Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Subscribe to RSS feed

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Peacekeeping Budget Fight Presages Scales of Assessment, France is Cheap, US "Still Prima Donna"

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- Less than an hour before UN Peacekeeping budgets would expire, diplomats lounged in the Cafe Austria of the North Lawn building surrounded by liquor bottles and pizza boxes. A well placed negotiator bleary eyed explained to Inner City Press, “this is all a precursor to the upcoming scales of assessment fight.”

  France for example has complained it is paying 7.6% of the peacekeeping budget, while it says the 130 countries in the Group of 77 and China pay only 7.4%. Others retort that France got good use out of UN Peacekeeping in Cote d'Ivoire, physically ousting Laurent Gbagbo: “they got their money worth.”

  EU Representative Serrano lounged around the cafe. “Now it's at the Ambassadorial level,” a Budget Committee diplomat told Inner City Press. Maged Abdelaziz, Egyptian Ambassador under Mubarak and now, was strutting around at 11 pm. France's Gerard Araud was said to be around.

  With the budget expiration only a half hour away, ideas were floated of stopping the clock, or just pretending that June 30 goes on longer that it does, at least in Alaska. It is already July 1 where most of the UN Peacekeeping missions are, in Africa.

  In the lull it was confirmed to Inner City Press that its earlier story about the idea of withholding funds from peacekeepers accused of sexual abuse or exploitation hit a nerve. “The Americans introduced it,” a source confirmed.

  Under the Republicans, the US Mission to the UN was a “prima donna” on the budget, the source said, on issues like the Durban review. Now, the US is still a prima donna. The difference is that Zalmay Khalilzad actually stayed for the budget fight, the source contrasted.

  Sometimes the prima donna is right. But why not have raised it earlier? Watch this site.

* * *

In UN Peacekeeping Budget Endgame, Payers Want $230 M, TCCs Want “57% Raise," Midnight Deadline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 30 -- As the clock moved within five hours of a shutdown of UN Peacekeeping operations, negotiations continued on the North Lawn building's second floor. Prominent among the “paying countries,” as one European Permanent Representative called them, were UK Deputy Permanent Representative Philip Parham and EU Representative Serrano.

  The issue is money. The developing world countries from which the vast majority of UN peacekeepers come say they haven't had a raise since 2002. The “paying countries” counter that there was an agreement in 2009 to do a survey, but now the Group of 77 and China wants a “fifty seven percent increase.”

  The paying countries countered with the offer of a “one time bonus” and a demand that some $230 million from closed-down peacekeeping missions be returned. They complain that the G77 as a whole pays only 7.4% of the UN peacekeeping budget, less that one of the loudest cost cutters, France.

  In the recent Security Council consultations to send Ethiopian peacekeepers into Abyei in Sudan, France was said to question whether 4000 soldiers would really be needed. Why not 3000? And now that the over 4000 were approved, why not spread them out into Southern Kordofan?

  It is ironic that a country so loud about human rights monitoring and the protection of civilians -- to the point of using attack helicopters in Cote d'Ivoire and dropping weapons into the mountains of Western Libya -- would behind closed doors be trying to nickel and dime UN Peacekeeping.

UN June 30: UK Parham & EU Serrano, budget still not shown

  But this is where it stands. It is predicted that a deal will be stuck before midnight. Still and all the UN Department of Management says that this delay means that payments will be made “manually,” at even greater cost.

  The EU diplomatically says it wants consensus. A prominent EU member intent on cost savings says if the G77 “dares” to call for a vote, they will regret it, it will highlight representation without taxation. Some call it accountability, and others call it colonialism and hypocrisy. Watch this site.

* * *

At UN on Abyei Resolution, Western Delay on Budget & Bombing

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 24 -- With much talk of the urgency of authorizing and sending Ethiopian troops to Abyei in Sudan, a split has developed in the Security Council about the timing and contents of the necessary Council resolution.

  Within the Council's Permanent Five members, there's both support for adopting the Abyei resolution on Friday June 24, to get the clock running. Other P-5 members want a briefing from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and have an additional round of amendments.

  Blame for delay is usually cast on Russia and China, as on the moribund Syria resolution. But in this case, the United Kingdom acknowledges having more amendments, and not seeing a difference on the ground for waiting until next week. Sources on June 24 told Inner City Press that France too is for delay. French Ambassador Gerard Araud was observed on June 22 outside the closed meeting on Darfur complaining about the budget.

  The issues on content involve not only whether and how much -- if any -- of the criticism of Khartoum's bombing in Abyei and South Kordofan to migrate from the draft Presidential Statement introduced earlier in the week by the United States, but also what relation the Ethiopian force will have with the post July 9 UN mission in South Sudan.

  Some feel that doesn't need to be decided at this time, in a way that results in any delay of adopting the Abyei resolution authorizing the Ethiopian troops to deploy to Abyei.

  Following the UN's confirmation this week of Inner City Press' scoop that Norway's Hilde Johnson has been tapped by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to succeed Haile Menkerios for the UN in South Sudan, seemingly at the request of the US Mission and Ambassador Susan Rice, some pushback has developed in the Security Council, where praise of Menkerios is contrasted to Hilde Johnson's history as an advocate.

  Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said that the Council has been consulted or coordinated with before Ban tapped Hilde Johnson. Comments on June 24 did not seem to bear that out. Watch this site.

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

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

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Feedback: Editorial [at]

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

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -