Saturday, October 17, 2009

UNDP Reports on Clark's Kiwi Concerns, Doss Probe In Limbo, Ryan on Sri Lanka

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 15 -- The no longer so new Administrator of the UN Development Program, Helen Clark of New Zealand, has still not done a UN press conference. On Thursday one of her duputies, Jordan Ryan of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, was announced as the guest at the noon briefing, with no topic listed. [Inner City Press previously covered Ryan's work in Vietnam, click here.]

Once Ryan arrived on Thursday, the scope of the briefing was limited to UNDP's work in Tonga and Samoa. Inner City Press asked if this had anything to do with the interest ofHelen Clark's native New Zealand in these two. Why not a briefing on the Philippines and Indonesia? Mr. Ryan did not directly answer. He described three big waves.

Since UNDP never comes to the UN briefing room anymore, Inner City Press asked Mr. Ryan a few outstanding UNDP questions. Is it true that UNDP was the agency charged with relocating the World Food Program in Islamabad to a common premises in the diplomatic zone, before the recent bombing? When will UNDP's internal investigation of Alan Doss' written request that he be shown "leeway" -- that rules be broken -- and a UNDP job given to his daughter? Ryan said there is an investigation. But it's been months.

As the moderator tried to cut off questions, Inner City Press returned Tonga and Samoa -- how much notice was given? half an hour -- then Guinea and Sri Lanka. Ryan, who has visited Sri Lanka, talked about building housing. Inner City Press asked about the view of some Tamils that the rehousing may involve changing the ethnic make up in Northern Sri Lanka. Video here.

Helen Clark and New Zealand PM and press, Tonga and 226 briefing not shown

Ryan said that not what he saw during his visit, but acknowledged that in some cases in Sri Lanka, people are moved to places other than where they came from. This could be done in the name of safety. But it could having intentions and / or effects.

Afterwards, several other UN correspondents marveled that Helen Clark, the UN system's third highest officials, has yet to come do a press conference at the UN. Watch this site.

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