UN Manipulated by Obasanjo, Used by IFAD's Nwanze, Nigeria
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 30 -- As the Nigerian press accuses UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon of listening more to former President Obasanjo
then actual head of state Goodluck Jonathan, in Rome the Nigerian
president of the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development
is reportedly living like an emperor, with swimming pool and soccer
fields and UN funded bodyguards.
UN appears to just be there for the taking, whether by a former head
of state with Ban Ki-moon on his speed dial or an agency or
peacekeeping mission chief with little oversight from the UN system's
president Felix Kanayo Nwanze has used Ban Ki-moon's increased UN
system security guidelines as his justification for having security
guards at his office and luxurious villa on Rome's Villa Antica.
press in Rome has picked up on it, quoting disgusted IFAD staff and
diplomats and alleging bookkeeping games to hide the extravagance.
English language publication reported
he became president Mr Nwanze has stepped up personal security,
installing an armed guard in front of his office and using the
official presidential driver more often than Mr Bage, who often
preferred to drive himself around Rome, the sources say. IFAD sources
say the changes follow a perception that security may have been lax
in the past rather than reflecting a change in leadership style,
however. 'We have had security assessments,' said one IFAD staff
member. 'According to UN standards we need to upgrade security to
meet the standards of the UN. Some steps are being taken.'”
publication, as translated by a Friend on Inner City Press,
29) - Felix Kanayo Nwanze, President of IFAD (International
Fund for Agricultural Development), the UN agency which has as its
mission to eradicate poverty in the world, recently made cuts of 2.5
million dollars to the organization's budget but has opposed in every
way reducing his extraordinary personal expenses, including rent of a
luxurious villa ... a house with a park of two hectares, a swimming
pool, gym, soccer fields and a basketball court and a garage to house
the cars of the President, two BMWs, a Jeep and a limousine with
of the Office of Audit and Control of IFAD... says that the
total cost of the villa and its maintenance, which is entrusted to a
team of gardeners, is about 400 thousand euro a year. Not to mention
the expense of 197 thousand euro for bodyguards hired specifically
for Nwanze. Other officials questioned he explained that the costs
were divided into nine different budget categories to make them look
lower. 'I go out into the field to pay farmers in areas where we lend
farmers $5 to $25 to buy chickens and this completely changes their
lives,' says the IFAD official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
who has left Rome and now has gone to work at the UN in New York.
'Now these programs are cut while he throws away millions.'”
Ban canceled a planned trip to Nigeria and replaced the
Nigerian military liaison Obiakor with Senegalese Babacar Gaye
brought in from MONUSCO in the Congo
Nwanze with UN flag, villa, bookkeeping and Ban oversight not shown
spokesman Martin Nesirky
reacted testily to questions on October 28, demanding to know if
journalist was present at Ban's meeting with Goodluck Jonathan:
... update on the UNFPA Executive Director’s selection. Specifically, I
am interested you know, in you confirming that the
Secretary-General is actually considering a former Nigerian minister
who was removed from office, who under his leadership the Global Fund
of the UN criticized management of scarce resources and whose
leadership the Global Fund said that the Fund was not going to be
making further resources available to Nigeria. Now, is it true that
the Secretary-General is considering this person to be the Executive
Director of UNFPA?...
Well, I think you know what my answer to this is likely to
be. And that if this is a selection process that is still under way,
then we’re not going to comment on people who may or may not be
being considered for a post. That’s standard procedure.
What’s your follow-up?
So, you’re saying that you don’t [inaudible] the report that the
Secretary-General is trying to nominate who has a corrupt record even
in the UN system and somebody who was not nominated by the Federal
Government of Nigeria after the UN Secretariat itself asked the
missions in July to send it nomination requests?
Like I said, if there is a selection process, then it is a process,
and we don’t comment on it while it is under way. There may be
many reports, not just on this job, on this selection, this
particular position, but on many. There will be rumours and
speculation in the media and elsewhere about who is going to get the
job, who is being short listed — we don’t comment on that.
Is the Secretary-General satisfied with his relationship [inaudible]
with the Nigerian Government?
As I’ve said, this is a process, a selection process. This is a…
No, I am asking a much broader question because of the, you know,
recent issues between the Nigerian Government and the
Secretary-General. For instance, the issue of the problem of
agreeing on the schedule of his visit, you know, the issue of the
Assistant Secretary-General of the Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, who was removed, and replaced by somebody of the same
age. I am asking you, is the Secretary-General satisfied with his
relationship with the Federal Government of Nigeria in terms of how
he manages relationship with Nigeria, is he satisfied?
