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On Somalia, Fiji and Oil-for-Food, UN Ambiguity Leads to Hypocrisy and Corruption

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 29 -- Ambiguity, at the UN as elsewhere, is sometimes creative. Other times, though, it is an invitation to misunderstanding, to hypocrisy and corruption, as in the cases of North Korea, Somalia and Oil-for-Food, respectively.

            Wednesday at the UN, during a morning in which the Security Council produced one resolution (on Somalia), one Presidential Statement (on Fiji) and one Presidential declaration (known elsewhere as a letter, this on concerning Nepal), a rare highbrow discussion occurred in Briefing Room 226. David Malone, presenting his book "The International Struggle Over Iraq," and a staffer of the International Peace Academy, James Cockayne, spoke and took questions for nearly an hour on Security Council dynamics, with some critical legal studies (CLS) blended in.

   Mr. Cockayne, in particular, used CLS buzzwords like discretion and accountability for its exercise, and representation in decision-making. He distinguished between cases in which the Council is operating in a military-political context, and more recent ones where it assumes a legal-regulatory role. In the latter cases, leaving rules ambiguous, when they are to be enforced by agents including conflicted member-states, is an invitation to the troika of misunderstanding, to hypocrisy and corruption.

            Inner City Press asked about the provision in this year's North Korea resolution, concerning the searching of ships. The U.S. claims it means one thing, and China quite another. Mr. Cockayne replied that the passage of the North Korea resolution was a "demonstration of consensus," but subsequent disagreements about its mean show the limits of consensus. Video here, from Minute 45:25.

            The hypocrisy allowed by the non-enforcement of Security Council resolutions is on display this week with regard to Somalia. Since 1992, the Council has imposes an arms embargo on Somalia. However, beyond the naming of violators by UN's own Monitoring Group, which was extended Wednesday for six more months, Ethiopia and Uganda for example have publicly admitted violating the embargo. Nevertheless, the U.S. is circulating a draft resolution which would lift the embargo for a force of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development troops to go prop up the Transitional Federal Government in Baidoa. By all accounts, the proposed IGASOM force would include Ethiopian and even Ugandan troops. They wouldn't have to leave Somalia -- they're already there.

In Chad, victims of, among other things, ambiguity

            After Wednesday's Council meetings, the president of the Council, Peru's Jorge Voto-Bernales, came to the stakeout microphone. There being no then few other reporters present, Inner City Press asked three questions. Video here.

            On Fiji, did the Council's discussion include Kofi Annan's threat to no longer accept Fijian peacekeeping troops if the threatened coup takes place?

            Amb. Voto-Bernales acknowledged that although he was reading out the Presidential Statement, he had not been present at the meeting, but that next door at a Palestine event in the ECOSOC Chamber. On Nepal, Amb. Voto-Bernales said that a letter is forthcoming, authorizing the Secretary-General to send observers. (The UN's Ian Martin, who it was said would talk to the press, left without doing so.) On the deferment of the draft declaration on the right of indigenous people, after some hemming and hawing, Amb. Voto-Bernales said that Peru "regrets" the deferral. Alright, then. Video here.

            Finally, for this report, Kofi Annan's threat to not accept Fijian peacekeeping troops if a coup takes place is another example of ambiguity.  On a previous question about Nepalese peacekeepers, after Nepalese soldiers fired on civilians in Katmandu, the Secretariat's response had been that it would look at the records of individual soldiers one-by-one. So Wednesday Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman what exactly Kofi Annan's threat to Fiji meant -- was it directed only at soldiers who take part in a coup or more broadly? The spokesman's answer was unclear -- or, to come full circle, ambiguous. Video here.

   Inner City Press also asked if the UN had any response to Ivorian strongman Laurent Gbagbo cracking down on TV stations and newspapers that dared carry UN-endorsed Prime Minister Banny's call to not put back in power those who headed Abidjan's ports when the toxic waste was dumped.  The spokesman replied that nothing has been said publicly. If this is creative ambiguity, what do capitulation and acquiescence look like?

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At the UN, Threat and Possible Statement on Fiji Spotlights Selection and Payment of UN Peacekeepers

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 28 -- As Fiji slides toward an apparent military coup, a United Nations diplomat on Tuesday told Inner City Press that a move is afoot in the UN Security Council to issue a Presidential Statement as a warning to Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who has threatened to overthrow the government of Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase. "There could be a coup there any day," the UN diplomat said. "We've had a lot of consultations on it and might try to move very soon... tomorrow or the next day."

