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

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 9 -- In Chad, nine percent of people have access to improved sanitation, and 42% of people have access to not-unhealthy water. These represent increases from seven and 19 percent, respectively, in 1990. By the United Nations math, Chad is on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal for water, since it has doubled access.

            Inner City Press asked UN Development Program Associate Administrator Ad Melkert if UNDP shouldn't set some minimum percentage of a country's population with access to clear water and sanitation, then direct resources until the basis threshold is met.  Mr. Melkert answered that the lag, in Chad and elsewhere, is due to inequality, particularly but not only in the slums of cities.

            Inner City Press asked Mr. Melkert to address, for example, the criticism by Zimbabwean opponents of the Robert Mugabe regime of UNDP's sponsorship of a Mugabe-led Human Rights Commission. The question has been put to UNDP Communications staff, resulting in generally boilerplate responses. The request that Administrator Kemal Dervis come and answer the question remains outstanding, although Monday his staff indicated that this will happen in December.

            On November 6, UNDP Associate Administrator Mr. Melkert said that he declined to address the "specific example of Zimbabwe," but that UNDP has an "interest in economic growth and development" and to "improve life for the poor."

            Reminded by Inner City Press of the Mugabe regime's mass eviction of 700,000 people, nearly all of them poor, Mr. Melkert said UNDP tries to make points how the poor could best be served. "Some environments are easier to make the point in," he said. "And in some places we are more successful than others."

Water work in Chad

            In Turkmenistan, which the UN has just named as a major human rights abuser, UNDP praises the government, including on UN Day. In Uzbekistan, UNDP has helped the Karimov regime to collect taxes, and with its Internet programs. While the UNDP report puts Uzbek internet usage at 36%, most web sites are blocked, and Uzbek's surfing and communications are systematically spied on.

            Speaking of communications, here are some recent responses from UNDP to questions from Inner City Press.

From: william.orme [at] undp.org

To: Inner City Press

Cc: kemal.dervis [at] undp.org; dujarric [at] undp.org

Sent: Mon, 23 Oct 2006 11:00 AM

Inner City Press question: On Turkmenistan, how does UNDP explain its participation in and statements in connection with Turkmenbashi's celebration earlier this month of partnership with UNDP while Turkmenistan's human rights record, including but not limited to the recent death in custody of a critical journalist, has led even the EU to take action and step back from a trade pact?

UNDP Answer: As you know, the United Nations Development Program is the coordinator of UN system activities in UN member-states in the developing world as well as the leader of long-term UN development efforts in all UN member-states in the developing world. UNDP a permanent presence in all these member-states, which are the sovereign hosts of the locally based projects and international staff of the UN funds, programs and agencies. UNDP's historic commitment over 50 years to its ongoing work in developing nations on the UN system's behalf has never been contingent upon nor construed as an endorsement of  the specific policies or practices of specific host governments. The UN agencies which have the mandate of reviewing and responding to reports and incidents of the kind you cite -- UNESCO and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-- have spoken out clearly forcefully on such cases on behalf of the Secretary-General and the entire UN system.

            Beyond excusing UNDP's praise of a massive human rights violator, this response calls into question UNDP's desired future, more powerful role, as proposed by the Coherence Panel on which UNDP's Administrator served, along with the ex-president of Tanzania, Ben Mkapa, Robert Mugabe's hand-picked mediator to deal with the UK.

            From another, more elaborated UNDP response, with emphasis added:

Question: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has just released a human development report in Nigeria that was funded by Shell.  Environmental groups have said it is a highly compromised report, given the issues that have surrounded Shell in Nigeria.  What standards does the UN have in terms of funding from corporations to fund something like a human development report?

[Belated] Response: UNDP is a development organization dedicated to poverty reduction. In recent years, we have learned that we can best achieve this objective by working in partnership with a broad array of stakeholders including government, communities, civil society and the private sector. This partnership builds on our experience working with extractive companies in China, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and most recently, in Angola.

Among the various development actors in Nigeria, our broad comparative advantages lies in our human development values and neutrality, both of which have translated into trusted relationships with governments, civil society, communities and increasingly, the private sector. Publication of National Human Development Reports as well as participation in national and state strategic planning processes to promote dialogue around human development priorities has reinforced our coordination and advocacy roles. We have also teamed up with donors to gain valuable experience in support of conflict prevention.

The partnership with Shell will allow us to greatly expand our activities in the Delta. Our focus will be on developing a human development agenda in consultation with all the stakeholders in the broad areas of governance, biodiversity, HIV/AIDs and sustainable livelihoods. We see these objectives as unrelated to Shellís operations and we take no position on their activities. Our role in this partnership, as in any other, is the development, management and implementation of projects together with local governments, civil society and Delta communities, the transparent management of funds, and monitoring and evaluation against our objectives.

