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Inner City Press Podcast --

At the UN, Dow Chemical's Invited In, While Teaming Up With Microsoft is Defended

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, July 25 -- How much would a corporation whose brand resonates with Agent Orange and Napalm, and which acquired in 1999 Union Carbide and liability for the deaths it caused in Bhopal, India, pay to be praised by the United Nations?

            For the past two days on the East River behind the UN building, a tugboat has pushed a barge with a billboard bearing Dow Chemical's red diamond logo. On the second day, Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal carried an article, "Dow Chemical Plans Measures to Be More Green." The article quotes UN official Amir Dossal that "what companies like Dow are doing will raise the bar for others."

            Mr. Dossal, the head of the UN Foundation for International Partnership, is described in one of his online biographies as the UN's "point person for partnerships with the private sector, foundations and civil society." Assuming that civil society includes global membership organizations like Amnesty International, it's worth nothing that in May 2006, Amnesty International protested Dow's annual shareholders' meeting, on Dow's continued failure to address the victims of Bhopal.

            On the fourth floor of the UN on Tuesday, Dow was praised over lunch by Mr. Dossal along with Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch-Brown, who said of Dow: "we endorse it." He apologized for the absence of Kofi Annan, in Rome on the issue of Lebanon. It's worth noting that just before he flew to Italy, Mr. Annan spent an hour and forty-five minutes meeting with the chief executives of pharmaceutical companies in the UN's Conference Room 7, after which neither he nor the CEOs took any questions from the press.

Through the corporate looking glass

            The purpose of the lunch, which included vegetable lasagna and either a burrito or a spring roll to the side of crouton-ed salad, was for Dow CEO Andrew N. Liveris to announce Dow Chemical's sponsorships of Blue Planet Run's around-the-word relay in June 2007. A video was shown, on plasma big-screen televisions. Children from Public School 116 came in to recite lines about clean water.

            As the Wall Street Journal dutifully reported, "last month, the company acquired Zhejiang Omex Engineering Co. of China for an undisclosed amount because, Dow officials said, the smaller company specializes in water-purification systems."  As Mark Malloch-Brown said, "This is a business proposition."

            Among the questions raised is how decides what corporations are invited into the UN? Inner City Press asked this question earlier this month with respect to a program under which the UN's refugee agency "teamed up" with Societe Generale in an investment in a fund controlled by Ivan Pictet, who is on the UN Investment Committee for the UN staff's pension.

    The answer, after days of telephone calls and unreturned emails, came from Mark Malloch-Brown, through the Secretariat's spokesman's office: "This case highlights the complexities of the UN's partnerships with the private sector and so current guidelines and practices of various funds and agencies and programs will be reviewed" to try to avoid "potential conflicts of interest" and misuses of UN logos.

            Following receipt of that statement from the Secretariat's spokesman's office, Inner City Press wrote to another UN agency, the World Tourism Organization, asking for comment and documents

regarding the press release last week, "UN tourism agency teams up with Microsoft to boost African tourism," on which [the] contact [is the] Special Advisor to the Secretary-General. The request is for a explanation of the arrangement between the World Tourism Organization and Microsoft, and separately, for a copy of the written agreement between the World Tourism Organization and Microsoft. While it shouldn't need to be said, promoting tourism in Africa is laudable and needed, and Microsoft is a corporation with a venerable track record, but whether "teaming up" is the appropriate public description of this partnership is a matter we'd like you to comment on, along with the above-requested information. If possible, we'd also like you to comment on whether you believe that the UN World Tourism Organization (and other UN affiliated agencies) receive sufficient guidance on engaging with corporations, and any suggestions you'd like to make in this regard.

            Five days after this request was sent, the following response was received:

-----Original Message-----

From: gl [at]

To: matthew.lee [at]; glipman [at] [and two UN lawyers and one spokesperson]

Sent: Fri, 21 Jul 2006 4:00 PM

Subject: RE: Document & comment request re press release re UN Tourism Agency "Teams Up" with Microsoft

Dear Mr. Lee

The key issues in the PPP between UNWTO and Microsoft, as we see, them are the following:

   The agreement is designed to support the MDGs and is in the spirit of MDG 8

   It is voluntary, non exclusive, carries no specific financial commitments, does not allow any use of our logo without agreement and provides for project defined activities based on the UNWTO work program and other international pro development initiatives.

