre-deployment awareness training, and other action to ensure full accountability in cases of such conduct involving their personnel; 
17.Supports an increase in the ratio of medical personnel within the current uniformed authorization as requested in the most recent report of the Secretary-General to address the severely overstretched medical capacity of MINURSO. 
18.Decides to remain seized of the matter.
Outside the Council, a half dozen Moroccan diplomats milled around, the same crowd from within which a frivolous complaint to the Department of Public Information was made, to stop taking photos or video from the UNSC stakeout (which is in fact permitted). The same DPI allows Morocco state media to chase Christopher Ross into the elevator - but censured Inner City Press for the same thing. This is today's UN. Numerous diplomats have asked Inner City Press why Secretary General Antonio Guterres is "so pro Moroccan," as one of them put it. The perception is become widespread. The answers proffered include Guterres' time as Prime Minister of Portugal, with references to prior Moroccan King Hassan II and Abdellatif Youssoufi. On April 20, Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Amnesty International urging the inclusion of human rights monitoring in the mandate of the MINURSO mission, and why Guterres ignored it as he apparently ignores several other human rights issues. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: Amnesty International, you may have heard of, has issued a de… a call saying that the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara, MINURSO, should have a human rights monitoring function.  And I… I've seen a copy.  I'm not sure if you can say what the status of the Secretary-General's report is.  Is it now officially…?

Spokesman:  Yeah, the report…  I would refer you…
Inner City Press: I want to make sure…

Spokesman:  I would refer you to the report.
Inner City Press:  Since it… is it fair to say that he's not recommending a human rights monitoring function? If so, how… how… why not?

Spokesman:  I think it's fair to say that the report speaks for itself.

Inner City Press:  Right.  So he's not recommending it?

Spokesman:  You do the analysis...
 OK. And then there's this: Moroccan trolls, using Dujarric's (and the now-gone Gallach's) eviction of Inner City Press for covering corruption like this, that Inner City Press "was sacked out from the #UN because he was caught filming a closed meeting." No, Inner City Press said openly it would film, and did, a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room by a group that took dues money from now indicted Ng Lap Seng's bribery conduit. The Moroccan state "media" at the UN don't even ask questions. Troll on.  On April 19 as Guterres held a rare Q&A session, about Africa, his holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric had pre-selected questions, many of them not about Africa at all. The UN Department of Public Information under Guterres has threatenedInner City Press after a frivolous complaint from the Moroccan mission about photos taken according to the rules at the UN Security Council stakeout, while DPI has given multiple "Resident Correspondent" badges to Moroccan state media, some moonlighting for the UN itself, while restricting the UNderdog Press. Meanwhile, Inner City Press has learned, the UN's decoloniziation (C-24) committee is preparing to visit the Tindouf refugee camp. We'll have more on this. While Guterres breezed by the issue of Western Sahara on Friday, April 7 as Morocco tried to get the Press which covers it further restricted, Inner City Press was leaked the email below, from the UN's Kim Bolduc, amid reports of Germany's Horst Kohler as new Personal Envoy. While Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric refused to comment on either, here (contrary to his Q&A last week about "Sex in the City, here), now Inner City Press has put on Scribd the full text of Guterres' first MINURSO report such as it is, here. But when Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about both on April 10, he wouldn't answer either question. Video here. From the UN transcript
Inner City Press: on Western Sahara, you'd said to wait for the report, but I guess I just want to say, this Kim Bolduc e-mail, which Inner City Press published, was directed to, like, many, many people in UNHCR.  So, 5I'm wondering what then, it talks about a code cable for Jean-Pierre Lacroix to go forward and… and… and, you know, re… bring all 17 people back.  So, I'm sort of wondering, like, is it that you know it, but she shouldn't have written that first?  Is it…?

Spokesman:  She's the master of her e-mails.  She's obviously communicating what she needs to communicate with her… with her staff, and the Secretary-General's position will be made very public and updated once the report comes out in the next day or so.
[Also: Question:  Follow-up.  There were some reports also last week that the Polisario have threatened to shoot the MINURSO peacekeepers if they try to conduct ceasefire patrols in the areas under their control.  What's the Secretary-General think about that and the integrity of the peacekeeping mission itself?

Spokesman:  Well, it's incumbent on all the parties involved to respect the, respect UN personnel in the area, whether uniformed or, or not, in the way they go about their work on a mandate of the Security Council.

