Friday, 25 April 2014

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Events

Brussels, 19 May: Lunch-time discussion on Crisis management tools for civilian protection and conflict resolution

The concept of crisis management covers a wide range of complex situations and activities. Essentially it includes interventions designed to bring an end to armed conflict, to ensure the protection of civil populations, and create the conditions for reconstructing devastated areas.  It combines and relies on both military and civilian means.

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Cine-ONU: John Pilger’s “The War You Don’t See”

“In Vietnam, journalists had access… Journalists could, if they wanted to, get on a chopper and go anywhere you wanted… The Pentagon learnt that this kind of free access to reality is really not in their interest and so they came up with the embeds and the pools and stuff like that. … Pretty much everybody is conspiring to keep journalists from learning stuff.” (Mort Rosenblum)

On May 5, to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, UNRIC showed the documentary “The War You Don’t See”, followed by a Q&A session with journalist Mort Rosenblum.

Could the Iraq invasion have been prevented if journalists had scrutinized Colin Powell’s claims on weapons of mass destruction in the UN Security Council? Did they try to investigate what was behind the claims? Were they denied access? Or did they just simply swallow the government’s information and pass it on to the public without further thoughts? Are they “witting or unwitting accomplices”?

In his documentary “The War You Don’t See” John Pilger tries to find out, among other things, how journalists handled Powell’s “facts” and gets different answers: the former Observer journalist David Rose who is deeply ashamed of the way he reported on it; David Mannion, editor-in-chief of iTV news, who doesn’t seem to find it troubling in any way that nobody ever questioned this “truth about the weapons of mass destruction” and Fran Unsworth, BBC head of news gathering, who can’t quite find an explanation for why the BBC didn’t do a better job.

Further, the film speaks about reporting of civilian casualties, about the behaviour of military staff, about journalists in Palestine and about WikiLeaks. Pilger talks to a former diplomat, to a representative of the Pentagon, to journalists and to Julian Assange and his bottom line is: journalists should never be satisfied with one source – a rule that seems obvious but apparently is ignored regularly in the daily life of a journalist.

Mort Rosenblum was the special guest for the evening, a reporter since the 1960s who covered many wars himself. While he was not in agreement with all messages of the film he reaffirmed this last appeal by John Pilger to be vigilant of sources. “Governments lie”, according to Mr Rosenblum. He doesn’t accept the “generality business”: journalists cannot be divided into bad or excellent reporters. Everyone makes mistakes, wittingly or unwittingly. But he did emphasize that reporters carry a responsibility.

The film does not give any definite answer to what the perfect journalist should look like, and neither did Mr Rosenblum. But his own motto “You’ve got to be able to look at yourself in the mirror” might be a helpful orientation – and the film seemed to show that some journalists are finding it hard to do so now.

 

Brussels, 10 May and Leuven 11 May: Lectures by UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Food

Olivier De SchutterProf. Dr. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food speaks in two events on 10 and 11 May in Brussels and Leuven respectively:

 
10 May : Lecture on the future of our food production
 
Unrest and turmoil is once again spreading around the world, as the revolutions in the Middle East and other places show. One of the primary causes is the rapidly rising price of staple foods. How did this come to be, and what’s in store for a planet with an ever increasing population?

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Cine-ONU, Brussels, 5 May: "The War You Don't See"

To celebrate International Press Freedom Day the United Nations invites you to the screening of

THE WAR YOU DON’T SEE

on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 6.30 pm

THE WAR YOU DON’T SEE - posterThe documentary is a powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

Documentary-maker John Pilger has returned to a subject that can't be revived often enough: the grotesque untruth of "weapons of mass destruction": a cloudy concept, eagerly amplified and lent credibility by credulous and submissive journalists who, after 9/11, lost their nerve en masse. Pilger's contention is that on Afghanistan, on Iraq and on Israel and the Palestinian territories, the mainstream media simply take the official line.

The film will be followed by a Q & A session with Mort Rosenblum (Reporter, author and educator). Afsané Bassir-Pour, UNRIC  Director, will moderate the discussion.

There is no entrance fee, but as places are limited, we kindly ask you to register hereRegistration will be closed on Wednesday, 4 May, at 5:30pm. If you do not receive a confirmation of your registration via e-mail, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

   Join our new CINE-ONU facebook page and keep up to date on our latest events.

http://www.facebook.com/CineONU

NB: The film and the debate are in English. The film has a runtime of 95 minutes.

Polak Room, Ground Floor
Residence Palace,
155 Rue de la Loi
Brussels

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The United Nations team brings together 26 specialised agencies, funds and programmes spanning the development, humanitarian and human rights work of the UN. The team works to build understanding and support for UN system activities within the EU institutions and amongst a wider public in Europe.

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