Leveraging Shellís willingness to finance a partnership aligned with UNDPís mission and core values gives UNDP the very real opportunity to make a tangible improvement in the conditions in the Delta. It will allow us to build a program that involves not just Shell, but all the important stakeholders Ė communities, civil society, government and the private sector. UNDPís broad-based stakeholder approach both to defining priorities and to implementing the projects will help improve the development impact of the millions of dollars currently flowing into the Delta...

            UNDP's corporate partnerships, apparently overseen by no outside source, include deals with Coca-Cola, which is accused of rogue-like water usage in at least two continents. Human rights, anyone? There's something in the water...

Feedback: editorial [at] innercitypress.com

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

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 8 -- The UN's top ranks are clearing out, before any policy on post-employment restrictions are in place. This week Deutsche Bank announced it has hired outgoing UN Under Secretary of Management Chris Burnham.

   Wednesday Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman whether any post-employment restrictions apply to Mr. Burnham and now Deutsche Bank, and to address the issues raised by a senior UN official going to the main private banker of the leader of Turkmenistan, portrayed as a human rights abuser in a recent UN report. This report describes the "gross and systematic violations of human rights continu[ing] in the country." A/61/489. 

            Policies are being "elaborated on," the spokesman vaguely said. He was asked, will they not apply to those leaving? Will they apply to Mr. Annan?

            "The Secretary-General is not a staff member," the spokesman said. "There is currently no policy on post-employment restrictions at the UN. One is being elaborated."

            Inner City Press has obtained a copy of the draft post-employment policy. It proposes that "a former staff member of the [UN], at the Assistant Secretary-General level or above is prohibited from making, with the  intent to influence, a communication to or appearance before any staff member [for] two years."

            Strikingly, the only "sanction for violation" of  this proposed policy would be to "have a note placed in the individual's official status file indicating the nature of the violation and the recommendation against any future employment by the Organization."

            And this was the "gold standard" of post-employment restrictions? And as to Mr. Burnham new master, Deutsche Bank - Turkmenbashi, what about the "mainstreaming of human rights" which Kofi Annan has called for?

A UN HQ hallway, revolving door not shown

            And what of the transparency that Messrs. Annan and Burnham have called for? There is at the UN apparently a taboo on any questions related to religion, in service of hard ball. The day after Josette Sheeran Shiner's rubber stamp confirmation by the executive board of the World Food Program, Swiss newspapers report that U.S. President George W. Bush called and pressured Jacques Diouf, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization, threatening to cut U.S. funding unless Ms. Sheeran Shiner got the job.  Click here for English, here for original French.

            Wednesday Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman about this call, whether Jacques Diouf let Mr. Annan know of the U.S. interest to the highest levels. "Ask the White House or FAO," the spokesman advised, adding that Mr. Annan "has not had a conversation with the White House in the last two to three weeks." Transcript here. The Nov. 8 Washington Post reports that U.S. officials, presumably UN-based, asked it not to mention Ms. Sheeran Shiner's 20-year affiliation with Sun Myung Moon. Still the White House and FAO can and will be asked.

            Inner City Press also Wednesday asked the spokesman:

Inner City Press question: The Government of Serbia has called for Martti Ahtisaari to resign saying that he was engaged in secret negotiations with Albania about the future of Kosovo.  So, one, if the UN has responded in any way to that, and two, what is the status of his plan.  First one, and then the other.

Spokesman:  Mr. Ahtisaari is in charge of the process, he works for the Secretary-General.  Itís up to him, to the Secretary-General, to decide on his fate.  But itís clear that the Secretary-General expects Mr. Ahtisaari to continue to lead this process until its conclusion.  We had said, and the Secretary-General said recently, that he did not exclude the possibility that these talks would not slip beyond the end of this year, but the discussions are continuing.

            Okay, then. Also continuing is the inquiry into the resolution by Belarus and Uzbekistan calling for more "respectful" dialogue on human rights. From Tuesday's noon briefing's transcript:

Spokeswoman:  I can check on the status of that, because I know that they have been talking.  Iím not sure if itís been introduced, but I know itís on the agenda.

Inner City Press question:  One part of the resolution says that the country-specific resolution should only be used in case of massive violations related to genocide and ethnic cleansing, and I think that the current GA practice is that there are human rights resolutions on these issues that fall short of that standard.  I think the current GA practically there are resolutions issues short of that.  I donít know if the President herself has any view on this -- not necessarily this resolution but on country-specific resolutions that are brought up?