Correspondent:  I'm sorry.  Just a quick follow-up.  The Polisario also reported that you have prevented the MINURSO from patrolling the El-Guerguerat area after the Moroccan forces have withdrawn from it…

Spokesman:  I think it is important that all the parties ensure that MINURSO has full freedom of movement.  Masood-ji.

Correspondent:  Thank you, Stéphane-ji. ]
Inner City Press:  Will he, by that time, confirm or deny that he's nominating Mr. Horst Kobler as… or Köhler…?

Spokesman:  As you know, whenever we have a nomination for a high-level person, there's a lot of the rumours prior.  The Security Council will have to be consulted, and once all that is done, we will announce it officially and, no doubt, you will have the information before it is announced officially.

Inner City Press:  Just finally, on both this and on South Sudan, is it possible to get Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix to do a stakeout or some type of Q&A…?

Spokesman:  I'm sure Mr Lacroix will be delighted to come meet you as soon as it is possible for him.  Good day.

Inner City Press:  Can I ask a Burundi question?

Spokesman:  No.  We're done.  Thank you.
   This is today's UN.

UN Refused Press Any Read-Out of Guterres' WIPO Meeting, Here Is Staff Unions' Letter to Guterres


By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive series, New platform
UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – What reforms or commitment to human rights or transparency, or even consistency or savings, has UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres shown in the 113 days he's been atop the UN, surrounded by officials and spokespeople from the previous Secretary General Ban Ki-moon? Inner City Press keeps asking Guterres' spokesman, but get no description or explanation of any reform, no action on UN retaliation, nothing. Inner City Press now publishes UN staff unions' letter to Guterres about retaliation by WIPO's Director General Francis Gurry, via Patreon here, a topic on which Inner City Press has repatedly asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric. On April 26 Inner City Press asked, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:
The question on CEB is… there’s many questions, but one… the only one I’ll ask today is this.  Is there a discussion… can you confirm a discussion by the Secretariat led by António Guterres to outsource some mixture of IT, finance and procurement from New York to Malaysia and other countries?  And, if so, what’s the status of the proposal?

Spokesman:  No.  I’m not aware.
Inner City Press:  And did… What is the agenda?  Can we get an agenda of the CEB meeting?

Spokesman:  The agenda is broad.  It’s on strengthening the UN system and improving coordination, and I think it’s an important meeting because it’s the Secretary-General’s first opportunity to address all the member… the heads of the UN system.

Inner City Press:  And when he met with Mr [Francis] Gurry at WIPO — I’d asked you this before — you’d said that everyone is aware of the charges of retaliation.  Did this come up at all?  I’ve seen a picture of him smiling on the podium.

Spokesman:  I have no readout of the meeting.
  And presumably, never. While on April 22 Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric issued a read out of Guterres and the World Bank, there is still no read-out of the "stop by" meeting on April 21 with US President Donald Trump. On April 24 Inner City Press asked Dujarric again for a read-out, and for a copy of the letter Guterres sent to Syria's Bashar al Assad. Video here, UN Transcript here: Inner City Press:  I want to follow up on the Washington or the Secretary-General.  He… I saw that he did an interview with Bloomberg television, and he said that… that, for example, climate change didn’t come up.  So I just wanted to ask you, what… it seemed like he didn’t have any aversion to doing a kind of a readout in that interview.  So can you give… what did come up and what didn’t come up?

Spokesman:  I can’t go any further than what I’ve said to you and what the Secretary-General said publicly.

Inner City Press:  And al… I guess, on one of the topics, he said that Syria did come up.  So just, as a matter of transparency, I wanted to ask, have you… I’m sure you’ve seen the stories that say that the Secretary-General wired a congratulatory cable to President [Bashar al-]Assad of Syria.  Is that true?  And, if so, did… what… is the text thus far quoted by… by Sana’a accurate and complete?  And will you release the letter?

Spokesman:  There was… it was not a letter… personalized letter that was signed.  As a matter of practice that has been going on for decades in this Organization, there is a message that goes out to every Member State on the occasion of their National Day.  It is the same message that goes out… so, in 2017, there’s a message that will go out… the same message will go out to every Member State.  There’s no reason why we can’t release the text of this generic letter.  It goes out through our protocol service to the Permanent Mission.  As I said, it’s not a signed letter.  It’s a generic message.  And I think it is about peace and, I think, you know, there… no one would disagree that, after more than six years of conflict, I think the Syrian people deserve peace.