   It aims to capitalise on links between 2 "catalysing sectors" Tourism and ICT

    It strengthens UNWTO's capacity to develop "e" programs in many areas of our mission that we otherwise would not be able to undertake so effectively, without committing us to any Microsoft systems or products unless we so choose.

   By initially focusing on Africa it puts the emphasis where it is most needed because tourism can bring export income, infrastructure, jobs and new hope for poverty reduction. As you rightly note this is a laudable goal and Microsoft has a venerable track record.

   The first projects are both designed to meet defined needs from our work program and intensive consultations held with Member States over the past year.

   The portal for Africa developed with NEPAD will give an immediate new potential for African States and Communities to showcase their products through a new dynamic channel.

   The Emergency Response System will allow us to respond to all types of crisis by providing consolidated information in a way which will help tourist administrations, tourists and concerned stakeholders. Its primary target of avian flu will be a key component in industry wide preparedness program.

   In addition we ate starting to explore development of an eTourism curriculum for schools and other educational systems designed to provide opportunities for young people in poor counties, where none exist today. 

   We have no comment on the use of the expression "teams" and we don't have any problem with working closely with the private sector -- indeed the Constitution of the UNWTO specifically provides for direct involvement in our activities of the Private Sector and we have a vibrant, growing group of companies affiliated to UNWTO as well as academic institutions and ngo's.

   We are quite open to "guidance" on relations with the private sector -- though at the present we feel we deal with this in a responsible fashion under the oversight of our governance bodies -- and we try to do it efficiently and fairly, as in all our cooperative activities.


Geoffrey Lipman    

            The requested documents, copies of the agreement, have yet to be provided. For now we'll only note that Microsoft is one of eleven corporations lists as "Corp Partners " on the UN Foundation for International Partnerships web site, along with


CISCO Systems

Coca Cola

Aveda Corporation


Equal Access

American Electric Power

British Petroleum

Globalegacy International

Hewlett Packard     

            This beat with continue.

            At Tuesday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked the spokesman office to try to get a response from Kofi Annan to the issues raised in (the margin of) the Reuters article about Peter Karim, kidnapper of seven UN peacekeepers, being made a colonel in the Congolese army.  We'll see.

   At Monday's noon briefing, Jan Egeland's implacable deputy Margaret Wahlstrom made the New York portion of the UN's flash appeal for Lebanon. Fuel pricing there have risen by 600%, due to the bombing of gas stations and storage points, and the need for fuel to run back-up generators. Inner City Press asked if Jan Egeland will be visiting the bombed-out Gaza power plant. "That is the plan," was the answer, pending approvals. We'll see.

            On a less dramatic front, Friday the UN announced that its representative in Iraq Ashraf Qazi had been cleared in full. The UN statement criticizes the unnamed ex-employee who complained about Qazi's conduct, saying that a reprimand will be placed in the ex-employee's permanent file (so he or she can never again work for the UN).

            The question is raised: how is it that the treatment of the Qazi case and complainant does not cast a chill on future prospective whistleblowers, whatever the UN's new written policy states?

            Finally, after inquiries we can report the reappearance of sushi for sale in the Austria cafe in the UN conference building basement. It disappeared, sources say, because the supplier had to be re-accredited. Welcome back! The new plastic trays say Daruma of Tokyo. In light of Monday's Security Council straw poll of the so-far only four candidates to be the next Secretary-General (the real question regarding which is, which mission leaked it?) we close as we began, with a question: who'll next be running this casa de sushi? Sashi?

Update 10 p.m. July 25 -- In the aftermath of UNFIL deaths in Lebanon, the lights burned bright on the UN's 37th floor. Howeve as of 10 p.m. no statement would issue...

