UN Secretary General breaks crumpets with UK ex-leader, this as Korean hostages languish in Afghanistan

If you recall, The Bajan Reporter wondered why was Ban Ki-Moon out in the Caribbean so close on the heels of Canada’s leader Stephen Harper – it seems only the Canadian was on a busman’s holiday… The Inner City Press tracked it down all along, they’re implying the global luminary is on a West Coast junket –

It took nearly a week, but the UN finally on Wednesday acknowledged that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been on a something of a vacation in Barbados. Every day this week, the UN has put out a daily schedule for Ban saying that he is “traveling.” On August 2, Inner City Press reported that Ban’s one-day official visit to Barbaros was being parlayed into a vacation.

Since protesters at the gates of the UN in New York were calling on Mr. Ban to get more involved in try to free the South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, Inner City Press asked the UN spokesperson, where is Mr. Ban traveling to?We might have an announcement tomorrow,the spokesman on Monday said. But no.

Afterwards another correspondent asked, could he be going to Kabul? Well, no. On Wednesday the spokesman announced thatlast night, the Secretary-General had a working dinner in Bridgetown with the Envoy of the Middle East Quartet, Tony Blair, to discuss the work of the Quartet. The Secretary-General is expected to return to New York tomorrow.”

The British press has been full of snarky stories about the Blairs’ holiday on Barbados, in the Coral Sundown “mans” of singer Cliff Richard on Sugar Hill. Blair is no longer an elected official in the UK, but discloses, this is a vacation, not work. Is it so difficult? Communication, communication.

For now, a question about Barbados. It has been reported that

“by 2009, in the name of creating a level playing field for free trade, the price that countries like Barbados will be paid by the EU for their sugar will be slashed by 40 per cent. Coming after decades when Caribbean cane producers have been struggling to compete with sugar produced from the turnip-like beet by Europe’s heavily subsidized farmers, this looming cut has been taken by many as the final blow, a death sentence for West Indies sugar.”

For all of the UN’s talk about taking seriously the development and trade rights of lower-income countries, what the UN’s position on this? Has it been discussed or considered in recent days?

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