Inner City Press:  So they’re not tailored in any way?  It’s not the complete…?

Spokesman:  They’re not tailored.  No, it’s a gen… as I said, I’ll release…  We’ll send out
  In fact, it was never sent to Inner City Press. Hours later Inner City Press, not even seeing it on the Spokesperson's Office counter, asked and there was a general letter, with not even the country name on it, behind the counter. Tweeted photo here. This is today's UN. Guterres, who rarely takes questions at the UN, sat down with Bloomberg and said it was only a "brief encounter" with Trump and that climate change did not even come up. (Dujarric told Inner City Press it was "15 to 20 minutes." Others say, "three minutes." Also, his rationale for no read-outs is eviscerated by Guterres' read out to Bloomberg, whose owner remains a UN official, like Jeffrey Sachs, under Guterres.) On April at 11:25 am  Inner City Press reported the stop by would happen. At the day's UN noon briefing after Dujarric pre-released adjectives spinning the meeting to his friendly scribes, Inner City Press asked him, from the UN transcript: Inner City Press: you said it was in the same meeting but Sean Spicer said at 11:25 that the Secretary-General had already met with McMaster and would be having a, quote, drop in in the Oval Office with President Trump?  So…

Spokesman:  The way I interpreted Evelyn’s question and the way I answered it is: Was General McMaster in the meeting with President Trump? Yes.

Inner City Press:  And was it a drop in?  And how long did the meeting take if it was described as a drop in?

Spokesman:  The Secretary-General and General McMaster took, walked the Secretary-General to the Oval Office and they met, I think, for 15-20 minutes with the President.
  As to the World Bank, the UN said: "This framework, signed by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, is in response to global calls for our institutions to work more closely together on prevention and reducing needs, risks, and vulnerability as the world faces a spike in violent conflict.. Under this framework, the UN and World Bank will work in complementary ways to:  reduce the multi-dimensional risks of crisis and help prevent violent conflict; develop joint analyses and tools for more effective solutions; coordinate support to address protracted crises including forced displacement; and scale up impact by leveraging financing."
On April 21 as Guterres prepared to fly again to Europe, to Geneva and then Montreux, he sent a letter to all UN staff, many of whom forwarded it, outraged, to Inner City Press. Guterres wrote, "I expect all of us to be frugal in the acquisition of supplies, materials, furniture and equipment." One staff member marveled, "Guterres, or The Goot as some now call him, is telling us to scrimp on office supplies while he's flying to Montreux and often Lisbon." Inner City Press pointed out that that Guterres has reduced his travel delegations and might merge the Department of Political Affairs out of existence, and might even - it's unclear why this hasn't happened yet - reverse indefensible decisions by the Department of Public Information, from the Smurfs to ongoing censorship and restrictions on the critical Press. On the response, we'll have more. Guterres put on his website job vacancy notices to the Department of Management (unfilled) and rector of UN-University and even deputy of UN HABITAT. But for Youth Envoy, an ostensibly important position, no notice was placed on Guterres' website. Instead, Maher Nasser the Officer of Charge of the Department of Public Information, which evicted and restricts Inner City Press which asks these questions, tweeted a link to a Survey Monkey site two days before the deadline. When Inner City Press asked about the disparity, and about why it is still restricted to minders 14 months after trying to covering the UN corruption story in the UN Press Briefing Room, Nasser replied "Matthew - This is same process through which first youth envoy nominations were solicited. U have same access as 3000 other journalists." The last is false - Inner City Press has minders while even other non resident correspondents walk down the hallway, and no-question state media from Egypt and Morocco have full access - and the former doesn't explain the disparity. On April 21 Inner City Press put the question in person to Maher Nasser, Periscope here - without answer. At the April 21 noon briefing, Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric would only defend the non-publication on the UNSG site of the Youth Envoy position by saying it was done that way in the past. Another correspondent mutter, Slavery. On April 20 Dujarric refused to confirm that for the position of Special Adviser on Children and Armed Conflict Guterres had chosen Virginia Gamba, without much background in human rights or child protection, over Canada's Allan Rock and Myanmar rights expert Yanghee Lee. Dujarric did not deny it, and typically did not explain it.  From the UN transcript: Inner City Press:  can you confirm that those considered for the [CAAC] position involved Yanghee Lee and also Allan Rock?  And how would you respond to the idea that Ms. Gamba, despite her work on the JIM [Joint Investigative Mechanism], is not really viewed as a child advocate?