Feedback: editorial [at]

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Reporter's mobile: 718-716-3540

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Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, July 24 -- When does allowing a warlord who kidnapped UN peacekeepers to become a colonel in the Congolese national army scream of not only of impunity but distraction, disinterest and lack of attention? At what point does hoping for the best become denial and sweeping under the rug? 

          On Monday the UN's Kofi Annan was asked about the Congo, as he rushed by in a hallway to a meeting with corporate executives, and from there to Rome to discuss the Middle East.  Over the weekend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Mr. Annan's envoy William Lacy Swing said that the UN is "not overly anxious" about violence in Ituri in Eastern Congo in the run-up to the July 30 election. But the problems have gone beyond violence. One week before the vote, churches all over Congo began to preach of boycott, if concerns of vote-rigging for current president Joseph Kabila are not addressed.

            At Monday's noon briefing at UN Headquarters, Kofi Annan's spokeswoman was asked what the UN is doing in the face of the churches' boycott calls, and about the reported stoning of UN vehicles accompanying Kabila in the southern province of Kasai. Very gently, the spokeswoman recounted Kofi Annan's visit to the DRC some weeks ago, including speaking with the churches. But if the churches, now a week before the vote, are calling for boycott, past communications may be not guarantee of future success, as they say.

            Inner City Press asked pointedly if the UN Mission has spoken with the churches which are preaching about boycott. The spokeswoman said she would check.  Near deadline the following was received:

"Matthew, The SRSG in the DR Congo has commented on the call by local priests that Congolese boycott the elections. Mr. Swing has called that move 'untimely.' He has also said that tremendous progress has been achieved in preparing for the election and that the DRC 'is arguably the only sub-region in Africa that has always lacked any centre of political stability and because of the size of this country, with nine neighbors, it is the only country that can give it that stability.'"

            It remains to be seen what Mr. Swing means by "untimely." There is a legalistic meaning, meaning "raised too late." Or he may mean, "raised at an unfortunate time." But the criticisms have long been raised. Wanting stability is not the same thing as achieving it.

Seven UN blue helmets in Congo

            Inner City Press last week asked if the UN was aware, when its seven kidnapped peacekeepers were released earlier this month, that the warlord who took them hostage would be made a colonel in the Congolese army. The response included references to "no ransom" and "we did not try to have any conditions attached." Written requests for on-the-record comment from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations remain outstanding. The election is six days away...

            In that context, Inner City Press waited more than an hour outside Conference Room 7 in the UN Headquarters basement, hoping to ask Secretary-General  Kofi Annan if he knew about Peter Karim.  On May 30 at a then-more-frequently stakeout by the Secretary-General, Inner City Press asked about the peacekeepers, and Kofi Annan named Peter Karim, saying he would be held "personally accountable. From the video at Minutes 13:40 - 15:25, and the transcript:

Inner City Press question: "On the Democratic Republic of the Congo, what's being done for the 7 peacekeepers that were taken hostage in Ituri? And also, over the weekend, the UN military head in Bunia said elections can't really be held in this type of circumstance? What can be done in the run-up to elections to make it more?"

Secretary-General answer: "It is tragic what happened in Bunia and we lost one Nepalese and three are wounded and about seven are missing. And we have been in touch with Karim's group -- we think that is the group holding them, and demanding their release. And hopefully, we will get them released. But Karim and others who get involved in these sort of activities, must understand that they will be held accountable, as Lubanga has been picked up and is now in the hands of the ICC [International Criminal Court]. They will be held individually accountable for these brutal acts."

            Fifty four days later, as Mr. Annan left the Conference Room where he'd been meeting with pharmaceutical executives for more than an hour, Inner City Press approached with a "Congo question." One of two bodyguards motioned to stay back. As Mr. Annan exited from the bathroom, Inner City Press gave him wide latitude, only asking "Peter Karim?"

            Mr. Annan gestured that he was otherwise occupied, that his mind was full. "I've got the pharmaceutical," he said.

            Inner City Press of the week prior's article, "Congo Rebel to Lay Down Arms, Become Army Colonel."  The question in the margin: personal accountability? (May 30, 2006). Or impunity.  And contact information.  We'll see.

