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At the UN, Threat and Possible Statement on Fiji Spotlights Selection and Payment of UN Peacekeepers

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, November 28 -- As Fiji slides toward an apparent military coup, a United Nations diplomat on Tuesday told Inner City Press that a move is afoot in the UN Security Council to issue a Presidential Statement as a warning to Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who has threatened to overthrow the government of Fijian prime minister Laisenia Qarase. "There could be a coup there any day," the UN diplomat said. "We've had a lot of consultations on it and might try to move very soon... tomorrow or the next day."

            At the UN's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Kofi Annan's spokesman to confirm that Mr. Annan had called Laisenia Qarase and had said that the UN would stop accepting peacekeeping troops from Fiji if a coup takes place. The spokesman confirmed that the call had occurred, but deferred any summary of the call until later in the day.

           Tuesday afternoon, Inner City Press asked Ambassador John Bolton for the U.S. view on the turmoil in Fiji, prefacing the question by saying that Kofi Annan had placed a call, and said the UN might not accept peacekeepers from a post-coup Fiji. From the U.S. Mission's transcript:

Inner City Press: On Fiji, the secretary-general has called there and said    that if there's a coup that the U.N. won't accept peacekeeping troops from there.  Is the U.S. --

Ambassador Bolton:  There's a press report that says that... We are discussing here today the possibility of the Security Council engaging in something that it talks a lot about but rarely does -- namely, preventative diplomacy.  But -- and we've been in discussion with a wide range of countries, but we're not at this point prepared to say exactly where we're going to come out.  But we're certainly watching the situation there very carefully.

   Four hours after the noon briefing, Inner City Press against asked Kofi Annan's spokesman's office for a summary of his call about Fiji. We're still waiting, was the answer. He definitely made the call, but we're still waiting for the summary. [See update of 6 p.m., below.]

            If Mr. Annan did make the reported statement about rejecting peacekeeping troops from a country under military rule, it would call into question a number of the so-called "troop contributing countries." Human rights groups in Zimbabwe, for example, have asked the UN to stop accepting, and paying for, Zimbabwean troops in peacekeeping missions, given the abuses committed in their home country. A similar call was made regarding Nepal.

UN Blue Helmets in Haiti

  One should also follow the money. The word "contributing" is somewhat misleading: the UN pays the nations for the troops, and also for equipment. For weeks Inner City Press has requested an answer from the UN regarding how much Germany is seeking to charge for the use of its ships to patrol the coast off Lebanon. In the interim, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations provided Inner City Press with this breakdown of reimbursements:

Subject: compensation of TCCs

In response to some questions you had for Steph on compensation for troop-contributing countries....

1.) How do we reimburse TCCs for the use of their soldiers?

TCCs are reimbursed the following for each soldier:

A. (i-iv) are paid directly to TCCs

      i)  Troop cost - $1,028/month
      ii)   Personal clothing, gear and equipment allowance -  $68/month
      iii)   Personal weaponry - $5/month
      iv) Specialist rates for 25% of troop strength (for logistics Units, eg engineering, aviation, medical) - $303/month
      v)  Specialist rates for 10% of Infantry Units - $303/month

B.  (vi-vii) are paid directly to the soldier in the UN Field Mission

       vi)  Daily allowance - $1.28/day
       vii)  Recreational leave allowance - $10.50 per day up to 7 days of
leave taken during each 6 months period.

2.)  How we do know/ensure that the money goes to the actual soldier and doesn't get kept by the army?

The MOU is signed between the UN and the TCC and there is no mechanism in place to ensure the utilization of payments made directly to the troop contributor (Item A).

With Item B, the Field Mission ensures payments are made to the soldiers.

3.) Do we reimburse TCCs for ammunition used?

Training ammunition is a national responsibility unless the Force Commander specifically authorizes and directs special training beyond accepted UN readiness standards.
And on somewhat more general note....

Troops serving in UN peacekeeping operations are paid by their own Governments according to their own national rank and salary scale.

Countries volunteering military contingents and formed police units are reimbursed by the United Nations.

The standard rates, approved by the General Assembly, are used to compensate for pay and allowances of all troops and supplementary payment for specialists (within infantry, logistics contingents and formed police units).

 In addition, troop contributing countries are reimbursed for the usage of personal clothing, gear and equipment, including personal weaponry.

The current rates of reimbursement paid by the UN to troop contributing countries per peacekeeper per month include: $1,028 for pay and allowances; $303 supplementary pay for specialists; $68 for personal clothing, gear and equipment; and $5 for personal weaponry.

