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 side of the barricade, still shown on the UNTV’s camera.
Suddenly, however, UNTV was ordered to move its boom microphone away, told that this was “off the record” although at the stakeout.
Then a UN accredited journalist who was taking a photograph on his cell phone was told to stop: no photos should be taken.
FUNCA has complained: this violates the UN’s stated Media Access Guidelines — photographs are allowed in this area, without escort or any additional permission.
Also, this is where the Guidelines say “on the record” communications are to take place, in a micro-management that FUNCA has challenged in a series of reforms submitted to and received by the UN.
But no one did anything. At the day’s UN noon briefing – held at 1 pm to include announcement of the UN dismissing claims it introduced cholera to Haiti — it was asked:
Q: Martin, mine was actually a question; it was, did you call on [NAME REDACTED IN THIS FORMAT] the last two days as the United Nations Correspondents Association representative or as a journalist? Question.
Spokesperson Martin Nesirky: I think I have had enough of this for today, so could I have any other questions, please, thank you very much.
Question: On Greece, did the Greek Foreign Minister present to Ban Ki-moon some kind of a communication about the exploration of gas, oil, hydrocarbons by Turkey in allegedly Greek territory?
Spokesperson: I’ll have to check, Matthew [Note: name left in], I wasn’t there. Thanks very much. Have a good afternoon, thank you. [He later shared the readout of that meeting: The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos, Foreign Minister of Greece. They exchanged views on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, and also focused on prospects for renewed negotiations to find a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and to resolve the Greece-former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia “name” dispute. The Secretary-General underlined the importance of accelerating progress in both processes, and reiterated his personal commitment to that end.]
So this read-out, inserted into the UN transcript, did not include the Turkish undersea issue, nor the note verbale that Avramopoulos came to the UN to file. Why not?