            At the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman to confirm that Mr. Annan had called Laisenia Qarase and had said that the UN would stop accepting peacekeeping troops from Fiji if a coup takes place. The spokesman confirmed that the call had occurred, but deferred any summary of the call until later in the day.

           Tuesday afternoon, Inner City Press asked Ambassador John Bolton for the U.S. view on the turmoil in Fiji, prefacing the question by saying that Kofi Annan had placed a call, and said the UN might not accept peacekeepers from a post-coup Fiji. From the U.S. Mission's transcript:

Inner City Press: On Fiji, the secretary-general has called there and said    that if there's a coup that the U.N. won't accept peacekeeping troops from there.  Is the U.S. --

Ambassador Bolton:  There's a press report that says that... We are discussing here today the possibility of the Security Council engaging in something that it talks a lot about but rarely does -- namely, preventative diplomacy.  But -- and we've been in discussion with a wide range of countries, but we're not at this point prepared to say exactly where we're going to come out.  But we're certainly watching the situation there very carefully.

   Four hours after the noon briefing, Inner City Press against asked Kofi Annan's spokesman's office for a summary of his call about Fiji. We're still waiting, was the answer. He definitely made the call, but we're still waiting for the summary. [See update of 6 p.m., below.]

            If Mr. Annan did make the reported statement about rejecting peacekeeping troops from a country under military rule, it would call into question a number of the so-called "troop contributing countries." Human rights groups in Zimbabwe, for example, have asked the UN to stop accepting, and paying for, Zimbabwean troops in peacekeeping missions, given the abuses committed in their home country. A similar call was made regarding Nepal.

UN Blue Helmets in Haiti

  One should also follow the money. The word "contributing" is somewhat misleading: the UN pays the nations for the troops, and also for equipment. For weeks Inner City Press has requested an answer from the UN regarding how much Germany is seeking to charge for the use of its ships to patrol the coast off Lebanon. In the interim, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations provided Inner City Press with this breakdown of reimbursements:

Subject: compensation of TCCs

In response to some questions you had for Steph on compensation for troop-contributing countries....

1.) How do we reimburse TCCs for the use of their soldiers?

TCCs are reimbursed the following for each soldier:

A. (i-iv) are paid directly to TCCs

      i)  Troop cost - $1,028/month
      ii)   Personal clothing, gear and equipment allowance -  $68/month
      iii)   Personal weaponry - $5/month
      iv) Specialist rates for 25% of troop strength (for logistics Units, eg engineering, aviation, medical) - $303/month
      v)  Specialist rates for 10% of Infantry Units - $303/month

B.  (vi-vii) are paid directly to the soldier in the UN Field Mission

       vi)  Daily allowance - $1.28/day
       vii)  Recreational leave allowance - $10.50 per day up to 7 days of
leave taken during each 6 months period.

2.)  How we do know/ensure that the money goes to the actual soldier and doesn't get kept by the army?

The MOU is signed between the UN and the TCC and there is no mechanism in place to ensure the utilization of payments made directly to the troop contributor (Item A).

With Item B, the Field Mission ensures payments are made to the soldiers.

3.) Do we reimburse TCCs for ammunition used?

Training ammunition is a national responsibility unless the Force Commander specifically authorizes and directs special training beyond accepted UN readiness standards.
And on somewhat more general note....

Troops serving in UN peacekeeping operations are paid by their own Governments according to their own national rank and salary scale.

Countries volunteering military contingents and formed police units are reimbursed by the United Nations.

The standard rates, approved by the General Assembly, are used to compensate for pay and allowances of all troops and supplementary payment for specialists (within infantry, logistics contingents and formed police units).

 In addition, troop contributing countries are reimbursed for the usage of personal clothing, gear and equipment, including personal weaponry.

The current rates of reimbursement paid by the UN to troop contributing countries per peacekeeper per month include: $1,028 for pay and allowances; $303 supplementary pay for specialists; $68 for personal clothing, gear and equipment; and $5 for personal weaponry.

            To countries like Fiji, Nepal, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and others, UN payment from sending soldiers overseas is a profit-center for the government. Incongruously, it was reported this week that UN peacekeeping troops in Haiti cost $10,000 a month - click here for that report. While at the UN on Monday there was a call for nations to disclose how much they make from sale of national resources, and how they spend it -- click here for Inner City Press' story on this -- one wonders why the UN doesn't require, or at least suggest, that countries disclose how much they are paid for troops and equipment "contributions," and how they spend it. A Troop-Contributing Country Transparency Initiative. It could start with less concealment of how much Germany is asking for the use of its ships in Lebanon. Developing.

