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Bolivia Set to Head Group of 77 As Budget Fights Rise with Ban, Union Too

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 6 -- As fights about the UN budget gather steam, the next head of the Group of 77 is set to be named: Bolivia, multiple sources tell Inner City Press. There is growing anger at Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his budget proposal.

  "Game on," one G77 Permanent Representative told Inner City Press. The G-77 sources say the timing is propitious, including given Bolivia's standing up on issues like the searching of President Evo Morales' plane.

  They say, again speaking exclusively to Inner City Press, that while in the past the UN Secretariat's budget proposals were closer to the side of the developing world, and then richer countries tried to scale them back, now "Ban Ki-moon has sided in advance with the rich."

  This puts G77 in the position of having to fight on budget proposals right from the beginning. A similar process is going on in the UN Staff Union, as Inner City Press reported last night.

  Ban is proposing budget cuts and the elimination of posts -- that is, jobs. Similar cuts are proposed in the UN Development Program and also UNICEF, with talk of "nodes," under Anthony Lake, outsourcing and off-shoring jobs from New York. These were denounced by many speakers at an October 31 meeting of the Staff Union. Click here for that.

  Various sides in the morning said that the staff, to oppose these cut-backs, will have to reach out to the Fifth (Budget) Committee -- that is, to the Group of 77 side. This has been done in the past. Y ahora, Bolivia. Watch this site.


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