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Facing UNDP Scandals, Ad Melkert Says "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" In Terms of Transparency

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 19, 5 pm -- "You ain't seen nothing yet." So said Ad Melkert, the Associate Administrator of the UN Development Program when asked Friday about UNDP's refusal to provide copies of audits of its country operations, reported on for months by Inner City Press and Friday by the Wall Street Journal, in connection with North Korea. "Cash for Kim" Jong Il, the Journal has nicknamed the scandal. (Click here for the Journal's articles, and click here for the eleventh installment in Inner City Press' now over 30-part series on UNDP.)

            While the Journal describes how UNDP would not provide copies of internal audits to member states, it is additionally significant that in UNDP's publicly-available audit, despite mentions of fraud in for example the UNDP-Russia country office, there is no mention of the North Korea issues that UNDP now claims it was taking so seriously. Friday Inner City Press asked Mr. Melkert to now publicly identify any other issues of concern to him and Kemal Dervis that are not disclosed in the last public audit. Video here, from Minute 31:05. Mr. Melkert claimed that to now make such a disclosure would be "too much at random." Disclosure would certainly be out of character for UNDP, at least for now.

            Mr. Melkert met Friday morning with new UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- at Mr. Ban's request, his spokeswoman told Inner City Press -- and then quickly scheduled an 11:30 press conference. At the podium a decision was made to pull the curtain over the UN's logo, leaving only a UNDP banner next to Mr. Melkert as he fielded questions. Logistics sources ascribe the curtain-pulling to a decision by the Secretariat to distance itself from UNDP. But as Inner City Press pointed out to the spokeswoman, most readers and most headline-writers don't make any distinction. This is a United Nations scandal, and must be addressed by the Secretariat and member states.

            An easy starting place, a bare minimum, should be getting UNDP's policy on the disclosure of audit in line at least with that of the UN Secretariat, which gives copies of internal audits to any member state which requests them. As this North Korea example illustrates, UNDP refuses to provide copies of its internal audits to member states, or the press or public. Having been denied access to UNDP audits, Inner City Press asked Ad Melkert about this discrepancy on December 15. At that time, Mr. Melkert committed to greater transparency, specifically with regard to this withholding of audits. Video here.

            Kemal Dervis, however, ostensibly running UNDP, on December 21 answered the same question by saying that audits would have to continue to be withheld, in the name of privacy. As one journalist -- not from Inner City Press -- joked on Friday, Kim Jong Il's privacy seems to have been important to UNDP, indeed.

            On Friday, Ad Melkert thanked Inner City Press for "referring to our previous exchange." Melkert said, "I promised more transparency, and that is what we have delivered." Video here, from Minute 10:23.  He went on to say that rather than having taken steps since December 15 to change UNDP's policy, he holding discussion on the issue and "that will take some time." What exactly has been "delivered," then, in terms of transparency as well as in terms of concrete assistance to the poor in North Korea remains unclear.

            Responding to the scandal at UNDP, Ban Ki-moon has called for an "urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the UN funds and programs." On Friday, Inner City Press asked him spokeswoman if Kemal Dervis was asked to submit a letter of resignation, as even Assistant Secretaries-General have. The spokeswoman said that she did not know. Video here, from Minute 8:35. Inner City Press has asked UNDP for a list of those in the agency who have submitted letters of resignation, but no response has been provided. As one reporter pointed out Friday, when performance is bad enough and brings disrepute on the UN system, a letter offering to resign is not always needed.  As captured by a detailed account on the UN's own News Service, for now the defense appears to be that Mr. Dervis hasn't been there long. UNDP sources says after 17 months, it would be more accurate to say that Mr. Dervis hasn't been there much.

Ad Melkert: "You ain't seen nothing yet."

            Ad Melkert was asked to explain his "you ain't seen nothing yet" response to Inner City Press' request for the audits for UNDP in Russia, Honduras and Afghanistan. (Technically, Mr. Melkert's statement is accurate: Inner City Press hasn't seen anything yet, not a single page of these audits.)  Mr. Melkert's response might seem to bode well. He explained, "In terms of transparency. Mr. Lee [Inner City Press' UN correspondent] is particularly interested in knowing what is going on at UNDP. And right he is." Video here, at Minute 32:43.

