Lack of Transparency on Tickets, Still No Media Access to New GA Hall; No UNSC Stakeout Table or Outlets

In mid July, the handling of tickets and media access for Malala Day on July 12 should be addressed. On July 3, correspondents were told to contact the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit for tickets. But at 7 am on July 12, MALU send a mass e-mail that it had to tickets, and to contact a private foundation founded by Sarah Brown, and Gordon Brown’s “UN” office. Later, the Spokesperson’s Office said at the noon briefing that ten tickets had been made available. When? To whom? This should be explained.

While there are still only two small benches, won at the Security Council stakeout, there is no access for the press or public to the new General Assembly in the North Lawn building. The Free UN Coalition for Access raised this to the top of the UN Department of Public Information on June 10. Eighteen days later on June 28, and in July when it debated Agenda 21, there had been no change, no table. Such a table, which existed in front of the Security Council before and during the relocation, must be restored at the stakeout and GA access must be restored: this FUNCA has stated to DPI.

DPI’s recent non-rescinded communications have focused on trying to force the removal of even a single sign of FUNCA, by threatening the suspension or withdrawal of accreditation. We called that censorship, and maintain it. The “Media Access Guidelines” to which the Association that does not want to be named is nevertheless a party, are anti-free speech and anti-access. We oppose locked up space for that Association while other reporters don’t have work space.

FUNCA has also raised to DPI the exclusion of resident correspondents’ guests from anywhere on the second floor. This was not the case in the past, and stands in contrast to those who come with guest badges on to take their photographs with the flags. This must be explained, as must all of DPI’s double standards, including on the issuance of white P resident correspondent passes. FUNCA aims to hold the UN to its stated purposes, by making it transparent and accessible without discrimination.