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On UN Budget, Takasu Tells ICP of Slow Pay, Qatar Jet in Trust Funds, Union

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 9 -- The UN periodically takes questions about its budget, as it did at Under Secretary General for Management Yukio Takasu's press conference on October 9.

  Inner City Press asked Takasu about the UN's slow-payment for peacekeepers, and about where in the budget gifts like Qatar's of free private jet travel to the Middle East for Ban Ki-moon is disclosed in the budget. Finally, the Free UN Coalition for Access asked Takasu about the continuing lack of a UN-recognized Staff Union: essentially, union-busting at the UN. Video here.

  Takasu gamely answered on the peacekeeper-pay question, saying that the UN can only pay when member states pay their dues. He mentioned France as the most behind in peacekeeping dues -- ironic, that -- with the US and Italy right behind.

  In more detail than Ban's spokespeople have given, Takasu said that gifts like Qatar's on air travel show up in the “financial statements of Trust Funds,” albeit only every two years. Inner City Press will be following up on this.

  On the Staff Union, Takasu said the UN wants there to be one but doesn't want to interfere. But of course they have, and one of those elected in December was subsequently laid off by the UN, something the US National Labor Relations Board would never allow.

  But this is the UN, in the zone of impunity like on bringing cholera to Haiti, a topic on which Inner City Press also asked on October 9, video here. Takasu is, however, to be commended for coming to answer questions, unlike some other Under Secretaries General. We'll have more on this.


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