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

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN, 12th in a series Intro followed by 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th

UNITED NATIONS, December 13 -- As the Annan-to-Ban transition picks up stream, it may be useful to examine the UN Development Program as an example of the UN's actions not living up to its flighty rhetoric, something Ban Ki-moon has said as his time grows closer.

            For the vanity press version of the dream of UNDP under Mark Malloch Brown and now Kemal Dervis, we'll turn to the book on which Mr. Malloch Brown spent $567,000 of UNDP's money, meant to serve the poor. "UNDP: A Better Way?" contains lines like, "it is hard to overstress the commitment to democratic change found at all levels within UNDP." So far this series has consciously tilted toward telling the stories of non-high officials, of employees harassed by heads of departments, of Resident Representatives fired by the head of UNDP's Office of Human Resources, whose own sudden re-assignment on November 29 launched this narrative thread. In today's twelfth installment we'll examine how even at relatively high-level lateral hiring, UNDP misrepresents the situations recruited for, and wastes well-meaning executives' talents.

   UNDP's $567,000 production, "A Better Way?" states, at 320, that

"In mid-2001 Malloch Brown made the case for the centrality of ICT [Information and Communications Technology] to UNDP's work, arguing that democracy could only be sustained with 'strong, accountable institutions, a culture of participation and democratic respect and openness.' He pointed to the Internet's promise 'from being a platform for a new investigative media to increasing direct participation,'" citing an over 500-page work entitled "Mark Malloch Brown at the United Nations Development Programme," at 254.

  Forget for a moment the irony of these statements about openness and accountability (when UNDP lags even other UN agencies in these) and about "new investigative media," most recently called "irresponsible" by Mr. Malloch Brown. Ignore if you can the Gore-like jargon of Internet invention and innovation, and the self-commissioned histories. Rather, beneath the above-quoted hagiography, consider a different telling of the tale, from inside the unit UNDP established to purportedly carry out this grand vision.

            Since UNDP refuses to provide copies of already-completed investigative audits and has told Inner City Press that it "will no longer be responding to unsubstantiated allegations about UNDP's recruitment and personnel practices," Inner City Press has drilled deeper into the Malloch Brown-era practice of Information and Communications Technology for Development practice area -- and has been told, by those who'd know, that the director was a drunk. A replacement was recruited, but then after moving to New York was told to share an office with the drunk man she replaced. He was finally seconded to the International Telegraphic Union, ITU. His replacement was assigned a mentor, Stephen Browne, who decided not to be a mentor but rather to be the boss. Then in this account, UNDP-er and now big man in the Secretariat Carlos Lopes washed his hands of the problem, as did then-head of Human Resources Brian Gleeson, who has since, quite suddenly, been re-assigned from his previous job as head of the Office of Human Resources.

      The so-called ICT practice lurched on, under Raul Zambrano, bumbling into such projects as open source software for Uzbekistan's Karimov regime, which in fact blocks access to most independent journalism sites. Others in the UN System have concluded that Karimov's government is engaged in systemic torture. UNDP provides the software to keep track of it up. And so the BDP unit has become known as Beyond a Disfunctional Place.

Not paid $567,000 - UN book signing by James Traub, see below

            The recruited but by-now-misused person next told the Secretariat's Office of the Spokesman that she'd like to be involved  in UN  reform. He said he'd call Brian Gleeson. Which he did, but Brian Gleeson talked trash, saying she was not one-of-us, not right for the project. As in the case of Eritrean Omar Bakhet (see 11th installment, of December 12, for more), Mr. Gleeson provided far less due process than his allies and protectors, including the current Deputy Secretary General, are demanding for him now.

            The issue of UNDP and due process, for a genocidaire in Rwanda, came up at the Secretary-General's spokesman's noon briefing, both Tuesday and Wednesday. From the transcript:

"And lastly, I think, Matthew, it was you yesterday that asked me about the case of Callixte Mbarushimana, who you may recall is the former UN staffer whose contract had not been renewed in 2001 following allegations relating to activities undertaken during the Rwandan genocide. In July of this year, the UN Administrative Tribunal upheld its original decision in favor of Mr Mbarushimana's demand for compensation, resulting from the non-extension of his contract with UNMIK... the Secretariat has no choice but to pay Mr. Mbarushimana the one-year salary he had requested. The Secretary-General had withheld compensation pending this very unusual appeal and was also pending any possible legal action for alleged crimes against humanity being taken against Mr. Mbarushimana by either the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, or judicial authorities in France, where he currently resides. The Secretary-General has now been forced by our justice system to make this very unfortunate settlement."

