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China Shifts Forest Duties to Consumers of Furniture, as UNEP Offers Praise

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 21 -- As the UN Environment Program called China an environmental leader Monday for planting 2.6 billion trees, questions arose about the destruction of forests by China and other countries praised by UNEP. Inner City Press asked China's Minster of State Forestry Administration Jia Zhibang how the planting compared to the effects on forest of, for example, China's rubber plantations or Laos, or its export of old growth forest from the Congo.

  Minister Jia Zhibang responded, through his translator, that "the Chinese government does not encourage illegal logging in any of the countries in which we have investments." He said, on illegal logging, one should consider "consumerism," that China imports timber, works on and exports it. We should "lead people," he said, to use less endangered wood.

  Then, while UNEP's Achim Steiner was responding to or rejecting Inner City Press' question about what UNEP does to measure or verify how many trees are being taken down by the countries it is praising, another member of Minister Jia Zhibang's entourage rushed to the front of the room to make additions, that "there are two aspects... countries are sovereign to use their forests" but since wood that China imports is then exported to other markets, other governments should have adequate safeguards.

  The argument apparently is that when China imports huge logs from the Congo, contrary to agreements that supposedly require the working of the wood to be done where it is felled, it is the ultimate consuming country that should discover this.

  Achim Steiner's answer was that UNEP is not in charge of measuring how many trees come down -- he said FAO does that -- but rather, the Billion Tree Campaign is about "empowerment," about people doing things spontaneously. His materials list Myanmar as committing to plant 150 million trees. One wonders how spontaneous that is. Steiner expressed dissatisfaction with the question, saying that the event was about what people are doing.

  The next speaker, Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, said on the contrary it is an important question, because it goes to the "commitment" of governments. "We cannot commit and then go and do the opposite," she said.

UNEP's Steiner, with kids, forest destruction by awardees not shown

 UNEP then deigned to take one more question, from a Chinese journalist who asked how much China has spent on the Billion Tree Campaign. The response included the fact that Hu Jintao himself planted five trees this year. And that it was over.

Footnote: Also on the panel was a young boy, Felix Finkbeiner, who made the audience laugh by saying adults talk a lot but do little. He encouraged attendees to take photographs with him -- his photographer was waiting, with a white backdrop and a laptop showing photos of Felix with the UN's Doctor Pachauri, with UNEP "ambassador" Gisele Bundchen.

  This type of program seems of more interest to Steiner's UNEP than looking at volumes of trees lost before offering praise to countries which are, in fact, destroying forests. And one continues to note Ban Ki-moon's replacement of Anna Tibaijuka by Achim Steiner to head the UN in Nairobi, with the subsequent hoopla about the UN's commitment to women in leadership, and even more questionable commitment to a have a full time Special Adviser on Africa. Watch this site.

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In China, Misuse of UNDP for Chief Malik's Family Foundation, Staff Complain

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 1 -- In China, the UN Development Program's resident coordinator Khalid Malik's wife Carter runs a non governmental organization which uses the UN connection to raise funds. According to whistleblowing UNDP staff who have contacted Inner City Press, Malik urges donations to his wife's NGO, and some think they are giving to the UN when they give to his wife's NGO. One example of the (intentional) confusion is contained in a Chinese newspaper article, which Inner City Press is putting online here. It is explained below by Inner City Press' sources in UNDP in China.

   The UNDP staff in China have complained in many forums about Malik, without any improvements. Their staff evaluations have gotten worse each year, including alleging increases in sexual harassment. It is understood that complaints have been filed with UNDP against Malik personally. Here is an account from inside the UNDP in China:

Subject: Nepotism in UNDP China…..poor leadership, bad global staff survey results for fours years….poor staff perception, Mr. Khalid Malik regime continues…..China is awaiting for him to leaving including the government partners….

Dear Mr. Lee, As UNDP China staff, we are so impressed with your serious of articles of Nepotism, stonewall….and we are shocked to see what happened with the whistleblower in RBAP [the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific], however we are not surprised either, as this sounds familiar….It came to our attention of your mention about China, a country full of spirit and inspiration, however UNDP China office is not as pleasant as the bigger China. Here are some examples: UNDP china has stayed at the bottom of global 140s countries from the past four years under Khalid Malik regime….without any improvements, but to him, everybody else is the cause of the problem, but himself. Most importantly, more than a dozen staff, professionalism staff simply have to leave because of Malik's unprofessionalism, unfairness, selfishness, and abuse of authority……..same thing happen when Malik was the head of UNDP Evaluation office….all those professionals had chosen to leave….

