UN, India & Pakistan United Against DFS Move to Italy, Peacekeeping
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 28 -- The UN is trying to move parts of its $5 billion
peacekeeping support function to Italy, over the objection of troop
contributing countries like India and Pakistan, with little to no
disclosure or other press coverage.
When the UN Department of Field Support proposed
to move unspecified functions from New York to Brindisi, Italy, the
UN's own Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions
told DFS chief Susana Malcorra of Argentina to be sure to consult
with the troop contributing countries.
Permanent Representatives of major TCCs interviewed by Inner City
Press on May 28, when the proposal was slated to be voted on, Ms.
Malcorra never made the consultation. "She's asking us to vote
on a slogan," one of the TCC Perm Reps said.
the strategies used to try to pass the proposal in the UN's Fifth
(Budget) Committee over the objections of the countries most
impacted. "They tried to turn the Africans against us,"
this TCC Perm Rep said, "by tying the proposal to Entebbe,"
an new DFS hub in Uganda. "We separated those two."
Rep told Inner City Press that Entebbe is an insubstantial proposal
tried to turn GRULAC" - the Latin American and Caribbean Group
-- "against us," the TCC Perm Rep continued, "using
that Ms. Malcorra is from Argentina." He laughed. "But that
didn't work either."
UN's Ban and Malcorra, gun-jumping on shift to
Brindisi not shown
first TCC Perm
Rep continued. "DFS handles about five billion dollars a year,
supporting peacekeeping operations. Half of that gets paid to TCCs'
Permanent Missions in New York, largely to India, Pakistan, Nepal,
Bangladesh and Morocco. Now they want to move unspecified functions
out of town. Which functions? Even the ACABQ report, at Paragraph
109, says she should have consulted with us."
asked Ms. Malcorra about the proposal at her and Alain Le Roy's press
conference on May 28, at the tail end because Inner City Press was
only allowed a second question after others got four and five
questions in. Inner City Press had to ask about any follow-through on
the death of UN staffer Louis Maxwell; Ms. Malcorra had very little
update. Video here.
On the reform /job shift proposal, Ms. Malcorra offered a rosy view,
responsive to these TCCs' concerns.
Ambassador then leaned forward. "Even without any approval,"
he said, "they have moved a Police Unit to Brindisi, and already
of when the Department of Peacekeeping Operations held a ribbon
cutting for its technology center in Valencia, Spain before they had
any approval. Except this time, DFS is on notice of the opposition of
the large TCCs. So who runs the UN? Watch this site.
* * *
11th Hour Africa Union Proposal, Russia Says Too Late,
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 27 -- In the UN
budget committee, the day before its
session on peacekeeping is to end, a proposal for a $10 million
office in Addis Ababa was turned in. The African Group immediately
"regret[ted] the timing of the submission of the report... the
afternoon of the day before the scheduled last day of the second
resumed 64th session of the General Assembly."
administration has seven months to prepare and submit the proposal,
but waited until the 11th hour.
Russian delegate said perhaps we will not even be able to discuss
this proposal, there are other issues we must address before the end.
These include a proposal to restructure the Department of Field
that, Inner City Press has learned, because of the proposal to
decentralize procurement of services including air services. Russia
has cornered that market while the contracts have been doled out in
New York; it would be less certain if decentralized.
delegates say Russia's
position on the Addis Ababa office might not be unrelated to its
fight to retain control of UN air contracts. But the Ban Ki-moon
Administration's inept late submission was making this gambit easy --
UN's Ban and Maurer: one's out of town, the other
leaving, budget in flux
for the Ban Administration was Taye-Brook Zerihoun, who recently
replaced, if only temporarily, Haile Menkios on this day represented
the UN at the inauguration of Sudan's Omar al Bashir, indicted for
war crimes by the International Criminal Court.
than addressing the delay to the penultimate day of the Ban
Administration's proposal, apologized for his boss Lynn Pascoe not
being there. He had planned to be present, Zerihoun said, but had to
rush a few hours ago to go with Ban on his trip to Africa.
was that although the UN's actual plan for Africa was slapped
together at the last moment, Ban's flight to Africa shows his
commitment. He will play soccer with Yoweri Museveni and Nicholas
Cage in Uganda -- where students are preparing to protect his and the
UN's and ICC's inaction on human rights abuses -- and later to
attended the opening of the World Cup in South Africa.
is this proposed
merged office in Addis Ababa nothing but a political football?
Department of Field Support restructuring proposal is also, for now,
being opposed by large troop contributing countries Pakistan and India.
DFS chief Malcorra is said to be arguing that it is not worth trying to
do the reforms piecemeal. So perhaps nothing will be passed.
meeting was Peter Maurer of Switzerland, who has been moonlighting
this month as a Swiss minister. He ended the meeting by saying he
will"consult with the Bureau" given the views expressed. As
he left the Conference Room, Maurer chatted with Zerihoun. Why turn
in an ostensibly important proposal so late? Watch this site.