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At the UN, the Staff Pension Has a "Bad Odor" While Outsourcing is Still Pursued

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 5 -- Relations between UN staff and management, and distrust of corporations and the UN officials who land there, were both on display Monday at a meeting about the staff's pension. UN Controller Warren Sach took questions from the staff about a move to outsource to an investment firm the management of the over $9 billion of U.S. stocks on the pension portfolio. When the meeting was over, before taking questions for the press, Mr. Sach sighed that "there's a lot of disinformation around" and "such a bad odor from last year, it's going to take time to dissipate... The system is a bit too closed," he said, adding that "there are no published documents."

            But this largely remains the case. When asked at Monday's meeting how large a management fee would be paid, Mr. Sach did not have an answer. Mr. Sach was asked what he would do if Deutsche Bank, the firm where Christopher Burnham, the former Under Secretary General who pushed this outsourcing, now works bid for or got the management contract. This question was not answered during the open meeting, nor afterwards, despite the fact that in his final press conference at the UN, Mr. Burnham said he could not imagine working for a firm that would get business from the UN. Click here for video, and here for analysis.

            Following the meeting, Inner City Press asked Mr. Sach about this Burnham commitment. "I'm not sure he can bind Deutsche Bank," Mr. Sach replied. "He must be highly valuable, if they can forego business to have him."  Inner City Press asked for the list of bidders, or those on the short list who got the Request for Proposals, as well as for a copy of the RFP.  For the RFP, Inner City Press was referred to the administrative officer of the UN Investment Management Service, Chieko Okudo, from where another referral was made. Hours later, the RFP had still not been produced, and Inner City Press was told that neither would the list of bidders be released. Similar difficulties in obtaining answers and documents arose last year during Inner City Press' reporting on the conflicts raised by UN investment fees being paid to Pictet & Cie., whose Ivan Pictet serves as an "ad hoc" member of the UN Pension Fund's Investment Committee, on which now sits a Vice Chairman of Merrill Lynch and former directors of Morgan Stanley and Commerzbank.

            That there are causes of concern can be found in an until-now confidential report of investigation by the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services. In OIOS' "Investigation of conflict of interest, favoritism and mismanagement at the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund," the complaints of two whistleblowers were considered and upheld.

UN's Sach

Specifically, OIOS confirmed that through the Pension Fund's Paul Dooley, millions of dollars in contacts were given to a company called Sprig, Ltd, run by Gerald Bodell, who was previously Dooley's supervisor at Guardian Mortgage Corporation.  According to the audit:

"OIOS found no evidence that UNJSPF [the UN Pension Fund] considered candidates other than Sprig for any of these contracts. Similarly, there is no  evidence that UNJSPF made any checks on the background of Sprig independently (for example by requesting a D&B report on Spring) or that UNJSPF attempted to independently determine whether Mr. Bodell's fees were consistent with those charged by other consultants."

            The audit reports that Sprig was "operated by Mr. Bodell from the basement of his home," but nevertheless was given a higher score for "Web experience" than the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche. Sprig's contract for "Strategic Information Technology and Management Consulting Study" was signed for the UN by Sanjaya Bahel, who was since by indicted and most recently had his bail revoked. A subsequent contract amendment for Sprig was signed for the UN by Andrew Toh, an Assistant Secretary General who is currently under investigation and for that reasons has not been asked to resign by new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The audit concludes with the recommendation that "any contracting and procurement activities undertaken by the CEO of the UNJSPF comply with the Pension Board's directive that they be limited and only under exceptional circumstances."

            Flash-forward to June of 2006, a period of time regarding which two starkly different versions were presented at Monday's meeting. The Staff Council referred to documents which challenge Mr. Sach's presentation of himself as having opposed an earlier attempt to outsource Pension Fund business. After the meeting, Inner City Press asked Mr. Sach about these documents. Mr. Sach showed a copy of a memo from Chieko Okudo to then-Under Secretary General Christopher B. Burnham, on which was scrawled at the bottom of the first page an instruction to "do this by the book, -CBB." Mr. Sach said that some had circulated copies of this memo with the bottom notation removed.