  Inside Kofi Annan met with executives from, among others, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck (which for those counting was up fully 4.6% on the day, higher than absent rival Pfizer's 3.4%. One wag said perhaps the trip to the UN was too arduous for Pfizer.

            While waiting, rudimentary research shows that Peter Karim was described as a thief of the DRC's resources in the 2002 UN Report " Uganda's illegal resource exploitation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," S/2002/1146, at Paragraphs 98 and 116 --

"98. The elite network operating out of Uganda is decentralized and loosely hierarchical, unlike the network operating out of Rwanda. The Uganda network consists of a core group of members including certain high-ranking UPDF officers, private businessmen and selected rebel leaders/administrators. UPDF Lieutenant General (Ret.) Salim Saleh and Major General James Kazini are the key figures. Other members include the Chief of Military Intelligence, Colonel Noble Mayombo, UPDF Colonel Kahinda Otafiire and Colonel Peter Karim. Private entrepreneurs include Sam Engola, Jacob Manu Soba and Mannase Savo and other Savo family members. Rebel politicians and administrators include Professor Wamba dia Wamba, Roger Lumbala, John Tibasima, Mbusa Nyamwisi and Toma Lubanga. 

"116. Trinity Investment’s local transporters in Bunia, the Savo family group among others, carry agricultural products, wood and cattle from Bunia to Kampala exempt from UPDF toll barriers and export taxes. Trinity investment also works with another front company under the name of Sagricof to fraudulently evacuate wood from North Kivu and the Ituri area. Tree plantations have been raided in the areas of Mahagi and Djugu along the north-eastern border with Uganda. Concerned citizens and research by local nongovernmental organizations have identified Colonel Peter Karim and Colonel Otafiire, in addition to the Ugandan parliamentarian Sam Ngola, as key figures in the illegal logging and fraudulent evacuation of wood."

            The UN has other, even more personal and damning information on Karim. So, when does allowing a warlord who kidnapped UN peacekeepers to become a colonel in a national army scream of not only of impunity but distraction, disinterest and lack of attention? At 5:15 p.m., after having devoted an hour and forty-five minutes to corporate executives, Kofi Annan swept away through the hall, bound for Rome and not Bunia, head filled with GlaxoSmithKline not the Congo, with an article and question. We'll see.

At the UN Poorest Nations Discussed, Disgust at DRC Short Shrift, Future UN Justice?

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, July 20 -- The plight of the 50 least developed countries on Earth was the topic of discussion Thursday at the UN, at the margins of dueling stakeouts between the Ambassadors of the U.S. and Lebanon, Israel, Peru and Kofi Annan's band of three envoys to the Middle East.

  In from the Palais des Nations in Geneva, the UN's Charles Gore spoke with passion and at length about how countries in Africa are now inundated with food exported by more developed countries which subsidize its production and export.

  While not responding directly to Inner City Press' request for his analysis of the World Trade Organization regime and protectionism and subsidies by Europe and the U.S., Mr. Gore noted that fully 47% of aid actually transfers capital to the beneficiary nation. For the U.S.'s aid, said Mr. Gore, only 10% involves capital transfer. The rest is debt cancellation, emergency and food aid and "technical assistance," which is often just a transfer to the donor nation's own technocrats, as Ugandans have complained of the UNDP's aid.

Afghan Herat per UNHCR

          The reported increase in aid is largest attributable, Mr. Gore said, to Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC. Out on the second story's main floor, the DRC and its looting for resources for armed insurgent groups was on the Security Council's agenda. Due to the Lebanese crisis and briefing by Kofi Annan, the DRC agenda was by all accounts rushed through. A three page draft resolution was perfunctorily dropped by the head of the sanctions committee Oswaldo de Rivero, the UN envoy from Peru.

            Amb. Rivero also came to the stakeout, to speak of Lebanon. He sounded suspiciously Boltonesque, stressing that it is impossible to negotiate a ceasefire with a terroristic group. Earlier Amb. Bolton went further, asking what a ceasefire would mean to any non-elected government. Given the number of UN member states, including U.S. allies, which are not democracies, it seemed a loaded question.

