Thursday, January 31, 2008

Samaras hits Dervis "below the belt"

In an unprecedented speech the President of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Staff Council, Mr. Dimitri Samaras, laid down today a completely different picture of what's going on inside UNDP.

Samaras words were so hard on Dervis that on his way out of the meeting, whispering to his "close" advisers, Kemal characterized it as an: -"unexpected hit below the belt".

In his speech during the Staff Global gathering, Samaras demanded from leadership some tough answers, about UNDP life.

Following are some of the passages of his speech:

On Security of UNDP Staff


  • " Appeal to you to double your efforts to implement all measures, policies and strategies in order to make our organization a safer place and respond to our call for Zero tolerance pertaining to the violation of Staff Safety and Security"
On Transparency and Reform


  • " UNDP staff are losing their sense of belonging and faith in UNDP"

  • " Staff are improperly and unfairly managed and changes in Staff Management are necessary"

  • " Staff expectations and concerns are neither addressed nor implemented"

  • " Leadership uses inappropriately strategic placement/hiring (like Eveline Herfkens, etc);

  • " dealing with problems post-factum (in a damage-control formula) shows lack of leadership and vision"

  • " UNDP lacks of a system of justice to provide support and/or relief for staff grievances"

  • " leadership has transformed UNDP from a merit-driven-organization to a "networking"-driven. Where staff has to kiss-... to get promoted"

  • "managers operate out of given guidelines at all levels.....and instead of being held responsible they continue to act with impunity"

  • "service contract and SSA holders continue to perform CORE functions"
Samaras also raised the issue of UNDP's Leadership claiming out-of-jurisdiction of UN Secretariat on Ethics and Ombudsman. He stated that:-"a separate Ombudsperson's office located in UNDP, loosely affiliated with the UN Secretariat, would hamper the General Assembly's initiative for a more fair and transparent system of justice".

Samaras also stressed that:-"a fragmented Ombudsperson's system similarly to the system of Ethics Office would not be in the interest of UNDP Staff" and that he would be "approaching the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on this matter".

Today's address was a total blow to Dervis and Melkert pseudo-leadership and delivered a straight-forward message that the Staff Council will not bend to latest intimidation attempts from UNDP Management.

On the way out, many staff were congratulating Samaras for his strength and courage to stand in front of the leadership, while others smiling were reminding him of : - "when will his picture will be next in UNDP Watch or Innercity Press as a victim" or "when he will be the next whistleblower".

Samaras speech was delivered this afternoon to all mailboxes of UN Member States, including all major media acredited to the UN, by UNDP Watch volunteers.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

VS: affaire rondom Herfkens is slecht voor VN

VS: affaire rondom Herfkens is slecht voor VN
Door onze correspondent Freek Staps
New York, 30 jan.

De affaire Herfkens heeft de geloofwaardigheid van de Verenigde Naties aangetast. Dit zegt de Amerikaans VN-gezant Mark Wallace.

Hij heeft harde kritiek op de huursubsidie van 280.000 dollar die het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken in ruim drie jaar aan de oud-minister heeft verstrekt toen zij in New York voor de VN werkte.

„De Amerikaanse regering vindt het ongepast voor een overheid huurtoelagen of anderszins extra geld te betalen”, aldus Wallace. „Het is strijdig met de regels en tast de geloofwaardigheid van de VN aan”, zei hij desgevraagd op een bijeenkomst met buitenlandse journalisten op het hoofdkantoor van de VN. Wallace is Amerikaans ambassadeur voor management en hervorming en een van de drie Amerikaanse VN-ambassadeurs. Volgens hem is „politieke wil” en „leiderschap” nodig om te garanderen dat ook op nationaal niveau de VN-gedragsregels nageleefd worden.

Met deze aan het kabinet-Balkenende gerichte kritiek mengt voor het eerst een ander land zich in de affaire-Herfkens. „Als er regels zijn, houd je je eraan”, zegt Wallace. „Anders verliezen het Amerikaanse volk en de volkeren van de hele wereld het vertrouwen in de organisatie.”

Een woordvoerder van Buitenlandse Zaken verwijst in een reactie op de antwoorden van de ministers Verhagen (Buitenlandse Zaken) en Koenders (Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) eind vorige week aan Tweede Kamer. Daarin erkennen ze dat Nederland volgens de VN-regels de toelage „niet had behoren te betalen”. Er wordt nog onderzocht of de huurvergoeding kan worden teruggevorderd.

Ambassadeur Wallace staat bekend als criticus van de VN. Eerder verweet hij de VN-ontwikkelingsorganisatie UNDP en de tweede man daar, de Nederlandse oud-politicus Ad Melkert, onvoldoende te hebben opgetreden tegen misbruik van VN-gelden in Noord-Korea. Vorige week getuigde Wallace hierover nog in het Amerikaanse Congres. De voor december geplande presentaties van twee onderzoeken naar de aantijgingen zijn zonder opgaaf van reden voor onbepaalde tijd uitgesteld.

Oud-minister van Ontwikkelingssamenwerking Herfkens was werkzaam bij diezelfde UNDP, maar nam in 2006 ontslag, nadat ze naar eigen zeggen erachter kwam interne gedragsregels te overtreden. Herfkens had een Amerikaanse verblijfsvergunning aangevraagd.

In een interview in deze krant zei Herfkens „uit de grond van mijn hart niet” te hebben geweten dat dit bij de VN verboden is. Over haar huursubsidie van 7.000 euro per maand zei ze „geen tijd” te hebben gehad na te gaan of dit toegestaan was. UNDP’s juridische dienst onderzoekt de zaak, de bevindingen worden eind maart verwacht.

Wallace wil zich niet uitspreken over het mogelijk met terugwerkende kracht terugbetalen van de huurtoelage door Herfkens. Wel zegt hij dat „burgers geen geld van hun overheid zouden moeten aannemen als ze onverdeeld loyaal aan de VN zijn”.

Volgens Wallace is UNDP „een schoolvoorbeeld van bureaucratie”. Een te groot deel van de lidstatendonaties zou opgaan aan personeelssalarissen, „in plaats daarvan met dat geld vrouwen en kinderen te voeden”.

Breaking News: Ad Melkert has received Rental subsidy from Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Anonymous sources from the Hague confirm that a preliminary investigation on Dutch Functionaires in UN and World Bank from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that :

1. Ad Melkert has received full rental subsidy from Dutch Government during his tenure at World Bank;

2. Ad Melkert has received full transfer and transportation fees from Washington to New York from Dutch Government in early 2006;

3. Ad Melkert has received rental subsidy from Dutch Mission in New York for at least 6 months beginning of January 2006;

Same sources confirm that the Cabinet will be discussing this matter in a close door meeting on Wednesday, since "the revelation of such news could be detrimental to Dutch reputation within the UN". The Government is also investigating on how Eveline Herfkens could still held a Dutch Diplomatic Passport while she is not entitled of it.

Members of Parliament as well as of current Cabinet has expressed deep indignation about the Herfkens-Melkert affair, and have demanded that she be treated no different that any other Dutch who brakes rules under welfare systems. "She should return the money" the head of PvDa Party said on Monday.

Dutch Press has acknowledged the important role of UNDP Watch in disclosing this scandal, which otherwise would have remained silent and swept under the Turkish rug as many other scandals inside the UNDP.

Meanwhile the new revelations about Ad Melkert shows the extend of the corruption within the Social-Democrats in Netherlands.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Melkert-Herfkens affair has damaged Dutch reputation


Herfkens has damaged reputations, says Bos
Monday 28 January 2008

Diplomat and Labour party member Eveline Herfkens' behaviour has damaged the reputation of her party, the foreign affairs ministry, the United Nations and herself, according to Labour finance minister Wouter Bos.

Bos, speaking on Friday evening, was referring to Herfkens' acceptance of $280,000 from the Dutch state towards the rent on her New York flat, in breach of UN rules.

Foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrat) and aid minister Bert Koenders (PvdA) also said Herfkens had received the money 'unjustly', according to ANP news service.

Herfkens was given help with paying her rent after being appointed as coordinator of the United Nations' millenium project to eradicate poverty. The payments later proved to be against UN regulations. When the case came to light earlier this month, Herfkens commented that she had been too busy to check.

The foreign affairs ministry is currently looking into whether it can demand repayment from Herfkens and whether other payments to staff in overseas organisations are in breach of the rules, reports ANP.

Melkert-Herfkens: Dutch MPs debate the affair


The Hague - A majority in the Dutch lower house of parliament say they are not satisfied with the cabinet's answers in response to questions concerning former Labour party minister Evelien Herfkens. It was recently revealed that the Dutch government had been paying the rent on her New York apartment when she worked for the United Nations, something that is strictly against UN policy.

On Friday, Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen and Development Minister Bert Koenders informed of the lower house, in a letter that Ms Herfkens has primary responsibility in the affair. The ministers also said the case was being investigated to see if she has to pay back almost 170,000 euros.

Two opposition parties, the VVD and the SP, as well as the Labour Party, a member of the government coalition, say the ministers have passed responsibility for the illegal payments on to Ms Herfkens. They say the foreign ministry is responsible as it made the payments.

