UN says press corps’ move-back is delayed to April. Why?

Now the UN says the move-back of the press corps is delayed to April. Why? FUNCA immediately asked the CMP and obtained this rationale from CMP Public Information Officer Werner Schmidt: “The decision to change the move-back date to April was caused by collateral impacts of Hurricane Sandy, especially by a lack of adequate labor due to increased demand for overtime-paying construction repair jobs. This affects the new Permanent Broadcast Facility in the Conference Building, whose completion is necessary for the new press offices to function.”

Is this acceptable? While the UN now cites Sandy’s impact on construction worker pay to explain delay, it has been much less forthcoming about Sandy’s direct impact on the building, especially its still damaged (some say moldy) third sub basement. The press was banned from the Secretary General’s question & answer session with member states in December. What did UNCA do?

As its response to FUNCA’s critique of UNCA’s UNConstiutional elections with no competition for the top 6 spots, with a 14% decline in turn-out from the year before, an UNCA official on Jan. 11 posted a counterfeit flier pretending that FUNCA “congratulates” UNCA for the election.

We’re all for satire but want to make it clear that flier is a counterfeit. Not only did the UNCA Executive Committee spend most of 2012 trying to expel and then dis-accredit the investigative Press for its coverage, including of UNCA conflicts of interest — they also encouraged the involuntary reduction of other correspondents’ status to “emeritus” with reduced rights.

Despite this, UNCA’s counterfeit flier purports to have FUNCA members saying they “will no longer attack UNCA members on our websites and in our Tweets.”Is it “attacking” to publish US government records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that show that UNCA’s First Vice President told Voice of America that his media would support throwing the Press out of the UN? No. It is pathetic that a supposed correspondents association would think it could tell journalists what they can and cannot cover, or how. This will be opposed. 

On January 11, this is what FUNCA sent to UN DPI:

1) Please provide an explanation of the further delay to April of the move back to the renovated building.

2) FUNCA objects to the elimination of the UN phone lines, and asks for an explanation.

Finally, for now (this supplements FUNCA’s previous “feedback” letter, below), this is a request that the “final” floor plans be sent be e-mail, as the earlier ones were. If it was thought that e-mail of PDF was the best way to make correspondents aware of the draft plans, why not the final plans?

  And now on January 14, the floor plans have been distributed in PDF. Watch this site.