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Inner City Press Podcast --

On UN Reform, Grandstanding and Apathy, on UNFPA at Least, Despite Tax Evasion on Milk and Cars, UNDP to Follow

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 24 -- While the UN Development Program scandal and why Ban Ki-moon so quickly scaled back his announced investigation were discussed Wednesday at the UN's noon press briefing, downstairs on similar issues lethargy and grandstanding slipped back in.

            At the Executive Board meeting, the UN Population Fund's country programs including in North Korea were up for debate -- except that there was none. It required five countries' request to get a country plan discussed. On UNFPA's North Korea plan, only the United States and Japan spoke up. Afterward Inner City Press trailed a U.S. representative into the hall and asked, "Is it that the U.S. couldn't get three more votes?"

            "I wasn't in there when it happened," the representative answered. Journal jeremiads have many after-the-fact parents, but failure like this is an orphan.

            After the U.S. and Japan spoke -- followed by Moldova on the topic of Transdniestria -- it was announced that Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, director of UNFPA, saw nothing in what was said to respond it. Among the things said was a call that internal audits of UNFPA, of the type Inner City Press quoted from in yesterday's story, click here to view, should be made available to the public. No comment on that?

Thoraya Obaid up against the wall, no comment

            At the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked what had happened, to have Ban Ki-moon scale his January 19 call for a worldwide, external inquiry into all funds and programs back to his Jan. 22 recitation that the same old board of auditors will review three and only three issues with regard to North Korea. Video here, from Minute 9.

            "That's just the first step," the spokesman answered, adding that the UN's Warren Sach -- who readers will last remember dodging phone calls about wasteful spending at the Vienna Cafe -- and "at least one auditor" will be taking questions on Friday. We'll be there.

   Inner City Press also asked the new spokesman for the General Assembly President if either the Secretary General has spoken with her about the upcoming audit and inquiry. Video here, from Minute 37:57. "No, I don't think that came up," the spokesman said. But they met, or took another photo, on Tuesday...

            Meanwhile, UNFPA spokesman Abubakar Dungus has ostensibly gone missing. On Monday he emailed Inner City Press promising answers on that day, to questions about UNFPA's payments in North Korea and elsewhere, and policy on audits. But Monday passed without a single piece of information. Inner City Press called and emailed again, and repeated the process on Wednesday. Now Mr. Dungus has deployed an auto-respond message that he is out until Thursday (after the UNFPA votes). But a number of Mr. Dungus' own colleagues concede that he is around. So why the hiding? Where are the answers? One production wag muttered that Mr. Dungus has left a big news hole.

            We'll use the opportunity to provide further detail on a UNFPA issue previously alluded to: the "post-facto approval" for the purchase of 4 million cans of baby milk for $6.3 million on behalf of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population.

            The Contract Review Committee recites that concerns were expressed "to the Egypt UNFPA Representative as to whether or not UNFPA should be buying baby milk at all and whether this was within the mandate of the fund. [Nevertheless] Hooweget International was selected to supply the baby milk at a total cost of Euro $4,883,284.50... The funds were converted into USD dollars by the UNDP Treasury and placed into UNFPA bank account." Of course, "the usual applicable fee for third party procurement services of 5%" was collected. The quid pro quo, as with much of what UNDP does, was the evasion of applicable taxes...

            Here's another tax evasion scheme, by an individual lists as joint UNDP / UNFPA: Alaadin Morsy. Mr. Morsy was confronted with a threat of prosecution concerning "the vehicle that you imported when you were first place on the ATR Project in Egypt... the vehicle was imported for your personal use without paying customs duties to the Government of Egypt.  If you were employed for less than three years on the project, you were obligated to either re-export the vehicle or pay the customs duty that would have been owed when you imported the car in 2002. Your employment with the project was terminated after one year and you should have taken one of these two action. To the best of our knowledge and that of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Industry and the Egyptian Customs Authority, you have not done so. Mr. Tim S. Buehrer of the Secretary-General's office has stated that he has contacted you on numerous occasions concerning this matter but that you have not responded."

            Ah, UNFPA and UNDP. The latter will be the topic in Conference Room 2 on Thursday, and Inner City Press will be there. Watch this space.