            Inner City Press has obtained copies of emails from the time at issue, which tell a different story. After a decision was made to "liquidate" a small capitalization fund managed for the Pension Fund by Lombard, Odier, Darier and Hentsch (LODH), an internal debate ensued whether the liquidation contact could be given without bidding to the Northern Trust bank, which was already the global Custodian of the Fund. Despite the questions raised, by July 5 Northern Trust's Vice President Robert Ernst wrote to two individuals at the UN that the liquidation was finished, "would you like sales proceeds to remain in the LODH portfolio, or transferred out to your own cash accounts?"

            Before this liquidation, taking the position that this would require a formal bid-out procurement process in a June 13, 2006 email was Yavar Khan, who wrote to Ms. Okuda that:

"Chieko: I do have a problem with your memo. The memo needs to state the complete additional services to be performed other than NT [Northern Trust] act as the Master Record Keeper. Recently, a number of changes and additional services outside the original scope have been requested to be undertaken by Northern Trust. All this has been undertaken in a non-competitive environment.... The organization is now open for criticism if we continue to expand the scope of NT, which was not originally envisaged. This can lead to other banks suggesting that we have not been open and transparent..."

            But it is now not only "other banks" who are complaining about a lack of transparency. The majority of questions directed to Mr. Sach on Monday were critical in nature, asking "why fix it if it isn't broken" and why hand money to an outside firm.

   Later the question was asked, can we see the Request for Proposals, and know what firms are on the short list? No such information has been provided. Mr. Sach was asked if by outsourcing, the UN wouldn't lose control, including over the social impact of its investments. Mr. Sach answered than even an outsourced, indexed fund could be screened. He gave the example of eschewing investment in tobacco -- ironic, given his admittedly heavy-hearted admission of having approved the UN spending $130,000 to on a ventilation system for smoking in the UN's Vienna Cafe. And the "bad odor from last year" to which Mr. Sach referred will take still longer to dissipate. The rising question is what Ban Ki-moon will do. Developing.

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At the UN, Secrecy Still Reigns, from UNFPA to the Council, from Russia to Ban Ki-moon

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 1 --  One month now into 2007, and into the term of new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, on most counts access to information is not what it should be.

   Ban Ki-moon posted his financial disclosure and that's all to the good -- although as many have noted, since he made these disclosures while a South Korean diplomat, it wasn't such a stretch. The proof may be whether any other senior officials in the Ban Ki-moon administration make disclosures.

            Despite Mr. Ban's seeming call for transparency at the UN, including its funds and programs, a sample fund, UNFPA, has gone to absurd lengths not to answer questions. The agency -- full name UN Population Fund -- promised through its spokesman to provide answers on January 22 to questions about its spending in North Korea. Then the spokesman Abubakar Dungus decided to go missing. He claimed to be out of the office until January 25, despite being seen in UN headquarters in this time. Now a full week later there has still been no response. Mr. Dungus and his boss, Ms. Cagar, have both been emailed reminders.

            Thursday at the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokeswoman about this:

Inner City Press: Could you say which Funds and Programs the Deputy Secretary-General is going to visit? Are you going to put out her schedule?

Spokesperson:  She is going first to start meeting the staff in Headquarters.  Then she is going to go on.  This is not a process that is going to end next week, it is a continuing process.  It is normal that she meets the staff.

Inner City Press: Under the previous administration, they would also put out the Secretary-Generalís schedule and also the Deputy Secretary-Generalís.

Spokesperson:  The schedule of the Deputy Secretary-General will be put out also, but starting next week.

