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Fraud in UNDP-Russia Includes Malloch Brown's French Water Scheme and Kalman Mizsei's Excess

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

UNITED NATIONS, December 26 -- The fraud in the Russian Federation office of the UN Development Program, blamed on local employees and a mid-level Bulgarian supervisor, may also trace to the very top of UNDP, an ongoing inquiry has found.

   The most recent public audit of UNDP, A/61/5/Add.1, cites but does not fully disclose the fraud at the Russia office. Irregularities in UNDP's Russia operations date back at least to 2000, to a controversial water purification project championed by then-incoming UNDP Administrator Mark Malloch Brown. Subsequently the regional director whom Malloch Brown chose, Kalman Mizsei, used the Russia office as a slush fund for personal expenses, while bragging about flying on George Soros' personal plane.

   Those disciplined by UNDP, including Stefan Vassilev, now with the Bulgarian military, and Tatiana Gorlatch, required to cover-up for Mr. Mizsei's excesses, may have taken some blame more appropriately apportioned to those above them in the UNDP hierarchy. This is the story of an agency out of control, rarely scrutinized by the press, jealous and abusing of its ever-growing power.

            Mark Malloch Brown took over at UNDP in 1999. One of his first moves was to fire three regional directors, including Africa's Thelma Awori and Europe and CIS States' Anton Kruiderink. The latter's replacement, appointed by Mark Malloch Brown, was Kalman Mizsei, who was then with insurance conglomerate AIG and who identifies himself as a close associate of George Soros (a status shared with Mr. Malloch Brown).

            Malloch Brown claimed he would bring financial sophistication to what he portrayed as a sleeping UNDP. As quoted in a book he paid over $500,000 to have published, Malloch Brown decided that too few UNDP country offices had "sustainable business models," something he sought to change with so-called "cost-sharing projects" of the type into which UNDP's Latin America Bureau first veered ("UNDP: A Better Way?", pages 299, 295.)

            A major initial project was in Russia, where UNDP arranged to be a middleman for a water purification project in St. Petersburg. In fact, the project was financed by and to be carried out by a private company, the French firm SNF Floerger.  After misidentifying the beneficiary as Sanofi SA, Malloch Brown told Reuters that UNDP saw its new "role in piloting the project through local red tape." Click here for that Reuters June 18, 2000, article.

            Virtually all of the $90 million cost was equipment. UNDP sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation, state that UNDP's role was to help the company evade or avoid paying taxed on importing the equipment. Running UNDP's Russia office at the time was one Philippe Elghouayel. In a UNDP newsletter replete with photos of himself, Malloch Brown called the arrangement "an example of UNDPís increasing efforts to foster public-private partnerships." Click here for a copy of that UNDP newsletter.

            In this scheme, UNDP would charge money to cut through "local red tape." UNDP sources indicate that concern and amazement at this Russian financial scheme and "cost sharing agreement" was widespread within the agency. UNDP would collect a hefty fee for playing the middle-man in a project regarding which is had little technical expertise, in which is role was little more than vehicle for tax evasion. One close observer of the project asked, "This is UNDP's definition of development?" But this is what UNDP has become, at least in some places and parts.

Malloch Brown

            In fairness, others in UNDP argue that the water purification proposal was far from the most outlandish project of the Russia office. They argue that clean water was needed, and that while UNDP's role was that of a middleman, along with Credit Lyonnais Bank, the goal was more to limit the ten to fifteen percent usually required in bribes than to evade taxes. A variety of even less meritorious project have been pointed out, on which we hope to run future reports, not only the Moscow planetarium but also schemes with Russian prisons, social services, oil and environmental matters -- more on UNDP and the environment, and on UNDP's Russia and CIS operations, in the near future.

            For barely two years, Frederick Lyons ran the Russian office, until as previously reported a Bulgarian, Stephan Vassilev, was sent to force him out. (Mr. Lyons went on to UNDP in Iran and then Afghanistan.)  There are conflicting accounts of Mr. Vassilev, ranging from as the re-establisher of corrupt tied who forced Lyons to grant approval to a dubious project to renovate the Moscow planetarium to, on the other end of the spectrum, relatively upright militarist who might have let corruption continue, but would not have started it. Even if his motives may have been less than pure, Mr. Vassilev was deployed and used by a Malloch Brown-selected regional supervisor, Kalman Mizsei.