            At Amb. Rivero's stakeout, Inner City Press asked what countries were pushing-back on the proposals for a ceasefire or cessation of hostilities in Lebanon. He answered non-committally that the Council is united, at least on matters humanitarian. After the stakeout, at he re-entered the Council chamber, Inner City Press asked him why Peru had abstained from the Gaza resolution on July 13.  "Because these two are connected," Amb. Rivero answered, gesturing into the Council.

            "Gaza and Lebanon?"

            "Exactly. They have to be solved together," he said.

            "It wasn't that you thought the resolution should be directed less at Tel Aviv?"    "No, no," Amb. Rivero insisted. "It was because Lebanon had to be included. That's the only reason we abstained."

            Perhaps... Substantively on the Congo, while still awaiting straight answers, more information emerged Thursday about the UN's negotiations with Peter Karim, who parlayed the kidnapping of seven UN peacekeepers into a job as a colonel in the DCR army. Not only did Karim demand shoes, and lots of them -- he also insisted that his motorcycle be returned to him by Congolese authorities. The bike was returned. And then, Peter Karim was offered a position as colonel in the Congolese national army.

            Improvements in staff justice? Thursday afternoon there was a sparsely attended briefing by the Redesign Panel on the UN Internal Justice System. Five of the members of the Panel presented their proposal, which would they said provide faster and more professional justice. Inner City Press asked if the cases and results would be public, unlike the current system. Mary Gaudron, currently a judge for the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal, answered the hearings would be public as would be results, unless the judge "in the interest of justice" decided otherwise.  Inner City Press asked about some current cases; a colleague correspondent of shall we say school boyish charm asked about bringing the corrupt to justice. With questions still unasked, the briefing was brought to a close. One of yesterday's questions, however, received a one-line answer. "In response to your question from yesterday: the Deputy Secretary-General met with members of the Iraq Revenue Watch as part of his briefings to understand better the issues related to the preparation of the International Compact for Iraq." Alright, then. To be continued.

UN Stasis as World Unravels Gives Space to Ivory Coast's Gbagbo and Others

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, July 14 -- The world, it is reported here and elsewhere, is unraveling. And as the UN Security Council remains this Friday night on hold, canceling a meeting scheduled for 5 pm so that the Permanent Five Plus Japan can meet at the U.S. mission, in the wider world there are grabs to take or cling to power. In Cote D'Ivoire, for example, the process of identification for the already-postponed election now slated for October 30 was supposed to begin this week. It did not however begin.

            At the UN, Inner City Press asked the Security Council president Jean-Marc de La Sabliere about events in Ivory Coast. The French mission provides this transcript:

Inner City Press Q: On Côte d’Ivoire, the identification process has been suspended. Do you have a comment?

Amb. de La Sabliere A: "This is a great concern. What the Council has done this month is to listen and react to a briefing from Mr. Guéhenno who was in Banjul and Yamoussoukro with the Secretary General. We are now preparing a PRST to support the conclusions of the Yamoussoukro meeting where new commitments were made. We want those commitments to be implemented. The PRST will be adopted, I hope, very early next week. Next step: the GTI will meet in Abidjan on the 20th of July. The Council will meet on the 26th.

"Going back to your question: the identification is a major element of the agreement. It was agreed upon by the parties of Côte d’Ivoire that identification and disarmament would go along. So, we cannot organize elections if the identification process is not done. So, identification is important, and the Council will have to assess what happened yesterday. As French Ambassador, I can say that the PRST will take that into account.

Q2: As French Ambassador, would it be your view that if elections are not held…?

A2: "My answer is that there will be a Summit in September. We will see what happens then."

   Unless of course there are other higher profile crises in September... In the run-up to the 90 p.m. let down, at 5 p.m. the press corps assembled for a scheduled Council consultation. Then cell phones and Blackberries went off, announcing the meeting was cancelled. In the lull before the 9:40 conclusion (see above), the stakeout scuttlebutt, at least among reporters, was that the U.S. veto on Thursday emboldens China to veto the draft Chapter 7 resolution on North Korea. Also in the lull, some drifted over to stakeout the U.S. mission. Others retired to the Delegates' Lounge, where Inner City Press Friday interviewed the Permanent Observer from Palestine, Riyad Mansour, who confirmed Inner City Press' finding that the U.S. government's Overseas Private Insurance Corporation insured the Gaza power plant, since Enron built it, click here for that story.

