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At UNFPA, Audit Shows Asset Transfers to N. Korean Government, Hard Currency through UNDP

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 -- Even before the UN Development Program scandal fully broke on January 19, Ban Ki-moon had said that the UN in 2007 would exhibit a new transparency, a new trustworthiness. One of the most apparently resistant UN agencies is the UN Population Fund, UNFPA.

            For the past ten days, Inner City Press has awaited answers from UNFPA about its programs in North Korea. While other funds such as the UN Children's Fund and even more attenuated specialized agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization have responded to exactly the same questions, UNFPA has refused to provide a single answer.

            In the interim, sources have provided Inner City Press with a copy of the most recent internal audit report of UNFPA's County Office in DPR Korea, dated May 2006.

            This internal audit was carried out by KPMG in-country from May 23 to May 29 and is 68 pages in length. Even while failing to criticize UNFPA's provision of hard currency to the Kim Jong Il government -- perhaps because all of UNFPA's payments were and are through UNDP, which has been criticized by its Executive Board for this -- the audit paints a disturbing picture of UNFPA.

            At UNFPA in North Korea there is slopping bookkeeping, at least, for payments of $96,000 and $93,000 and $77,000. KPMG diplomatically notes an "absence of documentation for independent verification." There was a murky "transfer of assets" worth $420,000 to the North Korean government. A consultant was hired to pen some praise of UNFPA's and the DPRK's "partnership," but was paid before the work was done, and the work was never evaluated. In a project from the European Commission, KPMG notes "unauthorized use of project resources," without saying by whom.

            Inner City Press has previously obtained and reported on UNFPA internal audits from Pakistan -- where the country officer who received a rating of Deficient, Olivier Brasseur, was then elevated to head all of UNFPA's audits -- and Nigeria and Congo. Click here for that coverage. Ten days ago, Inner City Press asked UNFPA for comment on these issues. Spokesman Abubakar Dungus on January 22 said he would respond that day. He did not, and two days later he sent out a message that he was out of the office., This despite numerous other spokespeople informing Inner City Press that not only was and is Mr. Dungus inside UN Headquarters, he is conferring with them about responding or not responding to Inner City Press' questions. The prevarication apparently continues, because in ten days, and despite a reminder on the morning of January 31, there has been no response at all.

Mr. Ocampo, Mr. Annan and UNFPA's Thoraya Obaid, a blast from the past

            On January 26, Mr. Dungus' boss Safiye Cagar, previously seen knitting or crocheting in the January 25 Executive Board meeting, told Inner City Press that Mr. Dungus was on retreat.  Minutes later, UNFPA security chief Janie McCusker attempted to have Inner City Press' correspondent barred from the Executive Board meeting. When this failed, Ms. McCusker was seen whispering with Ms. Cagar, Kwabena Osei-Danquah and UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid. The three had previously been discussing, with some distain, the call for the release of internal audits of such issues as lack of independence in hiring, payment of hard currency, and lack of oversight of nationally-executive programs.

            Ban Ki-moon has called for an audit of just such issues. While he remains traveling, questions about the timing and the scope of the audits are going unanswered. But given the contents of UNFPA's internal audit, and given UNFPA's unique approach to press relations, UNFPA would seem ripe for external audit, right behind UNDP.  UNDP's limited disclosure of the size of payments in North Korea is another issue to be addressed. But for now, here below are findings from UNFPA's May 2006 internal audit.

On accepting personnel from the DPRK government, the internal audit says:

"National staff were seconded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for National Program Officer, Finance and Administration Associate and Secretary positions and the driver was seconded from the General Bureau for Affairs with Diplomatic Missions... There was no documentation on the health status and evidence of educational background in addition to the Curriculum Vitae for seconded staff maintained in the staff personal file... Competencies of personnel not verified prior to secondment acceptance."

      In the "Management comments" that follow, UNFPA claims that it "is doing good comparing with other UN agencies resident in DPRK." The auditor KPMG -- also the auditor of UNDP in North Korea -- does not reply. Then again, since UNFPA refuses to show these audits even to the member states on its Executive Board, perhaps there's no reason for KPMG to reply, or to even in this audit reach a conclusion on the payment of hard currency to the Kim Jong Il government.

