Silent on Sudan Vote Boycott Call, US' Rice on Chad and DC,
But Not Corruption
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 26 -- In the run up to elections in Sudan, the SPLM
rebels have called for a boycott of voting in South Kordofan state.
Inner City Press asked
UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky on January 25 for
the UN's response.
Mr. Neskirky replied, "I’m sure my
colleagues on the ground are aware of it, and we’ll need to get
full guidance from them on that." But 24 hours later, no UN
"guidance" had been provided.
following UN Security Council consultations on the subject, Inner
City Press asked U.S. Permanent Representative Susan Rice what the
she makes of the SPLM call for a boycott, due they say to problems
with the census. Video here,
from Minute 4:05.
replied that there are unresolved or unimplemented parts of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement, including how to deal with the census.
She said it "merits the close attention of the parties." If
the lack of UN response or guidance for more than 24 hours is any
guide, perhaps it merits more "close attention" from the
also asked Ambassador Rice about Chad's statement that it does not
want the UN's MINURCAT peacekeeping force extended when it expires in
March. She replied that there have been such "reservation"
about the continuation of UN peacekeeping presence in Chad "and
refer to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where President Joseph
Kabila pushed to limit the mandate extension of MONUC to a mere five
months. Some say Chad's interest is more monetary. We'll see.
Susan Rice at the stakeout, neither the US nor UN
speaks on corruption
asked about a recent piece
by the spokesman for her predecessors John
Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad, Richard Grenell. She said she hadn't
read it, but rattled off Security Council votes taken in 2009.
three days a week in Washington DC as a product of being in the
Cabinet and National Security Council. More recent family health
issues, cited to many writers by the US Mission, were not mentioned.
But while one
of the critiques is a failure of achievement on UN
reform, even as the number in investigations by the UN's OIOS had
radically declined, Ambassador Rice did not address this. More
recently, a U.S. indictment in Florida raises issues of corruption in
UN Procurement. On January 25, Inner City Press asked
City Press: There is a New York Times article that took place either
Friday or Saturday with a headline “Contractor charged with trying
to get corruption from UN procurement” but the actual indictment,
USA Vs. Bistrong, seems to indicate that the contractor actually got
what he was looking for, that is he was able to influence the bidding
practice within the UN. I just wondered whether, in response to
these allegations, the UN is going to conduct its own investigations,
whether through that OIOS unit or otherwise?
Well, the Office of Internal Oversight Services has completed an
investigation into a matter where many of the facts at issue here
were with respect to Mr. Bistrong. And I think you can expect a
report from OIOS. It’s forthcoming.
while the criminal information refers to a UN agent, the United
Nations considers this person to be an individual already
investigated by the United Nations, who has been separated from
service and convicted by the United States authorities. And the
United Nations will, however, confirm with United States authorities
to ensure that there are no other UN personnel implicated.
City Press: Are you referring to Mr. Jacob Loeb [Yakoblev], just to
be clear who we’re talking about?
I’m telling you what I have here. I can also give you a couple of
other details. The events reported in the press refer to actions
which occurred in 2001 to 2006. And since 2006 procurement processes
have been tightened to ensure the bid-rigging and bribery described
in the criminal information are no longer possible. The UN
Procurement Division (UNPD) believes that the allegations refer to
persons who are no longer employed by the United Nations.
the Procurement Division is aware of the issues referred to in the
criminal information filed on 22 January 2010 against Richard T.
Bistrong. And in consultation with the Office of Internal Oversight
Services (OIOS) and Office of Legal Affairs, the Procurement Division
is reviewing the matter to identify what actions are warranted. And
also, following a review, existing or prospective procurement vendors
will be referred to the Senior Vendor Review Committee for
where is the US
Mission to the UN on these issues? Watch this site.
* * *