to Expose UN's Scandals, African Union's Konare Says, As EC Inquires
into Lockheed Deals
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
UNITED NATIONS, March 10 -- "The
press is doing its work, to denounce the scandals," African Union
chairman Alpha Oumar Konare intoned Monday, speaking beside UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about development in Africa. Inner City
Press asked if the African Union was satisfied with the way the UN
chooses the beneficiaries of its multi-million dollar peacekeeping
contracts in Africa, in light of recent exposure of no-bid contracts to
Lockheed Martin and Request for Proposals tweaking for France. In
response, Chairman Konare called for "good governance and transparency,
because states are looking at this with particular attention today."
from Minute 43:47.
This attention was
made clear following the press conference, when European Commissioner
Louis Michel sought out Inner City Press to note that the UN's
contracting process is the subject of pending questions in the European
Parliament. "You are right," he said, "there is a problem." He added, by
contrast to the
UN's December 31, 2007 no-bid $12
million contract with Lockheed Martin
to feed the peacekeepers in Darfur that the European Union buys locally.
"There will be a debate on this," he said.
Under the heading "Concern over
cases of corruption at the United Nations," Spain's Emilio Menendez del
Valle in Written Question E-0342/08 has asked "why it is worrying to
learn (though also encouraging, since the problem is being confronted)
that the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)" is
"currently investigating, at the request of the General Assembly, a
matter of special interest to the European Union... the award, without a
tender procedure, of a USD 250 million contract to the US company
Lockheed Martin to construct five bases in that region." He asks," is
the Council not concerned at the course of events described above?"
According to Louis Michel, the answer is yes: concern is growing.
Alpha Oumar Konare on March
10, 2008, Press should expose UN scandals
Ironically, Ban Ki-moon's
spokesperson tried to cut off the question about the UN's own spending
in Africa, saying that it did not relate to development. Not only did
Chairman Konare respond with a three minute response congratulating the
press for exposing the scandal, also Mr. Ban raised his hand to offer
the UN's perspective on the procurement and transparency issued. But Mr.
Ban was not called on. Next time, then. Earlier, Mr. Ban spoke about the
New Communities Movement in South Korea, about which he said Rwanda's
president Paul Kagame was reading. There are further documents about the
MDGs meeting which are being read and digested and soon will be reported
on. Watch this site.
* * *
These reports are
usually also available through
Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.
here for a
AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army.
for an earlier
piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's
$200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.
UN Office: S-453A,
UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439
(and weekends): 718-716-3540
Other, earlier Inner
City Press are listed here, and
some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request
reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] innercitypress.com -