Global Staff Forum: Make yourself heard

To All UNDP Staff Let's make our voice heard. Let's raise our concerns and demand from our leadership some strait answers about the state of affairs of our organization.

- Why UNDP need 17,500 Short Term Consultants (less than 30 days) and what is their added value?

- How are they selected and what does organization do to avoid conflict of interest, and not allow Resident Representatives to hire their family or friends?

- Why UNDP need 1512 Short Term Consultants (Contractors) to perform CORE functions in both Country Offices and Headquarters?

- Why UNDP leadership doesn't make proper use of the current staffing, and rotate better and faster the national staff, giving them a chance for growth within the organization, instead of hiring "long-term" contractors?

- Why has UNDP ACP awarded 2171 Waivers of Competitive Bids and 381 Direct Contracting without proper process and apparently with total lack of internal control mechanisms and oversight?

- Why UNDP Leadership condoning these actions?

- Why Audit Reports/Recommendations are not made available to all UNDP Staffers to read and learn from past failures and/or best practices?

- Why Audit Reports/Recommendations are not made available to our Donor Counterparts and Funding Clients including recipient Governments?

Any Many more questions like the above.

Please feel free to give us your questions, we will make sure to publish them in this website.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Nederlanders doen het blijkbaar slecht bij de Verenigde Naties

Een lastige tante, die Eveline Herfkens. Dat was ze al toen ze minister voor ontwikkelingssamenwerking was in het kabinet Kok en dat is ze nu weer, als hoofd van de Millennium Campagne van de Verenigde Naties. De kwalificatie lastige tante wordt door iedereen onderschreven, inclusief door Herfkens zelf. Ze heeft een bloedhekel aan diplomaten die lange verhalen van papier lezen en ze kan die hekel niet verbergen. Een eigenschap die een diplomaat op haar niveau zou moeten hebben. Met een figuurlijke oorvijg voor een diplomaat die zijn dossier niet kent, zit ze ook niet. En ambtenaren op het ministerie van buitenlandse zaken hadden destijds grote moeite om haar bij te houden. Herfkens gaf ze altijd het gevoel dat zij hun werk net een dag te laat bij haar inleverden.

Herfkens erkent haar fouten en daarmee is voor haar de kous af. FOTO EPA Haar levenswerk was in Nederland – en nu bij de VN – de bestrijding van de armoede in de wereld. Wie met Herfkens werkt noemt haar ofwel de koningin van de armoedebestrijding of, en dat zijn haar tegenstanders, de tsaar van de armoedereductie.

Tsaar of koningin, Herfkens is in opspraak geraakt. Op Amerikaanse sites op het internet wordt uitgebreid verhaald over haar, in de ogen van tegenstanders, te luxe leven bij de Verenigde Naties. In Nederland volgde een verhaal dat, mits het op waarheid berust, tot een direct ontslag zou moeten leiden. Zeker als je in de nabijheid van de secretaris generaal van de Verenigde Naties een campagne leidt en altijd hebt gestreden tegen corrupte overheden.

Herfkens zou volgens de eerdere berichten werkloos thuiszitten, ze zou haar werk niet naar behoren hebben gedaan en inmiddels als direct verantwoordelijke voor de campagne zijn vervangen. Herfkens zou de VN in verlegenheid hebben gebracht door een permanente verblijfsvergunning in de VS aan te vragen. Een actie die niet paste bij het type contract dat zij in 2002 met de VN sloot. Ze zou tevens de regels die toezien op de integriteit van VN-medewerkers hebben overtreden.


De laatste twee feiten zijn waar, heeft Herfkens inmiddels erkend. Ja, ze vroeg een green card aan op een moment dat dat niet kon. Ze wees de VN op haar fout. Die vroeg haar de zaak terug te draaien, maar daar ging Herfkens niet op in. De Amerikaanse Vreemdelingdienst zou die actie niet begrijpen, en daarbij: Herfkens wil met haar levensgezel in de VS blijven. De discrepantie met de regels wordt ondervangen. Herfkens werkte tijdelijk door zonder een contract. Het salaris was 225.000 dollar per jaar. Tegen de huidige koers van de dollar komt dat in de buurt van de zogeheten Balkenende-norm.

De tweede fout die ze heeft toegegeven is de ontvangst van 7000 dollar huursubsidie per maand voor een appartement in Manhattan. Inclusief twee keer een vergoeding voor een verhuizing heeft Herfkens 280.000 dollar ontvangen. Het salaris ontvangt zij van de UNDP, het ontwikkelingsprogramma van de VN, de huurpenningen van de Nederlandse Staat. Dat laatste is tegen de VN-regels. Herfkens heeft de fout erkend, ze kende de regel niet en voor haar is de kous daarmee af.

Maar Den Haag zoekt nu uit of de huursubsidie op het moment dat die gegeven werd wel tegen de regels was. Zo ja, dan moet het ministerie meer dossiers doorlopen, want het bedrag dat Herfkens kreeg was in 2002 conform het huisvestingsbeleid, zo stelt een woordvoerder. Buitenlandse Zaken wenst de zaak grondig uit te zoeken. Daarom duurt het antwoord op de vraag of Herfkens iets te verwijten valt of dat Buitenlandse Zaken eigenlijk Herfkens beter had moeten bedienen, lang.

De affaire speelt zich af tegen een grimmige achtergrond. Ad Melkert, de tweede man bij UNDP, is ook mikpunt van kritiek. Op de site UNDP Watch zegt 90 procent van de bezoekers dat Melkert moet opstappen. Nederlanders doen het blijkbaar slecht bij de VN. Wil Nederland nieuwe hoge posten bij de VN binnenhalen, dan zal rap de vraag beantwoord moeten worden of Herfkens wel zo uit de bocht vloog met die huursubsidie voor haar woning in Manhattan.

PvdA zet Herfkens niet uit de partij

PvdA zet Herfkens niet uit de partij
maandag 28 januari 2008 08:25

Voorlopig wordt Eveline Herfkens niet geroyeerd door de Partij van de Arbeid, wegens de kwart miljoen dollar huurtoeslag die zij ten onrechte heeft ontvangen toen ze voor de Verenigde Naties in New York werkte.

PvdA-voorzitter Lilianne Ploumen wil eerst het onderzoek naar de affaire afwachten. Ze zegt vandaag in de Volkskrant zeer ongelukkig te zijn met de situatie, maar dat royeren nog niet aan de orde is.

Diverse PvdA-Kamerleden hebben de afgelopen weken gezegd dat Herfkens geroyeerd zou moeten worden. Partijleider Wouter Bos zei vrijdag na afloop van de ministerraad dat het gedrag van de oud-minister van ontwikkelingssamenwerking beschamend is voor de partij en dat hij het sentiment van de Kamerleden begrijpt.

Graaien
Vorige week zei PvdA-Kamerlid Hans Spekman zich te schamen voor het graaigedrag van de oud-minister. In het tv-programma Pauw & Witteman sprak hij van 'massale irritatie' binnen de PvdA.

Het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken onderzoekt of het departement het geld kan terugvorderen van Herfkens. Daarnaast stelt het ministerie een onderzoek in naar andere gevallen waarin geld aan medewerkers van buitenlandse organisaties is overgemaakt.

Uit de antwoorden die de ministers Maxime Verhagen (CDA, Buitenlandse Zaken) en Bert Koenders (PvdA, Ontwikkelingssamenwerking) vrijdag naar de Tweede Kamer hebben gestuurd, blijkt dat Herfkens de huurtoeslag niet had mogen aannemen.

Sinds 2002 is Herfkens een van de coördinatoren van de Millenniumdoelen van de VN die de wereldwijde armoede moeten terugdringen. Ze ontving 7.000 dollar per maand huurtoeslag van het ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken.

Fatsoenlijk
Daarnaast heeft ze van de overheid een vergoeding gekregen voor haar Nederlandse pensioenopbouw. Dat geld heeft zij terug overgemaakt aan Buitenlandse Zaken.

Herfkens zei in een reactie op de zaak dat geen tijd had om zich te verdiepen in de gedragsregels van de VN. Ook zei ze van haar VN-salaris van 18.000 dollar per maand geen ‘fatsoenlijk’ appartement te kunnen vinden in New York.

Lees ook de weblogs Eveline Herfkens, wat een bespottelijk wezen van Liesbeth Wytzes en De Derde-Wereld-graaiers van de PvdA en de VN van Afshin Ellian

Door Maartje Willems

Всемирный банк намерен последовать рекомендациям, представленным в докладе Волкера

Группа Всемирного банка намерена последовать представленным в докладе Комиссии Волкера рекомендациям относительно укрепления Департамента по борьбе с коррупцией, мошенничеством и корпоративными нарушениями (INT), проводящего расследования по фактам мошенничества и коррупции. В частности, рекомендуется создать независимый консультативный совет, в состав которого должны войти международные эксперты в области борьбы с коррупцией. Этот совет призван обеспечить независимость Департамента и повысить его подотчетность. Кроме того, рекомендуется создать специальное консультационно-профилактическое организационное подразделение, призванное содействовать предотвращению случаев мошенничества и коррупции в рамках финансируемых Банком проектов.

