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UNDP Advisor Serves Lobbyist for Nigeria, No Comment on Niger Driver Missing

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 11 -- Can a UN official work at the same time on the advisory board of a law firm lobbying for sitting governments from Nigeria and Liberia?  This appears to be the case of the UN Development Program's Mr. Raja Kaul, described as a "chief technical advisor" for a UNDP/Regional Bureau for Africa project called "Regional Project for Capacity Development for Negotiating and Regulating Investment Contracts." Last week, Mr. Kaul showed up in a press release that Mr. Kaul has been appointed to an "advisory board" for a Washington DC-based lobbying firm which is a registered foreign agent for the governments of Liberia and Nigeria, KRL International.

     Paragraph 41 of the document "Standards of conduct for the international civil service" , which applies to UNDP, states that it is "improper for international civil servants to engage, without prior authorization, in any outside activity, whether remunerated or not, that interferes with that obligation or is incompatible with their status or conflicts with the interests of the organization.

  On February 9, Inner City Press posed to UNDP's chief spokesman a series of simple questions, including "how is Raja Kaul's service on the advisory board of a law firm lobbying for Liberia (and Nigeria) consistent with his UNDP role? Who approved this? Will it be discontinued?"

  Two days later, there has been no answer.

UNDP's Melkert, center, answers on conflicts, Niger and Solomon Islands not shown

Likewise, no answer to the other questions posed, including

--"please respond to the critique of UNDP Solomon Islands that

"the project fund (issued by UNDP) was diverted under approval of the Ministry's Director, the Permanent Secretary, the Minister and probably UNDP to purchase office furniture and to facilitate a provincial tour undertaken by the Director and his team."

--while Messrs. Fowler and Guay are reportedly on a video released to Canada, their UNDP driver Soumana Moukaila is not. Has UNDP received any information about Soumana Moukaila? Why didn't they have security that day in December? Did the Designated Security Officer approve the trip without security?"

  UNDP, which helped develop the Canadian-owned gold mine that Fowler was visiting on the day he was abducted, has not answered these or other questions. This is how it has been, under Kemal Dervis and the internal candidate to replace him, Ad Melkert. Would things be better under Helen Clark, UNICEF's Hilde Johnson or the other candidates? It would hardly get worse... Watch this site.

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

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

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