At UN, 10% of Ban's Budget Faces
Axe, on 36% Proposed Hike, UN Has No Comment
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 23, 6:59 am -- As the sun rose over
an icy New York, in the basement of the UN delegates remained clustered
couches surrounded by blue metal barricades negotiating the wording of budget
resolutions to be voted on before Christmas. While this is a
"off year" for the UN budget, which runs in two year cycles, some of
the controversy revolves around the preliminary 2010-2011 budget
Press asked Ban's spokeswoman Michele Montas
on December 22 about Ban's proposed 36% increase in spending from
2006-2007, but she declined comment. Here are Inner City Press'
UN budget for 2006-2007: $3.799
UN budget for 2008-2009: $4.207
Ban Ki Moon's proposed UN budget
for 2010-2011: $5.187 billion
from 2006-2007 to 2008-2009: 10.7
from 2008-2009 to 2010-2011: 23.3
from 2006-2007 to 2010-2011: 36.6
See esp. paras 3 & 8 of
wanting to give the U.S. a
disproportionate voice on budget matters, particularly since as Inner
City Press exclusively reported yesterday the U.S. got its nationals
fully 134 new UN jobs from 2007 to 2008, only its Ambassador Zalmay
made himself available on camera in front of Security Council on the
second floor as drafts circulated down in the basement. Inner City
him for the US position on the budget, the proposed increase in posts
spending. Video here,
from Minute 5:14.
Khalilzad answered that while "we want consensus" the US is demanding
a "full picture... piecemeal is not a productive way." Regarding the
for new posts, both in the Departments of Political as well as Social
and Economic Affairs, he said that "the circumstances we find
are different than when the ideas" were first discussed. He referred
darkly to the "circumstances in which the world operates right now."
To the side of the Security Council stakeout cable television news
in Russia against the tariff on imported cars being raised. Similar
predicted elsewhere, perhaps even in a diplomatic fashion in the
morning, past the 6 am deadline
set the previous day, negotiations continued.
Rather than Ban Ki-moon's $5.1 billion figure for 2010-11, which
36% increase over 2006-2007, the draft in circulation would "invite"
Ban to "prepare his proposed program budget for the biennium 2010-2011
based on a preliminary estimate of $4,617,900." So are the $500 million
issue mostly waste, like
the 30,000 unused license from Oracle which Inner City Press uncovered
yesterday, or are they simply not available at this time?
As UN's Ban dines with US Khalilzad and Condi, waste
and conflict not shown
From the December
22 UN noon briefing:
Inner City Press: As the Budget
Committee wraps up its work, I want to ask you two questions. One is, they have a resolution about
information technology, in which they say the Secretary-General
called “enterprise content management” and “customer relations
software programmes without approval of the General Assembly. I want to ask you now, before it goes to a
vote, did the Secretary-General agree to that critique?
What was the authorization that began those
Spokesperson Montas: I do know
that the Budget Committee met
practically all weekend, practically all night Saturday, all night
Sunday, until early morning today, and they have been discussing
matters. I don’t know about that
specific issue, where they are on the discussion on that, and I don’t
specific comments from the Secretary-General on any items on the
long as it is being discussed in the Fifth Committee (Administrative
Inner City Press: How about this
one? There is a peer report out by the
Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ),
time for the vote, which says that it appears from his budget outline,
2010-2011 budget, is for a $5.1 billion budget, a 36 per cent increase,
than a 2 per cent decrease. Is that not
the number? Does the ACABQ have the
Spokesperson: I am not
commenting on this, I told you. It is
being discussed in the Committee. I am not
going to comment on any aspect of
Inner City Press: After the vote
will you have a comment?
Spokesperson: After the vote
we’ll have someone discuss the
budget with you, okay? And as far as I
know, the discussions might last until late on 24 December, if you’re
enough to wait. At any rate, we are not
having a press briefing on Christmas Day.
Question: But we will have one
on the 24th?
Spokesperson: The 24th yes, we
will be having one. From the 25th until 2
January we won’t have a
So perhaps as
on the disappearance
of stealth UN envoy Robert Fowler in Niger, they'll be no
comment at all...
Footnote: the member states'
delegates to the Fifth Committee are noticeably younger than those for
example who cover the Security Council. They also live in different
worlds. When Inner City Press told one around the U.S. answer to its
questions, the assumption was that it was "Bruce" (Rashkow, the U.S.
gray bearded, bow-tied budget delegate) and not Zalmay Khalilzad, of
whom the budget committee delegate said he knew very little. And for
that there's now so little time left...
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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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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