Update Nov. 28, 6 p.m. -- well after 5 p.m. deadline, the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary General released this:

"The Secretary-General is alarmed by the continued possibility of a military coup d’état against the legitimate government of the Republic of Fiji Islands.  He encourages the parties to continue their search for a peaceful reconciliation of their differences within the constitutional framework.  

"The Secretary-General also wishes to stress that further prolongation of the crisis may damage Fiji’s international standing, which it has built carefully over the years, as an important contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and more recently as a member of the Peacebuilding Commission.

    "The Secretary-General stands ready to complement national and regional efforts aimed at overcoming the crisis through dialogue."

   A relevant phrase, in diplomat-speak, is that any prolongation of the crisis might damage standing built on peacekeeping "contributions." One notes this wasn't said, at least not this way, with respect to Thailand and its coup... One theory has it that Kofi Annan played the "no more participation in peacekeeping" card in this instance because some, even many, of those moving toward a coup have made money from peacekeeping, and that the U.S. Mission was miffed at Annan's ploy because Washington wants to be (seen to be) saving the day. We'll see.

At the UN, China and Islamic Dev't Bank Oppose Soros and World Bank On How to Fight Poverty

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 27 -- "We do not impose political conditions." So said China's representative Liu Zhenmin in critique of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which financier George Soros described at the UN Monday during a daylong discussion of the Millennium Development Goals. Video here at Minute 1:44:00.

            Mr. Soros replied that the EITI contains no conditions about democracy, but focuses rather on the use of revenue by governments. Video here at Minute 2:32:36.

            "Transparency not conditionality," summarized the UN's Shashi Tharoor, who moderated the session.

            This same critique of conditionality was launched by the operations director of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Amadou Boubacar Cisse, former minister of Niger. Inner City Press asked Dr. Cisse if the IDB, in making its general loans including trade finance, considers such matters as workers' rights or environmental protection, under the Equator Principles or otherwise. Video here, from Minute 35:54.

            The IDB's Dr. Cisse responded, "If you are asking if we impose conditionality such as the World Bank, the answer is no. We are not interesting in doing that. Our member countries are our partners." Video here, from Minute 37:07.

Fleeing to Yemen: MDGs?

            Dr. Cisse had announced that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed Monday at 3:30 with the UN Development program. UNDP apparently shares the opposition to conditions. UNDP helps the Karimov government of Uzbekistan to collect taxes, and helps Robert Mugabe set up a human right council which is being boycotted by NGOs in Zimbabwe. (China's dealing with Zimbabwe have previously been reported.)

   When UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis was approached with these and other questions on Monday after he gave a speech about the MDGs, he replied that he does not answer questions upon leaving a meeting. He has not appeared to give a press conference in over 14 months. UNDP does not appear to favor Transparency Initiative, either. Reporters who asked were not allowed to attend Monday's MOU signing, and no copy of the MOU, although requested, has been provided in the eight hours to follow.

News analysis:  noting the consonance between the positions Monday of China and the Islamic Development Bank, one wonders how the conditions of low-income manual workers, migrating for example from Pakistan or East Asia to the Gulf, might be improved, if anti-poverty funds are given without conditions or oversight. At least five of the 50 least development nations are major oil producers, but this wealth has not alleviated poverty.  Take, for example, Equatorial Guinea, which after the  money laundering scandal at Riggs-now-PNC Bank pledged to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. While still an LDC, the presidential heir in Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Nguema Obiang, recently bought a $35 million mansion in California. Transparency, anyone?

   Dr. Jeffrey Sachs concluded the afternoon's debate by directing countries in the audience to go to UNDP. For the Press, going to UNDP does not work; one wonders if Dr. Sachs is aware of UNDP's lack of transparency.  Dr. Sachs chided countries for not setting high enough goals. As Inner City Press has previously reported, doubling for example access to drinkable water in Chad, from the current 19% to 42%, still leaves half the population with unhealthy water. Noted in the GA hall on Monday was a water distilling contraption by a private firm, whose representative said it would cost only $1000. (Inner City Press asked the representative the process by which hsi company had been selected and allowed to demonstrate its product in the UN Headquarters; "my boss did it," was the the non-transparent answer.)  It still had to be plugged in, so count on greater costs for solar or other power. Still, unlike some of the debate, the distilling machine was concrete.