            Taking that statement at face value, one would now expect to actually see long-ago requested documents and audits, and to get direct answers to questions such as whether UNDP allows donors (for example, Italy) to dictate which staff to which with their money, and where to deploy them (for example, Baidoa in Somalia). Inner City Press has asked that question to UNDP, and has been sent extraneous documents, with no direct yes or no answer to a simple factual question. The same holds true for UNDP's policy about awarding consulting contacts to companies staffed or advised by recent UNDP officials. Inner City Press asked for this policy and days have gone by. We will have more on all this soon.

  Again, because a number of Inner City Press' UNDP sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the stated goals of UNDP and many of its staff. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.

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UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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UNDP's North Korea Scandal, Just a Tip of the Iceberg, Opens Window on Larger Problems

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 19, 3:30 a.m. -- This morning one part of the UN Development Program's lack of accountability is exposed in conservative media: the Wall Street Journal at midnight, and Fox News online thereafter. The Journal's story is more detailed, quoting a Kemal Dervis letter earlier this year that "internal audit reports are important management tools for Executive Heads and, therefore, confidential." 

   How Mr. Dervis' ultimate boss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will feel this looks for his widely-stated new, more transparent and trustworthy UN, will soon be seen. While 58 senior officials were asked to submit resignations by January 15, Mr. Dervis was not among them.

            Since the Journal's headline is "United Nations Dictators Program," we note earlier reports by Inner City Press that for Uzbekistan's Karimov regime, UNDP helps collect taxes and work with computer software. Karimov blocks Internet access to most critical websites. In Zimbabwe, UNPD has sponsored and legitimated a Mugabe-dominated "Human Rights" Commission. It's not only wrong when a UNDP-assisted dictator is seeking nuclear weapons. Mugabe evicted 700,000 poor people and now threatens to do it again. The need for scrutiny of UNDP goes well beyond North Korea.

UNDP's man in Uzbekistan

            The Journal's story also quotes UNDP's rarely heard-from head of Communications David Morrison, that UNDP is taking "all necessary measures to avoid misperceptions or unintended consequences." Last we heard from Mr. Morrison, he was writing to all UNDP staff on December 8, 2006, denouncing Inner City Press for, among other things, daring to ask UNDP and then UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric for copies of UNDP audits.

            On December 7th at the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked for "an investigative audit of the Russian Federation office of UNDP that has never been released." Mr. Dujarric, using talking points provided by UNDP, responded that

"Mark Malloch Brown did use that word [jerk]. It was in response to a specific question that Matthew had asked him in the hall as the Deputy Secretary-General was going from one meeting to another.  The question was thrown at him... I think, Matthew, as I’ve said before, you’ve asked numerous and numerous questions of UNDP, which I think is your right to do.  No one would ever challenge that right.  More than 50 questions, including 16 additional overnight, which UNDP is working to address."

            But more than 40 days later, still the audit of UNDP Russia hasn't been released, nor requested audits of UNDP's operations in Afghanistan, Honduras and elsewhere. UNDP's strident secrecy, and over-reaction to all inquiries in the last two months, now appear in different light. UNDP was aware of requests for the U.S. mission and then the Wall Street Journal. Internally, UNDP's senior management and Communications staff comforted themselves with the story that they are helping the poor, if only with or in their minds, and that anyone who asks questions must be conservative. In fact, UNDP is open to far more damning criticism from those who care about the poor. Junkets to Goa, open-ended consultant contracts to insiders, $737,000 for "UNDP: A Better Way?" -- these are all funds that could and should have been spent on the poor.

            In recent days, UNDP has bombarded Inner City Press with requests for corrections of such things as photo captions and any critical analysis. Both the Journal and Fox News pieces are more opinionated. Will UNDP request, much less get, corrections or retractions from either outlet? Or are UNDP's demands limited to smaller, more forward looking media?

            Inner City Press began in earnest its UNDP series on November 29, 2006, when Brian Gleeson was without explanation removed from his post as head of Human Resources of UNDP. Initially it appears that UNDP's fight-back was to defend Mr. Gleeson. But having spoken with Mr. Gleeson, and considered all the timing, it was the question of audits, and of Kemal Dervis' bending of the rules, that presaged UNDP's outbursts. Now Mr. Dervis' position on withholding audits even from UNDP's funders has been highlighted in a global business newspaper. Mr. Dervis was conveniently out of town when the news broke, but coming back, for the Executive Board's start.

