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Where to Put Sidibe’s Deckchair?


It’s only two weeks since Michel Sidibe publicly threatened UNAIDS employees ungrateful enough to speak out about sexual and other misconduct by their colleagues. But the media has remained silent. Even the English Guardian, who ran the article, and refers to Sidibe’s speech as ‘bizarre’ in the title, has had nothing further to say about it.

The article appears in the Gates funded ‘Global Development’ section of the newspaper and the following text appears on the same page: “Women’s rights and gender equality – This series highlights issues affecting women, girls and transgender people. It is supported by the Ford Foundation, Mama Cash and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). It is editorially independent.” (I especially like the last bit).

The Inner City Press has tried to break the silence. They are a small media outlet which has tried to raise the issue, but has been stonewalled by UN officials. In fact, the same organization has been banned from covering UN affairs and from attending press conferences and similar events. For a time, Google removed Inner City Press from their news, allegedly after pressure from the UN, although this was later reversed.

The Inner City Press has a long history of questioning the UN, which shouldn’t be surprising in a media outlet. But they have now demonstrated how quickly the UN clams up when certain questions are asked, questions that the rest of the media seems to have agreed not to raise. (There’s a Change.org petition to have Inner City’s access to the UN restored).

According to a Guardian article in 2012 a “reporter who works for a small investigative news site, Inner City Press, is in danger of being ejected from the UN correspondents association (UNCA) at the behest of journalistic colleagues.” This refers to Matthew Lee, founder of Inner City Press.

Sidibe and UNAIDS seem to have shifted considerably from the UN Charter’s call for respect for human rights, and the world’s media don’t appear to be too bothered, either. Perhaps this is what the Gates, Ford, Rockefeller and other foundations, whose names appear alongside so many worthy initiatives, are paying for.

2 responses to “Where to Put Sidibe’s Deckchair?

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