            Following the afternoon's debate there was a reception, sponsored as the debate was by General Assembly President Haya Rashed Al Khalifa. It was held in the UN Delegates' Dining Room, complete with roast beef and salmon, hummus and champagne. One saw the Ambassador of North Korea pacing the room, and no one but two reporters approaching him. One saw an ambassador who will remain unnamed picking roast potatoes from the common bowl with his fingers. One heard much talk of poverty reduction, but many questions remained unanswered, including by the UN's own Development Program. They will continue to be asked.

At the UN, Misdirection on Somalia and Myanmar, No Answers from UNDP's Kemal Dervis

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

UNITED NATIONS, November 27 -- With Ethiopian and Ugandan troops already inside Somalia, and the U.S. reportedly preparing a Security Council resolution to grant them UN powers to expanding fighting against the Council of Somali Islamic Courts, on Monday both Kofi Annan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton dodged the issue.

            As Kofi Annan left the General Assembly's meeting on development, Inner City Press asked Mr. Annan what the UN was doing about war in Somalia. As transcribed by UN staff:

Inner City Press:  On Somalia.  The monitoring group’s report about ten countries violating the arms embargo -- what do you think the UN can or should do to try to hold off a war that seems to be brewing between the Islamic Courts and the Ethiopians and others?

Secretary-General:  I think we have encouraged both parties to resume their talks in Khartoum.  They’ve made various attempts to talk together and find a way of working together.  It is important that they do find a way of coming together, not escalate the situation, which may draw neighboring countries into the conflict in Somalia, and make matters much worse.  So we will continue our efforts.  My own Special Representative on the ground is working quite actively with both parties.

            In real time, Mr. Annan first called the work of SRSG Francois Lonseny Fall "fairly" active. Video here, from Minute 2:40. In reality, the UN's Office on Somalia is not even based in the country, but rather in Nairobi. And Mr. Annan's statement that event "may" draw neighboring countries into the conflict in Somalia is months late. Ethiopian troops are all around Baidoa, and now Uganda has acknowledged having sent troops.

Breakdown in Chad

            U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, emerging for a Security Council meeting about Myanmar, was asked by Inner City Press for the U.S. position on Somalia. Last week Amb. Bolton told Inner City Press he had nothing to say on the topic, while at the State Department's briefing in Washington it was said that the U.S. was working hard at the UN on the issue. Monday Amb. Bolton repeated that he had nothing to say, but added that he might have something to say in "a couple of days." Video here, from Minute 11:30.

            Inner City Press asked Amb. Bolton to respond to Somali denials of the authenticity of a letter from the Islamic Counts' Sheik Aweys, which was reportedly the trigger for the U.S.'s recent terrorism alert in East Africa. "I have nothing to add to that point," Amb. Bolton said.

            On Myanmar, Amb. Bolton unceremoniously dropped from his litany of Myanmar's sins the allegation, which he previously made, that Myanmar is a threat to international peace and security because it is engaged in money laundering. Weeks ago at a stakeout outside the General Assembly, Inner City Press asked Amb. Bolton to comment on the G-8's FATF having dropped Myanmar from its money laundering blacklist. At the time, Amb. Bolton said he hadn't heard of it. Inner City Press provided the information to Amb. Bolton's staff for a comment, which never came. Now the issue is dropped -- although the spread of refugees and "diseases such as HIV / AIDS" is cited by Amb. Bolton in support of a resolution said to be coming in the next "days or weeks."

            Inner City Press asked the UN's head of political affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, if his briefing to the Council had addressed money laundering or drug trafficking. Video here, from Minute 4:10. Mr. Gambari mentioned "progress" on stopping drug trafficking, and did not mention money laundering. As one of the top five issues he listed humanitarian access. Earlier in the day, Myanmar's government reportedly threw the Red Cross out of the country.

            Inner City Press asked Council President Voto-Bernales if either money laundering or drug trafficking was discussed in the Council meeting. There was "no general discussion on the matter," Amb. Voto-Bernales said. Video here, from Minute 3:20. He added that Somalia will be on the Council's agenda for Wednesday. Click here for further analysis.

            Finally, for this report, we are compelled to note that outside the very General Assembly meeting following which Secretary-General Kofi Annan stopped and took questions from reporters, both in the hall and before the stakeout camera (video here), Inner City Press sought to ask UN Development Program Administrator Kemal Dervis about UNDP's role in funding and / or monitoring involuntary disarmament in northeast Uganda.

            Mr. Dervis said, "I don't just answer questions like this, walking out of a room."

            Inner City Press suggested that Mr. Dervis come to a press conference in UN Headquarters Room 226 to take questions.