   Recent weeks have included a number of "informal" Executive Board meetings. Observers say these informals are used to co-opt supposed overseers. There are also other consultations. Now a recent comment by a Swiss development staffer, than UNDP accused Inner City Press of being a stalking horse for the U.S. mission, makes more sense. UNDP knew these stories were coming, and in bad faith or by error tried to link any and all of its critics to what it will portray as a conservative, pro-U.S. attack in the Wall Street Journal and Fox.

            What is lost in all this, as so often at the top echelons of UNDP, is the poor. Developing.

UNDP Administrator's Discretionary Spending Includes Mysterious Special Audit and $592,000 for Book

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, January 17-18 -- The UN Development Program has finally provided "an accounting of the spending of the Administrator's discretionary / contingency fund for the years 2004 - 2006." A commitment to provide this information was made four week ago by UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis. He began at UNDP in August 2005. Therefore the first half of the triennium was under Mark Malloch Brown, and the second half under Mr. Dervis.

            The "accounting" provided by UNDP is not entirely clear. For 2006, in which $931,000 was spent from Mr. Dervis' discretionary fund, $131,000 is purposed to "RBEC" -- the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS States. This is the unit that was run for six years by Kalman Mizsei, until September 2006. The comment provided is "Special Advisor on Chernobyl."

            Fully $709,000 of the 2006 spending, and $698,000 of the 2005 spending, was for the Millennium Project, the group led up by Jeffrey Sachs and his team including Guido Schmidt-Traub, which was brought in-house at UNDP without, UNDP sources say, following recruitment and hiring rules. That's $1,407,000 over the two years, which still doesn't jibe with the elsewhere-listed Millennium Project expense, from mid-2005 to the end of 2006, of $3,300,000. Where did the other $1,893,000 come from? This will be inquired into.

UNDP says it uses sports to fight drugs in Osh, Kyrgyzstan

            In 2005, fully $707,000 was devoted to the "Office of Sport for Development and Peace," a unit which has brought to UN Headquarters such figures as Serena Williams and a former Swiss president who is a mountain climber and gun enthusiast.  This Office of Sport was also given $246,000 in 2004 and $91,000 in 2006.

            UNDP's "work in partnership with the private sector" was designed by a "Private Sector Commission... made up of 10-15 prominent individuals," toward which the UNDP Administrator directed $497,000 in 2004, and $31,000 in 2005, including for "cost of advisors."

            In 2004-2005, $88,000 was devoted to Special Events, including a "Goodwill Advocacy tour of Tajikistan" and "UN-hosted launches of books on development."

            UNDP's disclosure also states that "in additiona to the regular discretionary / contingency fund, UNDP also established a one-time special fund through a reprioritization of $2.5 million in unspent resources to administer in the years 2003-2006." Among the uses of these "reprioritized" funds were, for "UNDP History Book," $121,000 in 2004, $271,000 in 2005, and $250,000 in 2006, for a total of $592,000.

   Since UNDP has recently revised its total expenditures on the book "UNDP: A Better Way?" up to $737,000, the question remains where the difference between the $737,000 in UNDP expenditures and the $592,000 in "reprioritized" funds came from. Inquiry into this will be made.

            Also in 2006, from the "reprioritized" funds there was a $67,000 expenditure described as "Funding for Special Audits," and described in full as "additional resources were made available to fund an urgent, unscheduled audit to investigate concerns that had arisen in one country office."  Since the most recent publicly-available audit of UNDP ends with December 2005, inquiry will be made into this "urgent, unscheduled audit to investigate concerns that had arisen in one country office" -- a country left unidentified.

    While such an audit within the UN Secretariat would have to be disclosed to any of the 192 member states upon their request, at UNDP things are quite different. Only a summary would be provided, and only to the countries on UNDP's Executive Board. While some have said this inconsistency, of UNDP lagging behind the UN Secretariat in terms of transparency, will be fixed soon, Mr. Dervis on December 21 said this might not happen, due to some "privacy" concern that for some inexplicable reason doesn't exist with regard to the UN Secretariat. Privacy for urgent audits? We'll see.

At UNDP, Former Staffers Get Consulting Contracts, Dalberg in Ethiopia Called "Insiders' Game"

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, January 17 -- The UN Development Program contracts with a company, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, whose founder Henrik Skovby worked for UNDP "both at their headquarters and in the field," and is still listed as a UNDP employee. The lead person on Dalberg's advisory board, Sam Nyambi, lists his experience as having supervised 110 staff at UNDP and served as UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia. Dalberg has advised the government of Ethiopia, "along with a UN program to support private sector development activities."

