Saturday, May 31, 2008

EIIRP issues a devastating report on UNDP North Korea, Dervis prepares desperate last spin - while EU & World Capitals express concern

Last nite at 5:05 pm, with almost four hours delay the External Independent Investigative Review Panel (EIIRP) who was investigating UNDP Operations in North Korea, handed over to the office of Kemal Dervis and Ban Ki-moon their "Report" with findings and deliberations.

In the words of a staff at the Office of the Secretary General, the report "is devastating for UNDP and its management":

Among the findings of the report, Nemeth/EIIRP acknowledge that:

  • UNDP was aware since mid 1990's about its wrong operations modalities and implementation of its programming in North Korea;

  • UNDP had failed to implement any recommendations of its own audits to DPRK office made in 1999, 2002, 2004, and acknowledge that to the day EIIRP was reviewing UNDP had still 63 pending recommendations (not-implemented in OAPR software);

  • UNDP was aware of the presence of counterfeit in its safe, and that RRs, DRRs, OMs and ARRs in that office who served from 1996-2005 have failed to implement UNDP's article 8 of its Financial Rules and Regulations who calls for any counterfiet to be "returned" to either the country of the currency or UNDP HQ;

  • UNDP was aware of irregular use of CASH, and have knowingly allowed its operations to feed CASH to "local counterparts" and "staffers" in hardcurrency, against its own Financial Rules and Programmes Rules and Regulations;

  • UNDP was aware of it least 4 instances of suspiscious DPRK companies linked to its military and yet allowed that transactions through these companies go thru;

  • UNDP was aware and knowingly allowed that North Korean Authorities to use its EURO accounts and USD accounts to transfer CASH outside of North Korea, on behalf of its authorities for un-authorized transactions not related to its programme and operations;

  • UNDP was aware and knowingly broke its Human Resources rules in hiring local staffers, despite the non-existance of any contract with any staff;

  • UNDP was made aware of its wrong doings and attempts to implement changes were initiated as early as December 2005 from UN's Operations Managemet Team inside North Korea. But their attempt resulted in all those who dared to raise their voices and attempt changes be expulsed from DPRK as persona-non-grata and UNDP dealt in private and secret deals with North Korean authorities to ensure that whenever the authorities were unsatisfied of any of the international staff, UNDP would remove those without "noise";
EIIRP also acknowledged "consistent difficulties" in obtaining UNDP's files and other access to HQs machinery to enable proper investigation.

Meanwhile, last nite at 9:00 pm Office of the Secretary General of United Nations was already working hard to ensure that this version of "devastating" report be water down and at least try to acommodate "both parties", and allow that this "issue is closed and we move on...".

Phones were ringing unrestedly and European Capitals expressed deep concern that UNDP might attempt to change the findings of the report and cover up truth. From Brussels to Rome, from Bonn to Stockholmes, from Washington to Tokyo, important representatives expressed concern over "why the report has been delivered from EIIRP to UNDP + UN/SG first and not to the UN Member States as promissed".

Meanwhile from Ottawa, the homeland of Robert Benson - tough words arrives at 38th floor - that UN SG should allow its Ethics Officer and Chair of Ethics Committee of Inter-Agency Group to have the last say on the report, otherwise credibility of UN and its system of justice is at stake.

Voices also were raised from Staff Union and Staff Federation, who claimed that report was being kept secret from them.

As nite fall at turtle bay, lights at 38 floor of Main Secretariat Building and 21st Floor in DC1, continued to lid - showing frenetic movement of staffers and a sense of last minute desperation to at least prevent the worst. While Stephane Dujarric is drafting Dervis's scenario for an early Monday Press Briefing, despite continuous calls from Member States to allow time for them to read and digest EIIRP Report.

UNDP Watch is watching and thanks to corageous staffers inside UNDP and UN's Ban Office has obtained all related documents, commincations and will be publishing those as story unfolds.

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