Рекомендации были разработаны сформированной в составе Банка внутренней Рабочей группой, ознакомившейся с докладом о результатах проверки работы INT, подготовленного комиссией, работавшей под руководством бывшего Председателя Федеральной резервной системы США Полом Волкером. Рабочая группа в целом одобрила все рекомендации, представленные Комиссией Волкера. Президент Всемирного банка Роберт Б. Зеллик дал высокую оценку разработанному Рабочей группой плану выполнения рекомендаций Комиссии Волкера относительно укрепления INT, в том числе относительно повышения статуса руководителя Департамента до уровня Вице-президента Банка.

“Работа INTимеет решающее значение для добросовестности и целостности деятельности Группы Всемирного банка и руководство этой работой должно осуществляться на высоком уровне”, – сказал Зеллик. “Такое руководство обеспечит реализацию этих важных инициатив, с тем чтобы мы могли принять более решительные и действенные меры в отношении мошенничества и коррупции и обеспечили использование ресурсов в интересах беднейшего населения. Мы должны с самого начала обеспечить целостность проектов, проводить расследования по всем фактам нарушений и принимать надлежащие меры”.

Руководство Банка представило доклад Рабочей группы Совету исполнительных директоров Банка на неофициальном совещании, состоявшемся 22 января. Хотя вопросы, касающиеся выполнения конкретных рекомендаций, будут обсуждены с Советом более подробно, руководство заявило о своем намерении последовать всем рекомендациям, представленным в докладе. Эти инициативы призваны сделать деятельность Департамента более прозрачной, повысить эффективность мер, направленных на предотвращение нарушений, способствовать четкому распределению обязанностей и повышению эффективности мер, принимаемых в случае выявления фактов мошенничества и коррупции. Благодаря этим инициативам проводимые INT расследования будут более тесно интегрированы в операционную деятельность Банка. Кроме того, предусмотрены непрерывное наблюдение за работой Департамента и оценка результатов его работы.

“Как отмечается в докладе Волкера, Группа Всемирного банка играет ведущую роль в формировании всеобщего консенсуса относительно того, что эффективное управление и решительные усилия, направленные на борьбу с коррупцией, имеют решающее значение для сокращения масштабов бедности и обеспечения устойчивого экономического роста. Мы должны и будем продолжать работу в этом направлении”, – сказал Зеллик.

Рабочая группа, члены которой были назначены г-ном Зелликом, ознакомились с докладом Комиссии Волкера, а также с комментариями общественности и персонала Банка, призванными способствовать расширению возможностей Группы Всемирного банка для предотвращения и пресечения коррупции, для реализации стратегии повышения эффективности управления в более широком контексте, а также помочь странам более действенно бороться с коррупцией и мошенничеством.

Члены рабочей группы подчеркнули ведущую роль руководства в решении задач повышения эффективности управления и борьбы с коррупцией.

Это мнение было еще раз подтверждено г-ном Зелликом: “Действуя по отдельности и сообща, руководители должны помогать сотрудникам распознавать риски, учить их тому, как следует противостоять этим рискам, способствовать целостности работы Банка и придерживаться четкого курса, решая еще более сложные задачи управления”.

World Bank Introduces New Measures to Strengthen Governance and Anti-Corruption

(واشنطن العاصمة ـ 23 يناير/كانون الثاني 2008) ـ تعتزم مجموعة البنك الدولي تنفيذ التوصيات التي خلص إليها تقرير فولكر، وذلك بغرض تدعيم إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية التابعة لها التي تتولى مسؤولية التحقيق في الممارسات القائمة على الاحتيال والفساد. وتشمل تلك التوصيات إنشاء مجلس رقابي استشاري يتألف من خبراء دوليين في مجال مكافحة الفساد يهدف إلى الحفاظ على استقلالية إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية وتدعيم مساءلتها. كما تدعو تلك التوصيات إلى إنشاء وحدة استشارية للخدمات الوقائية لمساعدة جهاز موظفي البنك الدولي على الاحتراس من الممارسات القائمة على الاحتيال والفساد في مشاريع البنك.

وقدم هذه التوصيات فريق عمل داخلي تابع للبنك الدولي قام باستعراض تقرير بشأن عمل إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية أعده فريق من الخبراء يقوده بول فولكر، الرئيس السابق لمجلس الاحتياطي الفيدرالي بالولايات المتحدة. وقد حظيت جميع التوصيات الواردة في تقرير فريق فولكر بتأييد واسع النطاق من فريق العمل التابع للبنك. وفي هذا الصدد، قال رئيس البنك الدولي، روبرت ب. زوليك، إنه يقدر خطة فريق العمل بشأن تنفيذ توصيات فريق فولكر لتدعيم إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية، بما في ذلك رفع درجة مديرها إلى درجة نائب الرئيس.

وأضاف زوليك، "للعمل الذي تقوم به إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية أهمية بالغة في ضمان نزاهة مجموعة البنك الدولي، وهو عمل يقتضي وجود قيادة رفيعة المستوى. فتلك القيادة ستضمن تنفيذ هذه المبادرات المهمّة حتى يمكننا اتخاذ إجراءات أكثر قوة ضد الاحتيال والفساد، وضمان وصول الأموال إلى أشدّ الناس فقراً. وعلينا أن نعمل على تدعيم نزاهة المشاريع من البداية، وكذلك إجراء التحقيقات بشأن المخالفات والتجاوزات، واتخاذ التدابير اللازمة ضدها".

وكان جهاز الإدارة بالبنك الدولي قد قدم تقرير فريق العمل إلى مجلس المديرين التنفيذيين للبنك في اجتماع غير رسمي في 22 يناير/كانون الثاني الحالي. وبالرغم من أنه ستكون هناك مناقشات إضافية مع المجلس بشأن تفاصيل تنفيذ بعض المقترحات المحددة، فإن جهاز الإدارة قد أشار إلى أنه يعتزم تنفيذ جميع التوصيات الواردة في هذا التقرير. ومن شأن هذه المبادرات أن تؤدي إلى تعزيز الشفافية والوقاية، وتوضيح المسؤوليات، وتقوية إجراءات المتابعة عند الكشف عن ممارسات قائمة على الاحتيال والفساد. وتدعو تلك التوصيات أيضاً إلى زيادة إدماج العمل التحقيقي الذي تقوم به إدارة النزاهة المؤسسية في عمليات البنك، وإلى تفعيل الرصد والتقييم على نحو مستمر.

وأضاف زوليك، " إن مجموعة البنك الدولي، كما ورد في تقرير فولكر، تلعب دوراً رئيسياً في بيان أن نظام الإدارة العامة القوي والجهود المتينة لمكافحة الفساد يشكلان ركيزة أساسية لمكافحة الفقر وتعزيز معدلات النمو. وعلى مجموعة البنك الدولي اتخاذ الخطوات اللازمة لمواصلة اضطلاعها بذلك، وهو ما ستفعله".

وقد قام فريق العمل، الذي عينه الرئيس زوليك، باستعراض تقرير فريق فولكر، والتعليقات التي حصل عليها من الجمهور وموظفي البنك بهدف تدعيم قدرة مجموعة البنك على الحيلولة دون وقوع أعمال الفساد وردعها، وذلك بغرض تعزيز تنفيذ إستراتيجيتها الأوسع نطاقاً الخاصة بإدارة الحكم، ومساعدة البلدان المقترضة على تحسين جهودها في محاربة الفساد والاحتيال.

وأكد أعضاء فريق العمل على الدور الحاسم الأهمية الذي تلعبه القيادة في النهوض بأجندة نظام الإدارة العامة (إدارة الحكم) ومكافحة الفساد.

وعزز الرئيس زوليك هذه الرسالة بقوله: "ينبغي على المديرين ـ على المستويين الفردي والجماعي ـ مساعدة الموظفين التابعين لهم على تحديد أوجه المخاطر، وتدريبهم على كيفية التصدي لها، وتدعيم نزاهة عمل البنك، والسير في درب واضح المعالم عبر قضايا نظام الإدارة العامة الأكثر صعوبة".

Saturday, January 26, 2008

July 2007: Message from the Staff Council to the Associaate Administrator

INSIDE AD MELKERT's CLOSET


In an effort to provide transparency and let all UNDP Staff worlwide be informed on what is going on at HQs. UNDP Watch will start a series of publications entitled "inside Ad Melkert closet". This new series will provide the public with an opportunity to view Ad's communications (IN/OUT) and tell the truth about who this man is, and what is he hiding.

---------NO COMMENT------------


From: Registry Staff-Council [mailto: registry.staff-council@undp.org]
Sent: July 2007
To: ad.melkert@undp.org
Subject: Message from the Staff Council to the Associaate Administrator

Dear Mr. Associate Administrator:

As you are aware, UNDP has been the subject of many articles in the newspapers, i.e., the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, etc. These articles, negatively affecting UNDP are being read by the member states, the existing donors and the potential future donors. Our image and credibility are at risk. They also affect and disturb our staff who are questioned by their families, friends, private and public sector contacts as well as their government relations.

