BBC News silence on eight-month-old story continues

For the past eight months the BBC News website has totally ignored the story of allegations of ethical misconduct at the highest levels of the UN agency dedicated solely to people classed as Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and the subsequent resignation of its commissioner-general, his deputy and the chief of staff.

BBC News stays mum on UNRWA head’s resignation

Last week a new commissioner-general was appointed.

“Swiss humanitarian relief expert Philippe Lazzarini has been appointed to head the UN agency responsible for aiding Palestinian refugees. […]

Born in 1964, Lazzarini has coordinated the work of the United Nations in Lebanon for the past five years. His career has taken him to Somalia, Iraq, Angola and the Palestinian territories. He also has had positions with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East.”

The UN post which Lazzarini held since August 2015 is that of Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon in the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL). UNSCOL was created in July 2000 “to help coordinate United Nations activities with regard to Southern Lebanon”. Those activities of course include the deployment of the UNIFIL forces which have not succeeded in implementing UN SC resolution 1701. The UN Secretary General’s most recent report on the implementation of that resolution states that:

“…no progress was achieved with respect to the disarmament of armed groups. Hizbullah continued to acknowledge publicly that it maintains precision missile and other military capabilities. The maintenance of arms outside the control of the State by Hizbullah and other groups in violation of resolution 1701 (2006) continues to restrict the State’s ability to exercise full sovereignty and authority over its territory.”

Lazzarini has also previously worked at UNOCHA.

Despite the BBC having put a considerable amount of effort into amplifying UNRWA talking points throughout 2018, members of its funding public have to date not seen any coverage of the resignation of the previous UNRWA commissioner-general or the appointment of the new one on the BBC News website or, to the best of our knowledge, on any other BBC platform.  

Related Articles:

BBC ignores UNRWA ethical abuses story

BBC News maintains its silence on the UNRWA ethical abuses story

One month on, BBC silence on UNRWA allegations persists

Documenting BBC amplification of an UNRWA campaign

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