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In Turkmenistan, UNICEF's Praise of Leader and Deference on Staff Leads to Salt Ionization

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 27 -- In Turkmenistan under the just-ended rule of President for Life Saparmurat Niyazov, no political opposition was allowed. In September 2006, journalist Ogulsapar Muradova was tortured to death while in state detention. Children were allowed to read only one book in school, Niyazov's own tome, Ruhnama.

            Nevertheless, in December 2006 just before Niyazov unexpectedly died, the country representative of the UN Children's Fund, Mahboob Sharif, was quoted that "Turkmenistan, being the active and consistent partner of UNICEF, has made significant progress in such important sphere as ensuring the rights and defending the interests of children."

            In light of the government of Turkmenistan's denial to children of the most basic educational and other rights and interests, Inner City Press inquired last month with UNICEF regarding its programs and policies in the country, including the role of the government in selecting UNICEF's staff. 

Childhood in Turkmenistan per UNICEF (Ruhnama not shown)

            Four weeks after the request, UNICEF stated that it has been active in the country since 1992, and now has 18 staff members, three of whom are "internationally recruited professionals."

            Since unlike UNICEF's response about Zimbabwe, this did not describe the governmental role, Inner City Press followed-up. UNICEF responded that no, it accepts no "seconded" staff (staff dictated or suggested by the government).

            But Inner City Press' sources, who have worked at UNICEF in Turkmenistan, disagree. They describe a situation in which the resumes of prospective UNICEF hires are reviewed by the government, including the Ministry of Health -- not for the quantity or quality of health-related experience, but to check for any involvement in politics, human rights or journalism. Thereafter, the government is involved in selecting local hires as well.

            Last month new Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for audits of UN funds and programs in countries where independence of hiring, and payment in hard currency, might be issues. UNICEF was named by the Secretariat as one of the relevant UN funds. It now appears that North Korea is not the only (human rights-challenged) country in which there is a lack of independence in hiring.

            On the other side of the ledger, UNICEF praises Turkmenistan, even under Niyazov, for being among other things "the first country in Central Asia to achieve universal salt iodization." (According to UNICEF, a law for universal salt iodization is now pending in Islam Karimov's Uzbekistan.)

Shelves full of iodized salt, per Unicef

            While still at an early stage, this inquiry into UNICEF's close relations with regimes widely described as despotic raises questions about where UNICEF would draw the line. In Zimbabwe, in the laudable name of helping orphans, UNICEF has partnered with the teetering Robert Mugabe government. Click here for that Inner City Press story.

            Earlier this month, UNICEF issued a joint press release with the government, quoting Lancaster Museka, a Mugabe minister who is the one responsible for justifying the beating of peaceful protesters in the streets of Harare, and for the closing down of non-governmental and human rights organizations. Is this particular partnership, this joint press release, necessary? While UNICEF may think it is unreasonable to expect a response from a person listed on an agency press release in less than 10 or even three days, such are deadlines. Whatever explanation of due diligence done before the joint press release is received will be reported on this site.

            In the case of Turkmenistan, was public praise of the dictator Turkmenbashi necessary in order to have any access to the country? Incoming president Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, elected with a whopping 89% of the vote, took his oath of office with his hand on Ruhnama.

            Sources who have worked at UNICEF in Turkmenistan indicate that country officer Mahboob Sharif has been there long, "probably too long," one said. On the other hand, inquiries have begun into previous UNICEF country officers in Azerbaijan -- a question is pending, regarding Akif Saatcioglu -- and the Maldives. Ultimately, however, leadership and answers must come from the top.

            On February 26, UNICEF's Ann Veneman gave a speech at the opening session of a meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women. While the head of the UN Population Fund, and the Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs both appeared in person, Ms. Veneman's speech was delivered virtually, by video. The UN's website seems to indicate that Ms. Veneman has not taken questions in the UN's Briefing Room 226 since October 2006. It is time...

Because a number of Inner City Press' UN 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 a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the goals and many accomplishment of UNICEF and the vast majority of its staff. 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.