The Staff Council is very much disturbed about the organization being targeted and is kindly requesting that the issues underlined in the newspapers be investigated so that the truth can come out for the interest of the organization. It is evident that by ignoring the issues or offering evasive or incomplete responses as we have sadly seen in the latest UNDP press conferences, the issues not only do not go away but continue to be dragged in a growing muddied river of suspicion.

The issue of the temporary agency i.e. PROFIT was raised by the Staff Council a few times and as of today, the Staff Council is in no position to receive any concrete answers.

Regarding the issue of North Korea and the "Whistle Blower", the Staff Council has made some assertive and positive proposals following numerous meetings with you, as well as with UNDP Administrator, Mr. Kemal Dervis, and OHR/OIC, Mr. Romesh Muttukumaru. The Staff Council is of the strong opinion that it can mediate and fully contribute to a constructive and professional solution. The Staff Council has proposed to the Administrator an independent commission which has been accepted. We are waiting for the Administrator and his Chief of Staff, Mr. Gettu Tegegnework, to start looking into it.

The Staff Council continues, and it will not tire to assert its mandate, to strongly advocate integrity, transparency, accountability and rule of law. The staff in the organization are losing their faith, their trust and their loyalty to UNDP. The lack of commitment is reflected in the high turnover even of new staffs that in their most part do not see career potential within the organization and are using the system as a stepping stone.

In addition to the bad publicity that UNDP is receiving staff are forced to go through numerous, humiliating, costly and badly planned reprofiling and restructuring exercises at HQ as well as in Country Offices. Permanent contract holders, staff age 50 plus, and women, are being displaced and unassigned. Existing staff within these criteria feel justifiably targeted; they are not mere "coincidences". Reprofiling in the organization does not refer to any overall global strategic reprofiling. The loss of the permanent or longstanding staff ("pillars" of the organization) goes against the interests seriously noted in the UN Charter, which clearly calls to guarantee this group for the health of the organization. The Staff Council is very much concerned and cannot continue to see our good staff being targeted and dismissed, which it finds not only is a strategic faux pas but, corrodes the base of human consideration on which the organization was built. Career Development and Human Resources Management are lacking. The concepts of managing change or change management are certainly valid and understood by staff. Yet, their implementation has often become a blank check for abuse and discretion. We already hear among the "higher levels of management", the acknowledgement of lack of leadership and bad management.

The Staff Council is calling for an urgent major meeting with the entire senior management to discuss ways and means to remedy the above mentioned issues in its intent to safeguard the interests of the organization and all its staff and more importantly the commitment to development to which we have all been entrusted.

Yours sincerely,

The UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS 34th Staff Council



Cc: Mr. Kemal Dervis, UNDP Administrator

Mr. Gettu Tegegnework, UNDP Chief of Staff

Mr. Romesh Muttukumaru, UNDP/OHR OIC

Mr. Martin Santiago, Incoming UNDP/OHR Director
-----------END OF MESSAGE----------
Your comments will be more than welcomed.

"Eveline Herfkens broke the UN/UNDP rules" - says Dutch Government to Parliament

In a hearing about the Melkert-Herfkens Scandal, the Dutch government answered questions from members of parliament about Herfkens,

Confirming that she broke the United Nations Development Programmes rules in accepting the rental subsidy from the Dutch Government from 2002 - 2005.

The government confirms that it paid from Nov 2002-through Jan. 2006 Herfkens' rent.

$ 6000/month in 2002-2003
$ 6500/month in 2400
$ 7000/month in 2005

Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed that they paid for real estate brokers' cost and service fees at the staggering $ 13,747 USD.

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair investigation confirmed that Herfkens has received moving costs from Dutch Government in 2002 and 2006. She only reimbursed the Dutch Government for her initial moving expense, after receiving the money from UNDP.

The spokesperson for the Dutch Government said that:-"She also paid into the Dutch pension. Gov paid its part. She paid monthly her share. At the end of her contract with the UN Herfkens will pay the pension that she built up there to the Dutch ministry."

Pressured by the Parliament the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is studying the possibility that government will order her to have rent subsidy repaid.

Dutch Parliament also demanded explanations and clarifications if any other Dutch officials working for the UN and/or World Bank are receiving similar treatments. The Ministry said that: "there are on-going investigation into any other people receiving rent subsidies. as of now we can confirm that currently Mr. Melkert does not receive any compensation from the ministry of foreign affairs. But we are looking into the years prior to 2007 to determine if any subsidy was paid to him as well."

Dutch Government acknowledged that according to UN-rules it should not have paid.The spokesperson said that: "Also it can be determined that according to the UN-rules Mrs. Herfkens....should not have accepted the compensations. That was her responsibility".

All questions about her contract with UNDP, were deferred to Herfkes and the UN, as they are internal matters.

Here is a link to the news broadcast:
http://www.nos.nl/nosjournaal/voorpagina/index.html

Chicago Tribune: Improve aid plan's methods, UN told

By Bay Fang Washington Bureau
January 25, 2008

WASHINGTON - A Senate panel warned the UN Development Program on Thursday that Congress could reconsider funding if the program does not change its practices, which opened it up to exploitation by North Korea.

North Korea used its bank account with the program to channel at least $2.7 million out of the country after being labeled by President Bush part of an "axis of evil," according to a bipartisan Senate report released Thursday.

The probe by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations began after allegations by the United States of wrongdoing by the UN program in North Korea emerged early last year. The program was terminated in March.

In its report, the subcommittee blamed the UN program, known as UNDP, for inadequate financial controls, which rendered it "vulnerable to manipulation" by the North Korean government. It found that UNDP operations in North Korea did not adhere to standard UN policies and were "undermined by management and operational deficiencies," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the panel's chairman.

Investigators questioned UNDP's practice of hiring staff vetted by Pyongyang and paying their salaries in hard currency directly to the North Korean government. But they stopped short of confirming U.S. allegations that millions of dollars had been systematically transferred through the program to the government, saying they did not have access to the requisite financial records.

The UNDP said in a statement that it was gratified that none of the major allegations of financial wrongdoing had been substantiated by the report.

At the Senate hearing where the report was presented, Washington's UN ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, testified that the UNDP, for all its problems, is worth supporting.

"But for them to do what they need to do," he added, "there has to be appropriate oversight and there has to be care-taking that the monies go to the purposes for which they have been dedicated."

Some senators were skeptical.

"If UN agencies like the UNDP can be manipulated by belligerent regimes, Congress must re-examine the terms under which it funds the UN efforts," said Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), ranking minority member on the subcommittee. "The evidence uncovered by the subcommittee's investigation brings this obligation sharply into focus."

In a surprise development, North Korean officials from their UN mission cooperated with the subcommittee's investigators. In an interview with the investigators, they said that the $2.72 million came from accounts controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and that the money transfer to various North Korean missions around the world through UNDP accounts was part of an attempt to "move as much money out of North Korea as possible prior to the imposition of sanctions that it believed were imminent following the 2002 State of the Union address," the report said. In that speech Bush identified North Korea as part of an "axis of evil."

The UNDP said it had no knowledge of these transfers and that no UNDP funds were involved.

The U.S. contributed $247 million to the UNDP in 2005, according to the report.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

UNDP = Uncontrollable Nabob with Deep Pockets


Iraq deputy PM blames corruption on UN


Iraq deputy PM blames corruption on UN
(AFP)

3 January 2008

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s culture of corruption stems from the actions of the international community and the controversial UN oil-for-food scheme, the deputy prime minister Barham Saleh said on Thursday.

Speaking at a new anti-corruption forum in Baghdad, Saleh said that the programme, run between 1996 and 2003 while Iraq was under UN sanctions, and what he charged was the body’s wasteful use of money were to blame for the rampant corruption that bedevils Iraq.

“A large responsibility for the outbreak of corruption in Iraq lies on the international community,” said Saleh.

“The scandals of food-for-oil and the wasting of public riches by the UN... is evidence of the serious damage that has deepened the problem in the country.”

For seven years before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the oil-for-food programme allowed Baghdad -- which was under a punishing trade embargo since its invasion of Kuwait in 1990 -- to sell oil in return for cash to buy food and medicine.

In 2000, then president Saddam Hussein began making the right to purchase its oil under the UN programme conditional on the buyer’s willingness to pay kickbacks.

The regime diverted about 1.8 billion dollars (1.2 billion euros), an independent probe found in 2005.

“The Iraqi people want a clear statement on how this money was administered in the past, to take back the stolen money, and to chase and call into account those who played with the public’s money,” said Saleh.

An analysis by the Berlin-based Transparency International in September found that Iraq was one of the three most corrupt countries in the world alongside Somalia and Myanmar.

The anti-corruption forum met for the first time on Thursday, to bring together ministers, members of parliament, international representatives and businessmen.

“It is necessary to coordinate with the international society.” Saleh said, “But we refuse any foreign mandate on Iraqi resolutions.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki declared in his New Year message that 2008 would be a year of economic development and fighting corruption.

The White House said in September that Maliki was “working hard” to fight corruption but declined to say whether he had been ”adequately successful.”

