Won't Account for US Tax Fund, $100 M Earmark for Security
February 7 -- As in Washington the House of
prepares to vote on a proposal to have the UN return hundreds of
millions of dollars to the US, in New York the UN is refusing to
answer simple questions about how much money is at issue.
emerged that for fully $100 million of the so-called Tax Equalization
fund, the US Mission or US State Department told the UN to use it for
security. To some it is unclear if this donation -- or “ultimate
earmark,” as we are calling it -- was done legally or
targets money left over from closed down UN peacekeeping missions,
for example in Eritrea and Chad, and the US Tax Equalization Fund. Of
this, Esther Brimmer, assistant secretary of state for international
organization affairs, told CQ that
“the $179 million
overpayments are in the form of credits, not cash, and thus cannot be
refunded per se. Moreover, Brimmer said, much of that sum – up to
$100 million – already has been repurposed to help enhance security
at the U.N. complex in New York City.”
arises, how did the US Mission or State Department give the UN the
approval to “repurpose... up to $100 million,” even if ostensibly
for security of the UN in New York City?
Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's deputy
spokesman Farhan Haq about the proposal in Congress:
Press: there is this proposal in the House of Representatives by
Eric Cantor [Republican-Virginia] and others to ask for a refund from
the UN tax equalization fund and also from closed-down UN
peacekeeping operations. I wonder if, I mean this is on — it’s
not only on their website, they said they are going to bring it to a
vote. Is there some way to know how much is in each fund and also
what does the UN think about this open call by the host, in the host
country’s parliament, I guess, to have this money returned?
Spokesperson Haq: Well, first of all, it is not by the host
country’s parliament at this stage. This is something happening
within a parliamentary body, if you will. And we don’t comment on
processes as they work their way through the legislative system. So
we leave it to the legislature of the United States to work out this
Press: Is it possible to know how much money is in each, just
objectively, in each pool…?
Spokesperson: Yeah, I believe my colleagues in the Department
of Peacekeeping Operations are looking into that matter.
later not even an estimate has been provided.
UN's Ban in DC, repurposed $100 M & DPKO
estimates not shown
City Press asked Ban's main spokesman Martin Nesirky:
Press: There is a discussion in Washington, although admittedly
on probably more among one party than another about recouping funds
from the UN. And I just wanted to, I understand that that’s
something that’s taking place in Washington, but the numbers that
they are using, they are saying there is $243 million in funds from
closed peacekeeping operations and $180 million in this thing called
the tax equalization fund. And I just wonder, is that something…
can the UN… I’ve been trying to get this… Can they confirm that
those were the numbers? And if they can, if there is some argument
of why none of this should be returned, it would be good to hear it,
but I just want to make sure if those are the numbers, the numbers
being thrown around down there, are in fact the numbers accepted up
Nesirky: I think we will be able to give you some numbers a little
bit later today.
business six hours later, no numbers had been provided. Inner City
Press has submitted more questions, including with regard to Esther
was the referenced money “repurposed”? Did the US Mission or
State Department indicate how it could be repurposed? How? What other
countries have allowed extra budgetary money to be similarly
repurposed and how much?
UN Secretariat agree with the State Dept that it is not possible
to refund monies to the US from the Tax Equalization Fund?
the $100 million referenced in Esther Brimmer's quotes spent?
possible for funds to be reimbursed to the US from the UN from the
closed peacekeeping accounts?
Financial Disclosure Range from Sudan to Security, Abidjan to
Lebanon, Ban's Friends & UNtrue Claim
25, updated -- In the run up to
UN corruption hearings in the
US House of Representatives today, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
angrily answered questions about lack of transparency by claiming
that 99% of his officials publicly disclose their finances. This is
not true, as Inner City Press has said and now documents.
the UN's website
for such disclosures, numerous Ban officials simply state “I have
chosen to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed
by me in order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program.” This
is not public disclosure of finances: it is its opposite.
