|"ERADICATING POVERTY" FROM U.N. BRUSSELS. TWO IS A CROWD!
15 October 2007
They were seven speakers and two listeners. As the "press briefing" progressed, two more
That was the full strength of the "campaign strategy to eradicate poverty" launched by the U.N. Brussels Press
office in Paris, a key U.N. capital of a Permanent Member of the Security Council. The gathering was held at the
radio building. French authorities generously offered whatever logistics required. The failure was by the U.N.
"Regional Centre" in Brussels to mobilize properly. In previous times, when there was an effective professional
presence in Paris, that occasion drew a capacity crowd -- a full house. This year, the most that U.N. Brussels
did was to send the invitations. Not even its own representative showed up. Not a single mention of the Secretary
General's message which is issued on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Not a single reference
to the Millennium Development Goals. The speakers were from FAO, WFP and UNESCO. The fellow who visits Paris
regularly from Brussels, the "French Connection" did not show up -- he was readily available to be in New York
during the voting for Secretary General last October when Tharoor was running; but not for launching a poverty
campaign in his own country.
If that office felt unable to hold a proper meeting, why send the invitation? And when the International Day is on
17 October why hold it on the 10th? They looked totally unprepared. The Secretary General's usual message was not
yet ready. Why did they rush to failure, no one would explain. And no one in New York seems to know -- or care!