Inner City Press:  Eleven days ago we asked UNFPA to describe programmes in the Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea.  Their Spokesman said that they would do ten days ago, and they have not provided anything.  We have got the internal audit, and so we now know what it is.  But I am wondering whether, speaking for Ban Ki-moon or the Secretariat, whether in the sake of transparency, if you think it is appropriate that a fund or program of the United Nations declines to provide any information for 11 days?

Spokesperson:  Well, you should ask them once more.

Inner City Press:  I have asked them, yesterday.  So I guess, maybe I am asking you to give some guidance.  I know that these programs and funds and agencies are separate, but I think it ends up reflecting on Ė if he wants to bring transparency, a place to start would be with the funds, programs and agencies.

Spokesperson:  I think they have been very forthcomingÖ

            This UN-prepared transcript is less than accurate (click here for video), but the upshot is that, when presented with the case of a UN fund dodging questions for more than ten days, Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson, far from providing guidance on transparency, reflexively defended the stonewall, adopting a line from her predessessor (this is more clear in the audio-video clip, click here to view and see).

            Also on Thursday, the UN Development Program tried to limit access by even the UN-accredited to a briefing by its Administrator, the elusive Kemal Dervis. Click here for that story. While persistence resulted in opening up the meeting and letting the sunshine in, when a colleague reporter suggested telling the office of Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson to get access, the answer was not at all clear. But it should be, and soon.

            Lack of transparency at UN funds and programs reflects back on the Secretary General. A decision will need to be made what to do about lawless and unaccountable behavior at the little fiefdoms that exist, right across First Avenue and on 42nd Street by Grand Central. If Ban Ki-moon does not crack this sleazy cloak now, if it doubtful he will do so later.

Ban Ki-moon and Sergei Lavrov: if January was any guide, was this a pact of secrecy?

            At Thursday's noon briefing, the following also occurred:

Inner City Press:  In the last news-cycle, one of the President Al-Bashirís advisors has been quoted as saying that the US wants regime change in Sudan and is using the international community and NGOs to bring that about.  Has there been any response from the UN to that statement?  There is another statement, saying that the International Criminal Court is entirely not needed in Darfur.

Spokesperson:  As I said, we donít have reactions to press statements or things relayed by the press.

Inner City Press:  Jan Pronk is out.  Is the Secretary-General going to appoint a new Special Representative for Sudan?

Spokesperson:  Yes, most probably.

Inner City Press:  As part of the restructuring, or faster than that?

Spokesperson:  I donít know at this point.

            This can and should be distinguished from access to information. Rather, it concerns Ban Ki-moon's administration's willingness and ability to respond in real-time to such charges as that they are pawns of a Permanent Five member of the Council. If Jan Pronk were in place, he would respond in his blog. When will Pronk be replaced? Everything's on hold.

            At the end of Russia's month at the head of the Security Council, it must be said that very little happened. Apparently by design, the Russian Federation had a light Council schedule, and said little at the stakeout. Despite a seeming Africa focus in the agenda, when asked if the Chad and Central African Republic meeting portended any help to northwest CAR, Amb. Churkin erroneously said yes. (Click here for the CAR alarm story.) "I'm not going to comment on that," was said again and again by Vitaly Churkin. As simply another example, did China stall the renewal of the UN's mission in Haiti due to issues of Taiwan? "It didn't come up in the Council," was Amb. Churkin's standard answer. But other P-5 diplomats confirmed that this was indeed the issue, and it has since been reported, by Sankei's always-intrepid Abigail Somma, that Haitian president Preval sent an envoy to New York, to meet with Chinese Ambassador Wong and figuratively kiss his ring. So why the secrecy?