            Mizsei was, until three months ago, the head of Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States for UNDP. Mark Malloch Brown brought Mizsei, which whom he shares connections to George Soros, into UNDP from the American Insurance Group in late 2000. As described by multiple sources inside and outside of UNDP, Mr. Mizsei was at best a womanizer and more widely described as a serial sexual harasser. Mizsei imported a personal assistant, whom he quickly promoted through the system until she reached her peak in the UNDP office in Ukraine. This individual would, sources say, show up at high level staff meetings and berate Mizsei "like a lover would," a person attending the meeting says.  Other female staffers he "hit on" by suggesting they water the flowers at his residence, or bring him UNDP papers, personally, on the weekend.

            Kalman Mizsei also abused UNDP and its finances. For example he took a lengthy "study tour" of Russia, all paid by UNDP. There was no academic sponsor for the trip, which consisted of visiting museum with personal guide and translator, paid by UNDP. Mark Malloch Brown was responsible for signing off on these expenses. The number and length of Kalman Mizsei's UNDP-paid visits to Ukraine raised eyebrows in the agency, although often pretexts were found. Click here for UNDP photos of Mizsei's April 2006 sojourn in Ukraine to, among other things, kick off the UN Global Compact with corporations there. Click here for another Mizsei trip to Ukraine, this time for a "mini-Davos" conference. Click here for UNDP in-house news of Mizsei and Ben Slay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here for news of Mizsei partnering the UN with Coca-Cola. There are other legends about Kalman Mizsei charging UNDP for unneeded helicopter rides over the Balkans, and throwing a cell phone at staffers while screaming, "I demand a woman!"

            In the course of his many travels, Kalman Mizsei instructed staff how he needed to be treated: a hotel no more than a twenty minute walk from the work place, flowers when he arrived, and, perhaps incongruously, that no required drinking take place in formal or informal functions (sometimes difficult given the region that he covered).

            Sources tell Inner City Press that Kalman Mizsei required that these unjustifiable expenses come out of project budgets in the Russia office. At first it was easy, to find long-finished projects with still open budgets. But later, to meet the costs, full-fledged fraud became required. The replacement as head of the office of Frederick Lyons by Stephan Vassilev was, sources say, orchestrated by Kalman Mizsei, either for Mr. Vassilev to perform a cover-up or to become the scapegoat.

GA President and UNDP's Dervis --  she says transparency, he says not so fast

            Inner City Press asked UNDP's Communications Office about the Russia office, and also about Kalman Mizsei. Each response increasingly seems like a whitewash:

In a message dated 11/30/2006 11:29:56 AM Eastern Standard Time, cassandra.waldon [at] undp.org writes:

Matthew, Below are the responses to your questions:

Question: Was Kalman Mizsei fired or otherwise relieved or removed from his position with UNDP?  If so, on what grounds?

Response: No. As stated previously, at UNDP -- like at other organizations -- with time colleagues retire, move on or are reassigned. After serving six distinguished years at UNDP, Mr. Miszei is now Professor at Central European University's Department of Public Policy in Budapest.

             Kalman Mizsei left UNDP in the Fall of 2006. Despite Mark Malloch Brown's refusal to comment, sources tell Inner City Press that Mizsei's antics became so legend, and the fall-out so undeniable, that even Malloch Brown chastised Mizsei. Kalman Mizsei was given a choice: to leave UNDP voluntarily, or to stay but face charges. Mizsei chose the former, and from Hungary has sent emails bragging that he is now a personal advisor to George Soros.

            Despite the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General's refusal to comment on Inner City Press' questions about Kalman Mizsei, most recently at the noon briefings of December 1 and December 6, it is noted that Mr. Mizsei was given that very rostrum, as a UN Assistant Secretary General, on April 30, 2004, click here for the Real video, from Minute 13, for six minutes of eyeglasses playing and ironic reference to human trafficking of sex workers and no follow-up questions, click here for the transcript. On the issue of UN rank, UNDP sources say that Kalman Mizsei repeatedly and inaccurately declared that he was an Under-Secretary General. In any event, he represented the UN, and the UN should answer for him; UNDP refuses to.