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, July 13 -- The UN under Kofi Annan has increasingly worked with corporations. Questions have been raised about background checks and safeguards. A day after Inner City Press reported that the UN's Geneva-based refugee agency had not known that Swiss banker Ivan Pictet is on the UN Investment Committee when the UNHCR Kashmir Relief Note placed money with the Pictet Funds India Equity fund, the agency's spokesman mused, "Isn't the UN Investment Fund based in New York?"

            Inner City Press asked if it would have been helpful to UNHCR if the UN system had a database of the companies controlled by the outside business people who serve on bodies like the UN Investment Committee. A Google search for that committee and Pictet found close to nothing. It appears that there is no easy way to find who is on the UN Investment Committee.

            UNHCR's Ron Redmond answered that that it would "have been helpful to have that type of information... For UNHCR to look it up is labor intensive, with all the possible company names." He later added in writing, "Any additional information on prospective corporate partners is of course always welcome; it would facilitate our screening processes." Mr. Redmond states that UNHCR was never required to ask SocGen to cease using the UNHCR visibility logo, in part because the brochure that it was on was only intended to be used for a brief period. But records show that individuals high in UN Headquarters chided UNHCR for the use of such terms as UNHCR "teams up" with SocGen. Despite this in-house chiding, or perhaps because the chiders refuse in their defensiveness to comment for the record, this practice continues in the UN system to this day, literally. Click here to view the UN's World Tourism Organization's July 12, 2006 press release, "UN tourism agency teams up with Microsoft," which was published on the UN News Center just as UNHCR SocGen-derilab's April 5, 2006 press release was. They just keep teaming up.

            As the UN increasingly has intercourse with corporations, basic safeguards are still not in place. Inner City Press has previously reported on the lack of background checks when corporations are allowed to join the UN Global Compact, and has twice been rebuffed in requests to interview or ask questions of corporate CEOs who have come to meet the Secretary General or on other Global Compact business.

            At Thursday's noon briefing, spokeswoman Marie Okabe was asked if any of the individuals in the Secretariat who were asked to comment on the UNHCR - Pictet - Societe Generale transaction had in fact spoken or provided guidance. We're still working on it, Ms. Okabe answered.

            Near six p.m., Ms. Okabe called Inner City Press and said she had spoken about the matter, as requested, with Under Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown. "They are aware of the issues," Ms. Okabe said. "This case highlights the complexities of the UN's partnerships with the private sector and so current guidelines and practices of various funds and agencies and programs will be reviewed" to try to avoid "potential conflicts of interest" and misuses of UN logos.

            Great. But what about the continued "teaming up," now with Microsoft? There's more work to be done.

[A note on UNHCR's work about Uzbekistan: the agency managed to visit in Kazakhstan with Gabdurafikh Temirbaev, the Uzbek dissident threatened with refoulement back to Tashkent, and has, its spokesman said, gotten a commitment to be able to review Uzbekistan's extradition request.]

            Alongside UNHCR's work, unlike at the UN Development Programme, at least UNHCR answered the questions and acknowledged that things could be better. On UNDP and human rights, on UNDP and refusal to answer press questions, what will happen?


            On the issues surrounding UNDP, the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary-General managed to get some response from UNDP to a question Inner City Press asked UNDP in writing more than a week ago: why does UNDP help the government of Uzbekistan to collect taxes, given the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' finding that this government shot and killed its own people in Andijan in May 2005. Here now is UNDP's response:

"As far as your UNDP/Uzbekistan questions from the other week, here's what I can tell you... in Uzbekistan and most of the 140 developing nations where UNDP operates, UNDP works with government and civil society on a broad range of governance projects, including economic reforms, of which tax administration and fiscal policy are a significant component. Other governance projects in Uzbekistan focus on gender equality, internet access, and public administration reform. It may be worth noting that UNDP works in a wide range of political environments, from Costa Rica to North Korea, with the belief that UNDP's mandate as a development agency is to work constructively on behalf of the people of the developing world wherever and whenever possible."