Spokeswoman:  I will check on that.

            Meanwhile, a senior UN official in a place to know has confirmed to Inner City Press that the Department of Peacekeeping Operations is negotiating with "some of the richest nations on Earth" to make sure the UN doesn't get overcharged for the naval component of UNIFIL off Lebanon. Inner City Press has learned that some are demanding depreciation and other costs for their ships, which they earlier claimed they were contributing. Chief among the chiselers is Germany...

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

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 7 -- As a proxy war in Somalia gathers force, UN envoy Francois Lonseny Fall on Tuesday declined the name the six countries documented as violating the UN arms embargo.  A UN report last May named Ethiopia, Eritrea, Italy, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and referred to a "clandestine third-country," widely thought to be the United States.

            At UN Headquarters, Inner City Press on Tuesday asked Mr. Fall if he could now identify this "clandestine" party. Video on UNTV, from Minute 34:21.

            "You and I, we are on the same level," Mr. Fall responded, adding that the UN Monitoring Group for the Somalia sanctions is independent from his office. Video on UNTV, Minute 34:55. Asked by Inner City Press about reported fighting in the Puntland region, and about the terrorism alert issued by the U.S. for East Africa, Mr. Fall largely punted.

            "Regarding the threat against American interests in the region... it is from American sources, I cannot give more comment on it," he said. He said there is no fighting in Puntland, despite reports to the contrary (click here for some).

            After the briefing, Inner City Press as told that when Mr. Fall first spoke publicly of his work, he was too forthcoming, and that he was asked by the UN to be less forthcoming. Mission accomplished. Still, his good humor covers a multitude of (briefing) sins. Whether this process is helpful to Somalis is another question.

    Back on August 16, in response to one of five questions from Inner City Press, Francois Lonseny Fall said that during the morningís Security Council consultations, the issue of Ethiopian troops in Somalia "didn't come up." He added that no member of the Security Council asked about the issue. Video is at http://webcast.un.org/ramgen/pressbriefing/brief060816.rm

            Tuesday, Inner City Press interviewed Chinese Ambassador Wang, asking for China's thinking on the possibility of an IGAD force now going into Somalia.

            "The Africans have different opinions" on that, said Ambassador Wang. "We are watching the Africans to see what they feel is best." That is the line, on the record.

            Going off the record, an- /the other major power let it be known that they support a limited lifting of the Somalia arms embargo, for IGAD and to strengthen the seeming-doomed Transitional Federal Government.

            Mr. Fall had briefed the Security Council, and afterwards Inner City Press asked this month's Security Council president, Peruvian Ambassador Jorge Voto-Bernales, what the timeline for any Council action would be. Video on UNTV

Somalia per UN

   Amb. Voto-Bernales said cautiously that there are "options under consideration" to address Somalia's "fragile situation," and that the Council "stresses dialogue between the parties."

            The same could be said of Uganda -- and was, hours later, after the Council's consultation on the Lord's Resistance Army. In this case the UN's briefer, Ibrahim Gambari, declined to speak to the press. While at the noon briefing, spokesman Stephane Dujarric had said that Mr. Gambari "would be happy to speak with you at the stakeout," when the time came, Mr. Gambari cut to the elevator and went on up. There were references to Myanmar. But the effect was to continue the UN's silence as LRA leaders indicted by the International Criminal Court travel freely, and now ask to meet with outgoing head of UN Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland.

            (Insider's note: while Mr. Egeland has said he is outgoing from his New York-based OCHA position, it is being circulated that the UN will set up a new agency, based in Scandinavia, which Norway will largely fund and which Mr. Egeland will head. Watch this site.)

            After the Uganda briefing, not a single official or Ambassador came to the stakeout. Inner City Press followed Amb. Voto-Bernales down the hall and asked whether a presidential statement may be released. "Yes," Amb. Voto-Bernales responded. Any guidance for Mr. Egeland? "It was discussed."

            A more forthcoming Security Council diplomat, who requested not to be identified by name or mission -- nor, perhaps, by motive -- disclosed that during the Council's Uganda meeting, the issues discussed included the reports that Khartoum is behind the so-called LRA Sudan and the recently killing of 41 civilians there, and the Ugandan People's Defense Forces' aerial assaults in Karamoja. These are UPDF attacks in the name of disarmament, part of a program funded by the UN Development Program, suspended earlier this year and purportedly (but opaquely) not to be refunded. We'll see.