American Public Radio has reported that while

"Mbarushimana recounts braving militia barricades to help deliver food, water and money to his colleagues at United Nations Development Program (UNDP) who were trapped by the violence....Survivors and former U.N. colleagues also say Mbarushimana offered army officers and militia leaders technical assistance that made the killing even more efficient: U.N. vehicles, satellite phones and personnel files of some U.N. workers suspected of sympathizing with Tutsis... They also say the U.N.'s failure to promptly pursue allegations against Mbarushimana allowed him to keep working off-and-on for the organization for nearly ten years after the genocide."

  Wednesday the spokesman expressed the Secretariat's heavy heart in paying out this money. Inner City Press asked, "But what could UNDP have done to take action sooner on Callixte Mburushimana, or to make sure this doesn't happen again?"

            "There is nothing much more I can say at this point," the spokesman answered. He has seven briefing to go, he has said. He has asked that UNDP questions not be raised, other than at the time Kemal Dervis has been promised, December 18. Perhaps the new Secretary-General can better answer for the UNDP part of the UN System.

            Inner City Press on Wednesday asked James Traub, author of the recent book about Kofi Annan, "The Best of Intentions," for reaction to UNDP paying $567,000 for a book about itself. "What?" Mr. Traub asked. "They couldn't have paid that. That makes no sense." Even after the costs were put in the light most favorable to UNDP, Mr. Traub said that clearly, "it's not a commercial project," adding that while he was given access, the UN didn't pay him and thus had no control. So is the cost differential between S-G and DSG a full half a million dollars? And if the S-G takes questions on December 19 before he leaves, when will the DSG take questions?

            Earlier on Wednesday Ambassador Ali Hachani of Tunisia, the president of the UN's Economic and Social Council, was asked if ECOSOC plays in any role in reviewing the hiring of personnel of the UN Millennium Project into the UN Development Program, which UNDP staff say is happening in violation of UN and UNDP rules. Video here, from Minute 12:15. A long answer was given, replete to reference to more action and less talk, but it still appears that no one is overseeing this UNDP process. Ban Ki-moon gets pre-sworn in on Thursday morning...

  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. As they used to say on TV game shows, 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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Countering UN's Vanity Press, UNDP Histories from Below, Brussels and Two Views of Omar Bakhet

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN, 11th in a series-  Intro followed by second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth

UNITED NATIONS, December 12 -- How does an international organization like the UN Development Program get and stay off track?

   Follow the money.

   UNDP was founded in 1966 to help improve the lives of the world's poor. Less than forty years later, through a sample country office in Russia, UNDP was generating resources for itself by charging a fee to process a European Commission grant to improve the Moscow planetarium.

   There was fraud in this UNDP-Russia office, as alluded to in the most recent publicly-available audit, A/61/5/Add.1, which refers at page 22 to a further UNDP investigative report which was "released." Inner City Press twelve days ago requested a copy of this purportedly released report and other financial information from UNDP, none of which has been supplied. In fact, UNDP now states that not only will these audits not be provided: also, it will no longer comment on seeming violations of its and the UN's rules on recruitment, hiring, promotion and firing. This is how an agency gets and stays off track.

            This series is in some sense a counter-history. The previous Administrator of UNDP, Mark Malloch Brown, decided to pay $567,000 to commission a book, "UNDP: A Better Way?" which extensively praises himself and his associates and suggests that other UN and aid agencies should emulate UNDP. But a far different story is told by UNDP staff and former staff in the field and, necessarily on an anonymous basis, within UNDP Headquarters in New York. Today's report will compare a few UNDP officials as presented in "A Better Way?" to their actions and fates in the real world.