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

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In Zimbabwe, UNICEF Partners with Enemies of Human Rights in Name of Orphans

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 26 -- When does foreign aid serve to prop up a dictatorship? This question was raised earlier this year at the Executive Board meetings of the UN Development Program, concerning UN aid in North Korea. But the question appears to similarly arise in the wake of an announcements Friday and earlier this month concerning expanded programs in Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe by the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF.

            Mugabe's long descent from participant in the Zimbabwean independence struggle to dictator is widely known, certainly to the senior leadership of UNICEF. The UN commissioned a report by Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, head of the UN's Nairobi hub, on Mugabe's mass eviction in 2005 of 700,000 perceived political opponents, called Operation Muarambatsvina / Take Out the Trash (or, "Drive Out the Filth"). Virtually none of the families evicted were re-housed, according to follow-up reports.

            Earlier this month, Mugabe's government announced a ban on all protests for at least the next three months. Also earlier this month, on February 15, UNICEF and Mugabe's Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare issued a joint press release about a "historic national partnership" in which 21 Mugabe-approved "non-governmental organizations signed agreements with the Zimbabwean Government and UNICEF to advance a National Action Plan."   The UNICEF press release included a quote from the Mugabe regime agency's permanent secretary, identified as " Mr. L Museka" --

“Let me say congratulations to the 21 organizations whose proposals were approved,” said the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Mr. L Museka. “OVC programming is a collective responsibility, which is achieved when we work with all stakeholders, as displayed today.”

            When the Mugabe government controlled newspaper The Herald wrote its story on the partnership with UNICEF, it used the Minister's full first name, Lancaster Museka, and quoted him that "My ministry, with the support from the monitoring and evaluation sub-committee of the Working Party of Officials, is finalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system."

            As UNICEF knew or should have known, Mr. Lancaster Museka has previous been involved in shutting down any foreign or independent, not-Mugabe-supporting NGOs, and in justifying the beating of union activists who oppose Robert Mugabe. The Financial Gazette of November 2, 2006, reported that the Mugabe

government has justified its brutal suppression of the planned September 13 protest marches by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) by declaring that the motive of the trade unionists -- who were allegedly tortured while in police custody -- was to unseat President Robert Mugabe through violent demonstrations. In a three-page response to the International Labour Organization, the Secretary for Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare, Lancaster Museka, said the ZCTU leaders had no right to engage in an illegal demonstration. The ILO had sought the government's response to the torture allegations. Museka, however, did not say anything about the torture of the unionists, who included ZCTU president Lovemore Matombo, secretary-general Wellington Chibhebhe, first vice president Lucia Matibenga and others. They were all seriously injured when they were arrested as they prepared to lead a march into the streets of Harare to protest against the harsh economic environment and other issues affecting workers...

"A few politically inclined individuals in the ZCTU leadership called for the said demonstration in collaboration with the oppositional political party (MDC) and other quasi-political organizations such as the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition and the National Constitutional Assembly. This demonstration was indeed meant to provide a litmus test to the proclaimed MDC policy of unleashing a "wave of demonstrations" in their bid to unconstitutionally remove the democratically elected Government of Zimbabwe. It is in this respect that the demonstration ceased to be a workers' activity and thus was subject to the laws of the land governing political demonstrations," said Museka.

   UNICEF's partner Lancaster Museka is not only the author of this crackdown justification submitted to the UN-affiliated ILO, he is also responsible for shutting down NGOs, leaving only Mugabe supporters for UNICEF to now work with. As reported by the Daily Telegraph of July 19, 2004, under the headline "Zimbabwe charities face being outlawed" --

Zimbabwe's human rights groups and aid organizations are in increasing danger after the government threatened yesterday to use banning orders and arrests to force them to register with the state. The threat appeared in the state-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper, a week before laws controlling non-governmental organizations are due to be presented by President Robert Mugabe to the last session of parliament before a general election next March. All NGOs have had to be registered since 2002. But the Sunday Mail quoted Lancaster Museka, the permanent secretary in the welfare ministry, as saying: "Any organization found operating without registration will be closed and employees arrested." His statement followed threats from Paul Mangwana, the welfare minister, that there was "too much room for NGOs to engage in politics". The proposed law will make it illegal for hundreds of human rights groups and community organizations to continue to operate.