The UNDP China staff people’s question is 'how many years of bad Global Staff Survey results it takes to take a senior person out of UNDP China.' There is serious problem of abuse of authority, lack of accountability in those high level post’….and they can do anything they like, recruit people they like, promote people they like, and punish those who tried very hard to maintain their integrity….and all those senior people can do is to ‘get rid of those people’ who did not agree with them through ‘reprofiling’, or ‘restructuring’ and never realize “Leadership” is the biggest problem, their own bad, unprofessional behaviors, selfishness, have resulted in ‘bad staff perception’ as well as ‘bad government partners perception’ of UNDP China. Khalid Malik and Subinay Nandy, are the root cause of problems.

We would like to draw you kind attention to one Human Resources related case on the recently recruitment of a P5 post for Bureau of Development Policy . As we hear that Ms. Wang Xiaojun, the current UNDP China staff was selected, based on her background, it is serious against UNDP HR policy. Concerns were expressed to RBAP, to audit office, and it is like you described in your article, it is ‘stonewall’. We want to raise our concerns on this matter as Ms. Wang does not qualify for this P5 post:

1.She has been in the team leader of HIV/AIDS starting from Sep 17, 2007, so not even TWO year yet. In addition, she being the Team Leader of HIV/AID and Governance starting from Feb 13, 2008. Because of her promotion to this post, in China office we called it ‘incapable leading capable’, all professional staff including Edmund Seattle decided to leave, because it was an ‘insult’ to him. Because all the professionals had choose to leave, Grace Wang inherited all other people’s credit on HIV and Governance because it is all other people, Edmund seattle, Diana Gao, Edward Wu, Li Jing, (all left) laid the ground work.

2.Staff perception about the HR issue can be found very clearly in the four years of BAD GSS results on transparency, management integrity, honesty, trustfulness, HR recruitment, selection, and promotion process, of all these indicators are very slow for Four FULL years.

3.It is UNDP HR policy and requirement that ONE has to be in his/her current Post for a minimum of 3 Year to apply for the next…. She has been team leader of governance only ONE YEAR and FOUR Months (starting from Feb 13, 2008). This is AGAINST UNDP policy, there is seriously suspect of abuse of authority in the hiring, selection process….

4.Employing such a person without relevant and solid experiences, knowledge, proven competencies as a practitioner in UNDP HQ of BDP the policy bureau is jeopardizing UNDP’s image and reputation (it has to be the right person and qualified person for the right job).

5.UNDP has the policy of rank in post and even with is and the interview, this should be only part of the consideration as proven performance, knowledge, results and competence to fit in the post should also be considered and are critical. This is the most important thing. She has not demonstrated the necessary and proven results, competencies and knowledge for this high level P5 post which is obvious. Reference check should also be made thoroughly not only with the Resident coordinator Mr. Khalid Malik and Country Director Subinay Nandy, but also with the peers of the UNDP China (all the team leaders and the left ones who used to interact with her), Ms. Wang’s previous supervisees Li Jing left the office because he thinks UNDP does not have ‘governance’ in people selection, only those kisses can get up or get the job, and the selection should be made in a transparent and competitive process.

6.One key factor is that UNDP China Resident coordinator will leave (all government partners are waiting for his departure after Six years in China) and favoritism should be avoided for promotion and international assignment for UNDP HQ and in China Country Office. UNDP China HR function is ONLY an implementer of all those action from Khalid Malik and Subinay Nandy, HR transparency has been of complain of staff for many years. UNDP China has poor GSS results for years and HR related issues has lots of problems and issues on performance assessment, recruitment and promotion in terms of fairness and transparency.

Mr. Khalid Malik, Mr. Subinay Nandy, and Mr. Selim Jaham, all from south Asian countries of Pakistan, the other two all from Bangladesh, want to promote their favorite person Ms. Grace Wang Xiaojun, and export their favorism, nepotism, abuse of authority from Khalid Malik China regime to HQ…

  Inner City Press is attaching to this article documentation of the staff's assessment of Malik from 2005 to 2008.