refusing make even the most basic disclosure -- as simple
as in what country they own property, such as the one line disclosure
lawyer Patricia O'Brien that she owns “farmland, Ireland”
-- ranging from both of Ban's envoys in Sudan, Ibrahim
Gambari and Haile
Menkerios to UN officials with outside jobs that might
conflict, such as Terje
(Lebanon and IPI), Peter
and BP) and Ray
Chambers (malaria and hedge
took the job, Inner City Press asked him
his outside interests. Now Chambers
states, “I have chosen
to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed by me
order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program.”
ways to not disclosure. Philippe
Douste-Blazy, whom Inner City Press
wasting millions of dollars through the “MassiveGood”
scheme, discloses no finances, only service for the Millennium
Downer, Ban's man on Cyprus, makes no
financial disclosure although he lists he works at the business
consultancy Bespoke Approach. And do its clients, in Turkey for
example, raise conflicts? There is no way to know.
Cote d'Ivoire envoy Choi Young-jin states that “I have chosen
to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed by me in
order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program,” as does
Ban's UN Security chief Gregory
UN's Ban & chief of staff Nambiar in Dept
of Management: empty forms not shown
noteworthy given how superficial even the “public disclosures”
deputy Anthony Banbury, who famously said
that “only” three rapes in a Haitian IDP camp “elated” him,
lists “Nil” for both assets and liabilities, as does General
Assembly Affairs chief Shaaban
listed, but there is no link to any form, even one refusing to
disclose. These include Achim Steiner of UNEP and former UN lawyer,
still listed as adviser Nicolas Michel, who took money from the Swiss
government for his housing while serving as the UN's lawyer. Since
that scandal, there are issues about Ban officials receiving housing
subsidies through their spouses, not disclosed on the “public”
stating “I have chosen to maintain the confidentiality of
the information disclosed by me in order to comply with the Financial
Disclosure Program” include West
envoy Said Djinnit, Middle
East and Lebanon
Michael Williams, UNDP Asia boss Ajay
charge, another other places, of Myanmar), Jan Mattsson of UNOPS,
where Ban's son in law got a controversial promotion, and Cheick
Diarra, whose brother
has been Microsoft's Ambassador to Africa,
allowed to use a UN dining room for this purpose.
of non - transparency, Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky on January 21
told Inner City Press he would
not answer any more questions until
Inner City Press acted “appropriately.” This outburst came after
Inner City Press asked for the second day in a row how UN Staff
Regulation 1.2 applies to UN official's outside political activity.
Lang as his adviser on piracy, reporting to the Security Council
today. But Lang
to write letters as an official of a
political party in France, for example regarding Ivory Coast
Ban's envoy Choi Young-jin refuses to disclose his finances). The UN
has refused to apply its Regulation 1.2 to this or other case, or to
even answer questions about it.
wonders how this will be dealt with at today's US House of
Representative hearings and afterward. Click here
footage of Ban's claims from a recent piece on Swedish TV
including Inner City Press and a hearing witness.
to transparency, the 99% of his officials make public financial
disclosure, is simply not true, and his spokesman refuses to answer
any questions. Watch this space.
Update of 11:15 am
-- Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson's office, Messrs. Nesirky
and Haq, the clarify Ban's now disproved claim, and received back only
this, from Haq:
of Representatives, what we have to say for today is:
United Nations has always worked constructively with the United
States, and we share the same goals: for a stronger UN, one that is
efficient, effective, and accountable. That is why the
Secretary-General has made strengthening the UN one of his top
priorities since taking office.
convinced that a strong, effective and efficient
United Nations needs the active and constructive support of Member
States. To achieve that, he will continue to engage with the US
Administration and with the US Congress on ways to ensure that the
Organization can find solutions to today’s challenges, and deliver
on the mandates given by it Member States.
Still with no
answer at all are questions submitted January 22, including
by Bloomberg, which he sought out, that
Congressional Republicans' "only complaint they may have is the
lack of much faster progress than they might have expected.” What
specific areas of "progress" was the SG referring to? Namely, which
areas does the SG acknowledge not having met
expectations and for which progress should have been made "faster"?
head of OIOS' Investigations Division, is under
investigation, for among other things, retaliation and evidence
tampering. Given that Ban Ki-moon says he prides himself on the
transparency of his administration, what specifically are the facts
surrounding the investigation process regarding Mr. Dudley, and will
the UN be reassigning him to other duties during the investigation?
Watch this site.
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