            So not only is this UNICEF "partnership with NGOs" limited to those NGOs which pledge support to Robert Mugabe and / or ZANU-PF -- also, UNICEF's main partner, quoted in UNICEF's own press release, is a Mugabe operative involved in shutting down monitors of human rights, including presumably of children's rights. Rights first?

Ann Veneman overseas (in Afghanistan, not Zimbabwe)

   The comments about NGOs of UNICEF's partner Lancester Museka were not idle threats. As reported by the expatriate Zimbabwe Independent of December 3, 2004 --

"A Swiss charity, Medair, on Tuesday said it was pulling out of the country after government refused to renew work permits for its expatriate staff. Medair communications officer Severine Flores told the Zimbabwe Independent: "We were a WFP implementing partner. We are disappointed at having to leave Zimbabwe at such a critical time. Medair provided up to 90,000 children in 150 schools with at least one daily meal. Very often it was the only meal they would get that day." Medair was banned from distributing World Food Program (WFP)-supplied food aid in August. The non-governmental organization (NGO) had applied for the renewal of work permits for its expatriate staff, but the applications were refused. Flores said they had received no explanation from the authorities. "We were just not desired to be there, regrettably," she said. It was not possible to obtain comment from the Ministry of Social Welfare, as the permanent secretary, Lancaster Museka, had not responded to written questions he requested from the Independent.

            Mr. Museka is not the only one not answering questions. On February 23, UNICEF and the German government announced a new $27 million program to assist orphans in Zimbabwe. Inner City Press that day approached Germany's permanent representative to the UN and asked about the press release and grant. "I haven't read the press release yet," he answered. A staffer from the German mission later called Inner City Press, but has not provided any substantive answer yet, 60 hours after the German Ambassador was asked.

  Inner City Press had in January asked UNICEF to describe its programs in Zimbabwe and five other dictatorial countries. Last week, a month after the questions were posed, a one-page description of Zimbabwe programs was provided, including, as is pertinent here:

UNICEF employs 67 staff in Zimbabwe, comprised of 54 national and 13 international staff... UNICEF is the lead agency in Zimbabwe's response to an orphan crisis, reaching 100,000 OVC (orphans and vulnerable children) in 2006. In order to scale up the response for OVC and implement the National Action Plan (NAP) for OVC, a Programme of Support (PoS) for the NAP for OVC was developed. This PoS establishes a mechanism for donors to finance OVC interventions, with UNICEF serving as the manager for pooled donor funds and CSOs as the implementing partners. The PoS is based on a pooled fund mechanism, where donors contribute to a common basket where funds are directed straight to NGOs, in support of the NAP for OVC.

   Questions emailed on Friday to UNICEF's contact on the press release were returned on Monday, with a request to wait another 10 days for comments. Here were the questions:

Subj: Q from reporter at UNHQ re Zimbabwe, German gov't contribution, Mugabe gov't, thanks 

Date: 2/23/2007


To: jelder [at]

Mr. Elder --

  ...Interested in your press release about the German government's contribution to assist UNICEF's work with orphans in Zimbabwe. That the work, and the contribution, are laudable goes without saying. But I wonder if you could comment on what steps UNICEF takes to ensure that its work does not prop up or help maintain the Robert Mugabe government, particularly at this time. What is behind the timing of this particular contribution? Also, any detail on the pooled fund mechanism, and the NGOs funded by it (and these NGOs, or some of these NGOs, relations with and/or opinion on the Mugabe government).  How could you characterize relations between the Mugabe government and UNICEF in Zimbabwe? Is UNICEF concerned about the human rights and now ban-on-protest issues, and if so, does that concern lead to any actions? Any response you can send will be appreciated, as you're the contact listed on the press release.

            This was responded to 60 hours later, on January 26, with a request to wait an additional 10 days for responses. (The reason given is also laudable -- Mozambique -- but still, an agency's contact on a press release ought to be able to bring about a response to a release-triggered question in less than 60 hours, it would seem.) Inner City Press will run the responses when received. Certainly there are always balancing acts and trade-offs to be made. But they should not be swept under the carpet, they should be discussed, debated, explained. Developing.


