Saturday, September 11, 2004

TV Series to Highlight Steamy Side of the UN

TV series to highlight the steamy side of U.N.
Thursday, September 9, 2004 Posted: 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- Sex, drugs and corruption among U.N. peacekeeping forces in the world's most dangerous hot spots will become fodder for a new TV series, the whistle-blowing authors of a tell-all book said Wednesday.
"Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures," written by current and former U.N. peacekeeping mission employees Heidi Postlewait, Andrew Thomson and Kenneth Cain, will be developed and produced as a dramatic series by Miramax Television.
"We hope the TV series will reflect the very best and the very worst of U.N. peacekeeping forces in the '90s," said New Zealander Thomson, a U.N. medical doctor who served in Cambodia, Haiti and Rwanda among other danger zones.
"We haven't pulled any punches," he told a news conference.
The book caused a sensation when it was published by Miramax Books in June over objections by some senior U.N. officials who thought it cast the international organization in a bad light and was inaccurate.
Cain, who quit the world body in 1996 after a disillusioning experience in Liberia, said the trio delved into their personal lives to tell "what it felt like and smelled like" and that they felt compelled to write the story of corruption and failed leadership that contributed to disasters in Rwanda in 1994 and in Bosnia at about the same time.
U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard described the book as "sensationalist, exploiting the sex angle and not in the U.N.'s interest to be published."
Eckhard confirmed that Postlewait and Thomson, who remain employed by the U.N., have been reprimanded for failing to get U.N. approval for the book.
"We didn't set out to write a scandalous book," said Thomson. "But it was a scandal that a million people were killed and not a single official was investigated or disciplined," he said, referring to 800,000 deaths in Rwanda and 200,000 in Bosnia.
Thomson said Secretary-General Kofi Annan had acknowledged the U.N. needed provisions to protect whistle-blowers. "Heidi and I see our book as a test case," he said.
The title of the book is taken from an incident that in Somalia involving Postlewait, a former New York social worker, and a local interpreter.
"I can feel this pounding inside me and I can't wait. It has to be right now, not in ten minutes, not five. Now," she wrote. "An emergency. Emergency sex."