Spokesman Dujarric:  I think Ms. Gamba will stay on at the JIM for another few weeks or couple of weeks.  I don't know the exact date of her start time.  In the meantime, the Secretary-General is… we're looking at people to succeed her.  The office… the Special Representative isn't alone in that office.  There is a Deputy Special Representative.  There's a Chief of Staff.  They're continuing their work, obviously, in preparation for the report, which will come out later this year.  And so she will be… as soon as she assumes her job, she will take over the position and assume that responsibility as the Secretary-General's principal adviser on issues of children and armed conflict.  I think Ms. Gamba is an extremely experienced and talented international civil servant who's had wide experience and I think will be a great leader to that office and a great advocate for children and for the protection of children.
  Also on April 20 Dujarric announced that Guterres wants a review of the UN's air travel costs; Dujarric also belatedly confirmed what Inner City Press asked the day before, about Guterres traveling to Switzlerland later this month from the UN Chief Executives Board meetings. Inner City Press asked for Guterres' view on retaliation by host WIPO's Gurry - again, no answer - and specifically what the costs of this CEB meeting, culminating in old haunt Montreux, will be. Dujarric did not provide any number, thinking that mentioning Swiss government support resolves it. It does not. For now, Inner City Press publishes this internal list of the possible Montreux topics: the UN common position on the admission of the State of Palestine to UN Specialized Agencies, Programs and Funds by Sept. 2107, how to thrive without UN/Western funding -  learn from the experience of UNIDO and UNESCO in this regard.  Better media relations, advocacy & fundraising to promote the SDGs, Agenda 2030, synergies with OBOR, BRICS Bank - and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, even Bill Gates. Watch this site. Also this week, Guterres has handed the UN Development Program to a German official, Achim Steiner, while also proposing a German as his Personal Envoy on Western Sahara, Horst Kohler. As Inner City Press reported, and holdover Spokesman Stephane Dujarric called "despicable," one of Guterres' closest aides is Katrin Hett, of Germany. She got the position through Jeffrey Feltman, appointed to the UN by the previous US administration. Sources tell Inner City Press that Germany was in the running to head the UN Department of Management too, for which Guterres pushed a vacancy notice. But even for more, another Germany USG would be too much. So Inner City Press is told that Guterres may offer the Department of Management to the United States, once his other "reform" merges Feltman's Department of Political Affairs out of existence. So, they tell Inner City Press, the affable Yukio Takasu has been extended atop Management for a year. How long can this lack of reform, and continued restrictions on the Press that covers it, continue? When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres did a photo op at 9:25 am with the African Union's Moussa Faki Mahamat, the conference room was full of name tags. Inner City Press took the (first) photo and was told to wait on the 37th floor until 10 am for a "photo spray." At that time, the room was full with AU officials including Early Warning and Conflict Prevention specialist Frederic Ngaga Gateretse, who to his credit took note of the UN's bad treatment of the Press. Video here and embedded below. And in fact, when Guterres did a rare Q&A at 1 pm, he did not answer the Cameroon Internet cut-off question Inner City Press three times audibly asked, after Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric picked on pre-arranged questioners, at least two not about Africa.
 At the 10 am meeting, Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed, made aware, came to the end of the table and spoke with ASGs Taye Brook Zerihoun and Gettu, who joked that "The Horn" (or part of it) was represented. New UN Peacekeeping chief Jean-Pierre Lacroix came in; Jeffrey Feltman was in the meeting, but not apparently Stephen O'Brien. 
UNFPA's Babatunde Osotimehin came up late on the elevator. Minutes afterward, the UN announced that Guterres' 5 pm meeting with Egypt's Minister Badr would no longer be open to the media, as his UN is giving Inner City Press' longtime space work space to Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom, whose long absent correspondent rarely comes in, never asks questions. This is today's UN: and it must improve. So too must Guterres' and Mohammed's UN's performance on Cameroon and other AU topics. Watch this site.