            To countries like Fiji, Nepal, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and others, UN payment from sending soldiers overseas is a profit-center for the government. Incongruously, it was reported this week that UN peacekeeping troops in Haiti cost $10,000 a month - click here for that report. While at the UN on Monday there was a call for nations to disclose how much they make from sale of national resources, and how they spend it -- click here for Inner City Press' story on this -- one wonders why the UN doesn't require, or at least suggest, that countries disclose how much they are paid for troops and equipment "contributions," and how they spend it. A Troop-Contributing Country Transparency Initiative. It could start with less concealment of how much Germany is asking for the use of its ships in Lebanon. Developing.

Update Nov. 28, 6 p.m. -- well after 5 p.m. deadline, the Office of the Spokesman for the Secretary General released this:

"The Secretary-General is alarmed by the continued possibility of a military coup d’état against the legitimate government of the Republic of Fiji Islands.  He encourages the parties to continue their search for a peaceful reconciliation of their differences within the constitutional framework.  

"The Secretary-General also wishes to stress that further prolongation of the crisis may damage Fiji’s international standing, which it has built carefully over the years, as an important contributor to UN peacekeeping operations and more recently as a member of the Peacebuilding Commission.

    "The Secretary-General stands ready to complement national and regional efforts aimed at overcoming the crisis through dialogue."

   A relevant phrase, in diplomat-speak, is that any prolongation of the crisis might damage standing built on peacekeeping "contributions." One notes this wasn't said, at least not this way, with respect to Thailand and its coup... One theory has it that Kofi Annan played the "no more participation in peacekeeping" card in this instance because some, even many, of those moving toward a coup have made money from peacekeeping, and that the U.S. Mission was miffed at Annan's ploy because Washington wants to be (seen to be) saving the day. We'll see.

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At the UN, China and Islamic Dev't Bank Oppose Soros and World Bank On How to Fight Poverty

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, November 27 -- "We do not impose political conditions." So said China's representative Liu Zhenmin in critique of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which financier George Soros described at the UN Monday during a daylong discussion of the Millennium Development Goals. Video here at Minute 1:44:00.

            Mr. Soros replied that the EITI contains no conditions about democracy, but focuses rather on the use of revenue by governments. Video here at Minute 2:32:36.

            "Transparency not conditionality," summarized the UN's Shashi Tharoor, who moderated the session.

            This same critique of conditionality was launched by the operations director of the Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Amadou Boubacar Cisse, former minister of Niger. Inner City Press asked Dr. Cisse if the IDB, in making its general loans including trade finance, considers such matters as workers' rights or environmental protection, under the Equator Principles or otherwise. Video here, from Minute 35:54.

            The IDB's Dr. Cisse responded, "If you are asking if we impose conditionality such as the World Bank, the answer is no. We are not interesting in doing that. Our member countries are our partners." Video here, from Minute 37:07.

Fleeing to Yemen: MDGs?

            Dr. Cisse had announced that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed Monday at 3:30 with the UN Development program. UNDP apparently shares the opposition to conditions. UNDP helps the Karimov government of Uzbekistan to collect taxes, and helps Robert Mugabe set up a human right council which is being boycotted by NGOs in Zimbabwe. (China's dealing with Zimbabwe have previously been reported.)

   When UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis was approached with these and other questions on Monday after he gave a speech about the MDGs, he replied that he does not answer questions upon leaving a meeting. He has not appeared to give a press conference in over 14 months. UNDP does not appear to favor Transparency Initiative, either. Reporters who asked were not allowed to attend Monday's MOU signing, and no copy of the MOU, although requested, has been provided in the eight hours to follow.

News analysis:  noting the consonance between the positions Monday of China and the Islamic Development Bank, one wonders how the conditions of low-income manual workers, migrating for example from Pakistan or East Asia to the Gulf, might be improved, if anti-poverty funds are given without conditions or oversight. At least five of the 50 least development nations are major oil producers, but this wealth has not alleviated poverty.  Take, for example, Equatorial Guinea, which after the  money laundering scandal at Riggs-now-PNC Bank pledged to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. While still an LDC, the presidential heir in Equatorial Guinea, Teodorin Nguema Obiang, recently bought a $35 million mansion in California. Transparency, anyone?