    Dalberg's promotional materials state that it is now "assisting UNDP in developing a toolkit to support its interventions in Private Sector Development. The project involves developing a diagnostic and analytical toolkit for supporting the design of programs in Private Sector Development."

            While this work may be laudable, it raises questions, which Inner City Press posed on Tuesday to UNDP's Communications Office:

"what are UNDP's contracts with the company Dalberg, how much are they worth, how were they awarded and what is UNDP's position on awarding contracts to companies on whose advisory board long-time UNDP employees sit? Please disclose any other UNDP contracts with companies on which ex-UNDP employees sit on the board or executive board."

            UNDP's Communications Office responded at 5:52 p.m. on Tuesday that

"we’ll look into it and try to get you something as soon as we can.  If you need an initial comment for publication we can send you that."

            Since Inner City Press' question was specifically "on deadline," at least some comment would have been expected. But half an hour later, UNDP wrote that

"we'll need to get in touch with colleagues in different offices in different places to address them, so a more substantial response tonight is simply not possible."

            One might expect that UNDP had a computer system that could quickly confirm if a company has UNDP contacts, and for how much. One contract of particular interest involves Dalberg in Ethiopia in the summer of 2004. But even as of 5 p.m. deadline on the second day, Wednesday, no information had been provided by UNDP's Communications Office.

The UN in Ethiopia (Dalberg not shown)

            Online, one still finds Mr. Henrik Skovby with a UNDP email address, and an office listed at the FF building on 45th Street, Room 604.  A visit there, to the Bureau of Development Policy, on Wednesday afternoon found a different name in front of room 604: Salil Shetty. The staff list in the front of the office lists "Private Public Partnerships," staffed by Arun Kashyap. There are two consultants listed, Olga Ioffe and Lisa Burnett-Leacock.  There once was a non- (or pre-) consultant Lisa Burnett at UNDP's Bureau of Management.

            Other informed sources, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation by UNDP, have characterized Dalberg Global Development Advisors as "the Halliburton of the UN system," explaining that Dalberg has been given contracts largely due to political and regional connections.  These sources say that Jan Mattsson when he was head of UNDP's Bureau of Management was instrumental in Dalberg being awarded open-ended Long Term Agreements, including compensation of $1000 a day for experts. "It's an insiders' game," one source said, asking Inner City Press to inquire more closely into this and a range of other UNDP practices the source called "non-transparent." Other contacts to Dalberg were awarded by Tina Hansen's Internal Consultants Group, based like UNOPS in Copenhagen. Jan Mattsson is now in Copenhagen as head of UNOPS, on which we'll have more in the near future.

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

At the UN, Mysterious Deletion from Iran Sanctions List of Aerospace Industries Organization Goes Unexplained

At the UN, Iran Resolution Passes 15-0 Amid Media Frenzy While Somalia and UN Reform Are Ignored

At the UN, Security Council and GA Games and Holiday Spirit As Revolving Door Ban Disappears on Final Day

UNDP Not Covered By Weak UN Post-Employment Restrictions, Dervis and Mizsei and Aid to the Scapegoated

UN Post-Employment Restriction Are Watered Down for Senior Officials, Comparison to June Draft Reveals

At the UN, Curt Eulogies for Dictator, Revolving Door and Budget Left for the Last Day

UNDP's Dervis Backtracks on Transparency, Promises Accounting of Funds, Denies Role in Uganda Abuse

At the UN, Jeffrey Sachs Answers the $75,000 Question But Not on UNDP, Still Laudable Goals for 2025

Burundi Spin at the UN, Amid Coup Trial and Ceasefire Not Implemented, Great Lakes Commission Moves In

At the UN, Iran Resolution Goes Blue as Ivory Coast is Traded Away With No Follow-up on Hmung

At the UN, Annan's Long Goodbye, With Oil for Food in the Air and Hothouse Musical Chairs

At Kofi Annan's Farewell, UNDP Transparency is Raised, and Brian Gleeson Steps Up

At UN in Beirut, Dueling Charges of Job-Trading and Tax-Evasion, the Burden of Mervat Tallawy, Retaliation from Below

UNDP Will Be Called to Greater Transparency, Says President of Spain, on UNDP's Board, and Flaws of UNOPS

UNDP's Ad Melkert Says He Will Finally Increase Transparency, Describes Fraud in Russia, Dodges Uganda