The Secretary-General has said very clearly that he will visit
Nigeria when it is possible to do so, that at the time when a visit
was planned, it didn’t work out because of scheduling. As soon as
it is possible, I am sure that he will go. In the meantime, he is in
frequent contact with the Nigerian authorities and that included, as
you well know, during the General Assembly session when he met the
President. So, I think that that answers your questions.
I mean, that last question — and this is my last
question on this — but at that meeting that you just referred to
between the Nigerian President and the Secretary-General, the
President made it clear who the nominee of the Nigerian Government is
on the UNFPA position.
So, were you in the meeting?
I said that the Nigerian Government made it very clear who…
Were you in the meeting? You heard it, did you?
I didn’t have to be in the meeting, the Nigerian Government… you
deny it if you tell me that it’s not true. The President of
Nigeria made it clear to the Secretary-General who the nomination of
the Federal Government of Nigeria is for that position.
As I have said to you, we don’t comment on selection processes
while they are under way. That’s what I can tell you.
approach, rather than burying the story, has resulted in a troubling
from Nigeria in which Ban is portrayed as manipulated by
Obasanjo and not even fully aware of it:
Olusegun Obasanjo is still calling the shots on matters
concerning Nigeria at the United Nations. In fact, the former leader
has countermanded the Federal Government on Nigeria’s choice for
the next Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA), Mr. Bunmi Makinwa... In the place of Makinwa, a serving
senior employee of the UNFPA whose names President Goodluck Jonathan
submitted for the job, the former leader has nominated former
Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin...
is said to be confused
about what to do, causing a significant delay in the announcement of
the post. Indeed, the Nigerian UN Mission and Makinwa had secured
about 80 percent support of the African countries at the world body
for the position of Executive Director of UNFPA...
sources disclosed that after Secretary-General Ban
received nominations in July this year, he shortlisted about nine
potential candidates who were interviewed, including the Federal
Government’s choice, Makinwa, who is currently heading the Africa
Section of the UNFPA in South Africa.
September, the interviews were completed and although Makinwa was
the candidate the Nigerian government proposed to the
Secretary-General, the name of Osotimehin was said to have suddenly
emerged because former President Obasanjo
pressured the UN leader, Ban,
to broaden the search and by implication ignore the candidate of the
Nigerian government, according to UN sources.
Nigerian diplomats at the UN expressed shock when they found out
about Osotimehin’s name on the list of potential candidates. A
source pleading anonymity said that the UN
was himself visibly surprised
because he had met in September with President Goodluck Jonathan who,
at that meeting in New York, during the UN General Assembly summit
last month, personally informed Mr. Ban, that Nigeria was backing
Makinwa for the office.
set of three candidates out of those interviewed, was being drawn
to include the candidates from the Netherlands, Uganda and Nigeria.
Osotimehin, whose name surfaced late in the game was eventually
invited to New York for the interview, but there is now confusion,
according to UN sources at the office of the Secretary-General on who
actually is Nigeria’s preference between Makinwa and Osotimehin.
while Ban's security directives are used as justification for
extravagance in Rome, his Executive Office is reportedly manipulated
from outside leaving him “confused,” as he appeared to be when
“his” envoy to Niger -- never publicly announced -- was kidnapped
by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Who really appointed Fowler and for what? Who is
driving the appointment of a new UNFPA chief? Who will do anything
about the extravagance in Rome? Watch this site.
* * *
UN Ban Still Silent, UNICEF Funds Only “Agency"
By Matthew Russell Lee
October 29 -- Before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon left
on his four country trip through Asia, the UN Special Rapporteur on
Health issued a report specifying violent anti-drug programs in
Cambodia and Vietnam.
Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin
Nesirky if Ban would be raising this issue, and was told to await
incremental reports of what Ban raised.
Cambodia, after political gatherings were banned in Thailand and a
petitioner beaten unconscious in Phnom Penh, it was directly reported
that “funds from the United Nations are being used to run a brutal
internment camp” to which “undesirables” were sent to be “raped
and beaten, sometimes to death.”