   Dr. Jeffrey Sachs concluded the afternoon's debate by directing countries in the audience to go to UNDP. For the Press, going to UNDP does not work; one wonders if Dr. Sachs is aware of UNDP's lack of transparency.  Dr. Sachs chided countries for not setting high enough goals. As Inner City Press has previously reported, doubling for example access to drinkable water in Chad, from the current 19% to 42%, still leaves half the population with unhealthy water. Noted in the GA hall on Monday was a water distilling contraption by a private firm, whose representative said it would cost only $1000. (Inner City Press asked the representative the process by which hsi company had been selected and allowed to demonstrate its product in the UN Headquarters; "my boss did it," was the the non-transparent answer.)  It still had to be plugged in, so count on greater costs for solar or other power. Still, unlike some of the debate, the distilling machine was concrete.

            Following the afternoon's debate there was a reception, sponsored as the debate was by General Assembly President Haya Rashed Al Khalifa. It was held in the UN Delegates' Dining Room, complete with roast beef and salmon, hummus and champagne. One saw the Ambassador of North Korea pacing the room, and no one but two reporters approaching him. One saw an ambassador who will remain unnamed picking roast potatoes from the common bowl with his fingers. One heard much talk of poverty reduction, but many questions remained unanswered, including by the UN's own Development Program. They will continue to be asked.

At the UN, Misdirection on Somalia and Myanmar, No Answers from UNDP's Kemal Dervis

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, November 27 -- With Ethiopian and Ugandan troops already inside Somalia, and the U.S. reportedly preparing a Security Council resolution to grant them UN powers to expanding fighting against the Council of Somali Islamic Courts, on Monday both Kofi Annan and U.S. Ambassador John Bolton dodged the issue.

            As Kofi Annan left the General Assembly's meeting on development, Inner City Press asked Mr. Annan what the UN was doing about war in Somalia. As transcribed by UN staff:

Inner City Press:  On Somalia.  The monitoring group’s report about ten countries violating the arms embargo -- what do you think the UN can or should do to try to hold off a war that seems to be brewing between the Islamic Courts and the Ethiopians and others?

Secretary-General:  I think we have encouraged both parties to resume their talks in Khartoum.  They’ve made various attempts to talk together and find a way of working together.  It is important that they do find a way of coming together, not escalate the situation, which may draw neighboring countries into the conflict in Somalia, and make matters much worse.  So we will continue our efforts.  My own Special Representative on the ground is working quite actively with both parties.

            In real time, Mr. Annan first called the work of SRSG Francois Lonseny Fall "fairly" active. Video here, from Minute 2:40. In reality, the UN's Office on Somalia is not even based in the country, but rather in Nairobi. And Mr. Annan's statement that event "may" draw neighboring countries into the conflict in Somalia is months late. Ethiopian troops are all around Baidoa, and now Uganda has acknowledged having sent troops.

Breakdown in Chad

            U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, emerging for a Security Council meeting about Myanmar, was asked by Inner City Press for the U.S. position on Somalia. Last week Amb. Bolton told Inner City Press he had nothing to say on the topic, while at the State Department's briefing in Washington it was said that the U.S. was working hard at the UN on the issue. Monday Amb. Bolton repeated that he had nothing to say, but added that he might have something to say in "a couple of days." Video here, from Minute 11:30.

            Inner City Press asked Amb. Bolton to respond to Somali denials of the authenticity of a letter from the Islamic Counts' Sheik Aweys, which was reportedly the trigger for the U.S.'s recent terrorism alert in East Africa. "I have nothing to add to that point," Amb. Bolton said.

            On Myanmar, Amb. Bolton unceremoniously dropped from his litany of Myanmar's sins the allegation, which he previously made, that Myanmar is a threat to international peace and security because it is engaged in money laundering. Weeks ago at a stakeout outside the General Assembly, Inner City Press asked Amb. Bolton to comment on the G-8's FATF having dropped Myanmar from its money laundering blacklist. At the time, Amb. Bolton said he hadn't heard of it. Inner City Press provided the information to Amb. Bolton's staff for a comment, which never came. Now the issue is dropped -- although the spread of refugees and "diseases such as HIV / AIDS" is cited by Amb. Bolton in support of a resolution said to be coming in the next "days or weeks."

            Inner City Press asked the UN's head of political affairs, Ibrahim Gambari, if his briefing to the Council had addressed money laundering or drug trafficking. Video here, from Minute 4:10. Mr. Gambari mentioned "progress" on stopping drug trafficking, and did not mention money laundering. As one of the top five issues he listed humanitarian access. Earlier in the day, Myanmar's government reportedly threw the Red Cross out of the country.