            Perhaps it is missions' right. Wednesday's night at the Russian mission, the security was tight for what is the customary end-of-Presidency reception. Japan's Ambassador Kenzo Oshima, for example, when his month came to an end, raised several cups with the press corps. (Now it's said that, after Vietnam, Japan will get the next Asian group turn at the Council, instead of Mongolia. Food for thought, and for questions.) So too with Peru's Ambassador. At the Russian mission on 67th Street, there were metal detectors and detailed lists of invitees. Perhaps the presence of Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov explained it. And inside as is so often the case in UN-world, some diplomatic hair was let down. But the candor came too late, after the month was over. We will report tomorrow on the Slovakian Ambassador's pitch. February is short, but it could not be more arid. Let the sunshine in, from the Council to the funds and programs to Ban Ki-moon's 38th floor. If not now, when?

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

At the UN, Mysterious Deletion from Iran Sanctions List of Aerospace Industries Organization Goes Unexplained

At the UN, Iran Resolution Passes 15-0 Amid Media Frenzy While Somalia and UN Reform Are Ignored

At the UN, Security Council and GA Games and Holiday Spirit As Revolving Door Ban Disappears on Final Day

UNDP Not Covered By Weak UN Post-Employment Restrictions, Dervis and Mizsei and Aid to the Scapegoated

UN Post-Employment Restriction Are Watered Down for Senior Officials, Comparison to June Draft Reveals

At the UN, Curt Eulogies for Dictator, Revolving Door and Budget Left for the Last Day

UNDP's Dervis Backtracks on Transparency, Promises Accounting of Funds, Denies Role in Uganda Abuse

At the UN, Jeffrey Sachs Answers the $75,000 Question But Not on UNDP, Still Laudable Goals for 2025

Burundi Spin at the UN, Amid Coup Trial and Ceasefire Not Implemented, Great Lakes Commission Moves In

At the UN, Iran Resolution Goes Blue as Ivory Coast is Traded Away With No Follow-up on Hmung

At the UN, Annan's Long Goodbye, With Oil for Food in the Air and Hothouse Musical Chairs

At Kofi Annan's Farewell, UNDP Transparency is Raised, and Brian Gleeson Steps Up

At UN in Beirut, Dueling Charges of Job-Trading and Tax-Evasion, the Burden of Mervat Tallawy, Retaliation from Below

UNDP Will Be Called to Greater Transparency, Says President of Spain, on UNDP's Board, and Flaws of UNOPS

UNDP's Ad Melkert Says He Will Finally Increase Transparency, Describes Fraud in Russia, Dodges Uganda

In Eastern Congo, Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made a Colonel, Clooney And Now Guehenno Might Stay

At the UN, Ocampo 1 Says Kony To Jail and Ocampo 2 Sees No Serious Bertucci Charges, Dueling Parties

In UNDP's Book, Strong's Scandals Are Missing, While Workers Complain, MMB Schmoozes the Korean Mission

At UNDP, Flighty Rhetoric Founders in Mismanagement, MMB's Net, a Genocidaire and Whither ECOSOC

At the UN, Disabled Are Freed from a Footnote, Murky Answers from Gbagbo to Kosovo to a Genocidaire

Countering UN's Vanity Press, UNDP Histories from Below, Brussels and Two Views of Omar Bakhet

At the UN, Indigenous Indignation, Revolving Door Mysteries and Peace Pipe Belatedly Smoked

At the UN, Questions of Congo Mass Graves and Kazana, Mugabe and Forests and Rich German Ships

UNDP Is Important For The Poor, and Therefore Must Be Made Transparent

As UN Speechifies, UNDP Audits Are Still Being Withheld, While War in Somalia and Sudan, Pronk Blogs On

Waste, Fraud and Abuse at UNDP in Vietnam, While UN Secretariat Urges Censorship

At the UN, Questions of Humanitarian Aid and Congo Body Count, Despots' Crackdown on Dissent

In UNDP, Questions of Money Wasted, Neutrality Trampled, Russian Office Audits Withheld and Sachs Expenses

From Baidoa to the UN, Denials on Ethiopian Troops Being in Somalia, Resolution Is Passed

