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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 12th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The following was sent to us by an unknown source and we sense that it has to do with our having followed closely the human resources at the UN when it comes to tilting information at what should have been a Department of Public Information at the UN. Our articles deal with the replacement of Mr. Ahmad Fawzi who retired March 31, 2010 and whose post was written out for submissions until October 31, 2009. The UN never released names of candidates for the position and the UN-wise people say he will be replaced from inside the system. Further, the grape-wine says that after a while of “empty seat” the position will be turned over to Ms. Hua Jiang. We heard it – we wrote about it. Before putting on the posting we received – please see further some of our own material.

In the past we have been censored in our attempt to investigate issues
of climate change and sustainable development and we sensed that this
had to do with Middle East oil interests and Arab anti-Israeli
position being safeguarded by UN officials. Part of the failure of the
climate change negotiations had to do with this internal UN cover up
of he effects of climate change. Ms. Hua Jiang was not part of above
interest but seemingly had no problem with the way the UN controls
access to information by controlling also media access to information.

The China interpretation of what goes as free media may not be what we
have in mind when we speak of freedom of the press, and please remember
that jobs at the UN are awarded on basis of country recommendations.
Anything to the contrary – any expressions about a UN that is beyond
country-quotas – is simply untrue.

The following from China.org.cn – originally of 2003 – was clearly a
proud official China public relations release presenting China
personnel contribution to the UN information system. We know Ms. Hua
Jiang, she is a pleasant lady and like her personally. She is now
Chief of Press Service in charge also of the Media Accreditation Unit
that sifts out media some UN officials, like her boss until now, Mr.
Ahmad Fawzi, disliked. We are unable to attest that she performed her
job in the interest of freedom of information from what goes on at the
UN – rather we would say that, while smiling, she did not help when
problems with the accreditation desk were brought before her.

The Job of Director of the UN News and Media Division is a powerful
job. It is in effect the most important job in the kingdom of the
Under Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information.
When the USG is someone who spends his time mainly officiating at
functions where he reads the UNSG statements, and leaves all hands-on
management to his Director, then the Director’s desk becomes the
management of all information outflow from the UN and this is scary.
We saw how this works – we once complained on an issue directly to the
UNSG who passed it to his USG, who passed it immediately to the
Director, who clearly had no intent of doing anything on the issue in
the first place.

 www.china.org.cn/english/NM-e/549…

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Hua Jiang: Kofi Annan’s Chinese Spokeswoman
With great curiosity, people notice that a Chinese-looking woman appears frequently in the UN press conferences. She is Hua Jiang, the deputy spokeswoman of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Her elegant style impresses people deeply. But when she was interviewed, she said modestly that she is a common woman, far from success.

Hua Jiang was born in Changchun, capital city of northeast China’s Jilin Province and spent her childhood there. She was enrolled in the Beijing Language and Culture University as one of the first group who got a chance to go to university through examinations after the “culture revolution” (1966-1976). Then she obtained her master degree in political economics and law at the University of London.

After graduation, Hua Jiang joined the British Broadcast Company (BBC) and worked there for 17 years. She was in charge of the programs broadcast in Chinese as well as the training of reporters and program planning.

When asked how she got her job with the UN, Hua Jiang used a Chinese old saying: good time, advantaged geography and favorable human conditions. In BBC, one of her workmates told her carelessly that Kofi Annan was looking for a spokeswoman, who was required to have a reporter’s background and experience in management. Hua Jiang found herself having these requirements and mailed a resume to the UN. A UN spokesperson interviewed her in London. After awhile, when she thought it would be hopeless, she received a notice for the interview in the UN headquarters in New York. After the tests of writing, performance before camera and group interview, she got the position.

Hua Jiang clearly remembers how she dealt with one of the questions she was asked in the interview. To the question “Are you a Chinese or British?” she answered smartly, “I am a Chinese with a British passport, but I feel I am an international person.”

She fit into the new environment soon where she works with people from different countries, of different races and culture backgrounds, and speaking different languages. But Hua Jiang said Annan was the key for her to choose this job. “He is an earnest man and I admire him,” she said. What she appreciates most is that he is not a politician, but a man who really wants to do something for the world, she said.

Last April, Hua Jiang became the deputy spokeswoman of Annan and also the first UN spokeswoman of Chinese origin. “I will try my best to let no one down, including those in my motherland,” she said.

To switch her job from a reporter to a spokeswoman, the only thing out of Hua Jiang’s thought is her even busier schedule. Having moved to New York for several months, Hua Jiang has not yet find time to enjoy the world culture and art center. When Annan’s spokesman is out of town, Hua Jiang would be on duty and she often works in evenings and weekends.

She reaches her office at 7 a.m. in the morning, surveying newspapers and reports. Then together with her colleagues, she selects important news for a news brief to be presented to Annan and department leaders before 9:30 a.m. After these, she attends meetings of various departments and prepares the contents for the daily press conferences. She said sometimes she can hardly find a minute to answer the phone.

It is also part of Hua Jiang’s work to accompany Annan in business trips. Shortly after her first month with the UN, she made trips with the Secretary-General to Cyprus, Indonesia, East Timor and South Africa.

At press conferences, Hua Jiang is often challenged by unexpected questions. For instance, once at a press conference held at noon, she had prepared to answer questions on the Middle East situation, but was asked repeatedly about the peace problem in Angola. Hua Jiang said one needs to keep close trace with UN activities and world current affairs to deal with this kind of challenge, but the most important is to be honest. When there is anything she is not clear about, she always admits it, and promises to check and give the answer later.

When she worked as a reporter, she traveled to over 50 countries and interviewed many state leaders. So she never feels scared, whatever the challenge is. The only thing she worries about, she says, is that her improper words might bring troubles to the UN.

In an interview with the UN Broadcast last July, Hua Jiang told the reporter not to use the word “success” to refer to her. “I’m a common person, with nothing special,” she said. She added that she does not agree to link one’s success with his or her position or fame. To live a happy life is what she wants, she said.

 China.org.cn by Feng Yikun, February 2, 2003)

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