Compromise Closes in on 92 Jobs, Arms Trade and Durban II May Trigger
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 23, 7:59 am -- The last-minute
over the UN budget largely concerns development, the number of new
to be funded, with side-votes possible on the Durban II conference and
arms trade treaty.
proposal to strengthen the UN's so-called development pillar involved
jobs. Following the spread of the global
financial crisis, richer countries have tried to say that this should
put off. The developing countries of the Group of 77, on the other
compare the $700 bailout in the U.S. alone with the $25 million
the UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs.
that rather than 150, the real end-game negotiation contrasts 80 or
90 new posts. Tuesday morning, in the run-up to a plenary meeting
later in the afternoon, the compromise appears to be 92 posts. The philosophical differences between
developed and developing countries have not been addressed,
But Christmas and the holidays are coming.
In one view, the developing countries operate at
cross-purposes. They defend the UN
Development Program when this break-away entity, with its own supposed
office and whistleblower policies, actually undermines the UN
Department of Social and Economic Affairs. Development has been
a way, to UNDP which is not accountable to the UN General Assembly.
General Assembly's d'Escoto ignored by UNDP's Dervis, short end of the
apparently can even tell UNDP and its Administrator Kemal Dervis not to
reproduce and try to take over DESA's remaining functions. UNDP is less
less responsive, going weeks for example before answering basic
But as to
year's budget resolutions, sources tell Inner City Press that
votes are still possible. Last year it was Durban II; this year, add
control. An advance copy of a report of the UN Advisory Committee on
Administrative and Budgetary Questions on the "program budget
of the arms trade treaty conference proposed for 2009 puts the cost at
$1,225,000. A vote is possible not due to the amount but due to the principle.
Compare the amount to the over $3 million
wasted on 30,000 licenses of Oracle that have gone unused, as uncovered
yesterday by Inner City Press, click here for
As usual at
the UN, a political dispute has its budget echo. Small things are
debated in great detail while, for example, an unaccountable UNDP runs
and the cause of development suffers. So it goes at the UN.
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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