Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the United Nations to Wall Street to the Inner City

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .


Follow us on TWITTER

Home -

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


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

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

UNDP's Liley, After Layoffs & Partying, Abruptly Exits, Scandals

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 18, more here -- Layoffs at the UN Development Program have been a subject of Inner City Press' reporting since May, and now more documents and comparisons are emerging, including UNDP's head of Human Resources Michael Liley now leaving after barely two years on the job, amid questions.

  Because "human resources" officials partying in the midst of layoffs, like fiddling while Rome burned, seems inappropriate to some, Inner City Press on June 4 published this:

Subject: Please join us for an OHR NY End-of-Week Get Together
From: Michael Liley
Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 5:30:29 PM
To: OHR New York; Mads Svendsen; Alesandra Roccasalvo; Carlos Arboleda; Hannes Finkenbrink; Eugene Pak; Lisa Lange; Robert Nadelson; Teresa Posse; Fabrizio Mastrogirolamo; Thomas ELFTMANN; Savita Shivaji; Seth Levine

Please join us for an OHR NY End-of-Week Get Together

Dear all, You are warmly invited to put your work aside for one afternoon as OHR NY gets together to socialize at a team-building event this Friday. There will be music and activities, with food and drink provided – we only ask that you bring yourselves (and your sense of fun)!

I look forward to seeing everyone there!

Michael C. Liley
Director, Office of Human Resources, BoM, UNDP

   Now amid reports of investigations the worm has turned, and Liley has unceremoniously left, sending this out on Friday, October 17 after 4 pm:

Dear OHR Colleagues, It is with mixed emotions that I am writing to you – to let you know that I have decided to leave and return to private sector after 2 exciting years at UNDP. This was not an easy decision to make... In my final message to all of you I want to talk about the team – the Office of Human Resources (OHR).

Before the end of the year the colleagues in NY will see another visible sign – the refurbishment of the 18th floor! With Liz’ arrival we have added the experience of a senior HR executive to the team and Vee’s move to OHR brings the field perspective to SAS. Rekha’s new role as Chief of Directorate has served us well during the turbulent times of the Structural Change – her leadership made a big difference. Ali has a strong focus on making our offices the best and most productive place to work they can be. And soon Diego will round up this team with more strong HR leadership experience. All of these leaders have taken their roles in the past 24 months – a lot of change. And Henrietta continues to provide leadership to the field group and now coordinates our crucial HR efforts on Ebola.

Unfortunately I won’t get a chance to say farewell to each of you individually – all the best for you, personally and professionally. Warm regards, Michael

   Throughout this year there have been rumblings about “Helen Clark's cut backs” at UNDP.

   In late May the rumbling spiked, with the UNDP staff union holding a meeting in the UN's basement on May 29 to discuss the loss of up to 30% of UNDP's jobs in New York.

  So on May 31 when Helen Clark re-tweeted praise of her visit to Belarus from her representative in the country, Sri Lankan national Sanaka Samarasinha, Inner City Press replied: "What about the UNDP layoffs?"

   The response came not from Helen Clark -- who rarely if ever holds question and answer press availabilities at the UN in New York -- but from Samarasinha, that the UNDP layoffs "must always be transparent & being fit for purpose. We strive toward that end."

  Inner City Press thanked Samarasinha, adding it will try to make the proposed layoffs transparent.  And we continue and will continue to do that.

Footnotes: The fiddling while Rome burns analogies are everywhere. Also in late May, for example, the UN evicted the News Agency of Nigeria from its workspace on the third floor of the UN Secretariat building.

   Inner City Press reported on it and at the June 4 noon briefing on behalf of the new Free UN Coalition for Access asked spokeman Stephane Dujarric about it, and due process (also applicable at UNDP). The old UN Correspondents Association, on the other hand, did nothing for the News Agency of Nigeria, nor for the correspondent to whom French Ambassador Gerard Araud said "You are not a journalist, you are an agent, nor since then when USG Ladsous blocked the Press' camera at the General Assembly stakeout, Vine here.

  Instead, UNCA big wigs partied on June 7 in a Hamptons home that UNCA's just-previous president tried to rent out for $90,000 a month, after renting an apartment to Sri Lanka's Ambassador, see here. In a reference to Sri Lanka's Bloodbath on the Beach, this was called "Blowhards on the Beach." And parallel to or despite these finances, the successor has urged new media at the UN to pay $90 in exchange for a letter to get office space inside the UN. We've seen the repercussions of such behavior, at least in OHR, within UNDP. What about on the east side of First Avenue? Watch this site.


Share |

* * *

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

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Click for re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA

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 2006-2014 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]