- By Colum LynchColum Lynch is Foreign Policy’s award-winning U.N.-based senior diplomatic reporter. He previously wrote FP’s Turtle Bay blog, for which he was awarded the 2011 National Magazine Award for best reporting in digital media. He was also the silver medal recipient of the 2013 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for a three-part series documenting the U.N.’s systemic failure to protect civilians in Darfur, Sudan. Colum’s investigations have uncovered an American spy operation in Iraq, Russia’s monopoly of the $1 billion-a-year U.N. aircraft leasing market, and a Chinese diplomatic campaign to silence U.N. investigators scrutinizing Chinese arms deals in Africa. His deep digs into the U.N. bureaucracy have exposed sexual misconduct by U.N. blue helmets from Bosnia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and documented monumental dysfunction in the U.N. office charged with rooting out misconduct and corruption. He now devotes his reporting chops to documenting President Donald Trump’s efforts to reorder the international system. Born in Los Angeles, Colum received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985 and a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1987. Before moving to FP, Colum reported on diplomacy and national security for the Washington Post for more than a decade. He has appeared frequently on national news programs, including the Lehrer NewsHour, as well as on MSNBC, NPR, and the BBC.
Ever since news of the Turtle Bay tussle (and this) between U.N. and Turkish security officers leaked out, news reporters have been scouring the diplomatic ranks in search of a video of the brawl, which left one U.N. officer in the hospital with severely bruised ribs.
U.N. cameras recording Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s long anticipated speech to the General Assembly, in which he announced plans to pursue U.N. membership as a full-fledged state, showed foreign delegates turning around mid speech to see what the commotion was just beyond the fourth floor galleries.
It took several days, but the New York Post got an amateur video showing more than a dozen U.N. officers involved in some sort of scuffle in a hallway outside the General Assembly chair. It’s pretty hard to tell what’s going on, though.
One hears raised voices, an officer instructing a man in a dark suit to calm down, and perhaps a person or persons on the ground. Everyone is told to stay away from a wall of glass doors. As the ruckus seems to subside, the sound of applause, filtering out of the GA hall, can be heard. In the end, not entirely satisfying. I’m still holding out hope that someone will leak footage from one of the U.N.’s omnipresent security cameras.
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