  On April 18 when Guterres did a photo op and meeting with Ukraine's deputy Foreign Minister Sergiy Kyslytsya, his close adviser Katrin Hett came to tell the assembled staffers they would not be needed, the meeting would be held with only four on each side in Guterres' office overlooking the East River and Queens. Things are getting more and more private: Guterres' spokesman Stephane Duajrric for example has twice refused to answer Inner City Press if as reported Guterres tried to reach Cameroon's president of decades Paul Biya, about the cut off of the Internet there. Others have noticed the rash of German officials getting jobs: Achim Steiner at UNDP and prospectively Horst Kohler on Western Sahara. But some office on 38 now have blank signs. Kyslytsya had just given a right of reply in the Security Council, about Crimea. The mystery and payback for Guterres getting all of the Permanent Five members of the Council on his side to get elected has still not be revealed. But earlier on April 18, Inner City Press which remains evicted from its UN office and confined the UN minders was told, by the minders, that it cannot even work at a table in the UN lobbyThis has been raised, yes, to the 38th floor. So they know. There are no rules - a topic, in another context, that Kyslytsya raised in the Security Council.
Back on April 10 when Guterres did a photo op with the Club de Madrid - World Leadership Alliance including another candidate for Secretary General, Danilo Turk, it was impossible not to wonder what might have been. How might other of the candidates fared? What reforms, and reversal of Ban Ki-moon mistakes from Yemen and children and armed conflict to censorship might they have accomplished or at least begun? The ex heads of state barely fit into the photo, Periscope video here, and very little banter was heard before the press was ushered out. On the way in, Guterres came amiably through the hall, turning into the office of Miguel Graca. But where is the requested list of who works on the 38th floor, and who pays them? Is it true, as Inner City Press has heard, that Guterres has interviewed Achim Steiner for UNDP? At the lower profile Department of Public Information, why hasn't the Officer in Charge given any substantive response to simple requests before him, and would any successor at least have to commit to free press due process rules? Why is the holdover spokesman allowed to refuse to answer the Press' questions on Burundi, while engaging others about Sex and the City? We'll have more on this. After 100 days of Antonio Guterres as UN Secretary General, what has been accomplished? Guterres focused early on South Sudan, but as Inner City Press reports today on his 100th day, the Salva Kiir forces are using tanks near Wau while UN Peacekeeping, still under French control, says nothing publicly. The Cyprus talks are set to continue, but we've heard that before. Yemen is as bloody as ever, and Guterres extended Ban Ki-moon's (or Saudi Arabia's) envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed without even getting him to make any public financial disclosureDiscrepancies in Guterres own disclosure filings between 2013 and 2016 have yet to be explainedby Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric. What has changed? Not the Department of Public Information's targeted restrictions on Inner City Press, able to cover meeting on the UN's second floor only with a minder, and sometimes (as on the Rwanda genocide on April 7) not at all. Inner City Press has filed a request for reversal with DPI's Officer in Charge, nine days ago, with no substantive response. New Inner City Press song here. We remain constructive, eager to see reforms occur and succeed. But what has changed?
  When Guterres held a brief photo opportunity and meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it was Guterres' first in a while, after several rounds of travel. And it was over quickly: the media was told to leave before a single word was said. There were complaints about that, and more substantive complaints about a lack of transparency. There are no read-outs of meetings. On April 5 Inner City Press reported on inconsistencies even in Guterres' own public financial disclosures from 2016 and 2013 (his Yemen envoy makes NO public disclosures). On April 6 Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric declined to offer any explanation of the differences. As noted, under Ban Ki-moon he had Inner City Press thrown out of the UN Press Briefing Room and UN, where it is still restricted even as the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe UN bribery case it was covering is coming to trial. Is the UN reforming? Watch this site.
  Back on March 23 when Guterres met UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, unlike in other recent meetings with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tajikistan, there were women on Guterres' side of the table (Periscope video here): Katrin Hett and the Chief of Staff, who had just met with Alain Leroy, former head of Peacekeeping now with the EU. Also on Guterres' side of the table was OCHA's Stephen O'Brien, who greeted and was greeted by Boris Johnson. Will the UK, and separately O'Brien, hold onto the OCHA post? The emergence reported by Inner City Press of outgoing Dutch Labor Party foreign minister Burt Koenders as a candidate for UNDP, over David Miliband, may help O'Brien. But with budget cuts looming, the increasing lack of transparency in the UN Secretariat's business is a problem. And this: according to at least one senior official on the 38th floor on March 23, Guterres "has no interlocutor" in Washington, to which we'll soon turn. Watch this site.