Its comments came after a damning report by the US embassy, posted on the Internet, painted a grim picture of corruption in all Iraqi government departments and said Maliki’s office had shown ”open hostility” to independent investigators.

AFP: - North Korea 'used UN-linked accounts for weapons sales'

North Korea 'used UN-linked accounts for weapons sales'
Friday Jan 25 05:27 AEDT

Nuclear-armed North Korea used UN-linked bank accounts to secretly transfer funds in connection with alleged weapons sales, a US Senate probe showed Thursday.

It found that United Nations Development Program (UNDP) operations in North Korea did not adhere to standard policies and were "undermined by management and operational deficiencies," said Senator Carl Levin, head of a panel that conducted the inquiry.

Pyongyang had insisted that UNDP, one of the world's principal humanitarian agencies, conduct its financial transactions using the North Korean state-owned Foreign Trade Bank, he said. UNDP had no access to the account records.

UNDP was "surprised to learn" that Foreign Trade Bank had routed some outgoing UNDP funds through a Chinese company called International Finance and Trade Joint Company (IFTJ) linked to alleged weapons sales, Levin said at a Senate hearing Thursday on the UNDP operations in North Korea.

He said "two UN payments totalling some 50,000 dollars, that had been made by UNDP on behalf of other UN agencies, had gone to an entity that the State Department later linked to North Korean weapon sales."

The transaction was made through an IFTJ account in the Chinese enclave of Macao, a where a tiny bank was hit with US-led sanctions recently for allegedly acting as a clearing house for illicit North Korean financial dealings.

North Korean officials interviewed in the probe said their foreign affairs ministry "used the UNDP-related accounts as a secure channel for transferring its own funds, apparently because it was less likely to incur international scrutiny and be frozen," said Levin, a Democrat chairing a permanent Senate panel on investigations.

The probe was held following media reports last year about alleged mismanagement of UNDP operations. Some suggested that the UNDP might have supplied more than 100 million dollars in hard currency to North Korea and that 2.7 million dollars in UNDP money was transferred to the country's embassies abroad.

The UNDP took the unprecedented step of suspending its operations in North Korea in March 2007 and withdrew from the hardline communist country a month later after Pyongyang refused to allow the agency to impose tighter controls on its activities.

Wall Street Journal Editorial: Turtle Bay Tale

Credit Kim Jong Il with the world's weirdest public diplomacy. The North Korean dictator famously had his nuclear negotiators inform their U.S. counterparts a few years ago that Pyongyang was conducting a secret uranium-enrichment program in violation of the 1994 disarmament agreement. Now he has instructed his diplomats to confirm that, yes, the totalitarian state used the United Nations to transfer $2.72 million to its diplomatic missions in violation of U.N. rules and international financial regulations.

This nugget is contained in an illuminating report out today from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. These are the same folks who shed a welcome light on the U.N. Oil for Food scandal a few years ago. The bipartisan team has spent much of the past year investigating the United Nations Development Program in North Korea.

The report is another vindication of the concerns raised publicly by the U.S. of widespread corruption in UNDP operations in North Korea. The report confirms irregularities in staffing, inspections and the use of foreign currency. But it also paints a bigger picture of how North Korea manipulated the UNDP for its own financial ends -- and how the U.N. agency let it happen.

Between April and September of 2002, North Korea used a UNDP account at the Foreign Trade Bank in Pyongyang to transfer $2.72 million of its own money to its embassies in Paris, Stockholm and London and to its U.N. mission in New York ostensibly to buy real estate. The bank account was the perfect cover; the U.N. imprimatur meant that it would attract minimal scrutiny from financial regulators.

The money was transferred via conduits in the Chinese enclave of Macau, and here a familiar name crops up: Banco Delta Asia (BDA), named by the U.S. Treasury in 2005 as of "primary money laundering concern." Another intermediary was a Macau-based "trading" firm called International Finance and Trade Joint Company, which was in fact a front for the Foreign Trade Bank, which was in turn a front for the North Korean government. Ernst & Young, which conducted a review of BDA at the request of the Macau government, concluded that the Foreign Trade Bank and IFTJ remitted millions of dollars and euros between their accounts at BDA. The transfers carried the "highest risk of money laundering," Ernst & Young said.

Why did the North Koreans go to such lengths to get the money abroad? The subcommittee asked North Korea, which replied in a meeting with Senate investigators last week. "After seeking instructions from their government in Pyongyang," the report says, North Korean diplomats explained that the transactions took place shortly after President Bush's "axis of evil" speech and their government expected that sanctions against North Korea would be tightened. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs identified the UNDP account as a "more secure channel to fund their embassies abroad." Indeed.

The subcommittee also discovered violations involving U.N. funds. Specifically, it found that the UNDP transferred money on behalf of Unesco and the World Intellectual Property Organization to a "trading" company in Macau with ties to a North Korean company engaged in weapons sales. The sums were small -- about $52,000 -- but the implications are large. There's no way of knowing how many such transactions occurred -- which is to say, there's no way of knowing how much U.N. money went to fund North Korean weapons activity.

The Senate report recommends numerous UNDP reforms, including making audits public and providing whistleblower protection to employees who, as Artjon Shkurtaj did in the case of North Korea, raise concerns about the agency's work. The U.S. gave UNDP $100 million last year in "voluntary" contributions. Yet more than a year after the exposure of UNDP corruption in North Korea, these basic reforms still haven't been made.

The State Department would have us believe that North Korea has repudiated its criminal past -- witness a counterterrorism official's statement this week that North Korea may have met the conditions for removal from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror. Yet the extent of the North's criminal activities is still far from known. And, as the Senate investigation suggests, it's apparently worse than anyone thought.

Ros-Lehtinen: - "Time has come for change at UNDP Leadership"

NEWS
House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Republican
CONTACT: Sam Stratman, January 24, 2008
Alex Cruz
http://foreignaffairs.republicans.house.gov

For IMMEDIATE Release

Ros-Lehtinen Comments on Report Critical of UNDP/North Korea "Without concerted action of responsible nations to link contributions to performance and accountability, there will be little incentive to change the leadership at UNDP or the morally bankrupt way in which it does business"

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today suggested that the United States must link the annual contribution it makes to the UN Development Program (UNDP) to budget and audit reform at the agency. In 2007, Ros-Lehtinen successfully authored an amendment to cut $20 million from UNDP funding during House consideration of the appropriations bill that determines U.S. contributions to the UN. Her statement follows the release of a Senate report detailing systematic failures by the UNDP in North Korea. Statement of Ros-Lehtinen:

"The Senate report released today confirms our worst suspicions about how badly the UN Development Program botched its work in North Korea and then suppressed the truth of its errors by attacking critics and ruthlessly snuffing out all dissent within its ranks.

"Without the courageous action of a handful of UNDP employees, who were subsequently banished for telling the truth, we would probably know nothing of its egregious actions because the agency operates outside of internationally accepted norms of accountability.

"Our annual contribution to the UN Development Program is voluntary, as are those of all its donors. Without concerted action of responsible nations to link contributions to performance and accountability, there will be little incentive to change the leadership at UNDP or the morally bankrupt way in which it does business."

Coleman investigates another U.N. program: Evidence suggests that North Korea may have used a development program to launder millions of dollars.

By KEVIN DIAZ, Star Tribune

WASHINGTON - A U.S. Senate investigation led by Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman charges that North Korean officials used a U.N. economic aid program to launder several million dollars for unknown purposes abroad.

The allegations have parallels to Coleman's investigation of the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq, which raised hackles with U.N. officials and brought international attention to Coleman, elevating him as a leading congressional critic of the U.N. bureaucracy.

The charges come as the White House is considering removing Pyongyang from the State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Coleman acknowledged that his staff's findings come at a delicate time in U.S.-North Korean relations, which have been marked by sanctions over the Stalinist regime's nuclear weapons programs.

"I have no doubt that this is an area of sensitivity," Coleman said. "But this is not a burn-down-the-house approach."

The U.N. Development Program's office in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, was shut down in March when North Korean officials balked at U.N. demands for tighter management controls. The United Nations uses the agency to run anti-poverty programs in 166 countries.

U.N. officials say they have already addressed the concerns raised by Coleman, the ranking Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and have cooperated with the Senate probe.

In a response to an internal U.N. audit in June, program officials vowed to "improve and strengthen" management practices. They also called North Korea a "less than conducive environment" in which to operate.

The North Koreans reportedly are cooperating, telling Senate investigators that they transferred a total of $2.72 million of their own government funds out of the country through the U.N. program's account in anticipation that the United States might freeze North Korean accounts in the wake of President Bush's 2002 "axis of evil" designation, also shared by Iraq and Iran.

But Coleman, who will hold a hearing today on the investigation, said "They were clearly using the shield of the U.N. to avoid any kind of focus. ... We don't know what the money is being used for."

Investigators on the committee, which is chaired by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., say that Pyongyang used a U.N. Development Program account to disguise the money transfers. While the transfers involved North Korean funds, the investigators also allege that the U.N. Development Program transferred about $50,000 in U.N. funds to Zang Lok, an entity that a State Department official has identified as having ties to North Korean arms sales.

