Minutia, Humor, But No Bolton
There was this example of UN humor:
Question: Will you release something soon about the coming summit, like the list of speakers with some 170 Heads of State?And then this example of counting the angels on the head of a pin in the face of the upcoming serious debate over the organization's future:
Mr. Haq: Yes, as you know, every year, as we come across these meetings, we try to get to you as soon as possible a list of speakers. That is being worked out and as soon as we can distribute it, we will give you it out to you.
Question: How are you going to fit in 175 leaders of the world? Two minutes each?
Mr. Haq: As you know, all the world’s leaders are very short and pithy when they talk. That shouldn’t be a problem.
Question: Another item: the “UN Wire” said that Louise Fréchette laid a wreath a week ago, Friday, at the second anniversary of the bombing [of the UN compound in Baghdad, Iraq], but she really didn’t. That ceremony, I was told, was organized by the Staff Union, and she was just there. How do you explain the…Well, good to see the press corps is on top of the really big stuff. With a crack bunch of reporters like these, we can rest assured that the UN will never suffer a big scandal ... like, say, some despot using bribes and contracts to skim billions of dollars from a program that trades oil for food.
Mr. Haq: There was a wreath-laying, but no, I don’t believe the Deputy Secretary-General was the one who laid the wreath. She did attend the ceremony. That was a ceremony that took place last Friday at about 10:15 at the visitor’s side.
Question: The “UN Wire” said she laid the wreath.
Mr. Haq : I don’t have anything to do with how “UN Wire” is produced, I don’t know about that. I know that she did participate. I believe the wreath-laying was done by other people.
[A correspondent who had been present at the ceremony said the wreath-laying was done by two injured survivors of the bombing. The Deputy Secretary-General was among some other UN staff among a group of about 300 or 400 people who watched.]
There is your answer. She was in attendance, but it was other people who did the wreath-laying. I don’t know about the “UN Wire” account.