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UNDP Censors Wikipedia to Remove Press Link to Ugandan Violent Disarmament

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

UNITED NATIONS, August 15 -- The UN Development Program earlier this month removed from the UNDP entry in Wikipedia a link to a Ugandan press account of its disarmament funding in that country, related to violence against pastoralists since condemned by other UN agencies. UNDP, which had refused to respond to questions about the funding, instead pays its staff to try to censor what coverage it can.

            Previously, UNDP has had interns post pro-UNDP propaganda (click here for that), and paid over $700,000 for the production of a book praising UNDP's activities.  Meanwhile, while UNICEF and other agencies provide aid in North Korea in the wake of destructive floods, UNDP can do nothing, having had to leave the country due to its previous payment in hard currency to staff selected by the Kim Jong-il government.

            As stumbled on by a 'Net watcher,

Thanks to the Wikipedia Scanner, you can see that a person using an internet connection whose IP address ( points back to the UNDP, removed the following paragraph from the United Nations Development Program's Wikipedia entry.
=== Disarmament and controversy ===
In mid-2006, as first reported by Inner City Press and then by The New Vision, UNDP halted its disarmament programs in the Karamoja region of Uganda in response to human rights abuses in the parallel forcible disarmament programs carried out by the Uganda People's Defense Force. - Link to edit page
Here is a screen shot showing the the original text that was targeted by UNDP:


Here is a screen shot showing the UNDP IP Address editing the entry by removing the entire paragraph:


...The issue goes back to the summer of 2006. This entry was recently deleted on the second of August, 2007 The UNDP is not alone in editing their own Wikipedia entries. However, this was a valid issue and this was an attempt by someone in the Organization to bury it. That is not right, especially for the United Nations. Go read the previous Inner City Press story and see what the UNDP was trying to hide. (Hat-tip and much respect to Mr. Fry).

  Meanwhile, while UNDP has time to censor the 'Net, it has not responded in two weeks to a single one of the questions Inner City Press posed, and David Morrison acknowledged receiving, on July 30. The questions have been sent to Kemal Dervis, and to Ad Melkert. UNDP is an agency out of control -- its staff union has so little confidence in it that they have had to complain to the UN Secretariat's Ethics Office, rather than to UNDP's own OAPR. And rather than improve, UNDP has sought, as it did with other whistleblowers, to retaliate. This is a story we will continue to follow -- watch this site.

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Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540