In Eastern Congo, Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made a Colonel, Clooney And Now Guehenno Might Stay

At the UN, Ocampo 1 Says Kony To Jail and Ocampo 2 Sees No Serious Bertucci Charges, Dueling Parties

In UNDP's Book, Strong's Scandals Are Missing, While Workers Complain, MMB Schmoozes the Korean Mission

At UNDP, Flighty Rhetoric Founders in Mismanagement, MMB's Net, a Genocidaire and Whither ECOSOC

At the UN, Disabled Are Freed from a Footnote, Murky Answers from Gbagbo to Kosovo to a Genocidaire

Countering UN's Vanity Press, UNDP Histories from Below, Brussels and Two Views of Omar Bakhet

At the UN, Indigenous Indignation, Revolving Door Mysteries and Peace Pipe Belatedly Smoked

At the UN, Questions of Congo Mass Graves and Kazana, Mugabe and Forests and Rich German Ships

UNDP Is Important For The Poor, and Therefore Must Be Made Transparent

As UN Speechifies, UNDP Audits Are Still Being Withheld, While War in Somalia and Sudan, Pronk Blogs On

Waste, Fraud and Abuse at UNDP in Vietnam, While UN Secretariat Urges Censorship

At the UN, Questions of Humanitarian Aid and Congo Body Count, Despots' Crackdown on Dissent

In UNDP, Questions of Money Wasted, Neutrality Trampled, Russian Office Audits Withheld and Sachs Expenses

From Baidoa to the UN, Denials on Ethiopian Troops Being in Somalia, Resolution Is Passed

Retaliation Found at UNDP, While Dervis Is Focused on Turkey, In Two Weeks Will Take Questions

Annan's Spokesman Silent on 150 Dead in Congo, War in Somalia - But in Loud Defense of UNDP's $567,000 Book

At the UN, Interlopers into Somalia Are Discussed, With Chadian Pull-Back, Peacekeepers and Uganda's Karamoja

UNDP Spent $567,000 on Book to Praise Itself, While the Well-Placed Feed Off UNDP's Core Budget and Prime Postings

As UNDP Questions Mount, Mark Malloch Brown Calls Them Irresponsible, Answers Only in Vanity Press

In UNDP Series, Questions of Jeffrey Sachs and Associates Payments, From $1 to $75,000

From Sleaze in Vietnam to Fights in DC-1, UNDP Appears Out of Control at the Top

On Somalia, Past Arms Embargo Violations Forgiven in Zeal to Contain Islamic Courts

In UNDP, Drunken Mis-Managers on the Make Praised and Protected, Meet UNDP's Kalman Mizsei

From Violent Disarmament in Uganda to the National Bank of Serbia, UNDP Leaves Others to Answer for It

UNDP Sources Say Dervis Fires Malloch Brown-linked Officials, Then Offers Hush-Up Jobs

On Somalia, Fiji and Oil-for-Food, UN Ambiguity Leads to Hypocrisy and Corruption

At the UN, Indigenous Rights Get Deferred, As U.S. Abstains, Deftly or Deceptively

At the UN, Threat and Possible Statement on Fiji Spotlights Selection and Payment of UN Peacekeepers

At the UN, China and Islamic Dev't Bank Oppose Soros and World Bank On How to Fight Poverty

At the UN, Misdirection on Somalia and Myanmar, No Answers from UNDP's Kemal Dervis

UNDP Dodges Questions of Disarmament Abuse in Uganda and of Loss of Togo AIDS Grant, Dhaka Snafu

At the UN, The Swan Song of Jan Egeland and the Third Committee Loop, Somalia Echoes Congo

UN Silent As Protesters Tear Gassed in Ivory Coast, As UNMOVIC Plods On and War Spreads in Somalia

In the UN, Uzbekistan Gets a Pass on Human Rights As Opposition to U.S. Grows and War's On in Somalia

At the UN, Cluster Bombs Unremembered, Uighurs Disappeared and Jay-Z Returns with Water -- for Life

From the UN, Silence on War Crimes Enforcement and Conflicts of Interest on Complaint from Bahrain

En Route to Deutsche Bank, the UN's Door Revolves, While Ban Ki-moon Arrives and Moldova Spins

As Two UN Peacekeepers Are Killed, UN Says Haiti's Improving, Ban Ki-moon on Zimbabwe?

