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At UN, Ban Wants Budget Advisory Panel Views Ignored, Members Push Back

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 27, updated -- In a letter to the chairman of the UN's budget committee on November 26, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the committee to ignore the recommendations of its own Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

  Ban wants to push through his so-called Mobility plan while questions remain outstanding. The two page letter, addressed to the this year's chairman, the Deputy Permanent Representative of Germany Miguel Berger, is not yet public, members say, but Inner City Press has it.

   As one well placed member of the Budget Committee exclusively told Inner City Press, Ban's "mobility is now 'key' to a bunch of projects that began before it, like the Global Field Support Strategy and UMOJA," mired in delays and nepotism.

  Ban's letter "stress[es] that the new mobility framework is at the heart of our key management initiatives and a key enabler for other on-going reform efforts, such as UMOJA, our enterprise resource planning system and the Global Field Support Strategy."

  Ban writes that he is "disappointed" with the timelines recommended by the ACABQ, elections and then election of the chair of which Inner City Press recently covered. (On Monday, voting for vice chairman between the candidates of Gabon and the UK was postponed, with some idea there might be two co-vice chairs.)

  What ACABQ recommended on Ban's "mobility" proposal  is a one year delay in order to answer questions, get more information -- as one member put it, for more "transparency and accountability."

  Ban's letter states that he is "disappointed with the timeline suggested by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions which cannot meet our requirements."

  The letter came on the eve of an emergency staff meeting about "offshoring and outsourcing" the staff say Ban is trying to implement.

   Reform of the UN is needed -- see for example the inaction of UN Peacekeepers as the M23 mutineers took over Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the UN's continued inaction on a claim that its peacekeepers introduced cholera to Haiti, while it talks about accountability and the rule of law.

   But going against the recommendations of the UN's own Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions may not be the right road to reform, several budget committee experts and member states have opined.

  Some see it as similar to the stealthly floated proposal for the UN to use drones. Ban's chief of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous proposed it to the C-34 in March, after which several members complained to Inner City Press. They said the proposal would only serve, and be used by, a small number of powerful states -- like this newer proposal?

   Now, using the UN's failure in the DRC as a pretext, the proposal has re-appeared. Ladsous has refused to answer any Press questions. On November 26, several members of the General Assembly and Security Council panned Ladsous and his plan. But will Ban just try to push it through, Mobility style? Watch this site.

Watch this site.

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