  On the hiring of consultants for a seemingly self-serving report, the internal audit says

"A consultant was recruited to prepare a report on UNFPA’s role in DPR Korea entitled 'Remembering 20 years of Partnership.' The SSA was processed and managed by UNFPA China. Our review of available documentation in the Office revealed the following:

-the signing dates of both the consultant and Country Director were not noted; and

-a final evaluation of the consultant’s work was not prepared to certify satisfactory completion work prior to release of final payment.

- Validity of contract could not be ascertained.

-Release of final payment prior to satisfactory completion of work."

    This sounds not unlike the consulting contracts at UN DESA's DPADM under Guido Bertucci, the status of whose audit by OIOS remains unclear, as raised at the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General's noon briefing on January 30, click here for video.

   On UNDP and bank accounts, the UNFPA internal audit says

"The monitoring and oversight of UNFPA funds in UNDP’s bank account in the Korea Foreign Trade Bank was performed by UNDP. The Office had no involvement in the management of banking accounts and facilities in 2005. However, according to the UNFPA Internal Control Framework, which came into effect on 22 March 2006, Country Offices are to receive and check completed bank reconciliations from UNDP on a monthly basis.... Lack of oversight on bank reconciliations."

            When UNDP proclaimed low figures as volumes of payments in North Korea, it omitted any mention of money it pays for other UN agencies. A full accounting is being sought.

            On procurement, the UNFPA internal audit states

"We noted that one PO CHN40-000262 raised by UNFPA China amounting to US$96,020 did not specify the details of the medical supplies procured. The narration recorded in the PO was only a one line narration of 'Pharmaceutical Products' referring to the Invitation to Bid (ITB) No. 04BJDRKDM.
In addition, we also noted that the procurement file maintained in the Office is not always updated with the hardcopies of the PO raised by UNFPA China and email correspondences between the Office and UNFPA China. For example, a copy of PO for the procurement of pharmaceuticals products amounting to US$ 93,327 was not available in the procurement file and the Office kept the draft version (unauthorized) of the PO CHN40-000397 amounting to US$77,726 in their procurement file.  Supplier may supply wrong product --Absence of documentation for independent verification."

  Also on procurement, the audit states

"An invitation to bid was conducted by UNFPA China for the Office to procure Medical Equipment and Beijing Renfa RH Company ('Beijing Renfa') had quoted the lowest price of US$59,339. The opening of bid was performed by UNFPA China on 10 May 2005.
We noted the following issues relating to this bidding:  Subsequent to the bidding process, Beijing Renfa sent a letter to UNFPA China on 22 June 2005 that they had wrongly quoted the price in their original bidding document, due to their mistake of not adding the video printer cost in the Ultra Sound Scanner price resulting in additional amount of US$6,760 of the total price; The total worth of goods delivered by Beijing Renfa was increased from US$59,339 (as per the invitation to bid document on 11 May 2005) to US$ 99,326 (as per the supplier’s invoice on 5 August 2005 due to additional request for procurement from the Office. The Office did not maintain records to evidence competitive bidding for the additional procurement and the final delivery reconciled to the request for procurement; The freight charges in the supplier’s invoice was US$1,700, which was higher than UNFPA’s PO by US$500; and The invoice for this procurement was from Beijing Marine Shipping Company for US$99,326, and not from Beijing Renfa. The documents were only provided to us after requesting the Head of Office to contact UNFPA China. Unauthorized payment.

  On the "transfer of assets to the Government" of North Korea, the internal audit states:

"Our review of the Asset Management Module’s ('AMM') report revealed the following: The Country Director had authorized the transfer of US$420,293 worth of assets to the Government on 9 November 2005. However, as at 31 December 2005, the AMM has yet to be updated to reflect the above assets transfer. The Office had been communicating with HQs to update the AMM with the latest email dated 21 April 2006; The assignment of profile IDs did not reflect the nature of the asset, for example:

Description of asset Profile ID Asset ID
Canon NP-7210 photocopier Furniture 00000000004
AKHO 5000 Ultrasound Scanner Heavy machinery 00000000035
Infant incubator YP90AB Heavy machinery 00000000055
(Source: Asset Management Module)

 Inaccurate reporting of assets. Erroneous profiling of assets.
The following lapses were noted in asset recording in the Asset Management Module ('AMM'):

Assets worth US$420,293 from the previous Country Program transferred to the Government on 9 November 2005 was still registered in the AMM’s as of 31 December 2005, and the assignment of profile IDs for some of the Assets in AMM did not reflect the nature of the asset. The common services agreement for 2005 has yet to be finalized and agreed with UNDP as of May 2006 There was no matching exercise conducted for the implementation of the Office which was classified under typology type II as per the circular from the Chief of Human Resources on 7 March 2003. Due to the operating constraints within the country where the national staff were selected and seconded to UNFPA from the Government and competitive selection was not a viable option.