            Inner City Press asked Council President Voto-Bernales if either money laundering or drug trafficking was discussed in the Council meeting. There was "no general discussion on the matter," Amb. Voto-Bernales said. Video here, from Minute 3:20. He added that Somalia will be on the Council's agenda for Wednesday. Click here for further analysis.

            Finally, for this report, we are compelled to note that outside the very General Assembly meeting following which Secretary-General Kofi Annan stopped and took questions from reporters, both in the hall and before the stakeout camera (video here), Inner City Press sought to ask UN Development Program Administrator Kemal Dervis about UNDP's role in funding and / or monitoring involuntary disarmament in northeast Uganda.

            Mr. Dervis said, "I don't just answer questions like this, walking out of a room."

            Inner City Press suggested that Mr. Dervis come to a press conference in UN Headquarters Room 226 to take questions.

            Mr. Dervis allowed, "Perhaps that can be arranged."

            Inner City Press pointed out that the request has been made, for months, to UNDP Communications staff, and that Mr. Dervis has not held such a press conference for 14 months.

            "It would have to be something special," Mr. Dervis said. Why not hold a press conference to take questions, as do the heads of other UN agencies and even Kofi Annan, who, it must be noted, did on Monday "answer questions like this, walking out of a room."

           Also Monday outside the (GA) room, Mr. Dervis rebuffed another reporter from his home country. Earlier, his staff had declined to provide an advance copy of his speech to the General Assembly, claiming that it would be extemporaneous. Why play hide the ball about a public speech to be delivered? Lack of transparency and lack of accountability apparently start at the top.

            At Monday's noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric what are the minimum standards of accessibility and transparency for the heads of UN agencies like Mr. Dervis.

            "I am not the boss of him," Mr. Dujarric answered, adding that that from emails he has seen, UNDP is answering questions. We note that a question about Bangladesh asked two weeks ago has still not been answered.

            Inner City Press was told, by a representative of the Islamic Development Bank, that a Memorandum of Understanding would be signed at 3:30 Monday afternoon at UNDP Headquarters. (This concerns an IDB initiative to fight poverty, one that will not use the types of "conditionalities" employed by the World Bank, Inner City Press was told by the IDB's Dr. Amadou Boubacar Cisse, formerly a minister of Niger, click here for more). Inner City Press asked to attend but was told that it was an internal UNDP event. Inner City Press has asked for a copy of the agreement. "There is nothing sensitive in it," an IDB official replied. "But I don't know about UNDP's information disclosure policies." Developing.

UNDP Dodges Questions of Disarmament Abuse in Uganda and of Loss of Togo AIDS Grant, Dhaka Snafu

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN

UNITED NATIONS, November 24 -- In eastern Uganda, villages this month have been burned and residents shot and killed by government soldiers. The Uganda military has been asked by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour to halt a cordon-and-search disarmament program which has killed 55 civilians in the Karamoja region. Uganda's deputy defense minister Ruth Nankabirwa has said the program will continue, telling reporters that "It is true that some people were killed, but in an operation where both sides are armed, you should expect such things to happen."

            Missing from both stories, and from Louise Arbour's report,  is that the UN Development Programme funded and encouraged the wave of cordon-and-search disarmament earlier this year, until UNDP begrudgingly suspected its funding. Uganda's New Vision newspaper of June 28, 2006, under the headline " UNDP suspends Karamoja projects" recounted that

"Inner City Press reported that the UPDF were committing abuses in the process of the cordon and search exercise, including killing of people and burning of homes and shelters. But both the UPDF spokesman, Maj. Felix Kulayigye and the eastern and northeastern spokesman, Capt. Paddy Ankunda, dismissed the reports yesterday. 'That is absolutely ridiculous,' Ankunda said."

            Since then, UNDP dodged answering whether it has resumed funding the program, and UNDP has most recently reverted to claiming that it never funded or encouraged the program.  A month ago, around Karamojo, UNDP's spokesman wrote Inner City Press: "As we conveyed to the Spokesman's office when you first raised this question there, neither UNDP nor the UN is the appropriate source for comment on a member-state government inquiry; we would suggest perhaps the UN mission from Uganda may help."

