Wants to Cut
Sanctions Group, UNICEF
to Pay More
December 21 -- The UN budget committee has begun its ritual
of all night meetings to finish before Christmas. This year the
global financial crisis has finally hit home, as one delegate put it
to Inner City Press, in the discussion of the “common UN system”
or “harmonizing contracts.”
There are additional political issues
around the UN's funding of a Durban conference review day in
September, and Iran trying to defund the Panel of Experts of its
system contracts has been a theme since September in the budget
committee. UNICEF came and argued that it should be allowed to pay
its people more, since it needs “better” people in order to
attract private sector support.
UNHCR and the
World Food Program,
among others, came to make the same pitch. The phrasing, and the
arrogance, troubled many.
grew more subtle with example of staffers leaving UN peacekeeping
missions in order to work for UNICEF to earn more money. There are
also examples of seeming UN peacekeeping officials, like Alan Doss
when in Liberia and the Congo, secretly being under better paid UNDP
avoid at least
some of these scams, the proposal is to harmonize contacts, with some
sort of a phrase in or grandfathering period. This may raise costs,
and countries which are cutting back pay to their own workers are
hard pressed to vote increases for UN system staff.
Permanent Representative of Tunisia recently admitted to Inner City
Press that his country's announced plans for a Youth Conference have
fallen through due to lack of funding. Still, a deal is predicted for
December 22 or 23.
complaining about Ban Ki-moon's Secretariat not doing enough of the
heavy lifting on “continuing contracts,” leaving Missions like
Singapore having to do the calculations.
recorded vote is
predicted on funding the Durban III day in September, and perhaps on
Iran's proposal to defund its Sanctions Committee. Why aren't North
Korea and Sudan, for example, making the same proposal to undercut
their Sanctions Committee?
Tuesday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's acting Deputy
Spokesman Farhan Haq for any comment from Ban about Durban III. "The
member states decide," he said.
UN's Ban and Controller Yamazaki, (not) taking the 5th
referred from the Third Committee is the question of Myanmar. Despite
evidence that staff time has been redevoted from Myanmar to other uses
in the Department of Political Affairs, nothing has yet been done.
the North Lawn, the new venue for budget committee rituals, included
two diplomats from Cote d'Ivoire chatting nervously with the Press.
Ban Ki-moon urged the General Assembly to disaccredit
Permanent Representative Djedje. What would this mean for others in
the Ivorian mission? Their budget expert just keeps working. It is
the Fifth Committee ethic. Watch this site.
* * *
to Decertify Gbagbo Diplomat, Le Roy Reconfirms Mercenaries
21 -- After Cote d'Ivoire's UN Ambassador was
targeted in a General Assembly speech by Secretary General Ban
Peacekeeper Alain Le Roy again told Inner City Press that
Laurent Gbagbo is using mercenaries, and the ports of Abidjan have
asked Le Roy if the UN is asking other member states, like Nigeria or
others in ECOWAS, to help break the blockade, as Ban implied. Le Roy
said there is a Friday meeting of ECOWAS at which response will be
and Le Roy
spoke about state media preaching hate and attacking on UN
peacekeepers. Inner City Press asked if the UN would move to shut
down the radio, as some in the UN say should have been done in Rwanda
in 1994. Le Roy answered by contrasting a speech by Gbagbo
ostensibly calling for peace with what the media is doing.
asked Le Roy to confirm that UN Peacekeepers have shot and killed at
least one Ivorian. He said only that they had responded
appropriately, but that there are more threats.
was Le Roy's second
confirmation to Inner City Press of Gbagbo's use of
mercenaries. After the first one, still Ban's acting Deputy
Spokesperson Farhan Haq said on Tuesday at noon that it had NOT been
confirmed. Video here.
But Le Roy
confirmed it again four hours later. Why did
Haq deny it?
UN's Ban & Gbagbo, mercenaries and blockade not shown
the hall of the
UN's North Lawn building, Sudan's Permanent Representative greeted
Ban and his chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, and then the Ambassador of
Nigeria and ECOWAS, and Le Roy. At the stakeout, Inner City Press
asked Le Roy about Sudan's destruction of IDP camps in Darfur. We are
aware of that, Le Roy said. UNAMID is on the scene. We'll see.
Press interviewed Cote d'Ivoire's Deputy Permanent
Representative both before and after Ban's speech. Before, when Inner
City Press asked if he would speak, he said “nous ne sommes pas
mandate.” Afterward he said Ban's speech was only about the
Permanent Reprentative Djedje, and that the new Ouattara Perm Rep Mr.
Joseph previously represented Gbagbo: “He's a career civil
servant.” Oh, diplomacy.