  The Office had written to the Director of the Asia Pacific Division ('APD') informing him that the compliance to the Office typology could not be met during his visit to the Office in 2003 as noted in the Country Office Annual Report 2003.  On 6 February 2006, a follow-up meeting was conducted between the Director of APD, Country Director and Head of Office to discuss this issue. However, there has yet to be a formal response from HQs that the Office was exempted from complying with the Office typology. As a result, the compliance of the Office typology particularly on competitive recruitment, succession planning and continuous education program could not be met since the Government would have the right to appoint or recall the seconded national staff. "

   Inner City Press also asked UNFPA, ten days ago, to describe a sample project in North Korea. Since UNFPA has literally hidden from the question, here from the internal audit of UNFPA is a sample project:

"In 2004, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) has agreed to fund US$ 302,000 (Euro 275,000) for DRK03P01 (Strengthening of Obstetric Care at Community Level) and the Office was allocated 80% of the total fund in 2004. The arrangement was ECHO would only release the final 20% upon completion of the project and clearance of the final report. The following issues were noted:

-The ATLAS has recorded 100% of the contribution in the project budget. However, ECHO had only released to HQs 80% of the fund resulted in the inability of the Office to issue payment to procurements that has been committed;

-Due to the urgency to meet outstanding payment to the procurement made in 2004, the Office has created the 2005 project budget (DRK3R203) on 6 January 2006 before the signing of the project’s CPAP on 1 February 2005. The budget was used for outstanding payment whilst the reconciliation on final budget and expenditure on DRK03P01 was ongoing;

-After receiving the remaining 20% of ECHO funds, the Office and HQs had tried to reconcile the actual expenditure and the budgeted amount. However, there was still a remaining balance of US$23,065 recorded for DRK03P01 in the budget status report for 2005. There should not be any remaining balance since the budgeted amount has been fully utilized... Inaccurate information of remaining fund. Incomplete information of accounting record Unauthorized use of project resources."

            There is also this, in the internal audit of UNFPA:

"World Health Organization (WHO) was the implementing UN agency for DRK3R203. An Annual Work Plan was developed and signed on 1 February 2005. The following issues were note in the execution arrangement with WHO:

"The budget allocated for WHO execution was US$193,500 for 2005. However, in the AWP, an amount of US$47,000 was manually recorded as balance carried forward from 2004 in addition to the allocation in 2005. The amount was inconsistent with WHO financial report claiming that the amount carried forward from UNFPA from 2004 was US$62,452; Our review of the financial report submitted by WHO revealed that an amount of US$156,388 out of total budget of US$255,952 was still in “unliquidated/earmarking” column indicating that the plan activities (mainly fellowships) for the year have not taken place. As at our audit date, the Office was not able to confirm whether WHO has successfully completed the outstanding activities as at 31 December 2005. The information on the utilization of the unliquidated amount was only provided to the Office after being requested the audit team. Ineffective monitoring of resources. Error in financial reporting."

   We'll have more about the World Health Organization in the near future.

  Because a number of Inner City Press' UNFPA sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in what will be an ongoing series by saluting the stated goals of UNFPA and many of its staff and programs. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.

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At UNFPA, Press Questions Met With Armed Guards, Despite Audit Irregularities, Saudi Arabia in NY

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 26 -- The UN Population Fund has a way with the media. For five days, putative spokesman Abubakar Dungus had dodged questions about UNFPA's operations in North Korea. On January 22, Dungus told Inner City Press a response was to be provided that day. None was, then Mr. Dungus claimed to be out of the office, while he was seen in UN headquarters. Friday a UNFPA staffer, sitting next to Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, told Inner City Press that Dungus has "been on retreat." In retreat is more like it.