City Press, which has reviewed each stop along Ban's tour, wrote
about this Prey Speu camp on October 28, and on October 29 asked
Nesirky if Ban was aware of the issue and had raised it to Cambodian
replied that “UNICEF and the High Commissioner for Human Rights,
her Office, will be very happy to answer you questions.”
what about Ban? Even on the petitioner who, trying to get a letter to
Ban, was beaten unconscious by Cambodian authorities, Ban said
nothing, relying instead on the Deputy High Commissioner for Human
passing the buck to UNICEF and the HCHR, Nesirky nevertheless offered
this spin, that the “other reports” asked about by Inner City
Press followed a Guardian story, which Nesirky said was “an
extrapolation from funding to a ministry, not direct funding to a
specific institution.” Oh.
City Press asked this and other questions to UNICEF, and received
only this in return:
Q re Cambodia/anti-drug referred by OSSG, old Q re malnutrition
in Sudan referred to UNICEF by OCHA [and another]
Christopher de Bono @unicef.org>
To: "Matthew R. Lee"
Date: Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM
UNICEF Cambodia is always concerned when allegations of this nature
arise, particularly when they involve children.
We do provide vital support to the Ministry of Social Affairs,
Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation (MoSVY) to strengthen standards and
systems in child protection. We do not, however, work directly with
the Prey Speu centre, nor do we provide any funding to Prey Speu and
are confident that none of our funding goes to this centre.
Withdrawing our funding to MoSVY would not be in the best interests
of children in Cambodia.
In the case of Choam Chao, we did not withdraw funding, but engaged
the government to change its strategy, which it did, and this
resulted in the subsequent closure of the centre.
UNICEF is aware of the need to document the situation in centres like
Prey Speu across Cambodia and we are working with OHCHR to provide
technical assistance to the government to strengthen systems to
prevent such abuses happening in the future.
Sudan I have no information beyond what was previously made public by
our Representative Nils Kastburg.
[the other] I will ask colleagues in the field.
UN's Ban & UNICEF's Lake, rapes at Prey Speu not shown
from the Sidney
from the United Nations are being used to run a brutal internment
camp near Phnom Penh, where detainees are held for months without
trial, raped and beaten, sometimes to death. The Cambodian
government's Ministry of Social Affairs says the Prey Speu 'Social
Affairs Centre' 20 kilometres from the capital is a voluntary welfare
center... But human rights groups say the government-run centre is an
illegal, clandestine prison, where people deemed 'undesirable' -
usually drug users, sex workers and the homeless - are held for
months without charge or without ever going before a court. Detainees
- men, women and children are housed together in a single building -
are regularly beaten with planks of wood, whipped with wires, or
threatened with weapons. Gang rapes by guards are reportedly common,
and it is alleged guards have beaten three detainees to death. But
the ministry that runs Prey Speu still gets money directly from the
UN's children's fund, UNICEF.”
Ban Ki-moon as the head of the UN system this this is acceptable? We
still don't know. When Inner City Press asked if Ban would raise the
wider violent anti drug program issue in Vietnam, Nesirky said Ban is
still there. Watch this site.
transcript of October 25, 2010 --
Press: I want to ask about the Secretary-General’s impending
trip to Asia. There is a report to the Third Committee by the
Special Rapporteur on the right to health about, among other things,
what he sees as the violated practices in anti-drug programmes in
many of the countries that Ban Ki-moon is going to be visiting —
Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand — and he calls very strongly for the
UN to move against people who are incarcerated. This is all
according to his report. I just wonder: of the many issues obviously
on the Secretary-General’s agenda as he visits these countries, is
he aware of that? And there is a separate issue in Cambodia, where
people has said that they are going to try and rally in front of Ban
Ki-moon about evictions, forced evictions, in Cambodia. Are these…
Can you sort of… Can we get a run-down of what issues he is
planning to raise, and I just wonder whether these two are among
Nesirky: Sure. And again, I seem to recall that Farhan gave
you a bit of a run-down on the trip last week, sitting here. As the
trip progresses, we will be giving details. The Secretary-General
and his delegation are en route at the moment to Thailand where, as
you know, the visit starts. They then move to Cambodia and on to
Viet Nam for this UN-ASEAN [Association of South-East Asian Nations]
meeting and then to China, where, as you know, the Secretary-General
will be visiting Shanghai, Nanjing and Beijing. On the question of
health, the very specific point that you raised, we can find out and
probably tell you as the visit progresses. The same goes for the
second part that you mentioned.