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In DR Congo, UN Applauds Entry into Army of Child-Soldier Commander Along with Kidnapper

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

   UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- In what the UN Thursday described as a "major UN-brokered development," Mathieu Ngudjolo of the Congolese Revolutionary Movement agreed to join the Congolese army. Cursory research, however, reflects Mr. Ngudjolo justifying the use of child-soldiers, and as widely seen as operating for and from Uganda. Nevertheless, Kofi Annan's envoy William Lacy Swing "welcomed" Mr. Ngudjolo's incorporation into the Congolese army, and encouraged other "militia leaders to follow the MRC's lead."

            Before the MRC, Mr. Ngudjolo was affiliated with a number of Lendu militias, including the FNI.  An Associated Press article in mid-2003, entitled "War Has a Baby Face in the Congo" and datelined Bunia, reported that "adult commanders have their own reasons for taking on young recruits. Children are preferred because they can be easily controlled, are less demanding than adults and do not sense danger as acutely as their elders, said Col. Mathieu Ngudjolo, who leads Lendu fighters. 'Our children are born during war and they just grab arms and go into combat,' he said." The Congolese newspaper Le Potential has linked "the criminal groups of Peter Karim and Mathieu Ngudjolo," in an April 2006 article that is on the UN's MONUC's own web site

            It is apparent that in an attempt to ensure voter turnout on July 30, amnesty is being offered to users of child-soldiers and, in the case of Peter Karim Ugada, warlords who kidnapped UN peacekeepers. Wednesday, the UN's Dmitry Titov confirmed that the offer of a colonel's position to Peter Karim was part of the deal to get the UN peacekeepers released. Thursday, the UN Security Council's agenda included consideration of a UN Panel of Experts report on the exploitation of the Congo which specifically names

"Peter Ugada, also known as 'Peter Karim,' a former FNI commander [as] one of the chief perpetrators of these frauds... Peter Ugada regularly sends timber and coffee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Uganda in exchange for arms and ammunition, by road and occasionally Lake Albert... The use of timber in arms smuggling or the pre-financing of their activities involve[s] Ugandan businessmen, in particular Peter Karim, a Ugandan soldier and timber contractor in Paidha." S/2006/525, at Paragraphs 180 - 182.

            Beyond this UN description of Peter Karim simultaneous to his trading of UN peacekeepers for a colonel's position in the Congolese army, the report describes how even weapons that are laid down and turned in reappear in renamed militias' hands in the Congo. While this report was on the UN Security Council's agenda Thursday, it got short shrift in light of the two-day consultation on Lebanon. At the OSSG's noon briefing Thursday, Inner City Press asked about both the MONUC / Congo statement read out and about the UN's knowledge if Somalia's Islamic Courts Union has received a planeload of anti-aircraft guns from Eritrea, and for SRSG Lonseny Fall's response to the mass resignations from the Transitional Government, due to its failure to negotiate with the ICU and for having allowed or invited Ethiopian troops into Somalia. As of 6 p.m., responses had not been received about either.

            In the Ivory Coast, the UN's elections envoy Gerard Stoudmann was approaching the Prime Minister's office earlier this week when the UN armored car he was in was surrounded by 200 of overtime-president Laurent Gbagbo's Young Patriots.  In a briefing at UN Headquarters on Thursday, Mr. Stoudmann said his car was surrounded, and the presidential guard did nothing.  Mr. Stoudmann also emphasized that such attacks should not be over-dramatized. Speaking to Inner City Press after the briefing, Mr. Stoudmann added that the attack, which included the stoning of the armored car leading to windshield-breaking, resulted in his visit with the Prime Minister being cancelled.  Inner City Press asked him to contrast the process in Ivory Coast to that in the DR Congo.

            "In Congo," Mr. Stoudmann said, "the UN is in the driver's seat."

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Spinning the Congo, UN Admits Hostage Deal with Warlord That Put Him in Congolese Army

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 -- Four days before the first elections in Congo in forty years, the head of the UN Peacekeeping's Africa Division Dmitry Titov acknowledged that as part of the deal with East Congo warlord Peter Karim that led to the release of seven kidnapped UN peacekeepers, "Karim agreed to avail himself of the amnesty" and "was promised... to have some rank."

            Less than two weeks after releasing the last five of the UN peacekeepers he had held hostage for more than a month, it was announced that Peter Karim would become a colonel in the Congolese army.

UN as colonelizer?

    On May 30, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan about the peacekeepers, and the Secretary General answered that "Karim and others who get involved in these sort of activities, must understand that they will be held accountable...They will be held individually accountable for these brutal acts." See, video at Minutes 13:40 - 15:25, and the transcript.

  Wednesday Mr. Titov implied that Karim may later be indicted, by the International Criminal Court or the "national criminal system." Mr. Titov said, "We are not in a prosecuting business" but "justice should take its course, eventually." This same approach to time is being taken with the UN's investigation of televised allegations that its peacekeeping force stood by while the Congolese army destroyed the village of Kazana. Asked by Inner City Press when the investigation's results will be released, Mr. Titov was non-committal. Asked if the intent was to wait until after the election, Mr. Titov said no.

            Mr. Titov characterized the protesters outside the UN as lacking in credibility, in light of their "U.S. out of Congo" call. "The U.S. is not there," Mr. Titov said. The protesters point at Kofi Annan's American envoy William Lacy Swing, and at the involvement in resource extraction in the Congo of U.S.-based Dodge Phelps, along with South Africa's AngloGold Ashanti and Australia's BHP Billiton, among others.