            While still sitting next to Ms. Obaid and her staff, Inner City Press' correspondent briefly videotaped the podium at the Executive Board meeting. After the camera had been put away from five minute, a chairperson of the Executive Board, Camilla Bruckner of Denmark, approached. Identifying the correspondent by name, she said that Press must sit in the gallery, and that video taping is only permitted from up in the photo booth, under escort. Inner City Press replied that the gallery has no electrical outlets for computers, and that no escort for filming had been present, but that the camera had long been put away. The correspondent moved up to the gallery. But UNFPA's actions were only then beginning.

            Ten minutes later, as the discussion on the podium turned to audits, a woman who identified herself as "a UNFPA security" person, later identified as Janie McCusker, jointly UNDP and UNFPA, arrived with a uniform-clad UN security officer, who made Inner City Press' correspondent leave the room. Inner City Press explained that the camera had only been used for ten seconds, and had been put away from fifteen minutes. "Our meetings are never filmed," a staffer said. But once the UN security officer learned that it was, in fact, an open meeting, he told Inner City Press to get back to work, inside the meeting room.

Ms. Obaid, Mr. Piot and Ms. Veneman of UNICEF

            Ms. McCusker went over to Thoraya Obaid to have a discussion. Apparently the attempt to exclude or eject a reporter had not worked out as planned. But why this anti-press reaction? "A little piece of Saudi Arabia, right in the United Nations," one wag was later heard to say.  Twenty minute later in the UN's briefing room, Inner City Press asked about press freedom in Eritrea. Click here for video, click here today's story on the UNDP / UNFPA Executive Board meeting, and on the statement that UNFPA too will be audited. We'll see.

At UNFPA, Audit Failures Are Put In Charge of Audits, Olivier Brasseur, While Milk Is Bought and Money Is Missing

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

UNITED NATIONS, January 23 -- On Friday, responding to the breaking scandal around the UN Development Program, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an "urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the UN funds and programs." This would include the UN Population Fund, which alongside some laudable programs also reportedly pays its national staffers' salaries, as well as rent and utilities, in North Korea with hard currency Euros.

            Inner City Press asked UNFPA's spokespeople some simple questions, and was told by Abubaker Dunga that information would be provided on Monday ("I will put together the information and send it to you as soon as possible today"). However, despite multiple email and telephone reminders, UNFPA did not end up answering the questions or providing any information by 11 p.m. on Monday.

            UNDP had refused for months to provide Inner City Press with copies of internal audits it has requested. Among the reasons given by Administrator Kemal Dervis is that these documents are "management tools," which are acted on to improve agencies' functioning.

            Inner City Press has obtained copies of UNFPA internal or "management" audits. A sample May 2006 audit recites that

"The Division for Oversight Services conducted a management audit of the UNFPA country office in Nigeria from 23 January to 10 February 2006.... The management of the Office was Deficient... Until the completion of the audit, the post of Representative was occupied by Mr. Niangoran Essan... The Office did not properly monitor the advances and the expenditures of the 64 implementing agencies under the 19 respective projects. Some Certificate of Expenditures were misplaced or lost in the Office, and were not subsequently recorded in ATLAS, therefore overstating the outstanding advances. In January 2005, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UNDP and UNFPA covering sub-contacted activities under the National population census project. The MoU did not include a provision for the Administrative Overhead Support (AOS) Cost application in respect of the activities for which an amount of US $2,066,311 was budgeted... Information on vendors in ATLAS was incomplete and duplicate records were identified... The registry function within the Office was very weak; a list of files was not maintained. Several files and documentation were destroyed in 2005 without following the guidelines of the UNDP Manual of Operations Management. There was considerable risk to the staff... the general administration of the Office was Deficient."

            So after so damning an internal audit, what happened to the head administrator of the Office, Mr. Niangoran Essan? He was promoted, to head a regional Country Technical Services Team based in Zimbabwe, a so-called L-7 post.

