Thursday, September 23, 2010

At UN on MDGs, More Questions Than Answers, Jafar on Rosneft, UNDP Dodges

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 20 -- On the first day of the UN's big week, a session of the Millennium Development Goals Summit, heads of state sat chewing gum in the General Assembly, while the media was largely confined to a room on the UN's North Lawn.

In a meeting ostensibly about the poor, leaders took pot shots at their enemies. Georgia's President Saakashvili denounced Russia's use of resources from Abkhazia to build up for the Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's President Ivanov lashed out at Greece about, what else, the name issue, which he said kept his country's economy back.

International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss Kahn wasn't where he was listed for a stake out at noon; Spain's Zapatero was listed at 6:15 but was gone by 6:16, taking only two questions. Inner City Press will endeavor to find and ask him, later in the week.

Monday in the Delegates Dining Room a business titan spoke, Badr Jafar of the United Arab Emirates' Crescent Group, fresh off a joint venture with Russia's Rosneft. After a lunch of salad with an unidentified mousse and chicken with an unidentified round grain, Inner City Press asked Jafar about Rosneft's history of chasing the indigenous from Sakhalin in Siberia, and a more recent chemical plant explosion.

Jafar joked he wished he'd known that, and then spoke at cross purposes about the UAE's need for cross border partnerships. But what of the corporate social responsibility he'd been speaking of? Well at least he took some questions.

Saakashvili on MDGs (and Sochi), CSR dodges at UN not shown

The UN Development Program invited reporters to cover a September 21 event on the “World Business and Development Awards... speakers include Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell and the Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Dr. Mo Ibrahim.”

But when Inner City Press asked to attend and ask some questions, the response was that that the guest list was suddenly full, and there would be no Q & A. This was only Day One - watch this site.

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