Nagorno-Karabakh President Disputes Fires and Numbers, Oil and UN, in Exclusive Interview with Inner City Press

Inside the UN, Blaming Uganda's Victims, Excusing Annan on Mugabe, and U.S. Blocked Darfur Trip

U.S. Blocked Council's Trip to Darfur Meeting, Brazzaville Envoy Explains After U.S. Casts a Veto

At the UN, Council Works Overtime To Cancel Its Trip About Darfur, While DC Muses on John Bolton

UN Panel's "Coherence" Plan Urges More Power to UNDP, Despite Its Silence on Human Rights

On Water, UNDP Talks Human Rights, While Enabling Violations in Africa and Asia, With Shell and Coca-Cola

Will UN's Revolving Door Keep Human Rights Lost, Like Bush's Call and WFP Confirmation Questions?

On Somalia, We Are All Ill-Informed, Says the UN, Same on Uganda, Lurching Toward UNDP Power Grab

On WFP, Annan and Ban Ki-Moon Hear and See No Evil, While Resume of Josette Sheeran Shiner Is Edited

Would Moon Followers Trail Josette Sheeran Shiner into WFP, As to U.S. State Dep't?

At the UN, Positions Are Up For the Grabbing, Sun's Silence on Censorship, Advisor Grabs for Gun

In WFP Race, Josette Sheeran Shiner Praises Mega Corporations from Cornfield While State Spins

At the UN, Housing Subsidy Spin, Puntland Mysteries of UNDP and the Panama Solution

In Campaign to Head UN WFP, A Race to Precedents' Depths, A Murky Lame Duck Appointment

At the UN, Gbagbo and his Gbaggage, Toxic Waste and Congolese Sanctions

WFP Brochure-Gate? John Bolton Has Not Seen Brochure of "Official" U.S. Candidate to Head World Food Program

Ivory Coast Stand-Off Shows Security Council Fault Lines: News Analysis

At the UN, It's Groundhog's Day on Western Sahara, Despite Fishing Deals and Flaunting of the Law

"Official" U.S. Candidate to Head WFP Circulates Brochure With Pulitzer Claim, UN Staff Rules Ignored

Senegal's President Claims Peace in Casamance and Habre Trial to Come, A Tale of Two Lamines

A Tale of Two Americans Vying to Head the World Food Program, Banbury and Sheeran Shiner

At the UN, the Unrepentant Blogger Pronk, a Wink on 14 North Korean Days and Silence on Somalia

At the UN, Literacy Losses in Chad, Blogless Pronk and Toothless Iran Resolution, How Our World Turns

Sudan Pans Pronk While Praising Natsios, UN Silent on Haiti and WFP, Ivorian Fingers Crossed

UN Shy on North Korea, Effusive on Bird Flu and Torture, UNDP Cyprus Runaround, Pronk is Summoned Home

At the UN, Silence from UNDP on Cyprus, from France on the Chad-Bomb, Jan Pronk's Sudan Blog

Russia's Vostok Battalion in Lebanon Despite Resolution 1701, Assembly Stays Deadlocked and UNDP Stays Missing

As Turkmenistan Cracks Down on Journalists, Hospitals and Romance, UNDP Works With the Niyazov Regime

At the UN, Darfur Discussed, Annan Eulogized and Oil For Food Confined to a Documentary Footnote

With All Eyes on Council Seat, UN is Distracted from Myanmar Absolution and Congo Conflagration

As Venezuela and Guatemala Square Off, Dominicans In Default and F.C. Barcelona De-Listed

At the UN, North Korea Sanctions Agreed On, Naval Searches and Murky Weapons Sales

At the UN, Georgia Speaks of Ethnic Cleansing While Russia Complains of Visas Denied by the U.S.

At the UN, Deference to the Congo's Kabila and Tank-Sales to North Korea, of Slippery Eels and Sun Microsystems

At the UN, Annan's Africa Advisor Welcome Chinese Investment, Dodges Zimbabwe, Nods to Darfur

At the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting Back on Karadzic

UN Defers on Anti-Terror Safeguards to Member States, Even in Pakistan and Somalia

Afghanistan as Black Hole for Info and Torture Tales, Photos and Talk Mogadishu, the UN Afterhours

Amid UN's Korean Uproar, Russia Silent on Murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Chechnya Exposer

UN Envoy Makes Excuses for Gambian Strongman, Whitewashing Fraud- and Threat-Filled Election

Sudan's UN Envoy Admits Right to Intervene in Rwanda, UNICEF Response on Terrorist Groups in Pakistan