            UNDP has not always been adverse to commenting on Uganda's disarmament programs. UNDP's spokesman had previously informed Inner City Press that

"In 2006 UNDP began work on an independent community development and human security project in the Karamoja region, one component of which was the encouragement of voluntary disarmament. The project was budgeted initially for $1 million, to be financed from UNDP's Uganda country office [Due to a misunderstanding on my part I erroneously identified to you in our conversation Tuesday the government of Denmark as a funder of this project.] Only $293,000 has been spent to date and all UNDP activities in the region are now halted, given that they are unworkable at this time, for the reasons noted."

   On May 25, 2006, then UNDP Country Director Cornelis Klein gave a speech praising Uganda's disarmament programs -- during a time that, as reported by Inner City Press, Karamojong villages were being torched and civilians tortured and killed. Mr. Klein's speech, still online as of this writing, said:

"Uganda -- and the state institutions involved here today -- is fast becoming a leading light in Africa and beyond in how it is seizing the opportunity to address small and light weapons concerns. While UNDP currently provides modest support to the nation, it is Uganda that can support and lead other countries in doing the same. Let me take this opportunity, therefore, to applaud the Government for its strong leadership and commitment."

            The Ugandan government's in-house investigation of that round of violent disarmament, for which the Kampala newspaper the Daily Monitor credited Inner City Press, is still pending, even as more burning and killing by government soldiers takes place. Most close observers opine that at least the May phase of the cordon-and-search operation was intended to meet UNDP's aggressive goals for disarmament, for a photo-op for a UNDP country representative who has since dropped out of sight, refusing to take questions.

UNDP's Cornelis Klein amid smoldering Uganda

            UNDP's lack of forthrightness and follow-up about abuses in Eastern Uganda is echoed in more recent agency responses regarding its administration of AIDS programs in Togo, and non-responses regarding Bangladesh.

            In Togo, grants of millions of dollars were stopped earlier this year due, the donor said, to the UN Development Programme filing incorrect data. While the health of thousands of HIV-positive Togolese continues to decline, questions to UNDP result, days later, in finger-pointing at the donor, and a full two-week delay in any UNDP response to a critique by Bangladesh officials. A Ugandan cordon-and-search disarmament program which UNDP previously acknowledges having supported has killed dozens of civilians in the past months. Now UNDP denies ever having funded the program. UNDP's Administrator Kemal Dervis has not made himself available for press questions in the UN's Headquarters for more than 14 months. And so the questions continue to back up.

            On November 13, Inner City Press sent UNDP's main Communications Office in New York a request for comment on UNDP snafus in Togo and Bangladesh. Two days later, UNDP acknowledged receipt of the request and promised response by November 15.

            After deadline on November 15, one of UNDP's spokespeople sent this:

Subject: RE: UNDP questions, re Togo and Bangladesh


To: Inner City Press

Sent: Fri, 17 Nov 2006 6:12 PM

Kindly find below our response to your question on Togo. We will get back to you on your Bangladesh query shortly.

Question: Please explain UNDP's actions on HIV/AIDS in Togo, including addressing the report (below) that funding has been lost. ("The Global Fund, the main donor of  antiretroviral (ARV) treatment in Togo, halted one of two three-year HIV grants amounting to US$15.5 million in January 2006, citing "irregularities" in the  information provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on managing the money.")

Answer:  With regards to the Global Fund, the Togolese HIV/AIDS grant proposal, developed by a multidisciplinary coordination committee, was approved in 2003. In light of its previous experience in neighboring countries, UNDP was appointed as the grant's principal recipient....A June 2006 evaluation by Price Waterhouse of data provided by UNDP and the concerned NGOs concluded that UNDP had not put in place systems to ensure effective reporting from the field, making it difficult to verify the actual number of people or communities serviced. As part of its normal project operations, UNDP had advanced funds for selected activities. Prior to reimbursing UNDP for these expenses, the Global Fund called for a financial review. In response, UNDP launched a bidding process in the sub-region and the firm CGIC won the bid and was contracted to carry out this independent financial review. As CGIC has confirmed in a declaration to the media and in its discussions with Togo's President, Prime Minister and Minister of Health, that study, undertaken in September and October 2006, found that, while there may have been errors in the data reported, there was no mismanagement or fraud... The Country Coordination Mechanism -- a body consisting of national partners, such as the concerned ministries, NGOs and the private sector, as well as international partners, which manages Global Fund matters in Togo -- could make a special request for the purchase of the ARVs in order to ensure that treatment of the 3,000 patients continues."

