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When UN’s Department of Public Information Goes Private, All Bets Are Off for Reform? FUNCA Presses Forward

The UN “Department of Public Information” needs to re-think the way it spreads information, or seeks to impede it.    On February 22, DPI invited members of the Free UN Coalition for Access to a meeting, saying that a similar number of officials of the old UN Correspondents Association would attend.     From the beginning FUNCA has made it clear that all meetings it attends are presumed to be on the record, particularly when with the UN Department of PUBLIC Information.    When read more [...]

Free Speech, UN Style, Extends to Press Bulletin Boards, Single Standard Urged by FUNCA

For some weeks, flyers posted by the Free UN Coalition for Access calling for reforms of UN accreditation rules and Media Access Guidelines have repeatedly been torn down, counterfeited, defaced with slogans like “Looney Club" and worse.   FUNCA held a number of meetings with officials of the Department of Public Information, mostly to push for its top ten reforms (including for example eliminating the requirement that a journalist must agree with the unspecified “principles of the UN” read more [...]

FUNCA Complains to UN DPI: At UNSC Stakeout, Greece Told UNTV to Turn Off, Tried to Prohibit Photo

With Greek foreign minister Dimitris L. Avramopoulos at the UN to meet with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and speak to the media at the Security Council stakeout, FUNCA expected not only Cyprus and the so-called “name issue” of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to arise, but also the undersea disputes with Turkey.    But when Avramopoulos and his entourage appeared at the stakeout microphone, his entire statement was in Greek. Then he stepped forward to speak to reporters on the other read more [...]

UNCA Uses Noon Briefing to Demand First Question for Those Who Pay, Despite Evo Morales Fiasco

On February 20, Bolivia's president Evo Morales was repeatedly cut off and urged to cede the first question in his quinoa press conference to an unelected representative of the UN Correspondents Association.   On February 21, UNCA's president came to claim that even at the UN's daily noon briefing, it is “tradition” that UNCA should always get the first question. The Free UN Coalition for Access questioned this, asking if Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky had called on read more [...]

FUNCA Calls For Ten Reforms to UN Media Rules Which Are Exclusionary and Archaic, Like UNCA

The UN's Media Access Guidelines and accreditation rules are an embarrassing anachronism. Therefore the Free UN Coalition for Access has presented to the chief of the UN Department of Public Information ten proposed reforms. The reasons a journalist can be excluded from the UN are vague, and there is no due process for the processing of complaints. We ask: how did UNCA, the UN's “partner” as it points out back to the time of the League of Nations, not press to change this? Why does the UN read more [...]