Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Secretariat Wants More Funding for Resident Coordinators, Won't Tell Press How Staffers Paid

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, March 23 – How will the UN Secretariat under Antonio Guterres pay for the new positions he is proposing but not disclosing, most recently on March 22? With UN spokesman Farhan Haq refusing to provide any list of who works on the 38th floor and how they are paid, other sources tell Inner City Press of a proposal for the Secretariat to take over some of the funding for the UN Resident Coordinator system administered by the UN Development Program. While there are good Resident Coordinators, Inner City Press has also written about Ban Ki-moon son in law Siddarth Chatterjee, given the top Kenya post by his own father in law without recusal, and now Najat Rochdi, who covered up Cameroon's abuse of the Anglophone western part of the country. Both of them block Inner City Press on Twitter. This is today's UN.

How transparent, or intentionally opaque, is today's UN? After Inner City Press exclusively reported that staff on the UN's 38th floor were paid through the UN Office of Project Services and not the regular budget, the UN admitted it but refused to answer Inner City Press' follow up questions. From the UN's transcript:

Inner City Press: On the answer on UNOPS.  I wanted to, I guess, ask it a little bit broader, because my understanding is that there's a proposal to the Fifth Committee to approve a number of new positions on the 38th Floor.  But, until they rule… so I guess I wanted to know, rather than piss and… you know, pick and… pick and, you know, choose and see if you say that… I heard Lusophone; you said no Lusophone.  I heard UNOPS; you said, yes, one UNOPS.  Can I ask you generally about UNDP [United Nations Development Programme]?  And two, could you just provide a list of the people that have been hired on [the 38th Floor] to work on political matters and whether, in fact, they have posts currently in the UN budget, and if they don't, how they're being paid?  You could even do it without the names, but there's a lot of questions that people have about people hired where there's no underlying posts to be filled.

Deputy Spokesman:  Okay.  Well, the bottom line is that, as I made clear just now, all of this… all the questions of posts are that they go through the normal budgetary process.  And so, whatever posts we have for the 38th Floor will be posts that we get approved from the budgetary system.

Inner City Press:  But, I guess my… my question is, until May and these posts are approved, are you saying that there's nobody that's working on [the 38th Floor] for which a post has yet to be approved by the Fifth Committee?  That's the question that I'm asking.

Deputy Spokesman:  Whatever the posts are, those are posts for which we're seeking budgetary funds from the 38th… from the budgetary committees.

Inner City Press:  But, if you haven't received the approval yet, how do you pay them?

Deputy Spokesman:  There are ways to pay people up until you get the funding, but we're going to go through the normal budgetary process as we do through the previous Secretaries-General, as well.

Inner City Press: Can you just put out a fact sheet on that?  I guess what I'm wondering is, it does seem if there's… if people are being paid and it's yet to be approved, there's obviously some lack…

Deputy Spokesman:  The facts are all information that are provided to the budgetary committees.  They have that, and it's their information. 

  Inner City Press had asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' top two spokesmen simple factual questions: who works on the 38th floor? Who pays them? But the two, both holdovers from the Ban Ki-moon administration, refused to answer, so on March 20 Inner City Press published its scoop about the murky use of trust funds to pay people on the UN's 38th floor. Even on March 21 when Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq who pays whom, he refused to answer. Video here; from the UN transcript.

Inner City Press: It would be important for the public to know if somebody working on the 38th Floor is, in fact, paid by a country as opposed from the regular budget.

Deputy Spokesman:  The financial details of how the Executive Office works, all that is shared with the relevant budgetary committees of the General Assembly, and so they have that information.

Well not really. Haq and his boss Stephane Dujarric refused for four days to answer this: "This is a Press request for a list of who is working in the Executive Office of the Secretary General; within that, who is paid by the UN general budget, who is paid by or through any other UN-affiliated fund and who funds that, and who is paid by / seconded from a country."  Why not just answer?

  On March 20, as Inner City Press pointed out the seeming hypocrisy not only of the UN preaching media freedom while having evicted and still restricting Inner City Press but also of an all-male UN team meeting with the DR Congo, it was told Yes, UNOPS is involved, citing to General Assembly documents saying that some working in the UN do not have to be categories, or disclosed, as staff. But isn't this opacity simply inviting budget cuts? We'll have more on this.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

 Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2017 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for