            Finally, for this pre-Washington report, a summary of the upcoming Coherence report has been circulated, highlighting the differences between the present and the proposal. Many of the proposal involve giving more power to the aforementioned UNDP, including "UNDP head becomes UN Development Coordinator" and "UNDP to lead and coordinate early recovery." Would it be a good idea to give more powers to UNDP as it is currently constituted and makes, or does make, itself available and transparent? More on this in coming weeks -- some, in fact, at or just after 8 a.m. on November 9, watch this site.

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

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 7 -- In the hours after Josette Sheeran Shiner was "confirmed" as the new head of the UN World Food Program, questions continued to arise.

   At the UN spokesman's noon briefing, reporters asked about Ms. Sheeran Shiner's now-UN resume, which omits previous claims of status as  Pulitzer Prize finalist and as promoter of the interests of U.S. agribusiness, and about the involvement of the U.S. and of Ban Ki-Moon (and another Moon, see below) in choosing Ms. Sheeran Shiner.

            At a 10 a.m. stakeout interview, Inner City Press asked U.S. Amb. Bolton: "On WFP, did the U.S. reach out to the incoming secretary- general, Ban Ki-Moon, in order to get his position on it? Video on UNTV, from Minute 2:48.

            Ambassador Bolton replied, as transcribed by the U.S. Mission, "My understanding is that the secretary-general consulted Ban Ki-Moon's office, and we certainly supported that and supported the decision to go ahead with Josette Sheeran's announcement. As I've said to you before, this is almost exactly what happened in late 1991, when Javier Perez de Cuellar and the then- director general of the FAO [Edward Saouma] when they appointed Cathy Bertini to be the executive director of the World Food Program."

            At the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman Stephane Dujarric when Mr. Annan had communicated with Ban Ki-Moon, and if the decision on Ms. Sheeran Shiner had already been made before they spoke.

            Mr. Dujarric replied that that the two had spoken "in the past few days," after Mr. Annan had interviewed Ms. Sheeran Shiner, and characterized the process as "consultative" and "rigorous."

            Inner City Press asked if Ms. Sheeran Shiner had been asked, by Mr. Annan or the other outgoing UN official who interviewed her, including Mark Malloch Brown and Jan Egeland, about her 20-year affiliation with Sun Myung Moon and for her position on his stated views, including that the UN should be destroyed, or merged with the U.S..

            As reported by Associated Press, Mr. Dujarric replied that "People's religious affiliation is their own. People are not judged on their religious affiliation."

            Mr. Dujarric also said, "People's religious affiliation is not a matter of concern." Video on UNTV, Minute 22:26 to 23:17.

S-G and Diouf

            Sun Myung Moon's speeches, proudly online, deal not infrequently with the United Nations, including for example his statement that

"After sending out our missionaries to 120 nations, we can influence those nations, and by having the youth of those nations mobilize, we can form a new United Nations." http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon74/SM741028.htm

  Later, Sun Myung Moon said:

"All five organizations will integrate into a new UN. Until today the United Nations has represented only the political realm... Through the United Nations, we can connect to the whole world and unite the whole world. The world is the extension of the family. Students, centering on True Mother, will form a big plus in relationship to the big minus formed by the IRFWP and FWP. Centering on True Mother, mind and body must be completely united, and on that foundation True Mother goes to unite with True Father; then all children, young and old, will all be completely unified, resulting in the unification of the whole world." http://www.tparents.org/Moon-Talks/sunmyungmoon95/SM950207.htm

Earlier, Time magazine's "Statements of 'Master' Moon" included:

"The present U.N. must be annihilated by our power."  

Josette Sheeran Shiner on State.gov

            Reuters reported that "she joined Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church in 1975 and was married in a mass wedding but left the church in 1997." The Times of London went further:

"Ms Sheeran joined Rev Sun Myung Moonís South Korea-based Unification Church in 1975 and married in a mass wedding before leaving the church about 1997. UN officials said that Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, had been reluctant to appoint Ms Sheeran, Washingtonís official candidate, fearing that she lacked logistical experience."

            And The Guardian phrased it in the form of a question:

"in Rome, where WFP has its headquarters, some officials privately expressed concern. 'She has never distanced herself from the views of this group which, given its extreme nature, you would think was appropriate,' said one. He referred to Mr Moon's claims that the Holocaust was a result of the death of Jesus. 'It's sufficiently bizarre to warrant an explanation - that, and the duration of her involvement.'"

            According to the UN spokesman, no question was asked, by Kofi Annan, Mark Malloch Brown, Jan Egeland -- nor apparently Ban Ki-Moon. Perhaps the answers to these questions, pre-Rome, are to be found in Washington, DC. Developing...