  As to Boris Johnson, after four pre-selected questions all on the London attacks, Inner City Press audibly asked about Cameroon's Anglophone's Internet cut, what the UK is doing. We'll have more on this too.
Back on March 15 when Guterres met with Bahrain's foreign minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa and a delegation that appeared to include that country's former president of the General Assembly, Guterres began by apologizing for keeping them waiting. Periscope video here. His previous appointment had been with a delegation called "United Cities and Local Governments." Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric has met to answer Inner City Press clearly on why some meeting and calls are not disclosed, such as a call with the King of Morocco and a working lunch with Michael Bloomberg, nor how some media were handpicked to memorialize Guterres' most recent trip to Kenya and Somalia. Video here. If these happened, as it has, in Washington there would be an outcry. And perhaps one is growing in Turtle Bay.
  Earlier on March 15 in the UN's basement, Bahrain human rights defender Maryam Alkhawaja spoke. She was not on the 38th floor; Guterres' interlocutors at Human Right Watch, after they met with him, refused to give any read-out of what issues they raised. It seems clear these did not include, from the UN spokesman's non-answers, that the cut-off of the Internet by the government in Cameroon's Anglophone areas, now 57 days and counting, nor the UN's censorship and restriction of the Press. We'll have more on this.
  On March 13, before the snow day in New York, Guterres met another Gulf foreign minister, United Arab Emirates' Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. UAE Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh asked of Guterres' recent cultural moves in New York City. After a pause, Guterres cited art shows in Chelsea and at the Frick. Not mentioned at least at that time was former UN official Bernardino Leon, who negotiated a job at the UAE Diplomatic Academy while at the same time representing the UN in Libya, much less any mention of Yemen. Will there be a read out? There was no read out of Guterres meeting with Tanzania's foreign minster Mahiga, about which Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric on March 13; he also had no answer on Cameroon, where the Anglophone areas have had their Internet cut off by the government for 56 days, almost contemporaneous with Guterres' tenure of 72 days. We'll have more on this.
  On March 10, Inner City Press was blocked from covering a 38th floor photo op others were allowed to. No reasoning was given, just as no rule was cited when Inner City Press was evicted from the UN by the Department of Public Information's Cristina Gallach, and still remainsrestricted to minders more than a year later. Some thought the era of a lawless and censoring UN would be over by now. When?
  Back on March 3, when Guterres met with Gabon's FM Pacôme Moubelet Boubeya on March 3, it came before when the UN called a two day trip by Guterres to Kenya, from Sunday to Thursday. Last Friday when Inner City Press e-mailed Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric with the simple question of where Guterres was, Dujarric never answered the e-mail. When on Monday Inner City Press asked in person in the noon briefing, Dujarric said, Portugal. And this time? Why be murky?
  That is becoming a theme. Who is working on the 38th floor? How are they being paid? Inner City Press asked and was promised a chart, including a list of who is "seconded" from countries' mission. It has not been provided. On March 3, Dujarric who previously played a role in Inner City Press' eviction and continuing restriction for covering the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case refused to answer its last question, saying "Tomorrow" (which is Saturday) and "I'm lazy." Video here.  And so it goes.
  Dujarric told Inner City Press there was no read-out of Guterres' telephone call with Morocco's King in the name of quiet diplomacy. But why wasn't Guterres' working lunch with Michael Bloomberg put on his schedule, as a meeting days later with Gordon Brown was? Both, Dujarric answered, are still UN special advisers, as apparently is Han Seoug-soo despite being on the boards of directors of UN bank Standard Chartered and Doosan Infracore, which sells equipment to countries where Han gives speeches as a UN official.
  Also this week, Guterres' Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed arrived and within two hours of being sworn in did a four question stakeout. Inner City Press asked about the Green Bond of Nigeria, and if she and Guterres will work to make the Security Council more representative. UN reforms are sorely needed. Is the pace fast enough? Watch this site.
  (Gabon was at the UN on World Wildlife Day. Inner City Press, still restricted, was one of only three media to ask questions of CITES and Interpol, about the illegal trade of primates from Guinea. The UN needs more coverage, more access, not less. This too much change.)