            Since UNDP refuses to provide copies of already-completed investigative audits and refuses to comment on what its employment rules are, Inner City Press has drilled deeper into the Russian Federation Office mentioned in the public audit. Following up on the European Commission funding, through UNDP, for the Moscow planetarium, Inner City Press called the Commission's office in Moscow. Sources have described the planetarium project as one in which UNDP collected a fee for merely handling the money for a short period of time and holding a "scam tender" to make it look like the contractor was chosen at arms' length. Then-head of Europe and CIS States for UNDP, Kalman Mizsei, made sure the project went through. (More recently, Mr. Mizsei has written that "I am a personal advisor to George Soros").

            When Inner City Press on December 12 called the European Commission office in Moscow, EC staffer Andrey Anisimod, told about UNDP's role in the planetarium project, said "That's not humanitarian."

            A visit to UNDP's web page for Europe and CIS States finds a listing for "Office in Brussels." But clicking through, to undp.be, finds a page blank but for the four letters, UNDP. Ah, transparency.

S-G & EC President in Brussels

            The strategy of UNDP's office in Brussels began under Bruce Jenks, a long-time UNDP official who became and remains a close ally of Mark Malloch Brown.  "A Better Way" states that "at the beginning of my research... Bruce Jenks [was] particularly helpful in suggesting ways to approach UNDP's story."

            Inner City Press has been hearing UNDP's story in a different way, from below. In this subterranean history of UNDP, Jenks created an office barely subject to audit and oversight, then left it in the hands of Eric de Mul and then Jean Pierre Peeters. An Eritrean staffer, Omar Bakhet, was put in charge, after previously serving the UN in Rwanda and elsewhere. In February 2005, as the UN Oil for Food scandal raged at UN Headquarters, Mr. Bakhet wrote a complaint letter to Messrs. Annan and Malloch Brown. The response was an investigation of Mr. Bakhet while he was on leave. Head of UNDP Human Resource Brian Gleeson traveled to Brussels to in essence fire Mr. Bakhet, with none of the gentility that is now demanded, if Malloch Brown's "you're a jerk" comment to this reporter is correctly understood, for Mr. Gleeson.

            Following Mr. Malloch Brown's refusal to comment on Mr. Gleeson's sudden November 29 job change or to explain the basis of his "you're a jerk" outburst, Inner City Press asked UNDP's Communications Office to describe the role of Mr. Gleeson and others in the firing of Omar Bakhet. While ignoring the specific request for a description of Mr. Gleeson's role, the following was provided:

Subject: RE: Two questions, UNDP

From: cassandra.waldon [at] undp.org

To: Inner City Press

Sent: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 5:20 PM

Matthew, On UNDPís Liaison Office in Brussels: In the spring of 2005 a number of staff complaints were received about the management style and practices of Omar Bakhet, then director of UNDPís Liaison Office in Brussels. As a result, and following a formal investigation, Mr. Bakhet resigned and left UNDP.

            But Inner City Press is informed that Mr. Bakhet received a laudatory performance review, not long before he wrote his complaint letter. What was the reason for the Bakhet firing? UNDP refuses to answer, nor provides copies of its reports on acknowledged corruption.

            "A Better Way" says at page 288 of UNDP's Rwanda office that "Omar Bakhet, who served immediately before [Stephen] Browne (and who moved on to become directly of UNDP's Emergency Response Division)... set in place a relatively coherent program aimed at restoring essential government functions, rebuilding the judicial system, re-establishing essential institutions (such as schools, hospitals, and banks) and building some fundamentally new institutions such as an engineering college and a management school."

            This Omar Bakhet sounds responsible. In fact, Inner City Press' sources in UNDP, scared of retaliation, have written that "Mr. Bakhet was forced by Brian Gleeson under the instructions of MMB to retire or was threatened that MMB will summarily dismiss him and will lose all his entitlement. Two months earlier Jenks rated him in his annual performance sheet as exceeding expectation. It is also worthwhile mentioning, two months before the alleged incident, Mr. Bakhet wrote a letter to the SG requesting an investigation."

