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In UN Budget Committee, Poor Versus Rich, 90 New Jobs, While Oracle Is Paid for Unused Licenses

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, December 22 -- As the UN budget committee's process moved into its eleventh hour for the year, sleepless delegates assembled in Conference Room 4 for an expected showdown between poorer countries who want more UN jobs in the development sector, and richer countries which balk at paying for it. The sign outside the meeting initially said "Closed," even those it is a formal plenary. Inner City Press raised this to General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann at 240 pm. At 3, the word "Closed" had been removed. Committee staff cautioned against reading too much into it. "Someone had pushed the wrong button," one of them said.

   The UN's head of Management Angela Kane, on her way into the meeting, said that the figure of 150 posts was simply one that had been in the Secretary-General's report. We are hoping for consensus, she said, adding that she would appreciate positive noises, positive.

  Delegates grumbled about working until four in the morning, and still not finishing the work. At Monday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson two questions about the budget, including about the controversial Consumer Relations Management system, for which the UN bought but did not use 30,000 licenses from Oracle for over $7.5 million, with $3 million already spent.

UN's new construction, while budget process is stuck

 Mexico read a statement; G-77 introduced a new resolution. France took the floor, for the European Union, and denounced it. Canada did too, urging that G-77 come back to negotiations. An informed source told Inner City Press the real fight concerns the difference between 80 or 90 new posts. We'll see.

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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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

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