Retaliation Found at UNDP, While Dervis Is Focused on Turkey, In Two Weeks Will Take Questions

Annan's Spokesman Silent on 150 Dead in Congo, War in Somalia - But in Loud Defense of UNDP's $567,000 Book

At the UN, Interlopers into Somalia Are Discussed, With Chadian Pull-Back, Peacekeepers and Uganda's Karamoja

UNDP Spent $567,000 on Book to Praise Itself, While the Well-Placed Feed Off UNDP's Core Budget and Prime Postings

As UNDP Questions Mount, Mark Malloch Brown Calls Them Irresponsible, Answers Only in Vanity Press

In UNDP Series, Questions of Jeffrey Sachs and Associates Payments, From $1 to $75,000

From Sleaze in Vietnam to Fights in DC-1, UNDP Appears Out of Control at the Top

On Somalia, Past Arms Embargo Violations Forgiven in Zeal to Contain Islamic Courts

In UNDP, Drunken Mis-Managers on the Make Praised and Protected, Meet UNDP's Kalman Mizsei

From Violent Disarmament in Uganda to the National Bank of Serbia, UNDP Leaves Others to Answer for It

UNDP Sources Say Dervis Fires Malloch Brown-linked Officials, Then Offers Hush-Up Jobs

On Somalia, Fiji and Oil-for-Food, UN Ambiguity Leads to Hypocrisy and Corruption

At the UN, Indigenous Rights Get Deferred, As U.S. Abstains, Deftly or Deceptively

At the UN, Threat and Possible Statement on Fiji Spotlights Selection and Payment of UN Peacekeepers

At the UN, China and Islamic Dev't Bank Oppose Soros and World Bank On How to Fight Poverty

At the UN, Misdirection on Somalia and Myanmar, No Answers from UNDP's Kemal Dervis

UNDP Dodges Questions of Disarmament Abuse in Uganda and of Loss of Togo AIDS Grant, Dhaka Snafu

At the UN, The Swan Song of Jan Egeland and the Third Committee Loop, Somalia Echoes Congo

UN Silent As Protesters Tear Gassed in Ivory Coast, As UNMOVIC Plods On and War Spreads in Somalia

In the UN, Uzbekistan Gets a Pass on Human Rights As Opposition to U.S. Grows and War's On in Somalia

At the UN, Cluster Bombs Unremembered, Uighurs Disappeared and Jay-Z Returns with Water -- for Life

From the UN, Silence on War Crimes Enforcement and Conflicts of Interest on Complaint from Bahrain

En Route to Deutsche Bank, the UN's Door Revolves, While Ban Ki-moon Arrives and Moldova Spins

As Two UN Peacekeepers Are Killed, UN Says Haiti's Improving, Ban Ki-moon on Zimbabwe?

Nagorno-Karabakh President Disputes Fires and Numbers, Oil and UN, in Exclusive Interview with Inner City Press

Inside the UN, Blaming Uganda's Victims, Excusing Annan on Mugabe, and U.S. Blocked Darfur Trip

U.S. Blocked Council's Trip to Darfur Meeting, Brazzaville Envoy Explains After U.S. Casts a Veto

At the UN, Council Works Overtime To Cancel Its Trip About Darfur, While DC Muses on John Bolton

UN Panel's "Coherence" Plan Urges More Power to UNDP, Despite Its Silence on Human Rights

On Water, UNDP Talks Human Rights, While Enabling Violations in Africa and Asia, With Shell and Coca-Cola

Will UN's Revolving Door Keep Human Rights Lost, Like Bush's Call and WFP Confirmation Questions?

On Somalia, We Are All Ill-Informed, Says the UN, Same on Uganda, Lurching Toward UNDP Power Grab

On WFP, Annan and Ban Ki-Moon Hear and See No Evil, While Resume of Josette Sheeran Shiner Is Edited

Would Moon Followers Trail Josette Sheeran Shiner into WFP, As to U.S. State Dep't?