            One wag wondered if UNDP's programs in Uzbekistan might involve technical assistance on not putting political dissidents in boiling water, as the U.K.'s former ambassador in Tashkent has testified takes place. And see above, that UNHCR has managed to visit in Kazakhstan with Gabdurafikh Temirbaev, the Uzbek dissident threatened with refoulement back to Uzbekistan, where he would face torture -- perhaps with tax funds UNDP helped to collect. UNDP has still not even purported to answer the week-old question about UNDP's funding of Robert Mugabe's purported "Human Rights Council." Now the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has called for a boycott.  What was that again, about UNDP working with civil society? To be continued.

Feedback: editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 718-716-3540

Other Inner City Press reports are archived on

At the UN, New Phrase Passes Resolution called Gangster-Like by North Korea; UK Deputy on the Law(less)

UN's Guehenno Speaks of "Political Overstretch" Undermining Peacekeeping in Lower Profile Zones

In Gaza Power Station, the Role of Enron and the U.S. Government's OPIC Revealed by UN Sources

At UN, North Korean Knot Attacked With Fifty Year Old Precedent, Game Continues Into Weekend

UN's Corporate Partnerships Will Be Reviewed, While New Teaming Up with Microsoft, and UNDP Continues

Gaza Resolution Vetoed by U.S., While North Korea Faces Veto and Chechnya Unread

BTC Briefing, Like Pipeline, Skirts Troublespots, Azeri Revelations

Conflicts of Interest in UNHCR Program with SocGen and Pictet Reveal Reform Rifts

At the UN, A Day of Resolutions on Gaza, North Korea and Iran, Georgia as Side Dish

UN Grapples with Somalia, While UNDP Funds Mugabe's Human Rights Unit, Without Explanation

In North Korean War of Words, Abuses in Uganda and Impunity Go Largely Ignored

On North Korea, Blue Words Move to a Saturday Showdown, UNDP Uzbek Stonewall

As the World Turns in Uganda and Korea, the UN Speaks only on Gaza, from Geneva

North Korea in the UN: Large Arms Supplant the Small, and Confusion on Uganda

UN Gives Mugabe Time with His Friendly Mediator, Refugees Abandoned

At the UN, Friday Night's Alright for Fighting; Annan Meets Mugabe

UN Acknowledges Abuse in Uganda, But What Did Donors Know and When? Kazakh Questions

In Uganda, UNDP to Make Belated Announcement of Program Halt, But Questions Remain (and see The New Vision, offsite).

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Leads UN Agency to Suspend Its Work and Spending

Disarmament Abuse in Uganda Blamed on UNDP, Still Silent on Finance

Alleged Abuse in Disarmament in Uganda Known by UNDP, But Dollar Figures Still Not Given: What Did UN Know and When?

Strong Arm on Small Arms: Rift Within UN About Uganda's Involuntary Disarmament of Karamojong Villages

UN in Denial on Sudan, While Boldly Predicting the Future of Kosovo/a

UN's Selective Vision on Somalia and Wishful Thinking on Uighurs

UN Habitat Predicts The World Is a Ghetto, But Will Finance Be Addressed at Vancouver World Urban Forum?

At the UN, a Commando Unit to Quickly Stop Genocide is Proposed, by Diplomatic Sir Brian Urquhart

UN's Annan Concerned About Use of Terror's T-Word to Repress, Wants Freedom of Information

UN  Waffles on Human Rights in Central Asia and China; ICC on Kony and a Hero from Algiers

At the UN, Internal Justice Needs Reform, While in Timor Leste, Has Evidence Gone Missing?