            But it is uncontested that due to the improper data, no new patients have been accepted. On Saturday, November 18, UNDP sent a further clarification:

In a message dated 11/18/2006 12:02:17 PM, writes: 

I'd like to clarify something regarding the Togo information I provided you yesterday evening: In its financial review report, CGIC found that no fraud or mismanagement existed. It was the Global Fund 's Manager for Togo, M. Mabingue Ngom, who informed the country's President, Prime Minister and the Minister of Health that there was no fraud or mismanagement."

            Subsequently, Inner City Press has asked for a copy of the CGIS audit. No response has been received. Nor has any response been received regarding Bangladesh, despite the passage of 11 days. It has been reported from Bangladesh that:

"The Ministry of Commerce has rejected a Preparatory Assistance (PA)  project proposal of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as  it finds the UN organization jobs unplanned, lack of coordination and integrated mechanism. 'The UNDP only suggest preparatory assistance projects rather to take  further full projects to address the identified problems," one of the commerce ministry officials' said."

            How can it take 11 days to provide a comment on this? The spin machine is at work.

            It has been 14 months since UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis appeared to take questions in UN Headquarters. On November 27, Mr. Dervis will be in UN Headquarters to attend a meeting on the Millennium Development Goals. While two of the other participants will, that afternoon, take questions at a UN press conference, Mr. Dervis is notably not listed as available for questions. While, after repeated requests, Inner City Press has been told he will take questions sometime in December, the need for answers is now.

Other Inner City Press reports are archived on

Congo Shootout Triggers Kofi Annan Call, While Agent Orange Protest Yields Email from Old London

On the UN - Corporate Beat, Dow Chemical Luncheon Chickens Come Home to Roost

UN Bets the House on Lebanon, While Willfully Blind in Somalia and Pinned Down in Kinshasa

Stop Bank Branch Closings and Monopolies in the Katrina Zone, Group Says, Challenging Regions- AmSouth Merger

Ship-Breakers Missed by UN's Budget for Travel and Consultants in Bangladesh, Largest UNIFIL Troop Donor

Sudan Cites Hezbollah, While UN Dances Around Issues of Consent and Sex Abuse in the Congo, Passing the UNIFIL Hat

With Somalia on the Brink of Horn-Wide War, UN Avoids Question of Ethiopian Invasion

In UN's Lebanon Frenzy, Darfur Is Ignored As Are the Disabled, "If You Crave UNIFIL, Can't You Make Do With MONUC?"

UN Decries Uzbekistan's Use of Torture, While Helping It To Tax and Rule; Updates on UNIFIL and UNMIS Off-Message

At the UN, Lebanon Resolution Passes with Loophole, Amb. Gillerman Says It Has All Been Defensive

On Lebanon, Russian Gambit Focuses Franco-American Minds, Short Term Resolution Goes Blue Amid Flashes of Lightening

Africa Can Solve Its Own Problems, Ghanaian Minister Tells Inner City Press, On LRA Peace Talks and Kofi Annan's Views

At the UN, Jay-Z Floats Past Questions on Water Privatization and Sweatshops, Q'Orianka Kilcher in the Basement

In the UN Security Council, Speeches and Stasis as Haiti is Forgotten, for a Shebaa Farms Solution?

UN Silence on Congo Election and Uranium, Until It's To Iran or After a Ceasefire, and Council Rift on Kony

At the UN Some Middle Eastern Answers, Updates on Congo and Nepal While Silence on Somalia

On Lebanon, Franco-American Resolution Reviewed at UN in Weekend Security Council Meeting

UN Knew of Child Soldier Use by Two Warlords Whose Entry into Congo Army the UN Facilitated

Impunity's in the Air, at the UN in Kinshasa and NY, for Kony and Karim and MONUC for Kazana

UN Still Silent on Somalia, Despite Reported Invasion, In Lead-Up to More Congo Spin

UN's Guehenno Says Congo Warlord Just Needs Training, and Kazana Probe Continues

With Congo Elections Approaching, UN Issues Hasty Self-Exoneration as Annan Is Distracted

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

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

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

Kofi Annan Questioned about Congolese Colonel Who Kidnapped Seven UN Soldiers

At the UN, Speeches While Gaza Stays Lightless and Insurance Not Yet Paid

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

At the UN Wordsmiths Are At Work on Zimbabwe, Kony,  Ivory Coast and Iran

UN Silent As Congolese Kidnapper of UN Peacekeepers Is Made An Army Colonel: News Analysis

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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