At the UN, Positions Are Up For the Grabbing, Sun's Silence on Censorship, Advisor Grabs for Gun

In WFP Race, Josette Sheeran Shiner Praises Mega Corporations from Cornfield While State Spins

At the UN, Housing Subsidy Spin, Puntland Mysteries of UNDP and the Panama Solution

In Campaign to Head UN WFP, A Race to Precedents' Depths, A Murky Lame Duck Appointment

At the UN, Gbagbo and his Gbaggage, Toxic Waste and Congolese Sanctions

WFP Brochure-Gate? John Bolton Has Not Seen Brochure of "Official" U.S. Candidate to Head World Food Program

Ivory Coast Stand-Off Shows Security Council Fault Lines: News Analysis

At the UN, It's Groundhog's Day on Western Sahara, Despite Fishing Deals and Flaunting of the Law

"Official" U.S. Candidate to Head WFP Circulates Brochure With Pulitzer Claim, UN Staff Rules Ignored

Senegal's President Claims Peace in Casamance and Habre Trial to Come, A Tale of Two Lamines

A Tale of Two Americans Vying to Head the World Food Program, Banbury and Sheeran Shiner

At the UN, the Unrepentant Blogger Pronk, a Wink on 14 North Korean Days and Silence on Somalia

At the UN, Literacy Losses in Chad, Blogless Pronk and Toothless Iran Resolution, How Our World Turns

Sudan Pans Pronk While Praising Natsios, UN Silent on Haiti and WFP, Ivorian Fingers Crossed

UN Shy on North Korea, Effusive on Bird Flu and Torture, UNDP Cyprus Runaround, Pronk is Summoned Home

At the UN, Silence from UNDP on Cyprus, from France on the Chad-Bomb, Jan Pronk's Sudan Blog

Russia's Vostok Battalion in Lebanon Despite Resolution 1701, Assembly Stays Deadlocked and UNDP Stays Missing

As Turkmenistan Cracks Down on Journalists, Hospitals and Romance, UNDP Works With the Niyazov Regime

At the UN, Darfur Discussed, Annan Eulogized and Oil For Food Confined to a Documentary Footnote

With All Eyes on Council Seat, UN is Distracted from Myanmar Absolution and Congo Conflagration

As Venezuela and Guatemala Square Off, Dominicans In Default and F.C. Barcelona De-Listed

At the UN, North Korea Sanctions Agreed On, Naval Searches and Murky Weapons Sales

At the UN, Georgia Speaks of Ethnic Cleansing While Russia Complains of Visas Denied by the U.S.

At the UN, Deference to the Congo's Kabila and Tank-Sales to North Korea, of Slippery Eels and Sun Microsystems

At the UN, Annan's Africa Advisor Welcome Chinese Investment, Dodges Zimbabwe, Nods to Darfur

At the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting Back on Karadzic

UN Defers on Anti-Terror Safeguards to Member States, Even in Pakistan and Somalia

Afghanistan as Black Hole for Info and Torture Tales, Photos and Talk Mogadishu, the UN Afterhours

Amid UN's Korean Uproar, Russia Silent on Murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Chechnya Exposer

UN Envoy Makes Excuses for Gambian Strongman, Whitewashing Fraud- and Threat-Filled Election

Sudan's UN Envoy Admits Right to Intervene in Rwanda, UNICEF Response on Terrorist Groups in Pakistan

At the UN, As Next S-G is Chosen, Annan Claims Power to Make 5-Year Appointments, Quiet Filing and Ivory Coast Concessions

Chaos in UN's Somalia Policy, Working With Islamists Under Sanctions While Meeting with Private Military Contractors

U.S. Candidate for UN's World Food Program May Get Lame Duck Appointment, Despite Korean Issues

At the UN, U.S. Versus Axis of Airport, While Serge Brammertz Measures Non-Lebanese Teeth