            UNDP's Communications Office has said it will not comment on recruitment, hiring or promotions issues, and will not released audits like that of the Russian Federation office. (Nor will it release a full copy of that audit even to the nations on the UNDP Executive Board.) Mark Malloch Brown, when Inner City Press previously requested comment from him, responded with the word "jerk," click here for that story, in the spirit of full disclosure. Last week, Inner City Press was told it would not be possible to get a comment on reports that Mr. Malloch Brown was responsible for weakening the post-employment policy finalized on December 22, his last day in the office. Therefore this story runs as such, citing, for UNDP, its most recent public audit and long-delayed narrative response.

            The most recent public audit of UNDP, A/61/5/Add.1, states

"Potential fraud had been detected at the Russian Federation office and reported to it for further investigation. The Office of Audit and Performance Review performed an investigation and released its report on 6 December, 2005. This report concluded that one payment amounting to $190,000 was fraudulent.  Additional payments that could be fraudulent were under further investigation."

            An article entitled "$1.2 million fraud revealed at the U.N. Office in Moscow," in Kommersant, No 163, page 9, quoted UNDP's then-spokesman William Orme that "this appears to be a sophisticated operation that has been difficult to detect. Unfortunately, we detected it only this year." The irregularities of the water purification / tax avoidance scheme dated back much further, however, as did Kalman Mizsei's use of the office. Given the reference to an OAPR report being "released" on Dec. 6, 2005, Inner City Press asked UNDP for this report. UNDP has refused to provide it, but after some delay provided a narrative, which Inner City Press published in full, stating in pertinent part:

"When the extent of the fraud became evident, Mr. Vassilev was summoned to headquarters.  He was removed from his post in August 2005 and subjected to  disciplinary proceedings stemming from shortcomings in management performance and oversight. Mr. Vassilev is no longer employed by UNDP... UNDP has assigned some of its most experienced staff to the Russia CO. Ercan Murat, a UNDP veteran who had served previously as Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Afghanistan, came out of retirement to serve as acting Resident Representative in Russia from September 2005 until September 2006. Marco Borsotti, who currently serves as UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan, has received clearance from the Russian Government and is expected to take up his post as the new Resident Representative in January 2007."

            Ironically, of Mr. Murat it is reported that while unlike Kalman Mizsei he is not abusive of staff, his brother engaged in business deals in UNDP's Central Asia footprint that generated some controversy within the agency. Of Mr. Borsotti, we hope to have more in the near future -- UNDP's agreement with Russia specifying the procedures and standards to received the above-referenced "clearance" was requested more than ten days ago from UNDP, but has yet to be provided.

            Stephan Vassilev returned to the Bulgarian military. Ms. Gorlatch, who was embroiled in a drag-out divorce and child custody fight with an affluent diplomat, may have reasons to stay silent. But given UNDP's refusal to even respond to questions about its recruitment, hiring and promotion practices, or to release audits of the Russian office, Inner City Press runs this interim investigative piece.  Again, there are serious people who are arguing that the St. Petersburg water purification proposal was far from the most outlandish UNDP project. A variety of even less meritorious project have been pointed out, including schemes with prisons, social services, oil and environmental matters -- more on UNDP and the environment in the near future. Watch this site.

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

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

UNITED NATIONS, December 22 -- The day after Kemal Dervis ended 14 months of not taking any questions from the UN Headquarters press corps in Room 226, at the same podium appeared Dervis' predecessor, Mark Malloch Brown. After the now-Deputy Secretary General spoke and left, without taking questions, a new policy was announced, on post-employment restrictions. The spokesman made a point of saying that these only apply in the Secretariat, and not yet to the UN's funds, agencies and programs -- such as the UN Development Program. As with the disclosure of audits, UNDP does not live up to even the low, but admittedly improving, standard of the UN Secretariat.

            Later on Friday, a UN official gave some rationale for dropping the prohibitions on senior officials, including UNDP's former Administrator, giving rise to a drier, stand-alone story, click here to view.

MMB: No questions

            Here is a quote about which it was not possible to ask either Mark Malloch Brown on Friday, or Dervis the day before, from the book on which UNDP spend over half a million dollars, "UNDP: A Better Way?" --

...in 2005, UNDP was, undoubtedly, a more legitimate organization in the eyes of many developing nations and of most major donors... Malloch Brown's last official words as Administrator were these:

'I'm very, very glad that Kemal Dervis comes to succeed me... [A]fter dinner as I was just leaving, Kemal got into a real debate with Hafiz Pasha and Kalman Mizsei [the regional bureau chiefs].'