            The head of UNFPA's Division for Oversight Services, which conducted the above-quoted audit, is Olivier Brasseur, who when he was the head of UNFPA's office in Pakistan received a bad audit himself, which stated that "the management of the Office was Deficient. control weaknesses identified were widespread and were significant enough to have a negative impact on performance. They include the lack of reliance that can be associated with the data produced by the Atlas system at this time... the Representative during the period under review was Dr. Olivier Brasseur." Then Mr. Brasseur was put in charge of auditing other country offices, being quoted in April 2006 as the head of Oversight Services praising a census in Nigeria that was fraught with "logistical problems." This is the revolving-door system that Ban Ki-moon is being told can fix itself.

            This Atlas system was described as one of Mark Malloch Brown's crowning achievements at UNDP and its satellites like UNFPA. But repeatedly the audits show the system not working or not being used. A major UNDP country office, Brazil, refused to use it, saying that because it raised enough of its own money, no one could make it do anything. This is the fragmentation and world of UN fiefdoms to which Ban Ki-moon cast fear on Jan. 19, and then offered a reprieve on Jan. 22 by limiting the scope of the inquiry and leaving it up to the agencies, in some sense, to consent to and design the audits by already-used insiders.

UNFPA: This is the picture, now read the until-now-secret audits

            The UNFPA audits are damning, were never sufficiently disclosed, and were rarely if ever acted on. Another sample audit, of UNFPA's country office in the Republic of Congo - Brazzaville, states that

"As of June 2005, the Office had not sought the agreement of the Government to extend the conditions applicable to UNDP under the standard basic assistance agreement to UNFPA... the projects under the Interim Program had not been financially closed because of difficulties with the recovery of unspent advances totaling US $ 43,671... The internal controls over the processing of payments was inadequate. 426 disbursement vouchers totaling US $ 708,264 were missing and the could therefore not be included in the sample of transactions to be included."

            Forty thousand dollars here, 700 thousand dollars there -- pretty soon you're talking about real money. Inner City Press has reviewed payment records for UNFPA conference in Harrison, New York, invoiced on December 8, 2005 ($24, 303) and December 29, 2005 ($26,334) and then March 1, 2006 ($40,314). Inner City Press is informed of UNFPA purchases of baby milk in Egypt, unauthorized and outside of UNFPA's mandate, purchase done in order to facilitate the evasion of taxes.

            In the upcoming Executive Board meeting on UNFPA, one of the controversial items is UNFPA Regionalization. The UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, the ABACQ, has opined that "the level and number of posts in the areas of management, administration and support are relatively high. The Advisory Committee believes that the proposed organizational arrangements should be re-examined with a view to streamlining structures and reporting lines."

            Since UNFPA has not re-examined or re-drafted the proposal, it is trying to get the item removed from this week's agenda. We'll see.

            As this interim profile of UNFPA should make clear, issues to be inquired into in the wake of the UNDP scandals should not be limited just to North Korea, or to hard currency, secondment and auditors' access. The problems, at UNDP's satellite UNFPA and at other funds, programs and specialized agencies to be examined in the near future, are systematic and require full public review and disclosure, and then substantive action. This is what Ban Ki-moon called for on January 19, then appeared to turn away from on Jan. 22. With the poor and needy be served by reform and accountability of these agencies in charge of money to serve them? We'll see.

Other Inner City Press reports are available in the ProQuest service and some are archived on --

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At the UN, Georgia Speaks of Ethnic Cleansing While Russia Complains of Visas Denied by the U.S.

At the UN, Deference to the Congo's Kabila and Tank-Sales to North Korea, of Slippery Eels and Sun Microsystems

At the UN, Annan's Africa Advisor Welcome Chinese Investment, Dodges Zimbabwe, Nods to Darfur

At the UN, Richard Goldstone Presses Enforcement on Joseph Kony, Reflecting Back on Karadzic

UN Defers on Anti-Terror Safeguards to Member States, Even in Pakistan and Somalia

Afghanistan as Black Hole for Info and Torture Tales, Photos and Talk Mogadishu, the UN Afterhours

Amid UN's Korean Uproar, Russia Silent on Murder of Anna Politkovskaya, Chechnya Exposer

UN Envoy Makes Excuses for Gambian Strongman, Whitewashing Fraud- and Threat-Filled Election

Sudan's UN Envoy Admits Right to Intervene in Rwanda, UNICEF Response on Terrorist Groups in Pakistan

At the UN, As Next S-G is Chosen, Annan Claims Power to Make 5-Year Appointments, Quiet Filing and Ivory Coast Concessions

