In 2016 at UN, More Transparency Needed, Including For Process to Select Next SG

As we enter the last year of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's tenure, as a matter of UN transparency and media access it is imperative that the trend toward fewer press conferences and more importantly fewer answers not be allowed to continue. After saying he would do monthly sit-down press conferences, Ban Ki-moon in 2015 hit a new low in accessibility. There must be improvements in 2016 and for and by the next Secretary General, including in how she or he is selected. Interactive dialogues read more [...]

UN Must Answer Corruption and Other Questions, No More Set-Asides

October 17, 2015 -- Answering press questions and media access at the UN have both been in decline; now they must improve. The UN corruption charges against former President of the General Assembly John Ashe, Francis Lorenzo and others make timely responses to requests for information imperative, along with Q&A press conferences by, for example, the head and auditors of UNDP’s South-South unit. Just as questions about peacekeepers’ alleged rapes in Central African Republic were evaded read more [...]

UN Media Access Must Improve And Be Equal, FUNCA Says, Not UNresponsive

Media access has been in decline at the UN; now it must improve. For the UN General Assembly, rather than wall off the media, there should be more question and answer stakeouts, more open meetings, more answers given by UN officials and by the Office of the UN Spokesperson. It starts from the top. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for the first eight months of 2015 did not hold a single sit-down Q&A press conference in UN Headquarters. The Free UN Coalition for Access says this is… UNacceptable. read more [...]

As Ban Ki-moon’s Security Ejects Press from Open Meeting, & Ban Takes No Questions, FUNCA Says UN Must Be More Open, With A FOIA, Next SG

June 20 -- When from an open meeting involving the UN Secretary General and Peacekeeping commanders the Press is thrown out by guards, as happened on June 18, the UN has hit a new low. That the ejection was performed by the Secretary General's security detail, and the Secretary General did nothing, makes the decay all the worse. The Free UN Coalition for Access opposes this. Earlier on June 18, amid questions about the Secretary General's Report on Children and Armed Conflict, the SG appeared at read more [...]

The UN Should Not Ban Stakeouts or Handpick Media, Needs A Freedom of Information Act, FUNCA Says

May 2, 2015 -- As the UN began its consultations about Syria in Geneva, it announced that for the full five weeks there will be no stakeouts, no photo­-sprays, no interviews. The Free UN Coalition for Access is opposed to this closing ­off of the UN, which still does not have any Freedom of Information Act procedure. This must change. So too must the UN allowing Under Secretaries General to say they will not answer questions from particular media. These are supposedly public servants. In read more [...]