            Yes, that is worth mentioning. But you will not find it, or anything like it, in the UNDP-funded book "UNDP: A Better Way." Nevertheless, UNDP has demanded that a headline, "UNDP Spent $567,000 on a Book to Praise Itself," be modified since it is UNDP's position that despite the payments, the book is a work of independent scholarship. But as just another example, the description of Omar Bakhet, in this book, copyright 2006 by UNDP, omits key information including his axing, in 2005, by two (and perhaps three) figures who are highly praised in the book.

            At the noon briefing on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Secretary-General graciously made nice with Inner City Press, contrary to UNDP's anti-press positions. As quoted in the UN's transcript, the spokesman told Inner City Press, "because I had singled you out, I wanted you to know that, despite a few heated words last week, that we do appreciate the work you do as a journalist, and since you've come here, youíve made it your business to pursue topics that might otherwise be ignored." Like UNDP. Also at the briefing on Tuesday questions were raised, and not only by Inner City Press, about whether the Secretariat's spokesman can answer for UNDP, and why UNDP doesn't send a spokesman to the briefings at least once a week. This was answered by referring to a briefing sometime later in December, but some high level UNDP officials. Since it was already announced, Kermal Dervis on December 18, this new vituperation may indicate further backsliding. We'll see.

The UN Development Program Is Important For The Poor, It Therefore Must Be Made Transparent

Tenth Installment in Inner City Press' Ongoing UNDP Series, Reported by Matthew Russell Lee: Intro followed by second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth

UNITED NATIONS, December 10 -- The UN Development Program, a $5 billion agency whose Administrator Kemal Dervis has not held a press conference in UN Headquarters for over 14 months, on December 8 issued a press release attacking Inner City Press by name. The same day, UNDP informed Inner City Press that it would no longer respond to any requests for comments about seeming violations of UN recruitment, hiring and promotion rules, and that it does not disclose to the press or to the public its internal audits.

            Given that it appears, at least for the short term, that UNDP will not be providing even this basic information, despite its status as an international agency funded by the publics of member states, Inner City Press has decided to recapitulate the reasons that it began this series about UNDP on November 29, and why it will continue. This brief overview inevitably may mention UNDP's press release. But since UNDP did not contact Inner City Press for comment before distributing its press release, and only provided the subject of its statement with a copy six hours after it was released.

UNDP's Kemal Dervis, at left - holding secret audits?

            UNDP has an important role, including enabling development to benefit poor people. It is therefore important that UNDP be transparent, both in its finances and its hiring and promotion practices. UNDP often preaches to the governments of developing countries that they must become more transparent. For example, only last week Neil Buhne, UNPD's representative in Bulgaria and previously Belarus, preached in Sofia on the topic of transparent administrative services, saying that a lack of transparency can intensity existing inequalities. But this preaching must be applied all the more to UNDP itself.  It is particularly inappropriate for UNDP to now say that it will not release its audits of its spending, nor comment on seeming violations of its own stated rules against cronyism  and sham competition in hiring and promotion.

            There are many, many serious and well-meaning people within UNDP. Some of them clearly see a need for improvements in how UNDP is run, and feel the threat of retaliation if they make their views known in a way in which their supervisors and other high UNDP officials could identify them. For this reason, Inner City Press has been willing where necessary to use anonymous sources in the course of this series. Inner City Press follows accepted rules of journalism, explaining the reasons for which a source has requested anonymity. As one employee said, "You will not get any on the record sources on this story. But everyone in this workplace knows this is true."

            This last quote was concerned widely-alleged sexual harassment by an individual whom UNDP selected to head up its entire Europe and CIS States operation. It is time, then, to explain why Inner City Press in this series has at time mentioned sexual harassment. While this has provided a pretext for UNDP's Communications Office, and also former UNDP Administrator, to try to portray the entire series as salacious and as a violation of privacy, this aspect of harassment is integral to the story. First, the incidents took place in the workplace. But also, the fact that the incidents were allow to go on for so long, due to connections to high officials of the UN and rich UN supporters, shows inappropriate favoritism and lawlessness within this organization which so impacts the world's poor.