Back on February 21 when Guterres met with Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Guterres joked that having two UN flags and none from Ukraine was "UN chauvinism." Klimkin replied, "It's the kind of chauvinism we can tolerate. Otherwise..." Periscope video here.
  Earlier in the day Guterres in the Security Council expressed his condolences at the death of Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, saying he had been flying back from Lisbon (and Munich before that) when the commander of the plane passed a note that Churkin was dead. Klimkin on the other hand blocked draft a Presidential Statement, and confirmed it at a stakeout in which Inner City Press asked if he would urge Guterres to invoke Article 99 of the UN Charter more, to raise issues.
  While Guterres has rightly scheduled a press conference for February 23 on South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Nigeria, those are on the Security Council's agenda, the latter in connection with Boko Haram. The plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar and Bangladesh, on the other hand, is barely mentioned by Council members. Is this a test for Guterres?
  On transparency, too, Guterres has opened the process for finding new Under Secretaries General of Management and Public Information - the departing one Cristina Gallach evicted Inner City Press from its office which sits unused and restricts it still, with no hearing or appeal, for covering the UN. That has yet to be reversed, and it is unclear if the USG position for Humanitarian Affairs will be opened to applications, as UNDP has. Watch this site.
  Back on February 8 when Guterres held a photo opportunity and meeting with Cote d'Ivoire Foreign Minister Marcel Amon-Tanoh, on the UN side of the table was Tanguy Stehelin, until quite recently the French Mission's legal adviser.
  That's how it is in the UN, at least as to Peacekeeping and former French colonies. As Inner City Press has exclusively reported, now "competing" to replace Herve Ladsous, the fourth Frenchman in a row atop UN Peacekeeping, are Jean-Maurice Ripert, Jean Pierre Lacroix and likely winner Sylvie Bermann, now Ambassador in London, previous like Ladsous in Beijing. It's the French Connection.
  At this photo op, after Amon-Tanoh's long vistors' book signing, no works were spoken until Guterres' "merci." His spokesman Stephane Dujarric, a holdover from Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan before that, has stopped giving read-outs of such meetings. His Office called the end of day "lid" with no reference to a balance, and without answering Inner City Press' question from noon about Burundi. Yes, it's the French Connection.
  Still even working from a small booth, still evicted and restricted by UN censor Cristina Gallach after one year, for seeking to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room, Inner City Press is hoping a more transparent UN.
Back on February 3 the photo op with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel came less than an hour after Guterres spokesman declined to explain to Inner City Press the lack of UN read-outs of such meetings.
  On February 2, there was no read-out of Guterres' long meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir. Inner City Press went to that and was surprised to see that UN Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC) expert Leila Zerrougui wasn't there.
  (Meanwhile we note that at Sigmar Gabriel's meeting, UN / DPA's Katrin Hett was there. Periscope video here.)
   When Guterres' predecessor Ban Ki-moon took the Saudi-led Coalition off the CAAC annex for killing children in Yemen, it was said discussions would continue about putting them back on.
  Then Zerrougui told Inner City Press she is leaving on March 31. Earlier on February 2 Inner City Press asked Guterres' (and Ban's before that) spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: I understand from Leila Zerrougui that she's leaving 31 March.  And so I wanted to ask you how this impacts the supposed review of putting the Saudi-led Coalition back on that list.  Who's going to do the review…?

