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 -e.g. Somalia, Nepal, Ghana, Azerbaijan, The Gambia  For further info, click here to contact us         .

Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

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's Borg-Olivier, Warned for Pro-Kosovo Quotes, Is Paid Through UNDP to Advise Kosovo

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

UNITED NATIONS, September 3 -- In Kosovo, the just-retired chief legal officer of the UN Mission, Alexander Borg-Olivier, is now being paid through the UN Development Program to be an advisor to the Kosovo government. This despite the UN's admission Wednesday to Inner City Press that Borg-Olivier was previously warned by UNMIK for publicly bragging about his position in favor of Kosovo independence. His new position not only directly calls into question the impartiality or so-called status neutrality of the UN in Kosovo, it also appears to violate applicable UN post-employment rules.

   "Mr. Borg-Olivier earlier this year gave an interview to the Times of Malta which was considered to be inappropriate by UNMIK and the previous SRSG who brought the interview to his attention and gave him an oral warning," a written response provided Wednesday to Inner City Press by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General acknowledged. It went on to say that "on 30 June Mr. Borg-Olivier retired from the UN and it is our understanding that he is currently assisting the Kosovo government on legal matters. He is no longer employed by the UN so there is no conflict of interest."

  But the UN Secretary General's Bulletin on "post employment restrictions" provides

2.2 For a period of two years following separation from service, former staff members who have participated in the procurement process for the Organization before separation from service are prohibited from knowingly communicating with, or appearing before, any staff member or unit of the Organization on behalf of any third party on any particular matters that were under their official responsibility relating to the procurement process during the last three years of their service with the Organization.

  As UNMIK's chief legal official, Borg Olivier participated in the procurement process. Under his watch, funds from the privatization of state-owned enterprises were transferred to the Kosovo government.  Now, the UN tells Inner City Press, "UNMIK is doing its outmost to secure the Kosovo Trust Agency funds until all outstanding issues including claims can be dealt with."

Borg-Olivier, at right, as UNMIK OIC, before going to work for Kosovo (DPI/UNMIK)

  It seems clear that Borg Olivier was preparing to go work for and with the Kosovo government while still in the employ of UNMIK. This would violate Rule 2.3, which provides

2.3 While in service, staff members participating in the procurement process shall refrain from soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any promise or offer of future employment from any contractor or vendor of goods or services, regardless of location, which conducts business with the Organization or seeks to do so and with whom such staff members have been personally involved in the procurement process during the previous three years of service with the Organization. Should a staff member participating in the procurement process receive a promise or offer, the staff member shall immediately report the incident to the head of office and to the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services and recuse himself or herself from any further dealing with such contractor or vendor until instructed to do so by the head of office.

   Later on Wednesday, the plot further thickened, when UNDP Spokesman Stephane Dujarric chimed in that

"Mr. Borg-Olivier has been contracted as a short-term consultant on an European Commission funded project called 'Capacity Building for European Integration.' UNDP administers this EC project , called 'Capacity Building for European Integration' project, which aims to provide capacity building services to the government of Kosovo.  The project is designed to be 'demand driven,' to provide services as requested by the government. It was the government who requested Borg-Olivier's services. The request was then approved by the EC as the EC approves or vetoes all funding decisions.  The decision to hire Mr. Borg-Oliver was taken by the EC. UNDP's role was [to] process the paper work according to the decisions of the host government and the donor, the EC."

  Inner City Press has asked UNDP how much it got or gets paid to "process the paper work" for the EC to pay Kosovo's chosen consultant. Why, one wonders, is UNDP always in the middleman role?  But more fundamentally, do Serbia and, for example, Russia know that the UN, which claims to be status neutral, is paying consultants to the Kosovo government? And unrelatedly, since UN system retirees are limited to making or taking above $22,000 annual from the UN, how much is Borg-Olivier getting paid?  We will continue to pursue this, since the UN at least initially did not.

Footnote: On Tuesday Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesperson to confirm its weekend report that David Harland is the new Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Kosovo; the response was " I don’t have anything on that today." Well on Wednesday in Pristina, the UN spokesperson there Alexander Ivanko said that "Mr. Harland who is appointed Principal Deputy to the SRSG on an acting bas[i]s will arrive tomorrow." So why not announce it at UN Headquarters? Now, the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General is not even holding a briefing or Q&A session on Thursday. And so it goes at the UN.

Watch this site. And this (on South Ossetia), this, on Russia-Georgia, and this --


* * *

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] -