            This is the Kalman Mizsei under whom, to be diplomatic, the UNDP-Russia fraud took place. There is more about Kalman Mizsei, but focusing just on this fraud, compare Dervis statements Thursday about UNDP being transparent to the following:

"Potential fraud has been detected at the Russian Federation country office and reported to it for further investigation. The Office of Audit and Performance Review performed an investigation and released its report on 6 December 2005." (A/61/5/Add.1).

            From the phrase "released its report," one might think that the released report would be available to the public. But no - the report is not available, not even to member states which gave the (later stolen) money to UNDP.

            And it now appears that the missing money, we will report in coming days, was used for the vivid lifestyle of UNDP's Kalman Mizsei. But from what UNDP has told Inner City Press:

Subject: UNDP responses

From: cassandra.waldon [at] undp.org
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Thu, 14 Dec 2006 7:00 PM

   Dear Matthew, On UNDPís Russia office... Three former UNDP staff members, all locally employed Russian nationals, were implicated in the fraud. All three resigned from the Country Office before the investigation was launched.  When the extent of the fraud became evident, Mr. Vassilev was summoned to headquarters. He was removed from his post in August 2005 and subjected to disciplinary proceedings stemming from shortcomings in management performance and oversight. Mr. Vassilev is no longer employed by UNDP.

            One of the UNDP maligned (or scapegoated)  Russians was Tatiana Gorlatch (corrected spelling, from whom we'd love to hear). And now Inner City Press learns that Mr. Vassilev was a fall guy. We will be hearing more -- from, we hope, and about, we guarantee -- about Mr. Vassilev...

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

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN- 18th in a series- 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th

UNITED NATIONS, December 21 -- Of Kemal Dervis it can fairly be said, he knows how to run out the clock. After 14 months of not holding any press conferences in UN Headquarters, after six months of requests culminating in a public description of UNDP's Communications Office as so dysfunctional one can hear the tumbleweed blowing down First Avenue, on Thursday Mr. Dervis appeared.

            We're told he asked that the session be at most a half-an-hour, more than half of which he'd use up with opening remarks. He was told no less then forty-five minutes would do. These he proceeded to eat up with long-winded answers to very general questions. Journalists were not allowed follow-up questions. Thus Mr. Dervis got away with saying that while he is considering releasing audits to member states -- very frightening, apparently -- it is only concern with staff members' privacy that holds him back. Likewise on his apparent commitment to now release records of the UNDP Administrator's discretionary budget: on closer listen, this will only take place if UNDP's lawyers don't get in the way.

            In the sample country of Uganda, UNDP loudly suspended its funding of programs in Karamoja after clamor and reporting that they had veered off into violent disarmament and the killing of civilians. Mr. Dervis on Thursday repeated that UNDP had only funded community development. Inner City Press, holding the project document which reference to disarmament, asked what steps are being taken to make less likely that UNDP participation in regional plan involving disarmament don't spiral off into violent disarmament.

            Kemal Dervis replied that "I checked on it... there has never been UNDP or UN funding of UPDF disarmament activities... We want to be transparent at the country level. We were never involved in involuntary disarmament... We welcome any type of questions of this sort." Video here, from Minute 15:57.

            Well, no. By being involved in purportedly "voluntary" disarmament, UNDP praised and encouraged the mass collection of guns by the UPDF, which burned down villages -- and worse -- to get the guns. And UNDP did not welcome questions -- first, its then-Communications Officer Bill Orme berated the questioner, then tried to plant the story of UNDP pulling its funding with then-AP reporter Nick Wadhams. More recently, UNDP has issued a press release attacking the continued questions, and has gone so far as to call other publication and urge them not to cite the questioner as a source. This could be defined as a "welcoming" of press questions only in, say,  Turkmenistan.

 In a rare but appreciated burst of in-house fresh air, the UN's News Service treated the Karamoja issue with respect, reporting that

Following his presentation, Mr. Dervis was asked about funding of a UNDP disarmament programme in Karamojong, Uganda. Some 13 women and nine children were reported killed there in November, sparking an appeal from the UN Childrenís Fund (UNICEF) for restraint. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour urged the Government to review its forced disarmament strategy of the Karamojong and end violence and abuses against civilians in the area.