Spokesman:  The… the… the office continues.  The mandate continues.  And there is a… an open vacancy on the public website, but it doesn't, it has, it doesn't change the work of the office or the mandate of that office.

Inner City Press:  Will a report be issued even if there's not a person in place?

Spokesman:  I think we very much hope that a person will be, will be in place by then, and there's no reason to think that the work of the office and its mandate will change.
 At the February 2 meeting, Zerrougui was not there, but Dujarric was, and Jeffrey Feltman whom the Saudis greeted warmly and one of his teamVideo here.
 Afterward in the lobby after Jubeir whispered to pro-Saudi media Inner City Press asked quite audibly if Children and Armed Conflict and Yemen had come up. There was no answer. Video here. We'll have more on this.
  Sometimes Guterres photo ops are more illuminative, and on February 1 he answered this Press question. On February 3 he briefs the Security Council on South Sudan and Burundi and, we're told, US immigration orders. Then he meets Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel at 2:30 pm. We'll be there.
  On February 1 Guterres had a photo opportunity and meeting with Igor Crnadak, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guterres said the UN is worried by news of the possibility of a referendum. Periscope video here, from Minute 2:51.
  Before that, Inner City Press was ordered by UN Security to stop or suspend its Periscope broadcast, which it had begun one minute before the meeting time at 3:35. Periscope here, 0:50, abruptly cut-off.
  Earlier on February 1, Guterres to his credit stopped and answered Inner City Press' question on if he plans to hire Louise Arbour as migration adviser. He said he'll first take the proposal the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
  UN holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric on January 31 declined to answer Inner City Press' related questions including if French Mission legal adviser Tanguy Stehelin is working in Guterres' office. 
On February 1, Stehelin was one of Guterres' team at the conference table. Does he still work at the French mission? He's still listed there. We'll have more on this: transparency will help the UN.

On January 25 with French Minister for Development and Francophonie Jean-Marie Le Guen, this latter said, "It's almost a historic day." Periscope video hereTweeted photo here.
  Some wondered if Le Guen might be referred to the news the new Administration in Washington is considering a 40% cut in its contributions to the UN, with full cuts to parts of the UN system accused of violating human rights.
  Thus far Guterres has yet to hold a press conference in UN Headquarters, so it has not been possible to ask him about the cuts, or the seemingly slow pace of transition and reform so far. 
Dubious Under Secretaries General like Frenchman Herve Ladsous at Peacekeeping and Spain's Cristina Gallach for "Public Information" remain in place; deputy SG Amina Mohammed will not begin until at earliest March 2.
  Still the talk on the 38th floor was of a new energy, of meetings well into the evening, with Guterres and his chief of staff and others. 
 Inner City Press intends to report in as much detail as it can -- it is still constrained by Gallach's eviction and pass-reduction order from eleven months ago -- but on January 25 the photo op was send, by a "sign," before Guterres said anything beyond "Comment allez-vous."
Back on January 13 when Guterres met with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, the new chair of the Group of 77 and China, Correa gave him a painting. Photo here;Tweeted video here. Then, without words, the Press was ushered off the 38th floor.
This differed from Guterres' first four days in office, when he invited the press back in and urged his counterparties to also speak to “your media.” 
  While Inner City Press has exclusively reported this week on Guterres-proposed changes, such as combining the UN's Rule of Law and Elections units, UN holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric has refused to confirm or explain, describing only "co-location."
  But when Inner City Press on January 13 asked for further information, such as how many staff in UN headquarters work on Mali, there was no response. 
We'll have more on this - and on Dujarric's continuig refusal to answer UN-specified questions about the January 10 unsealed indictment of just-left Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew, who was allowed to work at the UN's landlord Colliers International. 
All of Inner City Press' questions, including about the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services, were referred to Ban's Seoul-based spokesman at a phone number that is only a telephone menu tree all in Korean.
Guterres held his second and third photo opportunities and meetings as UN Secretary General on January 6, with Japan's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Shinsuke Sugiyama (Photos herePeriscope here) and Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (photos herePeriscope here.)
  Slightly late to the first meeting, Guterres cited the need to prepare for the Astana (Syria) and Paris (Palestine) conferences.
Guterres to his credit made a point of saying a bit, in public, before each meeting. With the Japanese delegation he joked about a dinner where at least “no one vetoed the dessert” -- yet -- and with the Greeks, he joked that their gifts, a book and music CDs and a box, were too heavy.
   In this Guterres differed from Ban Ki-moon, but not earlier in the day when led around to take selfies with the correspondents the UN has not, like Inner City Press, evicted from their offices for covering UN corruption, like the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe bribery case. Video here, story here.
   The Greek meeting followed one on January 6 with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu. Photo herevideo here
  Beyond the pleasantries - and there were more of these than in the final days of Ban Ki-moon's tenure - it was noteworthy that along with the UN's Cyprus envoy Espen Barth Eide, Ban's Under Secretaries General Feltman, Ladsous and O'Brien were all there. The "P3 men," some call them. Will they be switched not only for gender, but nation?

Guterres' new chief of staff Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti was there; his Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed won't formally begin until next month. Will that trigger the end of Ban Ki-moon's era of censoring and restricting the Press?