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UN's Hiring from Permanent Five Grows, China by 8%, US by 134 Jobs, Japan Slower While Others Lose

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

UNITED NATIONS, December 22 -- The number of staffers employed by the UN from the 15 member states on the Security Council continued to rise in 2008, even as the global financial crisis set in and Ban Ki-moon appeared to call for cost-cutting. The just-published List of Staff, supposedly confidential but obtained by Inner City Press, compared to the previous year shows that the number of U.S. nationals employed by the UN rose 134, of six percent, between mid-2007 and mid-2008. France rose by 44 jobs, or 3.8%. The UK gained 27 posts, 3.6%. Russia rose by 11, or 2.4%.

   China had the sharpest percentage increase of the Council's Permanent Five member, fully eight percent, but this constituted only 27 jobs, as China began with the fewest of the so-called P-5. UN insiders tied China's eight percent increase to Chinese national Sha Zukang taking the reigns at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which the Group of 77 and China is now trying to further expand.

  Two non-permanent Security Council members saw their number of staff members decrease, Indonesia and Belgium, while Vietnam and Libya stayed the same, at eight and four posts in both 2007 and 2008, respectively. Italy, on the other hand, rose from 390 to 417 posts, having more jobs in both periods than much more populous China, and larger contributor Japan.

UN's Ban and staff: through often withheld List of Staff, patterns emerge

   Japan, the second-largest contributor to the UN budget, rose by 3.4% from 237 to 245 positions. Rising faster were Germany, from 422 to 450, and Canada, from 550 to 598 (8.7%). Australia grew even more rapidly, at an eighteen percent clip, from 245 to 289.

  Leaders in the Group of 77 Brazil and Egypt, currently proposing many more jobs for the UN's Department of Economic and Society Affairs, themselves had only 135 and 164 posts, respectively. Incoming Security Council member Turkey declined from 51 posts to 50. Other decliners included Iceland, from 16 to 13, and Greece, from 56 to 52.

  The pattern that emerges from the data is that the UN's employment of nationals of the Security Council's Permanent Five members continues to rise, even as posts for some of the Council's non-permanent members declines. Whether this is because the P-5 actively demand the jobs, or those who do the UN's hiring see the value of pleasing the System's most powerful countries, cannot be determined from the data. On that, our inquiries continue, as well as analysis of certain countries not listed in this first report. Watch this site.

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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