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At UNOPS, Side Deals for Danish Relocation, Mattsson and Dalberg and the DSA Farming of Vitaly Vashelboim

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 23 -- The UN Office of Project Services is two years late in certifying its financial statements. As new UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calls for an "urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the UN funds and programs," UNOPS stands out for not even having a certified audit in place.

            An investigation of UNOPS by Inner City Press has found a hotbed of favoritism, of supervisors distracting line employees from their logistical tasks in support of such efforts as mine removal, and of financial mismanagement hidden from the Executive Board.

            Last January, the Board was told that UNOPS wanted to move its "headquarters functions" from New York to Copenhagen. Bids had been selected, not only by Denmark, but also France, Germany, Italy and Spain. (Dubai later joined the bidding.) Denmark was selected, sources say, due to the inclusion in its package of a "transition fund," which UNOPS insiders call no more than a slush fund for management. The quid pro quo was a requirement that 120 jobs be moved to Copenhagen, a condition not disclosure to the Board one year ago, and resulting in disruption of such functions as mine removal now.

            Current UNOPS head Jan Mattsson previously served as the head of the UN Development Program's Bureau of Management, where as Inner City Press has reported, he handed out controversial contracts to 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.)

            Now it emerges that once Mattsson took over at UNOPS, he has also handed this agency's money to Dalberg. In an August 16, 2006 email to all UNOPS staff, Mattsson announced that Dalberg would be paid to "help us build a better UNOPS."

What could this Guatemalan kids do with Vitaly V.'s Daily Sustenance Allowance? See below.

            By most accounts, and as reflected by its inability to file certified financial statements, UNOPS has been in decline for years. It began as a unit of UNDP then spun off as independent, and proudly self-supporting. Then-chief Reinhart Helmke hung a banner at a staff retreat, "UNOPS, the One Billion Dollar Agency."

            Moving from the Daily News building to the Chrysler Building, money was overspent. Soon UNOPS was paying, it claimed, $20,000 per year for each computer terminal used, not including salary or benefits. An idea arose to relocate jobs out of New York. Proposals arrived from France and Germany, Italy and Denmark, talk of the Swiss and of Dubai. One year ago, the Board was informed that "headquarters functions" would be relocated, under a business case of cost-savings.

            Behind the scenes, interim Executive Director Gilberto Flores, who preceded Jan Mattsson, had cut a deal with Denmark: 120 jobs as a quid pro quo for, among other things, a transition fund with very few restrictions.  There was only one problem: the "headquarters function" remaining in New York did not add up to 120 jobs. And so a decision was made to relocate operating units as well, including those which service mine removers in the field.

            This being the UN, a veneer of participation was demanded. While behind closed doors Gilberto Flores declared he would never break his job commitment to the Danes, Ms. Roswitha Newels, who had made the misleading presentation to the Board, emerged to dialogue with staff. Facilitators arrived, ostensibly from UNDP's Management Change Team, run by one Tina Friis-Hansen. The facilitators' names were Georges Von Montfort and Lisa Rienarz.  (As it turns out, they are employees of Mattsson's favorite consultant Dalberg, and not UNDP staffers at all.) These facilitators nodded at angry staff talked, then mis-summarized the complaints to now-director Mattsson.  A proposal emerged to relocate personnel not only to Denmark but also Nairobi.

            With the staff more and more restive, Ms. Newels decided to commission a study to resolve the matter. Such studies require at least the veneer of objectivity. But Ms. Newels issued a sweetheart contract, which she only later entered in the system, to a close friend of hers, Ivo Pokorny.  For $700 a day, Mr. Pokorny produced a barely two and a half page memo, followed by a one page, hand-drawn chart. Requests to see Pokorny's final product have been rebuffed, as have question of when UNOPS will come clean to the Board, as well as file financial statements.

            UNOPS does appear, however, in the public audits of other UN agencies. The most recent public audit of UNICEF, for example, states that

"UNICEF is supporting construction projects for schools, health centers, and water and sanitation networks in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives that represent an aggregate budget of $152.1 million. The three country offices have little experience, if any, overseeing major construction works. They entered into contracts with UNOPS (for permanent structures) and with IOM (for temporary schools in Indonesia) without clearing their clauses with the UNICEF senior advisor (Legal) resulting in the interesting of UNICEF not adequately safeguarded. For instance, the Indonesian school construction contract with UNOPS ($90 million) committed UNICEF to a set unit cost per building, over a three-year period, with no clause covering a rise in prices.... UNICEF failed to set up a consistent mechanism to follow up the implementation of the projects, monitor the work of the contractors and management the relationship with UNOPS." A/61/5/Add.2, page 42-43.

