Lockheed Rep on US Committee for UNDP, like UNICEF
Germany, Raises Conflict Questions
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at
the UN: News Analysis
UNITED NATIONS, February 18 -- A
representative of Lockheed Martin, the military contractor's head of business
development in Africa and the Middle East
James F. Jamerson, serves on the board of
directors of the U.S. Committee for the UN Development Program.
Lockheed Martin in October 2007 was awarded a
$250 million no-bid contract to
build infrastructure for UN - African Union hybrid mission in Darfur, UNAMID.
Previous board members have included representatives of
JPMorgan Chase and
and also a board member regarding whom
nothing is disclosed.
Might these involve conflicts of interest? UN agencies like UNDP and UNICEF
finds uses for the U.S. committees, but claim to have no control over them.
This sleight of hand was on
display earlier this year when UNICEF refused to answer questions about a
fundraiser held for it and for Madonna's
organization Raising Malawi by
the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, to which Inner City Press was referred but which
never, after the fundraiser, provided promised information about its
partnerships and safeguards. Across the Atlantic,
UNICEF Germany is embroiled in a scandal
in which, among other things, consultants were being paid $1200 a day, not based
on any written agreement, now-resigned director Dietrich Garlichs' house
appears to have been repaired with UNICEF Germany funds and UNICEF Germany was
paying to maintain benefactor Gustav Rau's art collection, including making
payments to his private secretary. Click
for a benign summary translation of one of KPMG's two reports on the matter.
While the other report, and more detail, has been promised,
UNICEF's director has not spoken publicly
about the controversy, nor
answered public questions about the U.S. Fund for UNICEF's Madonna - Gucci
Gucci claimed was to celebrate
its opening of a store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.
Telling, "people close to
that the favorite to take over UNICEF Germany is Klaus Zumwinkel, who
"German authorities said earlier this week they are probing for possibly
evading $1.5 million in taxes by transferring money to Liechtenstein."
But does he have an art collection?
UNDP's relation with its U.S.
Committee can be shown by the role of Fred Tipson. While he testified to
Congress earlier this year in a hearing about irregularities in UNDP's
now-suspended programs in North Korea as UNDP's Washington liaison, he is listed
U.S. Committee for UNDP's web site as
a previous board member, who moved on to work at AT&T and Microsoft. Any
conflict there? UNDP is active in suggesting to developing countries which
technology to use.
UNDP's Kemal Dervis, Google's
Michael T. Jones, Ban Ki-moon and Cisco - c/o
UNDP-USA's own "blog"
Mr. Tipson at the hearing told Congress, in defense
of UNDP having taken local staffer dictated by the Kim Jong-il government and
having paid their salaries directly to the government, "when I worked in China
with AT&T, as the private sector we had to hire people through a government
agency. That's the way China required it to be done."
The relation between UNDP and
its ostensibly independent U.S. Committee is made clearer still by
James Gustave Speth,
UNDP Administrator from 1993 to 1999, later serving on the board of the U.S.
Committee for UNDP. Currently on the board is a representative of Wall Street's
The US Fund for UNICEF, under
"About Us," lists
including not only Gucci but also Citigroup, GE and ExxonMobil. Its board of
directors includes representation from Kimberly-Clark and the ubiquitous
JPMorgan Chase. Are these the directors who are supposed to be ensuring that
other corporations, like Gucci, don't exploit the UN for commercial gain? A $600
"Gucci Loves New York" handbag is one thing, a $250 million no-bid contract for
Lockheed Martin's something else. In both cases, further transparency is needed.
Watch this site.
* * *
These reports are
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here for a
AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army.
for an earlier
piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's
$200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.
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