"The situation in Uganda is a tough one and concerns us a lot," replied Mr. Dervis. "In terms of what we were doing there, there has never been any UNDP funding or involvement with UPDF [Uganda Peoples Defense Force] disarmament activities." He added that UNDP appreciates attention to all such issues. "We really welcome any type of question of this sort because we want to be totally transparent as to our activities at the country level."

  We'll see - we still await answers on, among others, Honduras, Russia, India and Vietnam, where Mr. Dervis just visited.

            On the question of making audits of UNDP available to member states, Kemal Dervis on Thursday actually backtracked from what his "chief operating officer" Ad Melkert said last week. Now Mr. Dervis says that it's not so simple as releasing the audits to requesting member states, as the UN Secretariat does. UNDP wants, Dervis says, to protect its staff. Video here, from Minute 19:10. And so, he says, there is consideration of establishing some "intermediate body" to look at audits and decide what to make available. Paid by whom? Accountable to whom?

            The president of the General Assembly, in response to UNDP audit questions from Inner City Press on Thursday, said "I agree with you, the matter must be transparent." Video here, from Minute 21:10. Afterwards her staff explained that a change to bring UNDP's policies in line at least with the UN Secretariat would be made in the first instance by UNDP's Executive Board, or barring that, could be made by the General Assembly. Here's hoping.

            While Dervis attempted to backtrack from his statement that detailed information about the UNDP Administrator's discretionary funds for the past ten years will be provided, Inner City Press asked to received whatever is released, and was told yes. Mr. Dervis also said, in response to Inner City Press' necessarily shouted question, that he will return for a press conference in three or four months. We'll see.

   The dictator of Turkmenistan died the night before the Kemal Dervis press conference; as previously noted, UNDP praised Turkmanbashi right until the end - click here for analysis for earlier this Fall, and here for the UNDP sub-site.

  What we can say is that while in late November, Kemal Dervis told Inner City Press he saw no reason to answer questions outside the General Assembly, a month later at least a few questions were asked. There will be more.

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

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN - 17th in a series 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th

UNITED NATIONS, December 20 -- Two faces of development aid were on display Wednesday at the UN, and both on  the same person. Jeffrey Sachs took questions from journalists, urging them to "keep your eye on" aid "commitments and gaps" to ensure funding for such initiative and medicated bed-nets against malaria, and a Green Revolution in Africa project of the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations. Smaller-scale, he acknowledged having previously been paid $75,000 a year by the UN Development Program, but stated that he has quite recently decided not to accept such funds in 2007 "so that there will be no confusion." Some who welcomed the announcement expressed hope that UNDP might someday become equally as adverse to confusion.

            During the now three weeks of Inner City Press' daily series on the UN Development Program, sources in UNDP have described a process in which the entire staff of the UN Millennium Project, which Mr. Sachs has led since 2002, was merged into UNDP, in seeming violation of applicable recruiting and hiring rules. UNDP has stated in writing that it will not respond to questions about these employment practices, nor will it release audits, neither to the media nor to countries which fund UNDP. Regarding Mr. Sachs, several UNDP sources suggested that inquiry be made into compensation beyond the previously announced One Dollar a Year service to the Secretary General.

            On December 6, UNDP finally wrote to Inner City Press, as is relevant to this story, that

Subject: RE: Additional Qs re UNDP

From: cassandra.waldon [at] undp.org
To: Inner City Press
Sent: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 6:27 PM

   Dear Matthew...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.

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.

            Outside spokeswoman Erin Trowbridge had previously confirmed in response to Inner City Press' questions that Mr. Sachs was being paid $75,000; UNDP stated that this would continue in 2007.

            Wednesday Inner City Press asked Mr. Sachs for his view on whether UNDP should, like the UN Secretary, make full copies of its audits available to any member state which asks, rather than only providing summaries of audits, and then only to the 36 nations on UNDP's Executive Committee, as is currently the case at UNDP. Inner City Press had on Monday asked the same question to the prime minister of Spain, who said, yes, that should happen, "of course."