UN & US, Transparency for Finance But Not Foreign Affairs: Somalia, Sovereignty and Senator Tom Coburn

In Bolton's Wake, Silence and Speech at the UN, Congo and Kony, Let the Games Begin

Pro-Poor Talk and a Critique of the World Trade Organization from a WTO Founder: In UN Lull, Ugandan Fog and Montenegrin Mufti

Human Rights Forgotten in UN's War of Words, Bolton versus Mark Malloch Brown: News Analysis

In Praise of Migration, UN Misses the Net and Bangalore While Going Soft on Financial Exclusion

UN Sees Somalia Through a Glass, Darkly, While Chomsky Speaks on Corporations and Everything But Congo

AIDS Ends at the UN? Side Deals on Patents, Side Notes on Japanese Corporations, Salvadoran and Violence in Burundi

On AIDS at the UN, Who Speaks and Who Remains Unseen

Corporate Spin on AIDS, Holbrooke's Kudos to Montenegro and its Independence (May 31, 2006)

Kinshasa Election Nightmares, from Ituri to Kasai. Au Revoir Allan Rock; the UN's Belly-Dancing

Working with Warlords, Insulated by Latrines: Somalia and Pakistan Addressed at the UN

The Silence of the Congo and Naomi Watts; Between Bolivia and the World Bank

Human Rights Council Has Its Own Hanging Chads; Cocky U.S. State Department Spins from SUVs

Child Labor and Cargill and Nestle; Iran, Darfur and WHO's on First with Bird Flu

Press Freedom? Editor Arrested by Congo-Brazzaville, As It Presides Over Security Council

The Place of the Cost-Cut UN in Europe's Torn-Up Heart;
Deafness to Consumers, Even by the Greens

Background Checks at the UN, But Not the Global Compact; Teaching Statistics from Turkmenbashi's Single Book

Ripped Off Worse in the Big Apple, by Citigroup and Chase: High Cost Mortgages Spread in Outer Boroughs in 2005, Study Finds

Burundi: Chaos at Camp for Congolese Refugees, Silence from UNHCR, While Reform's Debated by Forty Until 4 AM

In Liberia, From Nightmare to Challenge; Lack of Generosity to Egeland's CERF, Which China's Asked About

The Chadian Mirage: Beyond French Bombs, Is Exxon In the Cast? Asylum and the Uzbeks, Shadows of Stories to Come

Through the UN's One-Way Mirror, Sustainable Development To Be Discussed by Corporations, Even Nuclear Areva

Racial Disparities Grew Worse in 2005 at Citigroup, HSBC and Other Large Banks

Mine Your Own Business: Explosive Remnants of War and the Great Powers, Amid the Paparazzi

Human Rights Are Lost in the Mail: DR Congo Got the Letter, But the Process is Still Murky

Iraq's Oil to be Metered by Shell, While Basrah Project Remains Less than Clear

At the UN, Dues Threats and Presidents-Elect, Unanswered Greek Mission Questions

Kofi, Kony, Kagame and Coltan: This Moment in the Congo and Kampala

As Operation Swarmer Begins, UN's Qazi Denies It's Civil War and Has No Answers if Iraq's Oil is Being Metered

Cash Crop: In Nepal, Bhutanese Refugees Prohibited from Income Generation Even in their Camps

The Shorted and Shorting in Humanitarian Aid: From Davos to Darfur, the Numbers Don't Add Up

UN Reform: Transparency Later, Not Now -- At Least Not for AXA - WFP Insurance Contract

In Congolese Chaos, Shots Fired at U.N. Helicopter Gunship

In the Sudanese Crisis, Oil Revenue Goes Missing, UN Says

Empty Words on Money Laundering and Narcotics, from the UN and Georgia

What is the Sound of Eleven Uzbeks Disappearing? A Lack of Seats in Tashkent, a Turf War at UN

Kosovo: Of Collective Punishment and Electricity; Lights Out on Privatization of Ferronikeli Mines

Abkhazia: Cleansing and (Money) Laundering, Says Georgia

Post-Tsunami Human Rights Abuses, including by UNDP in the Maldives

Who Pays for the Global Bird Flu Fight? Not the Corporations, So Far - UN

Citigroup Dissembles at United Nations Environmental Conference

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