UNICEF Criticism of US and UK Is Quietly Released in NYC, Tipping Hat to Never-Divorced Families

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

UNITED NATIONS, February 14 -- The UN Children's Fund today issued a report analyzing child well-being in rich, rather than only poor, countries. To its credit, and unlike other UN agencies like the UN Development Program, UNICEF acknowledges that the world cannot legitimately be divided into donor countries and recipient countries. In the UN's headquarters city, a child growing up in the Melrose Houses in the South Bronx, facing a daily gauntlet of muggers and bullies and drug dealers, is not so better off than a child in Brazil or Haiti.

            The study, Report Care 7 by UNICEF's Innocenti Research Center, ranks 21 rich countries in six "dimensions" of well-being for children. Not measured or compared in UNICEF's study "children's exposure to violence in the home both as victims and as witnesses."  While the reason given for the omission -- essentially, lack of common definitions -- initially sounds reasonable, a study of well-being and family structure without regard to violence omits too much.  The exclusion, due to "insufficient data," of Japan, Australia, Turkey and South Korea is also problematic.

            A sample of the interesting findings involve the Czech Republic, where reportedly only 50% of children say that their peers are "kind and helpful." (What is the "common definition" of that, one wonders.)  Compared to fewer than 30% in Finland, 45% of Czech children report having been involved in fighting in the past 12 months.

            While UNICEF's stated embargo on the study, which Inner City Press is respecting, was 10 a.m. GMT, 3 a.m. U.S. Eastern time, the embargo was widely broken. A British NGO went online sixteen hours early; BBC followed, nine hours before the embargo time.

   The Unicef study concludes that "the United Kingdom and the United States find themselves in the bottom third of the ranking for five of the six dimensions reviewed." In the era of George W. Bush, it is a conclusion of some courage, a courage not matched by the study's manner and mode of release, nor its approach to family structure.

            UNICEF's report not surprisingly valorized two-parent households over one-parent households. But it goes further, in also distinguishing "step-family structure." An accompanying small-type press release acknowledges that this "may seem unfair and insensitive." In a word, yes. And fetishizing the nuclear, straight, never-divorced family strikes some as a sop to right wingers everywhere, but especially in the United States. It should be noted -- but is not, in UNICEF's study -- that the U.S. remains a non-signatory of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

            A context of UNICEF's work on rich countries is its shift to a "rights perspective." As recounted in Maggie Black's history of UNICEF, "Children First," until the shift

"all Unicef's programmatic and policy advisory work took place in the 'poor' world... although Unicef might fund research into child poverty in the 'rich world' -- and tentatively began to do so -- there was nowhere for Unicef to go with such research... If a rights perspective was superimposed on the poverty perspective, these problems fell away."

            But there still seem to be a problem with speaking truth to power. The U.S. release of the study is, by choice, a whimper and not a bang. UNICEF's Ann Veneman, so often available to the media when other agencies' studies are released, has not scheduled any press conference.

Press conference by "The Secretary" Ann Veneman - but not on this report

On Tuesday Inner City Press asked the spokespeople of the U.S. and UK missions to the UN if they had any comment on the study; none was provided. Later, to the BBC, UK "Welfare Reform Minister Jim Murphy said the Unicef study was an 'historic' report, which used some data which was now out of date. 'It looks at some information and analysis from perhaps six, seven, eight years ago.'"

            UNICEF itself has become surprisingly recalcitrant in answering questions. Inner City Press asked in writing for a comparison and explanation of the release-mode of the report in the U.S. versus Europe, but none was provided. In fact, three weeks ago Inner City Press posed a number of questions in writing to UNICEF, questions which despite three separate reminders remain entirely unanswered. Some of the questions, as supplemented on February 6 and February 12:

Subject   a few related follow-up Qs

February 6: The World Bank's Integrity Report mentions a referral made to UNICEF. This is a request for any information available about this referral. For comparison's sake, the World Bank report discusses categories of seeming irregularities looked-into, and descriptions of some. (The full name of the World Bank report, made public today, is the "Integrity Report of the World Bank Group, Fiscal Years 2005 - 2006").

Also, the recent report on Children and Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka says that UNICEF compiles and investigates complaints of abuse of children, including but now limited to recruitment into armed conflict, and maintains a database. In what other countries does UNICEF compile information on and maintain databases of child recruitment into armed conflict? For example, does UNICEF look into the recruitment of children in Brazil into armed conflict, in gangs or otherwise? What definition of "armed conflict" does UNICEF use?

