At UN, Budget Committee Mulls
Valencia Base, Office Rent and End of Permanent Contracts,
Development Pillar Lurks
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 20 -- On a snowy Saturday
in New York, five days before Christmas, the UN's Fifth (Budget)
in three rooms in the basement under the General Assembly hall trying
up its work for the year. The topics and amounts at issue raised from
dollar peacekeeping missions to a side dispute about the Group of 77
renting space in the UN's garage during its billion dollar renovation.
G77's more substantive proposal, spearheaded by Brazil and Egypt, had
to do with more money for development. Most
delegates dressed casually, a few in suits and ties. Draft resolutions
easy for a lone journalist to obtain. Few cover this aspect of the UN's
issues being considered is the UN's Information and Communications
plan, which has come to include a Peacekeeping computer center proposed
Valencia, Spain. The Spanish government already held a photo-op
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saying that this had been approved. But
been. When Inner Cit Press this week asked First Vice-President of
Mrs. Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega about it, she said she
understands it is
now nearly approval. Video here.
The Spanish mission to the UN has a staff
member assigned to nothing but shepherding it through. This is how the
UN's Ban with Maria Teresa
Fernandez de la Vega, a plaque without approval
night as UN Security officers danced to salsa and merengue, some
that a proposal to eliminate the UN's permanent contracts was near to
adopted. To explain the dispute, while few jobs in the U.S. are
other than federal judgeships, the UN has such a culture of retaliating
whistleblowers than the permanent contract is seen as to guarantee
service independence. Here is the context:
"two thirds of U.N. employees surveyed by
Deloitte Consulting last year admitted being privy to unethical
that almost half said they were too scared to ever report it. Those who
dirty laundry typically find themselves shunned, and their employment
often aren't renewed."
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for an across the board two
in all budgets, in response to the global financial crisis and
decrease in countries' contributions, the permanent contract is on the
professional staff of the Committee -- there are only three of them,
around the clock at this time of year -- scoff at these Chicken Little
They only pay attention to proposals when they bubble up out of the
Every International Civil Service Commission meeting, one said, there
warning of the death of independence. And yet it survives, such as it
of G77 office space payments has direct application to the UN press
Journalists don't pay for their space on the third and fourth floors.
G77 paid for its office on the little-known 39th floor. The UN at times
sought to collect rent. Interpretations of the underlying resolution
divergent. Now, the UN wants to charge them for the basement. The line
all outside entitles should pay, or none at all.
It was on
that logic that the head of Management, Angela Kane, earlier this year
staff to survey where else the press pays and doesn't pay. Inner City
wrote the story, having obtained a copy of the underlying e-mail.
The UN denied they were
thinking of charging the journalists. But on December 20, this was
by Budget Committee insiders. A presentation was made, about reporters
international financial institutions paying for their space.
misdirection may result in the press paying, or G77 continuing
Unlike Spain, those whose ox might on this be gored were not even in
We will continue to nose around
the basement, looking for the elusive "development pillar" draft
resolution, among others.
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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