Exclusion from Water Is Called Progress, of Straw Polls and WFP Succession

William Swing Sings Songs of Congo's Crisis, No Safeguards on Coltan Says Chairman of Intel

Warlord in the Waldorf and Other Congo Questions Dodged by the UN in the Time Between Elections

In Some New Orleans, Questions Echo from the South Bronx and South Lebanon

In New Orleans, While Bone Is Thrown in Superdome, Parishes Still In Distress

At the UN, Tales of Media Muzzled in Yemen, Penned in at the Waldorf on Darfur, While Copters Grounded

US's Frazer Accuses Al-Bashir of Sabotage, Arab League of Stinginess, Chavez of Buying Leaders - Click here for video file by Inner City Press.

Third Day of UN General Debate Gets Surreal, Canapes and Killings, Questions on Iran and Montenegro and Still Somalia

On Darfur, Hugo Chavez Asks for More Time to Study, While Planning West Africa Oil Refinery

At the UN, Ivory Coast Discussed Without Decision on Toxic Politics, the Silence of Somalia

Evo Morales Blames Strike on Mobbed-Up Parasites, Sings Praise of Coca Leaf and Jabs at Coca-Cola

Musharraf Says Unrest in Baluchistan Is Waning, While Dodging Question on Restoring Civilian Rule

At the UN, Cyprus Confirms 'Paramilitary' Investigation, Denies Connection to Def Min Resignation, CBTB Update

A Tale of Three Leaders, Liberia Comes to Praise and Iran and Sudan to Bury the UN

UN Round-up: Poland's President Says Iraq Is Ever-More Tense While Amb. Bolton Talks Burmese Drugs, Spin on Ivory Coast

As UN's Annan Now Says He Will Disclose, When and Whether It Will Be to the Public and Why It Took So Long Go Unasked

At the UN, Stonewalling Continues on Financial Disclosure and Letter(s) U.S. Mission Has, While Zimbabwe Goes Ignored

At the UN, Financial Disclosure Are Withheld While Freedom of Information Is Promised, Of Hollywood and Dictators' Gift Shops

UN's Annan Says Dig Into Toxic Dumping, While Declining to Discuss Financial Disclosure

A Still-Unnamed Senior UN Official in NY Takes Free Housing from His Government, Contrary to UN Staff Regulations

UN Admits To Errors in its Report on Destruction of Congolese Village of Kazana, Safeguards Not In Place

As UN Checks Toxins in Abidjan, the Dumper Trafigura Figured in Oil for Food Scandal, Funded by RBS and BNP Paribas

Targeting of African Americans For High Cost Mortgages Grew Worse in 2005, While Fed Downplays Its Own Findings

The UN and Nagorno-Karabakh: Flurries of Activity Leave Frozen Conflicts Unchanged; Updates on Gaza, Gavels and Gbagbo

The UN Cries Poor on Lawless Somalia, While Its Ex-Security Chief Does Business Through Ruleless Revolving Door

At the UN, Micro-States Simmer Under the Assembly's Surface, While Incoming Council President Dodges Most Questions

"Horror Struck" is How UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments Would Leave U.S., Referral on Burma But Not Uzbekistan

Security Council President Condemns UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments, While UK "Doesn't Do It Any More"

At the UN, Incomplete Reforms Allow for Gifts of Free Housing to UN Officials by Member States

Rare UN Sunshine From If Not In Chad While Blind on Somalia and Zimbabwe, UNDP With Shell in its Ear on Nigeria

Annan Family Ties With Purchaser from Compass, Embroiled in UN Scandal, Raise Unanswered Ethical Questions

At the UN, from Casamance to Transdniestria, Kosovars to Lezgines, Micro-States as Powerful's Playthings

Inquiry Into Housing Subsidies Contrary to UN Charter Goes Ignored for 8 Weeks, As Head UN Peacekeeper Does Not Respond

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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