U.N. aid officials told investigators they had no knowledge of such a connection at the time the transfers were made.

For Coleman, the findings represent a new chapter in his efforts to reform a U.N. bureaucracy that he sees as having been readily subverted by corrupt regimes. But where the 2005 oil-for-food inquiry involved about $21 billion in illicit revenue for Saddam Hussein's regime, the amount of money involved in North Korea is much smaller.

The Senate subcommittee's report, which was released Wednesday, paints a picture of a program marred by weak fiscal controls and other failings that made the program "vulnerable to manipulation by the North Korean government."

Coleman noted that U.S. taxpayers have an interest in U.N. management practices because the world body receives about $4 billion a year from the United States. About $100 million of that, he said, goes to the Development Program.

"For folks in Luverne, and for folks in Mankato, that's a lot of money," he said.

Kevin Diaz • 202-408-2753

Probe: UN Program Open to NKorean Abuses

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER – 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — A United Nations anti-poverty program in North Korea paid $50,000 to a company with ties to North Korean weapons sales and left itself open to exploitation by the communist-led country, according to a Senate investigation released Wednesday.

The report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations takes issue with the operation of the U.N. Development Program in North Korea, which was suspended last year. The report alleges that the UNDP made itself open to abuse by, among other things, paying the salaries of local staff directly to the government without verifying how they were disbursed, even though the agency suspected that the government was "skimming" money from the payments.

Citing wire transfers and other financial documents, the report also said that North Korea used a bank account reserved for UNDP funds to move $2.72 million of its own money out of the country. According to the report, North Korean government officials told Senate investigators these transfers were made soon after President Bush declared the country part of an "axis of evil."

Officials of the communist country told the investigators the transfers were made through the UNDP account to avoid international scrutiny and possible sanctions that they believed were imminent, the report said.

The findings were scheduled to be discussed at a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Phone and e-mail messages left with the North Korean Mission to the U.N. were not returned Wednesday.

The Bush administration said it's too early to remove North Korea from a U.S. terrorism blacklist, a major demand by Pyongyang in international nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Some of the problems identified in the report were covered by a U.N. audit last year, which found that the UNDP paid North Korean staff and suppliers in hard currency without approval and hired only government-approved staff in violation of U.N. procedures.

"But we went beyond that," said Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, the committee's top Republican.

"The North Koreans had set up what I call a money-laundering system," he said, referring to the $2.72 million in transfers. "By using the U.N. seal of approval, clearly the hope was that it wouldn't attract any attention."

UNDP officials, Coleman said, "let themselves be manipulated by a rogue nation."

Coleman also highlighted the $50,000 in funds paid to Zang Lok Trading Co. on behalf of other U.N. agencies. The report includes a letter from the U.S. mission to the U.N., sent to the UNDP last year, which says that "Zang Lok has ties to a North Korean entity that has been designated under United States laws as the main North Korean financial agent for sales of conventional arms, ballistic missiles and goods related to the assembly and manufacture of such weapons."

The report said that UNDP officials told the subcommittee it didn't know, nor had any way of knowing, whether Zang Lok is connected to North Korean weapons sales.

In a statement issued Wednesday in response to the report, the UNDP said it paid Zang Lok on behalf of two other U.N. agencies for computer equipment, which were received in "good order." The UNDP added that it ceased doing business with Zang Lok after being notified by the U.S. government about its ties to a "designated entity."

As to the $2.72 million in funds that were transferred, the agency said: "UNDP is not happy that its name may have been used inappropriately by the North Korean government in connection with deceptive financial transactions. It has formally raised this matter with the North Korean government."

The statement also notes that the Senate report does not conclude that these transfers could have been prevented had the UNDP been more vigilant.

"UNDP is also pleased to note that contrary to persistent allegations it has faced, the report finds that the $2.72 million in question was not UNDP's money," the agency said.

The UNDP suspended its operations in North Korea last year because the reclusive nation failed to meet conditions set following allegations by the U.S. that U.N. aid money was being diverted to Kim Jong Il's regime. Among the conditions: that the UNDP no longer pay North Korean staff in hard currency and no longer employ North Koreans loaned from government agencies.

David Morrison, a UNDP spokesman, said in an e-mail that the agency has faced "persistent and detailed allegations about funding diversion and misconduct in its former operations in North Korea. We collaborated fully with the subcommittee's investigation, and are gratified that the staff report contains no suggestion that these allegations can be substantiated."

Subcommittee staffers confirmed that they received substantial cooperation, but noted a passage in the report that said they were not given unfettered access to the UNDP financial system or original records or receipts. Because of that limited scope, they said, the report neither confirms nor refutes allegations made by the U.S.

A year ago, the United States accused the UNDP of funneling millions of dollars in hard currency to North Korea with little assurance that Kim Jong Il used the money to help his people, instead of diverting it to "illicit purposes" including developing nuclear weapons.

The report noted that development projects in North Korea present daunting challenges but concluded, "the North Korean government took advantage of the altruism that drives UNDP programs."

(This version CORRECTS the reference to the North Korean Mission.)

U.S. report finds N.Korean abuses of U.N. agency

Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:04pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea used the bank accounts of a U.N. agency for deceptive cash transfers, among a wide range of abuses of that organization's presence in the communist state, a U.S. Senate panel reported on Wednesday.

The United Nations Development Program deviated from its standard practices in the way it hired local North Koreans and paid their salaries, but was not complicit in -- or aware of -- the host government's improper financial transactions, said the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

The United States had accused UNDP of sloppy accounting, handing over cash to North Korean bodies without proper documentation and hiring staff hand-picked by the communist Pyongyang government.

The UNDP issued a statement saying that none of the major allegations of financial wrongdoing had been substantiated.

The Senate investigation, launched last year, found a number of problems with the UNDP in North Korea, the secretive state which the U.S. administration is trying to persuade to dismantle its nuclear capability.

The agency, which had worked in North Korea since 1981, pulled out of the country last March after North Korea refused to accept changes ordered by its board of directors after some problems were exposed.

A U.N. audit published last June said rule breaches had occurred but did not find systematic major diversion of U.N. funding.

The Senate investigation identified problems with "inappropriate staffing decisions, questionable use of foreign currency instead of local currency, inadequate fiscal controls, restricted program monitoring, financial deception, payments to a suspect entity, inaccessible audits, and insufficient whistleblower protections," said the report.

"The evidence indicates that the North Korean government took advantage of the altruism that drives UNDP programs," said the 44-page report.

STATE SKIMS SALARIES

Among the abuses, North Korea in 2002 used a bank account intended to be used solely for UNDP activities to transfer $2.72 million of its own funds from Pyongyang to North Korean diplomatic missions abroad, the report said.

But it said the transfers, which North Korean officials told Senate investigators were conducted to avert expected U.S. financial sanctions, might not have been prevented even with a more vigilant UNDP.

The UNDP transferred about $50,000 on behalf of other UN agencies to a Chinese firm, Zang Lok Trading Co., that the U.S. State Department later linked to the main North Korean financial agent for sales of weapons and ballistic missiles, it said.

The Senate report found that UNDP contravened its own policies by hiring North Koreans who were vetted by their government and by paying those local staff salaries in hard currency, instead of local currency.

The local salaries were paid directly to the North Korean government -- against policy and despite UNDP suspicions the state was "skimming" money from them, the report found.

The UNDP said the investigation had not proven any of the serious allegations, while the staffing and other problems of operating in North Korea were well known and faced by all diplomatic missions and NGOs in Pyongyang.

"We collaborated fully with the Subcommittee's investigation, and are gratified that the staff report contains no suggestion that these allegations can be substantiated," said UNDP spokesman David Morrison.

"Where operational deficiencies have been identified, UNDP is committed to applying lessons learned to other countries where we face similarly difficult environments," he said.

(Reporting by Paul Eckert; editing by Stuart Grudgings)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The fight over EVELINE - get's to mano-a-mano inside UNDP cupola, while salary scales doesn't match

On Tuesday the finger pointing between staffers at OLPS (PSO) has reached new levels.

After the direct fight between Nr. 1 - James Provenzano (the boss on paper of PSO) and his Nr. 2 - Krishan Batra ( de-facto boss of PSO), where Provenzano blamed Batra for his direct role and involvement in hiding and obscuring the ACP-Online, now was the turn of Batra to unleash his anger against yet another member of PSO.

Batra directly confronted Dimitri Samaras alleging his direct involvement and that of the Staff Council in running UNDP Watch. He told Dimitri that:- “ he no longer trusts him and anybody else in the 8th floor and all those seating in the floor could be the UNDP Watch-ers”.

Krishan – you are totally right- you never know who is who in 8th, 5th, 17th or even 21st floor for that matter.

But all the above doesn’t stop us (UNDP Watch and simple UNDP staff) from asking you Krishan:

- Why are you so nervous about?

- What do you have to hide?

- If you don’t – why you don’t call Fridakis and put the ACP-online back in Intranet and open it up for the UN Member States to look into it ?