At the UN, As Next S-G is Chosen, Annan Claims Power to Make 5-Year Appointments, Quiet Filing and Ivory Coast Concessions

Chaos in UN's Somalia Policy, Working With Islamists Under Sanctions While Meeting with Private Military Contractors

U.S. Candidate for UN's World Food Program May Get Lame Duck Appointment, Despite Korean Issues

At the UN, U.S. Versus Axis of Airport, While Serge Brammertz Measures Non-Lebanese Teeth

Exclusion from Water Is Called Progress, of Straw Polls and WFP Succession

William Swing Sings Songs of Congo's Crisis, No Safeguards on Coltan Says Chairman of Intel

Warlord in the Waldorf and Other Congo Questions Dodged by the UN in the Time Between Elections

In Some New Orleans, Questions Echo from the South Bronx and South Lebanon

In New Orleans, While Bone Is Thrown in Superdome, Parishes Still In Distress

At the UN, Tales of Media Muzzled in Yemen, Penned in at the Waldorf on Darfur, While Copters Grounded

US's Frazer Accuses Al-Bashir of Sabotage, Arab League of Stinginess, Chavez of Buying Leaders - Click here for video file by Inner City Press.

Third Day of UN General Debate Gets Surreal, Canapes and Killings, Questions on Iran and Montenegro and Still Somalia

On Darfur, Hugo Chavez Asks for More Time to Study, While Planning West Africa Oil Refinery

At the UN, Ivory Coast Discussed Without Decision on Toxic Politics, the Silence of Somalia

Evo Morales Blames Strike on Mobbed-Up Parasites, Sings Praise of Coca Leaf and Jabs at Coca-Cola

Musharraf Says Unrest in Baluchistan Is Waning, While Dodging Question on Restoring Civilian Rule

At the UN, Cyprus Confirms 'Paramilitary' Investigation, Denies Connection to Def Min Resignation, CBTB Update

A Tale of Three Leaders, Liberia Comes to Praise and Iran and Sudan to Bury the UN

UN Round-up: Poland's President Says Iraq Is Ever-More Tense While Amb. Bolton Talks Burmese Drugs, Spin on Ivory Coast

As UN's Annan Now Says He Will Disclose, When and Whether It Will Be to the Public and Why It Took So Long Go Unasked

At the UN, Stonewalling Continues on Financial Disclosure and Letter(s) U.S. Mission Has, While Zimbabwe Goes Ignored

At the UN, Financial Disclosure Are Withheld While Freedom of Information Is Promised, Of Hollywood and Dictators' Gift Shops

UN's Annan Says Dig Into Toxic Dumping, While Declining to Discuss Financial Disclosure

A Still-Unnamed Senior UN Official in NY Takes Free Housing from His Government, Contrary to UN Staff Regulations

UN Admits To Errors in its Report on Destruction of Congolese Village of Kazana, Safeguards Not In Place

As UN Checks Toxins in Abidjan, the Dumper Trafigura Figured in Oil for Food Scandal, Funded by RBS and BNP Paribas

Targeting of African Americans For High Cost Mortgages Grew Worse in 2005, While Fed Downplays Its Own Findings

The UN and Nagorno-Karabakh: Flurries of Activity Leave Frozen Conflicts Unchanged; Updates on Gaza, Gavels and Gbagbo

The UN Cries Poor on Lawless Somalia, While Its Ex-Security Chief Does Business Through Ruleless Revolving Door

At the UN, Micro-States Simmer Under the Assembly's Surface, While Incoming Council President Dodges Most Questions

"Horror Struck" is How UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments Would Leave U.S., Referral on Burma But Not Uzbekistan

Security Council President Condemns UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments, While UK "Doesn't Do It Any More"

At the UN, Incomplete Reforms Allow for Gifts of Free Housing to UN Officials by Member States

Rare UN Sunshine From If Not In Chad While Blind on Somalia and Zimbabwe, UNDP With Shell in its Ear on Nigeria

Annan Family Ties With Purchaser from Compass, Embroiled in UN Scandal, Raise Unanswered Ethical Questions

At the UN, from Casamance to Transdniestria, Kosovars to Lezgines, Micro-States as Powerful's Playthings

Inquiry Into Housing Subsidies Contrary to UN Charter Goes Ignored for 8 Weeks, As Head UN Peacekeeper Does Not Respond

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

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