Aflutter for Queen, Respects to Killed Staff, Of Families Not
July 6 -- The UN was all aflutter Tuesday for the arrival of Queen
Elizabeth II. More than a half an hour early in the General Assembly,
Ambassadors from Pakistan, Chad and Sri Lanka, among others,
assembled to hear her Highness.
Queen was set
to stop and view the tattered flag from the Canal Hotel in Baghdad,
where UN staff were killed by a truck bomb. At the noon briefing
before the Queen's arrival, Inner City Press asked the UN's Associate
Spokesman Farhan Haq to confirm or deny what Staff Union officials
say, that the families of national staff killed in the bombing have
yet to be compensated. Haq said that he would check.
Queen, it was
predicted, would call for world peace.
Queen on way to New York, tattered flag and
compensation not shown
The Pope had
similar in the same venue and not long ago. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
too, had spoken on this podium, to a packed house. Would it be as
full for the Queen? Watch this space
* * *
UK's Mitchell on Lack of Ethiopian Entrepreneurs, Ogaden
June 28 -- The new UK government has cut all aid to China
and Russia, while contrasting the entrepreneurial spirit of Somalis
with the lack of such drive in Ethiopia. This Inner City Press
gleaned in ten minutes of questioning of David Cameron's minister for
International Development Andrew Mitchell on Monday, on topic ranging
from North Korea to Gaza to corruption. Video
here, from Minute 4:33.
began by asking about Mitchell's review of the UK's existing aid
programs, to China and also the UN Development Program, which
maintains programs in China, North Korea and Myanmar.
maintained that the “best” approach is budget support to
governments, but only if you can trust them.
said reviews of
“multilateral agencies” have begun. One wonders: if the UK has
cut aid to China, will it cut aid to UNDP which spend in China? Or
will it earmark it aid, to only some countries?
of his way to praise the governments of Ghana and Rwanda. One wonders
if the latter doesn't further the UK's move to “take” Rwanda away
from the Francophonie. Because the UK's own BBC over the weekend
reported how Hutu refugees in Uganda are afraid to go home, based on
how they are treated -- with UK aid funds?
UK's Mitchell, Ogaden constituents not shown, hats off
City Press finished with a question about the UN “Gender Entity,”
and the controversy about Syria's language on women under occupation.
Mitchell jumped right in, saying that Gaza is troubling and the
lifting of restrictions is heartening.
he left the
stake out, he greeted Inner City Press and mentioned reading it. With
cameras off but still on record, he explained the David Cameron left
people in posts for five years, to really learn their jobs. He said
he visited 38 poor countries and produced a “green paper.”
he said, that conflict is what mires people in poverty. A country
with entrepreneurs is not poor.
mentioned the entrepreneurialism of the Somalis. Yes, Mitchell said,
contrasting it with Ethiopia, where he said the “sinews” of
government are good, but where “perhaps because of Ethiopian
history, there is not history of entrepreneurship.”
asked about the Ogaden region. “I have a large Ogaden constituency
near me,” Mitchel said. Then why did he so fulsomely praise the
sinews of Meles Zenawi's government? Perhaps we'll get an answer.
Mitchell's candor was, to paraphrase something he said, a breath of
* * *
Clark Blames Poverty on Politics, UK Defends Sanctions,
UNDP Conflict of Interest in N.Korea?
17 -- Building the capacity of governments, even
dictatorships and military regimes, is the approach taken the UN
Development Program. Thursday Inner City Press asked UNDP
to explain what she meant that because
"'political factors' restrict what the UNDP can do in Myanmar..
'it's not so easy to make progress there at this time' on the
Millennium Development Goals.
backtracked, saying that it's not UNDP's restricted action in Myanmar
that's to blame, its the politics of aid donors-- apparently meaning,
sanctions. Clark emphasized that Myanmar gets the least development
aid per capita of any country, including North Korea. "Politics,"
she said, "has been a complicating factor." Video here,
government of General Than Shwe has dissolved the NLD party of Aung
San Suu Kyi, and has stacked the upcoming election for military
connected candidates. Is this the government whose capacity UNDP
seeks to build?
UK's Lyall Grant at right hand of Helen Clark, regimes not shown
Lyall Grant jumped in to say that the sanctions only "target the
regime" in what he called Burma.
and Armed Conflict envoy Radhika Coomaraswamy has said that Myanmar
entirely stopped working toward an action plan on child soldiers, in
the run up to the election. Inner City Press stopped Myanmar's
Ambassador to the UN outside the Security Council on June 16 and
asked why the country has stopped. The Ambassador insisted that his
government works closely with Ms. Coomaraswamy, and wants to be take
off her list of recruiters. Perhaps UNDP would support this?
also asked Ms. Clark about UNDP's role in the security sector in
Somalia, where the government has been exposed as using 20% child
soldiers. "We do not train soldiers," Clark answered. "We
are nowhere near that one." Not so fast. UNDP has provided funds
for training TFG security; the dispute has been how much they spend.
We aim to have more on this.
re-opened its North Korea program and website, it listed
Mr. Vijay Thapa as International Finance Officer. A whistleblower
asks, isn't this a conflict of interest since Mr. Thapa has been
Finance Officer in DPR Korea since 2003, therefore four years before
the discovery of counterfeit? Mr Thapa is among those UNDP Staff of
DPR Korea whom declined to talk to US Southern District Attorney on
counterfeit and he is part of the "old cast" of UNDP DPRK
management responsible for the wrong doings. One wonders, was the
appointment of Mr. Thapa a request from DPR Korean Government ? Is
this more capacity building?