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At UNDP, Ad Melkert Surfaces in Race for Top Post, Opposes Disclosure, Like Mattsson Retaliates

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 29 -- As competition for the top spot at the UN Development Program heats up, the agency's embattled Deputy Administrator Ad Melkert has publicly thrown his name into contention.  The nomination will ultimately be made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who loudly urged all of his senior officials to make public financial disclosure, so that conflicts of interest could be identified.

  Melkert, when asked for his views by Inner City Press in 2007, openly disagreed with Ban's call for transparency. "No, I'm not in favor of financial disclosure put online," Mr. Melkert said. That "oversteps the privacy of people.. no one is served by having it online." Video here, from Minute 37:55 through 44:41.

  Such an approach, UNDP insiders say, would ill-serve the agency at this time. It remains unclear, including thanks to flip-flopping by Melkert, whether even audits of UNDP's work can be released to the public by the member states which pay for the work. To have the agency led by an official who himself refuses to make the most minimal public disclosure would surely be a step backward, as would rewarding and promoting an official so closely identified with retaliation against whistleblowers within UNDP. He once said, "You ain't seen nothing yet," and that remains the case.

Ad Melkert, under sign, the campaigning without financial disclosure begin?

  The Dutch press says that the U.S. and Norway are also interested in the post. They miss, then, the word on the UN street of a possible switch of Ban's Indian chief of staff Vijay Nambiar to the UNDP, and interest of Jan Mattsson, the Swedish head of the UN Office of Project Services.

  A recent UNOPS financial statement trashed those staff members who have dared complain of how they were treated, click here for that. Dutch and Swedish retaliators, then, are among those in the race to head up UNDP. Inner City Press has asked Ban's spokesperson's office if the short list will be public, as it was under Kofi Annan. There has been no answer.

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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