            A UN source generally respected by Inner City Press has explained that the UN is "like a village," leading to upset at overly-personal investigative reporting. This village analogy seems apt, not only among the press corps and members of Security Council members' missions, but among the UN staff as a whole, for example in the Headquarters cafeteria, or during this past summer's World Cup. There is another aspect, though: some of the UN, particularly UNDP, is like a *feudal* village, in which a small group and some courtiers who feel they are protected are left outside of otherwise-applicable rules, and bristle if this is ever reported.

            To do such reporting, one must be in the village, but not entirely of it. UNDP has asked Inner City Press, "Who is telling you these things?"  But Inner City Press will not sell out its sources. UNDP has demanded to speak with editors or, it would seem, corporate owners amenable to pressure. It is a dynamic well sketched by one of the paragon American journalists, I.F. Stone, and it is not a demand to which Inner City Press will acquiesce.

            UNDP, even after declaring that is will not respond to questions about seeming violations of applicable rules on hiring and promotion, has sent Inner City Press a ludicrous list of supposedly required corrections. These include demands that a headline, "UNDP Spent $567,000 on a Book to Praise Itself," be modified since it is UNDP's position that despite the payments, the book is a work of independent scholarship. Perhaps UNDP deserves this repetition of the argument. But reasonable minds can and do disagree with UNDP.

            We have waited to the near-end of this column to sketch the history and motives of Inner City Press. First, Inner City Press has long reported on and been immersed in community development efforts. Among other things, Inner City Press has investigated and reported on redlining by banks: their failure to lend fairly to low income people. In connection with this reporting, Inner City Press vindicated the rights to information of the wider press corps, for example in a Freedom of Information Act win in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, reported in the New York Times earlier this year. Click here for a more detailed write-up by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

            Inner City Press' investigative series on Citigroup, which like this series included reporting on the nitty-gritty of employment practices, resulted in Citigroup being held accountable to its overseer, the Federal Reserve Board, which imposed a fine of $75 million and required detailed reforms. But where are the overseers of UNDP?

            In its UN reporting, Inner City Press most often focuses on human rights. In fact, Inner City Press' first stories on UNDP involved the agency's funding of disarmament programs in Uganda, where civilians have ended up killed in the name of disarmament, as now confirmed by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights. UNDP's Communications Office repeatedly misstated and tried to downplay UNDP's enabling of the Ugandan People's Defense Forces' disarmament programs, and despite having quietly announced a suspension of funding in June, has most recently reverted to entire denial. The issue will continue to be pursued so that it is not repeated.

            To avoid any misunderstanding, which some have tried to cause, that Inner City Press is part of the so-called vast right wing conspiracy, we simply state that Inner City Press has most often be placed in the public record on the left wing side of the equation. That does not mean that lack of transparency and lack of accountability in programs to benefit to the poor should be excused -- in fact, quite the contrary, in fact. That is the motive and justification for this ongoing series.

            Some have asked, why UNDP and not (yet) other UN agencies. Only a few months ago, Inner City Press inquired closely into the process for selecting Josette Sheeran Shiner as the new head of the World Food Program. But the range of issues at UNDP, from a lack of oversight on disarmament programs it funded in Uganda, to allowing its head of European and CIS states to run wild (to choose only two examples), may indicate that UNDP's amorphous mandate combined with a lack of transparency and of independent press coverage have resulted a fiefdom whose only response to questions is to attack the questioner. How UNDP's December 8 press release comports with the UN System's exhortations for journalistic freedom, or with UNDP's own purported attempts to encourage governments in the developing world to allow for media independence, remains to be seen.

            Since we cannot resist further reporting, we feel that the following UNDP staff email, the identity of whose sender we will protect due to fear of retaliation, may show why we use anonymous sources and why UNDP's arbitrary employment practices are a legitimate journalistic subject. This extended quote precisely illustrated the reality of UNDP conduct in connection with the Millennium Development Goals project.

Dear Matthew, thanks for your recent coverage of UNDP HR policies. I would like to reconfirm your information regarding the integration of the Millennium Project (MP) in UNDP Bureau for Development Policy Poverty Group, directed by Nora Lustig.

The evidence gathered in the adopted project document regarding Dr. Sachs' remuneration shows that over 200,000 US Dollars are supposed to cover his services. I believe you already have this document in your possession.

