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UN Budget Session Extended to Audit Ban's Overrun & Powers, Earth Hour Scam?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 31 -- The UN's budget committee extended its deadline for the third time on March 30, as the US insisted on an outside auditor of cost overruns in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's scandal plagued Capital Master Plan UN renovation, while seeking with the European Union to give Ban unfettered discretion in what he calls "Change Management."

 Click here for Inner City Press' March 28 piece on the topic.

  On Friday afternoon, delegate milled around await the outcome of a closed door meeting of the US, UK, European Union,New Zealand, Algeria -- chair of the Group of 77 -- Argentina, India, incoming UN chief of staff Susan Malcorra and the Budget Committee chairman Tommo Monthe of Cameroon.

  As the deadline passed, the deputy permanent represent of France Martin Briens chatted nervously with other Europeans, while the US Ambassador for Management now called Joe Twitterella sent messages accusing the Group of 77 of trying to "micromanage" the UN.

  But, as several G-77 delegates pointed out to Inner City Press, it was "Twittella" who was trying to say exactly how the CMP audit would go. "Does he have an auditor in mind?" one of them asked. "It sure seems so."

  Others said that this further extension was for "the US to lobby capitals."

  But even $400 million over-budget, the UN's empty skyscraper was ordered dark on March 31, to show compliance with Earth Day, or Earth Hour. There were still lights on the fourth floor, despite orders to turn off all "lights near windows." And so it goes at the UN.

Analysis: A question for US Ambassador Joe "One Way" Torsella is why isn't Ban Ki-moon held responsible for the $400 million cost overrun? Why does the Obama administration insist on protecting Ban, who as John Bolton wrote was selected in order to make the UN lower profile, not "God's gift to humanity"? How can there be reform this way? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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