            As this interim profile of UNOPS should make clear, issues to be inquired into in the wake of the UNDP scandals should not be limited just to North Korea, or to hard currency, secondment and auditors' access. The problems at UNOPS are systematic and require full public review and disclosure, and then substantive action. This is what Ban Ki-moon called for on January 19, then appeared to turn away from on Jan. 22. With the poor and needy be served by reform and accountability of these agencies in charge of money to serve them? We'll see.

            Other UNOPS issues involve Daily Sustenance Allowance abuse and overpaying of Mattsson's deputy Vitaly Vashelboim. Mattsson brought Vashelboim to New York, and has now sent him back to Copenhagen (where Mattsson's yet to move).  The totals paid to Mr. Vanshelboim for multiple relocations, travel and Daily Sustenance Allowance are the subject of outrage even within UNOPS staff, who says that the Board of Auditors inquiry recently announced by Ban Ki-moon should act on them. And what does Dalberg do for Mattsson? Inquiring minds want to know. But does not list any media contact, and UNDP has still not responded to Inner City Press' January 16 questions about Dalberg and related policy issues.

            Documents, however, require no comment to report. Inner City Press has obtained a copy of a January 15, 2007 email from UNDP's Arne Christensen bragging that "UNDP / IAPSO has recently placed an order for several units of thermo vision equipment installed in mini-busses (surveillance equipment) for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine... UNDP / IAPSO would be pleased to offer our expertise in procurement of material and equipment for border enhancement to other CO offices, as well as other UN offices involved in similar programs."

            Beyond the question, "what is UNDP doing buying surveillance equipment for Ukraine," we note that UNOPS in its search for survival is lobbying behind the scenes to acquire the "P" (procurement") from UNDP's IAPSO. But why would the UN system allow an agency which is so far delayed in filing its certified financials to acquire anything, or to continue to mislead its Board about a deeply flawed proposed move of core operating functions like mine removal to Denmark because of a secret slush fund deal? Developing.

  Because a number of Inner City Press' UNOPS 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 UNOPS 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.

Ban Ki-moon Narrows Scope of UNDP Inquiry While Euro Focus Spreads to UNFPA and WFP, Feeding Koreans

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 22 -- What a difference a weekend makes. On Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reacted to the breaking scandal at the UN Development Program by calling for an "urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the UN funds and programs."

            By Monday, "around the globe" had been scaled back to North Korea, and "all activities" had been limited to "hard currency transactions, independence of staff hiring and access to reviewing local projects." The "external inquiry" that now involves the same UN Board of Auditors which has chosen to exclude from the public documents it produces any mention of damning internal audits like KPMG's of UNDP-North Korea.

            Sources within UNDP and other funds and programs were left wondering: who got to Ban Ki-moon, to so dramatically cut back the scope of proposed clean-up? Some say the fight-back was by entrenched powers in UNDP, not only Messrs. Dervis and Melkert but even Asia Pacific assistant administrator Hafiz Pasha, finance director Darshak Shah, and Bruce Jenks of UNDP's "Bureau of Resources and Strategic Partnerships." Jenks knows were the bodies are buried in UNDP's system of 400-plus trust funds. Jenks is reported to communicate to the South Korean mission, including on what the ramifications of a comprehensive inquiry could be.

            Others, looking wider, say that certain member states chimed to demand a more limited review. That Mr. Ban's home country South Korea, which he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, is a main funder of hard currency-paying UN programs in North Korea is deemed significant. Inner City Press has been told that South Korea's payments to UN agencies for North Korea passed through and were signed (off) on by not only the Ministry of Unification, but also the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

            Some in the UN are already reaching conclusions on Ban. They point as examples to his lack of action to data on the Department of Economic and Social Affairs scandal, and to his decision announced Monday to speak at a DESA "global forum" conference in Vienna on June 26, along with, among others UNDP's Hafiz Pasha and Kathleen Cravero. They claim that DESA's Guido Bertucci's reach-out to Mr. Ban is through DESA advisor Elia Yi Armstrong. They question whether for example Italy's dictating that its funding be used exclusively to hire Italians is different from secondment, and must now be subject to even the scaled-down inquiry offered as a substitute on Monday, with its reference to independence of hiring. Others argue that while the Old Guard was able to reign Ban in on Monday, this will not go on forever. Time will tell.