            Mr. Dervis allowed, "Perhaps that can be arranged."

            Inner City Press pointed out that the request has been made, for months, to UNDP Communications staff, and that Mr. Dervis has not held such a press conference for 14 months.

            "It would have to be something special," Mr. Dervis said. Why not hold a press conference to take questions, as do the heads of other UN agencies and even Kofi Annan, who, it must be noted, did on Monday "answer questions like this, walking out of a room."

           Also Monday outside the (GA) room, Mr. Dervis rebuffed another reporter from his home country. Earlier, his staff had declined to provide an advance copy of his speech to the General Assembly, claiming that it would be extemporaneous. Why play hide the ball about a public speech to be delivered? Lack of transparency and lack of accountability apparently start at the top.

            At Monday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric what are the minimum standards of accessibility and transparency for the heads of UN agencies like Mr. Dervis.

            "I am not the boss of him," Mr. Dujarric answered, adding that that from emails he has seen, UNDP is answering questions. We note that a question about Bangladesh asked two weeks ago has still not been answered.

            Inner City Press was told, by a representative of the Islamic Development Bank, that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed at 3:30 Monday afternoon at UNDP Headquarters. (This concerns an IDB initiative to fight poverty, one that will not use the types of "conditionalities" employed by the World Bank, Inner City Press was told by the IDB's Dr. Amadou Boubacar Cisse, formerly a minister of Niger, click here for more). Inner City Press asked to attend but was told that it was an internal UNDP event. Inner City Press has asked for a copy of the agreement. "There is nothing sensitive in it," an IDB official replied. "But I don't know about UNDP's information disclosure policies." Developing.

Other Inner City Press reports are archived on

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

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

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Sudan Cites Hezbollah, While UN Dances Around Issues of Consent and Sex Abuse in the Congo, Passing the UNIFIL Hat

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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

At the UN, Lebanon Resolution Passes with Loophole, Amb. Gillerman Says It Has All Been Defensive

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 Silence on Congo Election and Uranium, Until It's To Iran or After a Ceasefire, and Council Rift on Kony

At the UN Some Middle Eastern Answers, Updates on Congo and Nepal While Silence on Somalia

On Lebanon, Franco-American Resolution Reviewed at UN in Weekend Security Council Meeting

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

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

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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

At the UN, Speeches While Gaza Stays Lightless and Insurance Not Yet Paid

At the UN Poorest Nations Discussed, Disgust at DRC Short Shrift, Future UN Justice?

At the UN Wordsmiths Are At Work on Zimbabwe, Kony,  Ivory Coast and Iran

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

At the UN, New Phrase Passes Resolution called Gangster-Like by North Korea; UK Deputy on the Law(less)

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At the UN, A Day of Resolutions on Gaza, North Korea and Iran, Georgia as Side Dish

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

In North Korean War of Words, Abuses in Uganda and Impunity Go Largely Ignored

On North Korea, Blue Words Move to a Saturday Showdown, UNDP Uzbek Stonewall

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North Korea in the UN: Large Arms Supplant the Small, and Confusion on Uganda

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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 in Denial on Sudan, While Boldly Predicting the Future of Kosovo/a

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?

At the UN, a Commando Unit to Quickly Stop Genocide is Proposed, by Diplomatic Sir Brian Urquhart

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

At the UN, Internal Justice Needs Reform, While in Timor Leste, Has Evidence Gone Missing?

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

In Bolton's Wake, Silence and Speech at the UN, Congo and Kony, Let the Games Begin

Pro-Poor Talk and a Critique of the World Trade Organization from a WTO Founder: In UN Lull, Ugandan Fog and Montenegrin Mufti

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

AIDS Ends at the UN? Side Deals on Patents, Side Notes on Japanese Corporations, Salvadoran and Violence in Burundi

On AIDS at the UN, Who Speaks and Who Remains Unseen

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence (May 31, 2006)

Kinshasa Election Nightmares, from Ituri to Kasai. Au Revoir Allan Rock; the UN's Belly-Dancing

Working with Warlords, Insulated by Latrines: Somalia and Pakistan Addressed at the UN

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

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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

In Liberia, From Nightmare to Challenge; Lack of Generosity to Egeland's CERF, Which China's Asked About

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

At the UN, Dues Threats and Presidents-Elect, Unanswered Greek Mission Questions

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 Congolese Chaos, Shots Fired at U.N. Helicopter Gunship

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

Who Pays for the Global Bird Flu Fight? Not the Corporations, So Far - UN

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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