Ahead of Sandy, Leader Out of Town, UN Cancels Human Rights, Debate?
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 28 — With New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shutting down mass transit as of Sunday night, as impact the UN a slew of events Monday and probably after stand to be postponed.
Already Bolivian President Evo Morales canceled his 9 am press conference about the international year of the quinoa grain; Amnesty International postponed its reception Monday evening.
Planned in the Security Council has been a “debate” — really, a series of dozens of countries’ speeches — on Women, Peace and Security.
The French Mission to the UN already bragged that its Minister for Women Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is in town. Other countries have representatives flying in through the JFK and Newark airports, slated to remain open. But it if all gets canceled? Oh, le shopping!
Inexplicable to some, after hyping up his mere four day proposed ceasefire, UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has nothing to say as it was broken down amid car bombs and bombardment.
Facing silence by the storm are the UN system Special Rapporteurs on housing and on freedom of expression, Frank La Rue.
La Rue has reported in the past on intimidation in South Korea, where as it happened UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has headed until Wednesday, to receiving in person the Seoul peace prize — as much of a surprise as many of the endorsements this week in the US presidential election.
How storm-related changes will impact the November 6 election is in question, with campaign swings to Virginia canceled. Even some political talking-heads television shows were preempted on Sunday morning, at least in New York, to await another Mayor Mike Bloomberg press conference to which the Mayor was late.
When he arrived, he ordered schools closed on Monday, and some evacuations near the harbor and rivers. And the UN on the East River? This time, Mayor Mike is in town, and the UN’s Ban Ki-moon is not.
So who at the UN will make the call on closures?