Khalid Malik, at the mic, holds check, wife's foundation and staff anger not shown

  Here again is a description from UNDP staff in China of

Conflict of interest between Khalid Malik’s wife private foundation Yunnan Mountain Handicraft Center with Khalid Malik’s using of UN, UNDP, private sector funding and other resources to benefit his wife's foundation.

Khalid Malik has had pretty long interests in Tibet and everybody does. However, his behaviors have made staff suspicious of his real motives whether it is to concentrate on development or using this as an excuse to get benefit for himself or his wife and his family using UN’s name and his position in UN.

1.In 2007 UN Day, using UN resources, most likely private sector resources mobilized (Private sector contribution to RC), an UN Day event was organized by inviting Naxi Guyue (a band from Yunnan Lijiang, headed by Yuan Ke) around 50 people to conduct a performance. This is justified of supporting of culture development in Yuannan.

2.However, Khalid Malik’s wife has a personal foundation in Yunnan called Yunnan Mountain Handicraft Center,

3.This is not the first UN Day in years time….people are discussing whether the choice of each UN day is Mr. Malik’s decision or his wife’s, and what is the real purpose Advocate for UN or using UN or UNDP’s resources to benefit his own personal interests, building connection in both tangible and intangible terms.

4.The news clip proves that right after the Naxi Guyue music performance on Oct 25, 2007 in UN compound, the head of Naxi Guyue Mr. Xuan Ke announced publicly to donate rmb 100,000 ($15,000USD) to his wife’s private foundation. The title of the article in Chinese is ‘Mr. Xuan ke donates rmb 100,000 to UN’, but it actually donated to Carter Malik’s private foundation.

5.There are also two evidences that two workshops had been organized in Ms. Malik’s foundation in Yunnan, with multiple government official been invited….The funding of these workshops are very unclear….based on UNDP rules and procedures….and policies, it is very inappropriate to use any public resources including money or intangible resources such as name, brand for personal purposes. We did heard from some government partners who was invited saying that they believed it was an UNDP meeting, however, it ended up in his wife foundation…..

6.The other clips have shown the activities of UNDP project in partnership with All China Federation of Industry and Commerce….in Yunnan….but as time accumulated, (since we did not know from the beginning why he is so much interested in Yunnan)….now become more clear that anything in Yunnan connected with his wife’s interest in Yunnan….and potential connection with government officials, business, and benefits for his family using agency resources including UN, UNDP, private sector funding…..for his potential network for future.

7.Despite Culture is not an UNDP mandate, Khalid still insisted to formulate a UNDP project on culture….and handcraft making….all related to his wife interests…most important of all, all these was used purposely for his application of job in UNWTO….which are very much focusing on tourism…culture….aspect. However, all these things everybody knows in UNDP, China, HQ….however, it is in such a grey area to be used as evidence against Khalik….but it happens all the time.

8.Ms. Malik foundation is recruiting for interns…and there are five of them all working in Mr. Malik’s private promise in UN compound. However, the network is not fast enough with five people working at him home and she requested IT to upgrade their home network. It was done with UNDP XB resources of RMB 6000 ($900). Everyone staff knows that XB china is almost gone….however, this is not the only time that their personal expenses were changed to UNDP XB account….(finance have all the record). This is an integrity issue….all these expenses adding up together may be or may not be very big, however, this is Fraud and Abuse of authority of inappropriate use of UNDP funds…..

    UNDP's Office of Audit and Investiations is already supposedly investigating the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific's having given a job to the daughter of the UN's envoy to the Congo Alan Doss, who was until July 1 a UNDP staff member and therefore needed and asked for "leeway" for the hiring of his daughter.

    UNDP appears to be stalling the investigation, which involves personnel long acquainted with Doss; UNDP has also declined to provide a press conference by Administrator Helen Clark, and tries to micro-manage who can interview her. At an appearance in UN Headquarters basement by Malik, UNDP rushed him off for other interviews. Other questions to UNDP have remained unanswered since August 13. Watch this site.

 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

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

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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