At UNDP, Dervis' Desires, Scandals and Silence
Recalled As He Departs
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
January 8 -- Kemal
Dervis, the UN
Development Program's Administrator, announced Thursday he will leave
on March 1, ostensibly for personal and family reasons. His tenure was marked
by a series of scandals
in UNDP, from funding violent
disarmament in Uganda and
mining in Zimbabwe to procurement
fraud cover-ups and financial irregularities in its North Korea
program. Through it all, Dervis largely avoided the media, repeatedly
Inner City Press that he refused to
answer questions in the hallway of the
as even the Secretary General and his top officials do. He presided
retaliation, and then fought to keep UNDP
exempt from the UN system's Ethics
Dervis leaving? There are a number of theories. One has it that he had
in the UN system, on the Deputy Secretary General post. Many close
had been predicted that Asha Rose Migiro would leave in February. But
word came down that she is staying. And soon thereafter, Dervis
announced he is
leaving the system. Others less plausible tie his sudden announcement
North Korea scandal, and Ban Ki-moon's recent trip to Washington.
Dervis do next? There's high brow chat
of a university post, lower brow talk of filthy lucre or Turkish
Perhaps he'll write a book like the one
his predecessor commissioned,
"UNDP: A Better Way?"
Dervis at UN, refusal to answer question, and
blue-sky mornings, not shown
said, Inner City Press has a single semi-positive memory. On his way
Secretariat building one blue-skied day, Dervis stopped and mused that,
only have so many mornings like this in your life, you have to enjoy
hope he does -- and that the next UNDP Administrator does a better job.
Thursday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson
will at least commit to what his predecessor did, releasing a short
candidates for the post. I don't know yet, the Spokesperson said. We
follow this one.
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