            While for now the prospective inquiry appears to be cut back, Ban Ki-moon "has also requested the Administrator of UNDP to provide information in detail concerning the corrective actions taken in response to the internal audit findings of 1999, 2001 and 2004." In the case of Kemal Dervis, the question will be, seventeen months and what actions? And unlike in the past, will the answers be made public?

UNDP in North Korea, hard currency not shown

            Meanwhile, Inner City Press' inquiry into UNDP and other funds and programs continues, for this report on the World Food Program's activities in North Korea, including in comparison to what UNDP has admitted, the paying of the salary of all national staff in North Korea in hard currency, Euros, directly to the DPRK government.

            WFP pays half of its local staff in North Korea in won, the local currency, Inner City Press was told Monday by WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher. These are 15 National Program Officers, nominated and seconded by DPRK's National Coordinating Committee, or NCC.  This money, however, is paid not paid directly to the staff, but rather to the NCC.

            The other 15 of WFP's local staff -- nine drivers and six support staff including cleaners -- are referred by DPRK's General Service Bureau, GSB, and are paid directly in hard currency, Euros.  WFP in North Korea also has 14 international staff members.

            WFP emphasizes through its spokesperson that North Korean staff are not permitted access to WFP's global accounting software. WFP does not pay rent to the North Korean government, but rather to the Bulgarian ministry of foreign affairs, for space in the former Bulgarian embassy. Utilities, though, are paid in Euros, by check for service provided, pursuant to WFP rules.

  Inner City Press has also asked these agencies about the substance of their programs, in North Korea as elsewhere. As it did with Congo-Kinshasa, WFP by Monday afternoon proffered a response:

Subject: Re: Hi, Qs re WFP in North Korea, Zimbabwe, etc., NEX, hard currency, thanks

From:Bettina Luescher, WFP Chief Spokesperson, North America
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Mon, 22 Jan 2007 5:46 PM

Dear Matthew, Here is some more information on our operation in DPRK:

 WFP has identified some 1.9 million people in North Korea who need food aid. These are among the most vulnerable people, including women and children, they live in both urban and rural areas. The two-year operation (2006 / 2007) aims to feed 1.9 million and would require 102 million US Dollars. Until now we have raised some 16 percent. With current limited funding, WFP feeds more than 700,000 people in 29 counties. Financial constraints are hampering expansion efforts to reach all 1.9 million in the 50 most insecure counties.

The statistics are sobering: A seven-year-old child in North Korea is likely to be 8 inches (some 20 centimeters) shorter, 9 kg lighter and lives some 10 years shorter that his South Korean peer. While malnutrition rates have fallen since the late 1990ies, they are still relatively high: 37 percent of young children are chronically malnourished , and one third of mothers are malnourished and anemic, based on a 2004 WFP/UNICEF survey.

 It is vitally important that the hard-won improvements in nutritional standards of recent years not be reversed in the counties where WFP distributions are concentrated . WFP's "no access, no food" policy continues to be strictly enforced. WFP will only provide food in areas where we can assess needs and monitor distributions. Accountability to our donors remains a top priority for WFP.

 I am checking on information for the other countries you mentioned.

 Mr. Morris is currently in Laos, then going to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, East Timor... meeting governments, donors, private sector partners and WFP operations. Ambassador Sheeran's schedule is being handled by the State Department. She will start with us in early April.

            Inner City Press asked if WFP has a Standard Basic Assistance Agreement with the DPRK government, and has been told that WFP operates under a "letter of understanding." Inner City Press has asked for a copy of this letter, and has asked for WFP's policy on providing internal audits. On both, answers have been promised for tomorrow.

            Less responsive, perhaps understandably, has by the UN Population Fund. Inner City Press asked UNFPA's spokespeople the same questions, and was told by Abubaker Dunga that information would be provided on Monday ("I will put together the information and send it to you as soon as possible today"). However, despite multiple email and telephone reminders, UNFPA did not end up answering the questions or providing any information by 9 p.m. on Monday. A profile of UNFPA is coming together. Developing.

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

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