            "I don't have any considered view or any expertise on this," Mr. Sachs responded on Wednesday, declining to comment further on audits.

            Inner City Press then asked Mr. Sachs to comment on the complaints of UNDP staff that the Millennium Project personnel are being brought into UNDP in violation of staff rules -- "making a mockery," one impacted UNDP staffer called it.

            "I am not aware of any of that process," Mr. Sachs said.

            Given Sachs' declining to comment on UNDP's policy on disclosure of audits and on lower-level and / or longer-time UNDP staff's distress at favoritism shown to Sachs' entourage, Inner City Press asked about the $75,000 payments, based on UNDP's begrudging disclosure of them.

            "That was during the Millennium Project. It is not the case going forward," Mr. Sachs said. Video here, from Minute 12:20.

            Inner City Press wanted to ask about UNDP's statement, two weeks ago, that these payments would be made in 2007 as well, but the moderator turned to another reporter, promising to allow further questions from Inner City Press later.

            Mr. Sachs went on to speak of bed-nets and projects in Malawi, to praise Hillary Benn of the UK and a fertilizer conference in Nigeria. A reporter from a salmon-colored daily opined that UNDP's Administrator Kemal Dervis has been missing in action for 14 months, and that UNDP's communications office is barely function, other than to strike back at reporters in attempts at brand control; he referred to the sound of tumbleweed blowing down First Avenue. Mr. Sachs responded that Mr. Dervis has been busy with the high level panel on coherence, after which the level of emailing has "scaled up."

            Once allowed another question, Inner City Press asked about UNDP's email of December 6. "Was that not true at the time?"

            "That's not true," Mr. Sachs said. "I will take in one dollar in salary, honorary."

            Inner City Press asked Mr. Sachs to explain accepting the payments in previous years, after acknowledging that it's not a huge amount of money.

            "To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure," Mr. Sachs said. "I took a modest salary, it's not modest for most of the world [but] modest in the context of round the clock work for four years, sir." Mr. Sachs paused. "I did not do this job for the money, I can assure you," he said. Video here, from Minute 43:56.  This final line, but neither the correct figures or quotes, appear in the UN's official write-up of the briefing, click here to view. Then again, the write-up on UN's "unofficial" News Service did not mention any figure, or the issues, at all, click here to view. (The UN's reflexive is sometimes Orwellian defensiveness and revisionism is not, we're clear, the fault of Professor Sachs.)

            After the press conference was over and the cameras were turned off, Mr. Sachs repeated to Inner City Press, "I did not do this job for the money, I've had much more lucrative offers."

            Inner City Press asked when the decision was made to not accept the money in 2007.

            Very recently, was the answer. Presumably after UNDP's December 6 email. Why, then, didn't UNDP send Inner City Press an update, in which case the $75,000 question would not have come up at Mr. Sachs' press conference, and MDG questions could have been asked, such as the one Inner City Press posed afterwards:

            If in Chad the percentage of people with access to improved water systems rose from 19% to 42%, while that is in a sense cutting the problem in half, is 42% acceptable? Mr. Sachs pointed out at the Goal is to cut in half those without access to clean water. Can a metric be designed to not provide "false positives" of acceptable levels of being confined to unclear water? We'll see.

            Mr. Sachs said, "I know you mean well, but be careful."

            News analysis: While a right-tilting but sunny journalist afterwards quipped that he'd say the same to Mr. Sachs, Inner City Press wants to distinguish between legitimate journalistic inquiry into UNDP, and the wider UN's system of Dollar-A-Year promoters, and any attack on the goals Mr. Sachs promotes: the eradication of extreme poverty by 2025. There are lacks of transparency, and the wasting of bottled-up talents from below due to favoritism and a star-system at the top -- but eradication of extreme poverty is the goal, to be advanced in 2007 and beyond.  Mr. Sachs' defenses of Africa against stereotypes are also heartfelt and much needed, and should and surely will continue.

            A wider development scandal, as pointed out by Mr. Pink, is the World Food Program's function of dumping surplus U.S. commodities and thereby undermining Africa's own agricultural markets, and then swooping in as the hero to solve a problem WFP itself has helped create. With Josette Shearan Shiner slated to take the WFP reigns at year's end, that too will be a focus.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

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

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

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

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

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

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

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

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

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

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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

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