February 13, noon U.S. Eastern Time, unresponded to past midnight:

Regarding Repord Card 7,  will there be any NY / USA press conference or
briefing, or only in Europe?

  and before, January 24, still not responded to:

From: Inner City Press      

01/24/2007 10:43 AM    

   Quick follow-ups...  Regarding your response that seconded staff are accepted in North Korea but not the other countries named, could you state if there are other countries in which UNICEF accepts staff seconded from the host government, and if so, what countries these are and why the seconded staff are accepted? ...

From what we take to be the most recent publicly-available audit, A/61/5/Add.2, we note at page 60 that "in 2004, the Office of Internal Audit reviewed investigation issues reported by 11 country offices. It conducted three investigations itself."

Can you state which were the 11 country offices reporting "investigation issues," and what these issues were? Also, where OIA conducted the above-referenced three investigations, and what OIA found?

Page 60 continues that "UNICEF has not implemented the Board's recommendations to review its overall anti-fraud policies and tools," and the Audit at page 7 states that "during the biennium 2004-2005, UNICEF reported 42 cases of fraud or presumptive fraud to the Board (as against 37 in 2002-2003)."

 Can you described these cases of fraud or presumptive fraud, and what was done?

  As simply a few more examples, the audit at 42 states that the "Board found multiple instances of poor documentation or amendments, inaccuracies in the liquidation process and lack of sufficient oversight of implementing partners in Indonesia. In Sri Lanka, the documentation of amendments to
cash assistance projects was also unsatisfactory." 

  Have internal audits been conducted and if so, can copies or, separate request, summaries be provided?

The Audit at 42-43 states that "UNICEF is supporting construction projects for schools, health centers, and water and sanitation networks in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives that represent an aggregate budget of $152.1 million. The three country offices have little experience, if any, overseeing major construction works. They entered into contracts with UNOPS (for permanent structures) and with IOM (for temporary schools in Indonesia) without clearing their clauses with the UNICEF senior advisor (Legal) resulting in the interesting of UNICEF not adequately safeguarded. For instance, the Indonesian school construction contract with UNOPS ($90 million) committed UNICEF to a set unit cost per building, over a three-year
period, with no clause covering a rise in prices.... UNICEF failed to set up a consistent mechanism to follow up the implementation of the projects, monitor the work of the contractors and management the relationship with UNOPS."

  Please comment on this, including specifically on the fact that UNICEF's partner UNOPS has not timely filed its financial statements.

The audit at 58 states that "The Internal Audit Committee is composed of 11 members, and has only one external member (the Director of the UNDP Officeof Audit and Performance Review)."  If this refers to Jessie Rose Mabutas, given that she is leaving UNDP in mid-February, with whom will UNICEF replace this single external member, and what plans are there to increase external participation?

            These questions were posed on January 24, and then because of deadline were reiterated on January 26 and 27, then after that deadline on February 6, and again on February 13.  And still, no answers. While UNICEF's 13th floor -- analogous to the Secretariat's 38th -- is known to be involved in the delay, it is not clear if Ann Veneman is aware. We'll see.

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

At the UN, Mysterious Deletion from Iran Sanctions List of Aerospace Industries Organization Goes Unexplained

At the UN, Iran Resolution Passes 15-0 Amid Media Frenzy While Somalia and UN Reform Are Ignored

At the UN, Security Council and GA Games and Holiday Spirit As Revolving Door Ban Disappears on Final Day

UNDP Not Covered By Weak UN Post-Employment Restrictions, Dervis and Mizsei and Aid to the Scapegoated

UN Post-Employment Restriction Are Watered Down for Senior Officials, Comparison to June Draft Reveals

At the UN, Curt Eulogies for Dictator, Revolving Door and Budget Left for the Last Day

UNDP's Dervis Backtracks on Transparency, Promises Accounting of Funds, Denies Role in Uganda Abuse

At the UN, Jeffrey Sachs Answers the $75,000 Question But Not on UNDP, Still Laudable Goals for 2025