Other Inner City Press reports are archived on www.InnerCityPress.org

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

Georgia on its Mind, Russia Delays North Korea Nuclear Resolution with Abkhazia Allusions

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

The UN Shrugs on Congolese Warlords, While UNDP Assists Sudanese Justice, and OIOS Is In Hiding

Hungarian Revolutions Past and Present, Kissinger to UN and Ban Ki-Moon Speaks, Of Needs and Refugees

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

U.S. Calls for Annan and Ban Ki-moon to Publicly Disclose Finances, As U.S. Angles for 5-Year WFP Appointment

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

UN's Annan Dodges Danger and Set-Backs in Gabon, Geneva, Tibet, Sudan, Disclosure Form Also for Successor?

At the UN, Ban Ki-Moon's Track Record on Myanmar Criticized by ASEAN Parliamentarians on Human Rights

At the UN, Cagey Council President of the GA on the Bottom of the Sea, of Stolen Chairs, Uzbek Human Rights and Georgia

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

Behind the UN Speeches, A Thai Coup, Somali Assassins and Hit-and-Run Chirac Ignoring Ivory Coast

Annan Pitches UN With No Mention of Reform; EU President Dodges Human Rights and Micro-States

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

Congo Shootout Triggers Kofi Annan Call, While Agent Orange Protest Yields Email from Old London

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

UN Bets the House on Lebanon, While Willfully Blind in Somalia and Pinned Down in Kinshasa

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

Sudan Cites Hezbollah, While UN Dances Around Issues of Consent and Sex Abuse in the Congo, Passing the UNIFIL Hat

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

At the UN, Lebanon Resolution Passes with Loophole, Amb. Gillerman Says It Has All Been Defensive

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 Silence on Congo Election and Uranium, Until It's To Iran or After a Ceasefire, and Council Rift on Kony

At the UN Some Middle Eastern Answers, Updates on Congo and Nepal While Silence on Somalia

On Lebanon, Franco-American Resolution Reviewed at UN in Weekend Security Council Meeting

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

At the UN, Disinterest in Zimbabwe, Secrecy on Chechnya, Congo Polyanna and Ineptitude on Somalia

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

At the UN, Speeches While Gaza Stays Lightless and Insurance Not Yet Paid

At the UN Poorest Nations Discussed, Disgust at DRC Short Shrift, Future UN Justice?

At the UN Wordsmiths Are At Work on Zimbabwe, Kony,  Ivory Coast and Iran

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

At the UN, New Phrase Passes Resolution called Gangster-Like by North Korea; UK Deputy on the Law(less)

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

At UN, North Korean Knot Attacked With Fifty Year Old Precedent, Game Continues Into Weekend

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

Gaza Resolution Vetoed by U.S., While North Korea Faces Veto and Chechnya Unread

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

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

At the UN, A Day of Resolutions on Gaza, North Korea and Iran, Georgia as Side Dish

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

In North Korean War of Words, Abuses in Uganda and Impunity Go Largely Ignored

On North Korea, Blue Words Move to a Saturday Showdown, UNDP Uzbek Stonewall

As the World Turns in Uganda and Korea, the UN Speaks only on Gaza, from Geneva

North Korea in the UN: Large Arms Supplant the Small, and Confusion on Uganda

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 in Denial on Sudan, While Boldly Predicting the Future of Kosovo/a

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?

At the UN, a Commando Unit to Quickly Stop Genocide is Proposed, by Diplomatic Sir Brian Urquhart

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

At the UN, Internal Justice Needs Reform, While in Timor Leste, Has Evidence Gone Missing?

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

In Bolton's Wake, Silence and Speech at the UN, Congo and Kony, Let the Games Begin

Pro-Poor Talk and a Critique of the World Trade Organization from a WTO Founder: In UN Lull, Ugandan Fog and Montenegrin Mufti

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

AIDS Ends at the UN? Side Deals on Patents, Side Notes on Japanese Corporations, Salvadoran and Violence in Burundi

On AIDS at the UN, Who Speaks and Who Remains Unseen

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence (May 31, 2006)

Kinshasa Election Nightmares, from Ituri to Kasai. Au Revoir Allan Rock; the UN's Belly-Dancing

Working with Warlords, Insulated by Latrines: Somalia and Pakistan Addressed at the UN

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

In Liberia, From Nightmare to Challenge; Lack of Generosity to Egeland's CERF, Which China's Asked About

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

At the UN, Dues Threats and Presidents-Elect, Unanswered Greek Mission Questions

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 Congolese Chaos, Shots Fired at U.N. Helicopter Gunship

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

Who Pays for the Global Bird Flu Fight? Not the Corporations, So Far - UN

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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