The problems associated with the Millennium Project's integration go far beyond Dr. Sachs' charity fees. Ms. Chandrika Bahadur and M. Guido Schmidt-Traub, who have been working for the MP over the last years have benefited from the different breaches of procedures during the merger. Their "new" positions with UNDP have only been advertised for a week on a limited basis. There has not been a formal panel interview process but a mere "desk review" of the different candidates. Following that fast-track process, MM. Melkert and Gleeson recommended the appointment of Ms. Bahadur and M. Schmidt-Traub as policy advisors and, for the latter, head of the MDG support team. While both candidates show limited professional and managerial experience, they have furthermore benefited from promotions that are not linked with their background. Ms. Bahadur has been hired as P4 though she does not have the minimum professional required for that level (7 years). M Schmidt Traub has been appointed as P5 and head of MDG support team though he has very limited managerial experience (this position involves managing a team of 25 professional staff) no background in economics or development (M. Schmidt Traub has a degree in Chemistry).... At the junior level, some Research Associate staff do not even have master's degrees, which is mandatory to be considered even for an internship.

Following growing tensions among UNDP staff, M. Melkert, UNDP Associate Administrator, met the extended Poverty group team on December 1. He took full responsibility for the decisions made regarding the merger between the MP and the Poverty Group, including HR management decisions. The Associate Administrator considers that it is the role of UNDP's top management to make strategic decisions, including breaking UNDP HR policies in the name of necessity and higher interests. This approach is not acceptable within an international organization accountable to member countries and publicly funded.

Hopefully member states will take the opportunity of UNDP Executive Board meeting to ask UNDP Senior management for clarification on these matters."

            We share that final hope, and trust that this series will play some small role in cleaning up UNDP, for the benefit of the poor. And so this series will continue.

Here is / was UNDP's position on the above-described:

From: cassandra.waldon [at] undp.org
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 6:27 PM
Subject: RE: Additional Qs re UNDP, response to your Q re deadlines, thank you in advance

Dear Matthew,

For the record, Jeffrey Sachs will continue to be involved with the UN’s effort on the Millennium Development Goals. As of 1 January, he will serve as Special Adviser to UNDP on the Millennium Development Goals. His salary will continue to be $75,000 per year.... we have decided to merge the work of the Millennium Project into UNDP. To this end, UNDP has set up a new sub-unit in our poverty group, which will consist of some 20 positions.

To complete the integration by the end of the year, UNDP management is using an expedited competitive recruiting process for five lead positions. These five positions have been advertised and are in the process of being filled.

Five other positions do not require a competitive process under UNDP recruitment procedures and will be filled with people currently working for the Millennium Project.

All other positions will be recruited according to standard UNDP recruitment procedures, and this process is on-going.

and then

In a message dated 12/8/2006 7:14:39 PM Eastern Standard Time, cassandra.waldon@undp.org writes:

Dear Matthew,
 
UNDP is working to address the numerous questions you have asked us. As many of your concerns touch upon similar kinds of issues we thought it might be helpful if we were to state, for the record:
 
--That we will no longer be responding to unsubstantiated allegations about UNDPís recruitment and personnel practices.  We urge you to desist from publishing such allegations...

--That we do not release the reports of our internal audits and investigations. The results of these reports are communicated on an annual basis to the UNDP Executive Board in the form of an annual Administratorís report on Internal Audit and Oversight...

  In this, UNDP lags behind even the rest of the UN System. Compare to Secretariat's Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), under General Assembly Resolution 59/272 of December 23, 2004:

-- OIOS provides a summary of all of its reports to all member states as well as the general public in its annual reports; whereas UNDP only provides a summary of its reports to the limited membership of its executive board (with not even summaries provided to the general public).

-- OIOS makes some reports available as public documents; UNDP makes no reports available to the general public.

-- OIOS makes all non-public reports available to all member states at their request; UNDP makes only summaries (and not the full text of reports) available to only 36 out of 192 member states.

  This is not to say that the UN Secretariat is transparent enough -- rather, that UNDP is even less transparency, despite its $5 billion a year budget. Developing.

 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. As they used to say on TV game shows, 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, including but not limited to withheld internal audits, flowing.

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

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 www.InnerCityPress.com --

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