- Isn't the definition of the ACP content - the screening of PUBLIC BIDS? If they are called "public" why are you denying access to them ?

- Why you don’t tell the truth of who wrote-drafted the TORs of Eva Leonie Herfkens (EVELINE) ?

- Why you don’t publish ACP/07/0763 with all its original documents?

Meanwhile with help from UNDP Watch-ers at Human Resources – we are putting yet other pieces of evidence on EVELINE story.



- A Part Time Assistant Secretary General - with full ASG remuneration at $225,871. EVELINE got to have smth really special to be able to work part-time at UNDP and still make a quarter of a million dollars. We wonder what?



For the sake of transparency UNDP Watch contacted UNDP Human Resources in Copenhagen and they sent us the calculations of how much an Assistant Secretary General earns in New York.

To our dismay the calculation of a FULL-TIME ASG salary NET came at US$ 158,569. As UNDP staff we have the right to ask in what rules, regulations and Salary scales did BRSP and Human Resource Management based their determination to pay Ms. Herfkens US$ 225,000 for a PART-TIME job. A US$ 70,000 increase from a FULL-TIME rate ?

Does Melkert or Krishan Batra (ACP) know the concept of PART-TIME is equal 50% or less than FULL-TIME (100%)?

How come Krishan Batra and other members of ACP "forgot" to ask for the basic rules when approving ACP/07/0763: (a) proof of funds(Atlas print out); (b) detailed budget cost and AWP; (c) salary scale - comparative evaluation?

If UNDP claims to be transparent, why they don't give a list of all PART-TIMERS inside UNDP as of 18 Dec 2007 and publish it on the UNDP.ORG. Will be interesting to see how much other PART-TIMERs earn inside UNDP.

How much does a Senator or a Member of Congress makes in the United States for a FULL-TIME job? How much does Amb Khalilzad makes in one year for his FULL-TIME job at the USUN?

Meanwhile, US taxpayers continue to pay the bill for this mega corruption at turtle-bay.



More Procurement data vanish inside UNDP labyrinths

Days ago an email from Nina Brandt - PSO (Procurement Support Office) went around giving guidelines on how to publish Procurement Data On-Line. Nothing wrong with that, and finally some direct advice and guidance was coming to us on how to proactively and transparently handle our procurements. (we cannot publish the email of Nina Brandt to Procurement Network - because it contains sensitive internal data for UNDP)

But it seem that Nina's email gave a heart-stroke to Ad Melkert and his Chief of Staff Gettu, who got immediately scared with the idea that the Country Offices would start publishing data on how UNDP spend money for the dictators, and how they use (abuse) waiver of competitive bidding to award contracts to friends and family of "strategic counterparts".

Scared to death from the latest leaks to media - Chief of Staff Gettu called James Provenzano and demanded (screaming) that he (in his capacity of Head of PSO) immediately take actions to undo this: - "huge mistake of letting Country Offices to publish their procurement notices without HQ clearance".

Gettu's orders to Provenzano were to: -hide after the "risk of terrorist attacks" and protect UNDP Contractors from any potential "kidnapping".

We are publishing herein the email of Provenzano to this regard:

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

From: On Behalf Of james.provenzano at undp.org
Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 8:34 AM
To: 'Procurement Network'
Subject:Re: [mpn-procure] Posting procurement notices and contract awards

I wish you ewould have let me discuss before sending. There is issue of COs where there is sincere risk of posting contract info that poses risk to contractors (kidnapping, etc). I suggest you seend followup message to say that if CO believes there is security risk to contact hq for instructions
Thanks,
Jim
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
____________

Poor Ms. Brandt, she did her job well following the UNDP guidelines, but apparently UNDP corrupt management do not care of guidelines, or transparency - and in absence of internal accountability they can order anything they want.

James, can you please explain to UNDP Watch what you mean by "sincere risk of posting contract info that poses risk to contractors (kidnapping, etc)" ?

Do you know of any contractor who worked for UNDP that has been kidnapped?

James do you know how many members are part of Procurement Network ? A lot. So next time, when you send a reply from outlook, make sure that you reply to Nina only and not to the whole network.

Or if you have experienced any trouble lately using your Outlook please call Fridakis, he will fix your computer from his own desk, he got your password. Isn't always good to have a buddy like Fridakis watch your back (careful he's Greek).

Have you ever thought how can a new DRR of a certain office, which have just joined UNDP, review the cases from his/her predecessor ? Well he/she cannot, because Fridakis doesn't permit. So how are they suppose to do their job and report to Regional CPO and HQ when can't access their own data?

QUESTIONS:

- Are you James the head of PSO ?
- Are you the supervisor of Krishan Batra who claims to be the king of ACP ?
- Did Krishan informed you of his joint-actions with Fridakis to shut down ACP online and no longer permit anyone to see what happened with previous PUBLIC PROCUREMENTS?
- Did Krishan told you that he was the one to approve the waiver for EVELINE and even draft her TORs since they were missing from the ACP submission?
- Can you James access with you password the case of EVELINE and CORIMEC?
- Have you ever seen any minutes of ACP in the past 24 months?

UNDP's Treasury Division failed in 2007 Audit

An audit report covering the activities of the Treasury Division that was issued on 9November 2007 resulted in an “unsatisfactory” overall audit opinion mainly due to the following major observations:

- Bank reconciliations not completed in a timely manner; unreconciled items accumulated and investigations not performed in a timely manner;

- The Atlas General Ledger system contains numerous incorrect balances dating back to January 2004, is not optimally configured, lacks adequate functionality and formal security measures;

- Overall lack of sufficient resources and limited guidance/guidelines within the Treasury Division ;

- Inadequate or non-existent access controls surrounding Atlas, Treasury shared drives and other relevant Treasury servers;

- Inadequate segregation of duties exists within the Bank Reconciliations, Deposit Operations, Investments Unit and Cash Management processes;

- Very high reliance on the use of Excel spreadsheets for the conduct of Treasury functions and duties;


UNDP Watch sources at 21st floor tell us that both Kemal and Ad are running out of control and has demanded that Khoury and OAPR re-write immediately their report and their recommendations they made in 05 Dec 07.

But how are member states reacting to all this ?

We will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Krishan Batra a failed attempt to change staff opinion on his billions of dollars worth of waivers

UNDP Watch invites all staff around the world to express your views about Krishan Batra's past 1.9 Billion dollars of waivers of competitive bids and direct reviews.

- How do you feel about Krishan Batra denying access to ACP's past approvals?
- How do you feel about Krishan Batra approval of LTA's (ie: CISCO, etc)?

You can chose to leave your thoughts anonymously.

----------NO COMMENT--------

From: On Behalf Of Krishan Batra
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 4:03 PM
To: mpn-procure@groups.undp.org
Subject: [mpn-procure] WAIVER CASES: WRONG INTERPRETATION
Importance: High

Dear Colleagues:

As you are aware that presently we treat all cases as waivers if the outcome of the bidding process leads to less than 3 responsive offers. This term is ok within UNDP but when outsiders look at it they consider that waiver means no competition. This sometimes distorts the actual procurement data of UNDP and some have tried to present this information in a very negative way.

To present the information in a correct perspective, we plan to come up with the following categories.

1. Procurement Action (PA): This means that competitive process has been undertaken and the outcome is minimum 3 responsive offers.

2. Technical Waivers (Instead of just waivers): This means that competitive process was undertaken but inspite of due diligence the outcome did not had 3 responsive offers.


3. Direct Contracting: This means that contract has been awarded directly to the vendor either based on Long Term Arrangement or based on previous competitive process undertaken during the last 12 months or standardization. These cases were earlier treated as waivers.

I hope the above will help us to segregate our procurement information in a correct way. Before we implement this change, we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Cheers!
Krishan

Secret Audit Document shows major deficiencies and more counterfeit - but advised "NO ACTION"

Today the UNDP Watch is publishing only a small portion of a secret document that Khoury the OIC of OAPR (Audit Office of UNDP) has presented to Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert at the end of last year.

The document is self explanatory, and it enlist major problems with UNDP's programmes and projects, and how UNDP is conducting business in the world.

Today thanks to UNDP Watch insiders in the office of OAPR, we have obtained all 37 Audit Reports, and will be publishing them in their entirety to show the world the corruption of the UNDP and the level of miss-management and corrupt conduct which is being condoned in today's UNDP, under the leadership of Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert.

During the 10-month period ending 31 October 2007, OAPR issued 37 audit reports pertaining to country offices . This includes 9 DEX audits, 2 follow-up audits, and 2 special audits.

The distribution of the audit reports issued so far is comparable to that of 2006, i.e. 32% Satisfactory, 38% Partially Satisfactory, 11% Unsatisfactory and 19% with no opinions. Altogether, the 37 OAPR audit reports contained 755 recommendations, 59% of which were ranked high priority.

Khoury makes some very disturbing revelations in this secret document, by admitting that: -"The major causes of audit issues were identified to be noncompliance and lack of effective supervision".

Among others Khoury admits that in today's UNDP the following still exist:

(1) Development Services

§ Weak system for monitoring and following-up on NGO/NEX audits: not having a system in place to ensure compliance with the audit scope, timely submission of NGO/NEX audits, and timely implementation of audit recommendations.