Burundi Spin at the UN, Amid Coup Trial and Ceasefire Not Implemented, Great Lakes Commission Moves In

At the UN, Iran Resolution Goes Blue as Ivory Coast is Traded Away With No Follow-up on Hmung

At the UN, Annan's Long Goodbye, With Oil for Food in the Air and Hothouse Musical Chairs

At Kofi Annan's Farewell, UNDP Transparency is Raised, and Brian Gleeson Steps Up

At UN in Beirut, Dueling Charges of Job-Trading and Tax-Evasion, the Burden of Mervat Tallawy, Retaliation from Below

UNDP Will Be Called to Greater Transparency, Says President of Spain, on UNDP's Board, and Flaws of UNOPS

UNDP's Ad Melkert Says He Will Finally Increase Transparency, Describes Fraud in Russia, Dodges Uganda

In Eastern Congo, Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made a Colonel, Clooney And Now Guehenno Might Stay

At the UN, Ocampo 1 Says Kony To Jail and Ocampo 2 Sees No Serious Bertucci Charges, Dueling Parties

In UNDP's Book, Strong's Scandals Are Missing, While Workers Complain, MMB Schmoozes the Korean Mission

At UNDP, Flighty Rhetoric Founders in Mismanagement, MMB's Net, a Genocidaire and Whither ECOSOC

At the UN, Disabled Are Freed from a Footnote, Murky Answers from Gbagbo to Kosovo to a Genocidaire

Countering UN's Vanity Press, UNDP Histories from Below, Brussels and Two Views of Omar Bakhet

At the UN, Indigenous Indignation, Revolving Door Mysteries and Peace Pipe Belatedly Smoked

At the UN, Questions of Congo Mass Graves and Kazana, Mugabe and Forests and Rich German Ships

UNDP Is Important For The Poor, and Therefore Must Be Made Transparent

As UN Speechifies, UNDP Audits Are Still Being Withheld, While War in Somalia and Sudan, Pronk Blogs On

Waste, Fraud and Abuse at UNDP in Vietnam, While UN Secretariat Urges Censorship

At the UN, Questions of Humanitarian Aid and Congo Body Count, Despots' Crackdown on Dissent

In UNDP, Questions of Money Wasted, Neutrality Trampled, Russian Office Audits Withheld and Sachs Expenses

From Baidoa to the UN, Denials on Ethiopian Troops Being in Somalia, Resolution Is Passed

Retaliation Found at UNDP, While Dervis Is Focused on Turkey, In Two Weeks Will Take Questions

Annan's Spokesman Silent on 150 Dead in Congo, War in Somalia - But in Loud Defense of UNDP's $567,000 Book

At the UN, Interlopers into Somalia Are Discussed, With Chadian Pull-Back, Peacekeepers and Uganda's Karamoja

UNDP Spent $567,000 on Book to Praise Itself, While the Well-Placed Feed Off UNDP's Core Budget and Prime Postings

As UNDP Questions Mount, Mark Malloch Brown Calls Them Irresponsible, Answers Only in Vanity Press

In UNDP Series, Questions of Jeffrey Sachs and Associates Payments, From $1 to $75,000

From Sleaze in Vietnam to Fights in DC-1, UNDP Appears Out of Control at the Top

On Somalia, Past Arms Embargo Violations Forgiven in Zeal to Contain Islamic Courts

In UNDP, Drunken Mis-Managers on the Make Praised and Protected, Meet UNDP's Kalman Mizsei

From Violent Disarmament in Uganda to the National Bank of Serbia, UNDP Leaves Others to Answer for It

UNDP Sources Say Dervis Fires Malloch Brown-linked Officials, Then Offers Hush-Up Jobs

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

At the UN, Indigenous Rights Get Deferred, As U.S. Abstains, Deftly or Deceptively

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

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

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

UNDP Dodges Questions of Disarmament Abuse in Uganda and of Loss of Togo AIDS Grant, Dhaka Snafu

At the UN, The Swan Song of Jan Egeland and the Third Committee Loop, Somalia Echoes Congo

UN Silent As Protesters Tear Gassed in Ivory Coast, As UNMOVIC Plods On and War Spreads in Somalia

In the UN, Uzbekistan Gets a Pass on Human Rights As Opposition to U.S. Grows and War's On in Somalia

At the UN, Cluster Bombs Unremembered, Uighurs Disappeared and Jay-Z Returns with Water -- for Life

From the UN, Silence on War Crimes Enforcement and Conflicts of Interest on Complaint from Bahrain

En Route to Deutsche Bank, the UN's Door Revolves, While Ban Ki-moon Arrives and Moldova Spins

As Two UN Peacekeepers Are Killed, UN Says Haiti's Improving, Ban Ki-moon on Zimbabwe?

