UNDP's Clark Blames Poverty on Politics, UK Defends Sanctions,
UNDP Conflict of Interest in N.Korea?
June 17 -- Building the capacity of governments, even
dictatorships and military regimes, is the approach taken the UN
Development Program. Thursday Inner City Press asked UNDP
Clark to explain what she meant that because
"'political factors' restrict what the UNDP can do in Myanmar..
'it's not so easy to make progress there at this time' on the
Millennium Development Goals.
backtracked, saying that it's not UNDP's restricted action in Myanmar
that's to blame, its the politics of aid donors-- apparently meaning,
sanctions. Clark emphasized that Myanmar gets the least development
aid per capita of any country, including North Korea. "Politics,"
she said, "has been a complicating factor." Video here,
government of General Than Shwe has dissolved the NLD party of Aung
San Suu Kyi, and has stacked the upcoming election for military
connected candidates. Is this the government whose capacity UNDP
seeks to build?
UK's Lyall Grant at right hand of Helen Clark, regimes not shown
Lyall Grant jumped in to say that the sanctions only "target the
regime" in what he called Burma.
and Armed Conflict envoy Radhika Coomaraswamy has said that Myanmar
entirely stopped working toward an action plan on child soldiers, in
the run up to the election. Inner City Press stopped Myanmar's
Ambassador to the UN outside the Security Council on June 16 and
asked why the country has stopped. The Ambassador insisted that his
government works closely with Ms. Coomaraswamy, and wants to be take
off her list of recruiters. Perhaps UNDP would support this?
also asked Ms. Clark about UNDP's role in the security sector in
Somalia, where the government has been exposed as using 20% child
soldiers. "We do not train soldiers," Clark answered. "We
are nowhere near that one." Not so fast. UNDP has provided funds
for training TFG security; the dispute has been how much they spend.
We aim to have more on this.
UNDP re-opened its North Korea program and website, it listed
Mr. Vijay Thapa as International Finance Officer. A whistleblower
asks, isn't this a conflict of interest since Mr. Thapa has been
Finance Officer in DPR Korea since 2003, therefore four years before
the discovery of counterfeit? Mr Thapa is among those UNDP Staff of
DPR Korea whom declined to talk to US Southern District Attorney on
counterfeit and he is part of the "old cast" of UNDP DPRK
management responsible for the wrong doings. One wonders, was the
appointment of Mr. Thapa a request from DPR Korean Government ? Is
this more capacity building?
* * *
Clark Talks Haiti, Dodges Transfer of Retaliator,
Kane for Mulet?
NATIONS, March 29 -- Helen Clark the Administrator of the UN
Development Program acknowledged Monday the finding that UNDP engaged
in retaliation against whistleblower Ismael Ahmed in Somalia.
City Press asked about the case, and why two who Ahmed says were
responsible for the retaliation, Eric Overvest and Bruno Lemarquis,
were transferred to UNDP in Haiti. Video here,
Clark, who until Monday had rebuffed
months of requests that she come
to UN headquarters and take questions, said there is "no basis
for concluding" Mr. Overvest was "involved in any
wrongdoing in the Somalia program."
Inner City Press' previous exclusive report of Overvest's
retaliation against UNDP consultant Edwina Thompson, an Australia
national, who was hired to evaluate UNDP's contested remittance
program in Somalia, document have emerged showing Overvest's direct
involvement in irregularities. The vindicated Ismael Ahmed states:
Eric’s various strategies for finding a way of releasing advance
payment to PayQuik failed to work, he just simply decided to release
the payment. In a blatant violation of UNDP procurement rules and
regulations, a fraudulent payment of $382,200 (i.e. about 60% of the
license) was made to PayQuik before it fulfilled any of the
conditions such as a contract, bank guarantee or purchase of servers
and software. Eric released this payment with full knowledge that the
system does not even meet the minimum qualifying conditions required
by the RFP and therefore should have been rejected. The transaction
details are as follows:
Vendor: Payquik.com, Inc., 150 Monument Road , Bala
Cynwyd , Pa 19004
Date of Payment: 3 April 2008
Vendor No: 0000001956
Project Code: 00036033
Helen Clark said there is "no basis for concluding" Mr.
Overvest was "involved in any wrongdoing in the Somalia
program." This then will be a test of Helen Clark.
Helen Clark and Edmond Mulet, one dodges, the other
assuming the top position at UNDP, Ms. Clark has refused repeated
invitations to hold a press conference with Q & A in UN
headquarters, as her predecessorsark Malloch Brown and even Kemal
Dervis did. Through her spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who some say did
not agree with her position, Ms. Clark said no. She did, however,
come in to UNDP's offices early on a Sunday morning, in order to
appear on television in New Zealand.
City Press made many of the requests for Ms. Clark to hold a press
conference. Then, though the UN Correspondents' Association, the
invitation was formalized. Still, nothing. On March 25, a vote was
taken to raise the stakes, publicly. The next day, it was announced
the Ms. Clark was coming, on the topic of Haiti. And none to soon.
the UN's interim Haiti mission chief Edmond Mulet, Inner City Press
asked if it is true he wants to return to his job at the UN in New
York, and deputy chief of Peacekeeping. "I don't know yet,"
Mr. Mulet answered. "There are consultations" and there
should be a decision, he said, "in the next few days."
are saying that the UN is considering current Under Secretary General
for Management Angela Kane to replace Mulet in Haiti. We'll see --
when she comes to her next, and delayed, press conference. Watch this