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 [...]

Press Freedom at the UN Must Include the Right to Information, No Searches, No Set-Asides

   When any UN accredited journalist comes under fire from his or her home country, the UN should live up to its stated commitment to freedom of the press and support the journalist, rather than either take a hands-off approach as recently, or even solicit complaints as occurred and led to the forming of the Free UN Coalition for Access. Given a recent incident in which a UN member state tried to question the accreditation of a journalist for the questions he was asking, it is imperative that read more [...]