Nagorno-Karabakh President Disputes Fires and Numbers, Oil and UN, in Exclusive Interview with Inner City Press

Inside the UN, Blaming Uganda's Victims, Excusing Annan on Mugabe, and U.S. Blocked Darfur Trip

U.S. Blocked Council's Trip to Darfur Meeting, Brazzaville Envoy Explains After U.S. Casts a Veto

At the UN, Council Works Overtime To Cancel Its Trip About Darfur, While DC Muses on John Bolton

UN Panel's "Coherence" Plan Urges More Power to UNDP, Despite Its Silence on Human Rights

On Water, UNDP Talks Human Rights, While Enabling Violations in Africa and Asia, With Shell and Coca-Cola

Will UN's Revolving Door Keep Human Rights Lost, Like Bush's Call and WFP Confirmation Questions?

On Somalia, We Are All Ill-Informed, Says the UN, Same on Uganda, Lurching Toward UNDP Power Grab

On WFP, Annan and Ban Ki-Moon Hear and See No Evil, While Resume of Josette Sheeran Shiner Is Edited

Would Moon Followers Trail Josette Sheeran Shiner into WFP, As to U.S. State Dep't?

At the UN, Positions Are Up For the Grabbing, Sun's Silence on Censorship, Advisor Grabs for Gun

In WFP Race, Josette Sheeran Shiner Praises Mega Corporations from Cornfield While State Spins

At the UN, Housing Subsidy Spin, Puntland Mysteries of UNDP and the Panama Solution

In Campaign to Head UN WFP, A Race to Precedents' Depths, A Murky Lame Duck Appointment

At the UN, Gbagbo and his Gbaggage, Toxic Waste and Congolese Sanctions

WFP Brochure-Gate? John Bolton Has Not Seen Brochure of "Official" U.S. Candidate to Head World Food Program

Ivory Coast Stand-Off Shows Security Council Fault Lines: News Analysis

At the UN, It's Groundhog's Day on Western Sahara, Despite Fishing Deals and Flaunting of the Law

"Official" U.S. Candidate to Head WFP Circulates Brochure With Pulitzer Claim, UN Staff Rules Ignored

Senegal's President Claims Peace in Casamance and Habre Trial to Come, A Tale of Two Lamines

A Tale of Two Americans Vying to Head the World Food Program, Banbury and Sheeran Shiner

At the UN, the Unrepentant Blogger Pronk, a Wink on 14 North Korean Days and Silence on Somalia

At the UN, Literacy Losses in Chad, Blogless Pronk and Toothless Iran Resolution, How Our World Turns

Sudan Pans Pronk While Praising Natsios, UN Silent on Haiti and WFP, Ivorian Fingers Crossed

UN Shy on North Korea, Effusive on Bird Flu and Torture, UNDP Cyprus Runaround, Pronk is Summoned Home

At the UN, Silence from UNDP on Cyprus, from France on the Chad-Bomb, Jan Pronk's Sudan Blog

Russia's Vostok Battalion in Lebanon Despite Resolution 1701, Assembly Stays Deadlocked and UNDP Stays Missing

As Turkmenistan Cracks Down on Journalists, Hospitals and Romance, UNDP Works With the Niyazov Regime

At the UN, Darfur Discussed, Annan Eulogized and Oil For Food Confined to a Documentary Footnote

With All Eyes on Council Seat, UN is Distracted from Myanmar Absolution and Congo Conflagration

As Venezuela and Guatemala Square Off, Dominicans In Default and F.C. Barcelona De-Listed

At the UN, North Korea Sanctions Agreed On, Naval Searches and Murky Weapons Sales

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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