            In a wide ranging briefing on the UN's 37th floor, Mr. Titov recounted one version of the run-up to the July 30 elections, on which he said the UN has spent almost half a billion dollars. There were thirty-three presidential candidates, approximately half of whom, those Mr. Titov characterized as minor candidates, have since dropped out. Until asked by reporters, Mr. Titov did not mention the abstention from the election by major UDPS opposition figure Etienne Tshisekedi, nor the calls earlier this week in churches throughout Congo for a boycott of Sunday's vote.

            Asked by Inner City Press about the threat to withdraw of Anatole Matusila, the church-favored candidate, Mr. Titov pointed out that the bishop of Bukavu is supporting Sunday's election. Mr. Titov characterized those who are calling for a postponement of the vote as spoilers and nay-sayers. If the vote is not held on time, said Mr. Titov, we will have suffered a major failure.

            From the UN system's statements, including those from the World Bank and UN Development Program as well as Kofi Annan's envoy William Lacy Swing, some observers diagnose a strain of wishful thinking. More specifically, the UN became some time ago so invested in this election being held on July 30 that now any calls for delay are viewed and portrayed with disdain, including those based on the killing and imprisonment of journalists for such crime as "insulting the head of state."

            Asked by Inner City Press about the unsolved murder of reporter Bapuwa Mwamba, the expulsion of Radio France International's Ghislaine Dupont and the arrest, for insulting President Kabila, of editor Patrice Booto, Mr. Titov said that these are of concern, but that the "scale" was not such that it merited any call for delay of the election.

            Mr. Titov's peacekeeping colleague Kathryn Jones spoke of the UN's concern at reports of demonstrators tear-gassed and beaten by Congolese authorities, but said that the media doesn't report the more positive stories.  For different reasons, the Pentagon and State Department in Washington also wish to downplay the diminished but continuing lawlessness in the DCR. That U.S. government agencies are 100% committed to certain outcomes and time frames, and to spin in their furtherance, is understandable. Such non-objective focus is less appropriate at the UN, and sometimes seems contrary to the genuine commitment of UN staff like Ms. Jones to those Congolese still victims of the often-downplayed lawlessness. A theme continued on this site.

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.

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.

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

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

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee at the U.N.

UNITED NATIONS, July 12, 11:45 am, updated 7 pm -- Eager to "team up" with banks Societe Generale and Pictet & Company, the United Nations' refugee agency allowed SocGen to use the UN logo in a way subsequently criticized by UN legal staff, and to invest Kashmir Relief Notes funds in a Pictet & Cie fund despite owner Ivan Pictet being a member of the UN Investment Committee. Criticized by other UN units, UNHCR agreed to cease renting out the UN logo, but said nothing can be done about the investment with Pictet et Cie.

    Inner City Press first raised these matters in April 2006. Earlier today UNHCR in Geneva finally responded, confirming but defending the investment in a Pictet fund.  UNHCR's Ron Redmond wrote to Inner City Press that

"based on the information available to us, there is no conflict of interest created for Mr. Ivan Pictet, managing partner of Pictet & Cie, and ad hoc member of the UN Investments Committee, by the fact that Pictet Funds Indian Equities is one of the funds in which KRN funds are invested. Societe Generale, the issuer of the Note, is solely responsible for choosing the funds and this selection is based on recognized risk management and hedging criteria; UNHCR plays a purely passive role as the recipient of a donation and has no interest in the performance of the Note. Moreover, Mr. Pictet's membership in the UN Investments Committee was unknown to all parties involved in drawing up this investment product, and we trust therefore that the decision to include a fund managed by Pictet & Cie was taken in good faith."

         Whether this is in keeping with current and proposed UN standards of ethics and transparency will be seen in coming days. Whether the stated lack of knowledge of Mr. Pictet's membership on the UN Investment Committee comports with minimal corporate or competence standards is also in question. The problem is a wider one: in a defensive internal memo reviewed by Inner City Press, UNHCR lawyer Helmut Buss argues that UNICEF similarly partners with FIFA and NIS Petrol Co, and that the World Food Programme does the same with TNT Airways and the World Rugby Board. Nevertheless, UNHCR has agreed to drop the logo use and the "teams up" language deployed in its April 5 press release.

            The investment in a fund controlled by a member of the UN Investment Committee UNHCR defends, including by pointing out that Morgan Stanley's Francine Bovich is also on the UN Investment Board, while the UN does much business with JPMorgan Chase. (Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, despite the comment reference to Pierpont, are not related companies.) The UNHCR memo's argument is that it's too complicated or burdensome to avoid conflicts of interest. UNHCR's earlier justification to Inner City Press argued that "we are not talking about the usual procurement procedure," when talking about an investment in a fund controlled by a member of the UN Investment Committee.

            This conflict-or-reform debate has included at least in the carbon copies Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch-Brown, who appears to have agreed that UNHCR's actions were improper. The paper trail may be important. The story began with a UNHCR press release on April 5 of this year, headlined "New corporate investment scheme helps fund UN quake relief efforts" and stating that "the United Nations refugee agency has teamed up with two Swiss investment companies in a scheme that will benefit its earthquake relief operation in Pakistan. The joint project launched by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Zurich-based Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, and derilab s.a., a derivatives company, will allow investors to participate in a financial product that affords a unique opportunity to support reconstruction and relief efforts."

   Inner City Press inquired into the release and published a round-up article on April 11 questioning the partnership: "It might well be on the level. But it's not yet clear that if it weren't, the scheme would not proceed. It would help if the follow-up questions were answered."

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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