Chaos in UN's Somalia Policy, Working With Islamists Under Sanctions While Meeting with Private Military Contractors

U.S. Candidate for UN's World Food Program May Get Lame Duck Appointment, Despite Korean Issues

At the UN, U.S. Versus Axis of Airport, While Serge Brammertz Measures Non-Lebanese Teeth

Exclusion from Water Is Called Progress, of Straw Polls and WFP Succession

William Swing Sings Songs of Congo's Crisis, No Safeguards on Coltan Says Chairman of Intel

Warlord in the Waldorf and Other Congo Questions Dodged by the UN in the Time Between Elections

In Some New Orleans, Questions Echo from the South Bronx and South Lebanon

In New Orleans, While Bone Is Thrown in Superdome, Parishes Still In Distress

At the UN, Tales of Media Muzzled in Yemen, Penned in at the Waldorf on Darfur, While Copters Grounded

US's Frazer Accuses Al-Bashir of Sabotage, Arab League of Stinginess, Chavez of Buying Leaders - Click here for video file by Inner City Press.

Third Day of UN General Debate Gets Surreal, Canapes and Killings, Questions on Iran and Montenegro and Still Somalia

On Darfur, Hugo Chavez Asks for More Time to Study, While Planning West Africa Oil Refinery

At the UN, Ivory Coast Discussed Without Decision on Toxic Politics, the Silence of Somalia

Evo Morales Blames Strike on Mobbed-Up Parasites, Sings Praise of Coca Leaf and Jabs at Coca-Cola

Musharraf Says Unrest in Baluchistan Is Waning, While Dodging Question on Restoring Civilian Rule

At the UN, Cyprus Confirms 'Paramilitary' Investigation, Denies Connection to Def Min Resignation, CBTB Update

A Tale of Three Leaders, Liberia Comes to Praise and Iran and Sudan to Bury the UN

UN Round-up: Poland's President Says Iraq Is Ever-More Tense While Amb. Bolton Talks Burmese Drugs, Spin on Ivory Coast

As UN's Annan Now Says He Will Disclose, When and Whether It Will Be to the Public and Why It Took So Long Go Unasked

At the UN, Stonewalling Continues on Financial Disclosure and Letter(s) U.S. Mission Has, While Zimbabwe Goes Ignored

At the UN, Financial Disclosure Are Withheld While Freedom of Information Is Promised, Of Hollywood and Dictators' Gift Shops

UN's Annan Says Dig Into Toxic Dumping, While Declining to Discuss Financial Disclosure

A Still-Unnamed Senior UN Official in NY Takes Free Housing from His Government, Contrary to UN Staff Regulations

UN Admits To Errors in its Report on Destruction of Congolese Village of Kazana, Safeguards Not In Place

As UN Checks Toxins in Abidjan, the Dumper Trafigura Figured in Oil for Food Scandal, Funded by RBS and BNP Paribas

Targeting of African Americans For High Cost Mortgages Grew Worse in 2005, While Fed Downplays Its Own Findings

The UN and Nagorno-Karabakh: Flurries of Activity Leave Frozen Conflicts Unchanged; Updates on Gaza, Gavels and Gbagbo

The UN Cries Poor on Lawless Somalia, While Its Ex-Security Chief Does Business Through Ruleless Revolving Door

At the UN, Micro-States Simmer Under the Assembly's Surface, While Incoming Council President Dodges Most Questions

"Horror Struck" is How UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments Would Leave U.S., Referral on Burma But Not Uzbekistan

Security Council President Condemns UN Officials Getting Free Housing from Governments, While UK "Doesn't Do It Any More"

At the UN, Incomplete Reforms Allow for Gifts of Free Housing to UN Officials by Member States

Rare UN Sunshine From If Not In Chad While Blind on Somalia and Zimbabwe, UNDP With Shell in its Ear on Nigeria

Annan Family Ties With Purchaser from Compass, Embroiled in UN Scandal, Raise Unanswered Ethical Questions

At the UN, from Casamance to Transdniestria, Kosovars to Lezgines, Micro-States as Powerful's Playthings

Inquiry Into Housing Subsidies Contrary to UN Charter Goes Ignored for 8 Weeks, As Head UN Peacekeeper Does Not Respond

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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