§ Inadequate project design, appraisal and approval process: inadequate or non-appraisal by the local programme advisory committee, non-inclusion of beneficiaries and other key stakeholders in the appraisal process, and project risks not being addressed in a systematic manner.

§ Ineffective project monitoring and evaluation: pertains mainly to not having a regular monitoring plan, non-use of project monitoring tools, and non-compliance with guidelines on project monitoring of development projects

§ Inadequate management of project inventory: misstatements in the inventory list, not updated fixed asset registers, incomplete documentation supporting the physical inventory, and non-adjustment of lost items.


(2) Financial Resources

§ Unresolved bank reconciliation issues: delays in the bank reconciliation process and, outstanding bank reconciliation items that have remained uncleared or unadjusted.

(3) Procurement

§ Weaknesses of the contracts, assets, and procurement committee (CAP): ineffective and/or a non-performing CAP, members of CAP unclear about their roles and responsibilities, weak competitiveness so as to increase best value for money.

(4) Human Resources

§ Deficiencies in the recruitment process for office staff, project staff, as well as consultants: non-transparent and non-competitive recruitment process, inadequate documentation to support recruitment, no reference checking, evidence of favoritism in the evaluation, excessive use of waivers, and non-compliance with HR rules.

But the most important finding of this Secret Document, is the revelation that UNDP "can account for only 86% of $ 2.1 Billion Dollars spent on NEX and NGOs around the world."

Khoury admits to Kemal and Ad that UNDP could not account in 2007 for almost $300 Million Dollars invested through NEX/NGOs.

Another major revelation of Khoury is on his old buddy Darshak Shah, for the first time since the North Korean controversy on counterfeit presence in the Office Safe (early 2007), Khoury blantedly gives the blame to Darshak Shah (Comptroller) and Julie Anne Mejia (Treasurer) :

  • Two special reviews on counterfeit US Dollar bills were conducted by OAPR in 2007. The reviews highlighted:

    - The absence of specific procedures regarding the management of office safes; and
    - Absence of oversight exercised by the Office of Finance and Administration or the Treasury Division on the management of safes in country offices and business units at headquarters

Well after failing himslef (Khoury) to disclose the presence of counterfeit in North Korea during his audits in 2001 and 2004, now at the helm of Audit of UNDP, Khoury finds it easier to blame Darshak and Julie Anne.

But wait, David Morrison the spokesperson of UNDP has declared that North Korean counterfeit was the only one UNDP knew about. How come than OAPR conducted TWO special Reviews ? (UNDP Watch will publish both the Special Reviews on its draft and final versions)

But with the above revelation and fingerpointing of fault, we assume that Khoury would advise the management to take immediate actions for failure of doing their jobs and dismiss Darshak Shah and Julie Anne Mejia.

Well ....dont hold your breath on this. This document shows that Khoury, despite his tough findings, advised Kemal Dervis and Ad Melkert that "NO FURTHER ACTIONS" were required from high management on these Audit Findings.

Well done Khoury.....A+

Let's see if UNDP would be sharing this report with the Executive Board this week.

Memorial ceremony for victims of the Algiers attack

The Secretary-General will lead a memorial ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Wednesday, 23 January, to pay tribute to United Nations colleagues who were killed or injured in the attack on the UN offices in Algiers on 11 December 2007. Family members of colleagues who lost their lives have been invited to participate, along with Permanent Missions and UN staff.

All staff wishing to attend are asked to be seated in the Palais Assembly Hall at 2:45 p.m.

At New York Headquarters, the ceremony will be broadcast live in Conference Room 4. Staff are invited to attend, and are asked to be seated by 8:45 a.m. New York time. The Deputy Secretary-General and other senior officials will be present.

The ceremony will also be webcast live and on demand at http://www.un.org/webcast.

The Secretary-General hopes this will be an occasion for the entire United Nations family to honour the lives and contributions of our fallen colleagues.

--------------------------------------

Cérémonie commémorative en l’honneur des victimes de l’attentat d’Alger

Le Secrétaire général présidera une cérémonie commémorative au Palais des Nations à Genève le mercredi 23 janvier, afin de rendre hommage à nos collègues des Nations Unies qui ont perdu la vie ou ont été blessés au cours de l’attentat perpétré contre les bureaux de l’Organisation des Nations Unies à Alger le 11 Décembre 2007. Les familles de nos collègues qui ont perdu la vie ont été invitées à participer à la cérémonie, de même que le personnel des Missions permanentes et celui des Nations Unies.

Tous les membres du personnel qui souhaitent y assister sont priés de se trouver dans la salle de L’Assemblée du Palais à 14h45.

Au Siège à New York, la cérémonie sera diffusée en direct dans la salle de conférence 4. Les membres du personnel sont invités à y assister et sont priés de se trouver assis dans la salle à 8 h 45 heure de New York. La Vice-Secrétaire générale et d’autres responsables de haut niveau seront également présents.

La cérémonie sera également diffusée en direct et sur demande à http://www.un.org/webcast.

Le Secrétaire général forme l’espoir que ce sera là l’occasion pour l’ensemble du système des Nations Unies de rendre hommage à la vie et aux contributions de nos collègues disparus.


--------------------------------------
Ceremonia conmemorativa en honor de las víctimas del ataque de Argel

El Secretario General encabezará la ceremonia conmemorativa que tendrá lugar en el Palacio de las Naciones de Ginebra, el miércoles 23 de enero, para rendir homenaje a los colegas de las Naciones Unidas que murieron o fueron heridos en el ataque de las oficinas de la ONU en Argel, acaecido el 11 de diciembre de 2007. Han sido invitados los miembros de las familias de los colegas fallecidos así como los representantes de las Misiones Permanentes y los funcionarios de la ONU.

Se ruega a los funcionarios que quieran asistir a este evento que tomen sus asientos en la Sala de Asambleas del palacio antes de las 2:45 p.m.

La ceremonia será retransmitida en vivo en la Sede de Nueva York, en la Sala de Conferencias 4. Se ruega a las personas que deseen asistir que tomen sus asientos antes de las 8:45a.m., hora de Nueva York. La Vicesecretaria General y otros directores asistirán a esta ceremonia, que también será retransmitida en directo, bajo pedido, en el sitio http://www.un.org/webcast.

El Secretario General espera que sea ésta una ocasión para que toda la familia de las Naciones Unidas honre las vidas y las contribuciones de sus colegas fallecidos.

Monday, January 21, 2008

CORIMEC Scandal: It was not a "judgement call"

Last week, Kemal Dervis said in his press conference that:- "My judgment call would probably have been different," adding that he could see both side.

But today, thanks to UNDP Watchers inside the Bureau of Management (BOM), we could confirm that it wasn't a "judgement call" as described from the UNDP's boss. It was rather a direct call from Akiko Yuge, the Assistant Secretary General and Director of Bureau of Management of UNDP, who gave the order to Krishan Batra to go ahead and enter into contract with CORIMEC, despite the rejection of the ACP.

As UNDP Watch already published last week, the ACP in New York had REJECTED the case on the grounds that CORIMEC was no longer on the good-standing list of United Nations Vendors and that the company was "blacklisted" from UNPS just a month before the UNDP Pakistan brought the contract for approval. . Since in this case the supplier was involved in bribing and that was a very serious matter, the ACP members unanimously did not support this contract.

Here is the email of Akiko Yuge:



In absence of signed minutes of ACPs, Krishan Batra decided to over-pass the authority of the ACP, and decided to approve the contract on an "exceptional basis" as per Akiko's email.

Despite numerous statements from Krishan Batra to assure the 21st floor that "ACP did in fact approved the contract" and that "even Samaras was OK with it" - sources inside the office of Kemal Dervis, confirmed that Administrator is unhappy with the performance of the Procurement Unit of UNDP, and is keeping all options on the table.

A UNDP Watcher inside the 21st floor, said that on a first review of the facts, the Office of Administrator has already established that ACP has acted against all rules and without due diligence and that Batra's practices in conducting ACP meetings without signed minutes from members have cretated a dangerous precendent for UNDP, in face of upcomming Executive Board Meetings and its pledge for transparency.

A member of ACP, said for UNDP-WATCH: "it is ridiculous to see the level of capacity of those represented in ACP. Before Batra, ACP was made of top representatives from each Regional Bureau, at D1 and above. Everytime there was some important submission, if CO wasn't able to come to NY we would have the Desk-Officer for that Country in NY present the submission. Krishan Batra has deliberately lowered the capacity of ACP to the level of assistants and SSAs, in order to rule and swing ACP whichever way he or his supervisors wanted to. In my opinion ACP should return to its previous composition, where Programme Managers (D1 and above) take the leadership and where Procurement Unit plays only advisory role. Under Krishan we are currently in a major conflict of interest."

UNDP Uzbek employee left to his fate

UNDP Uzbek employee left to his fate

by Johan Huizinga

Erkin Musaev, a manager with the United Nations Development Programme in Uzebekistan, was arrested on dubious charges in January 2006 and subsequently sentenced to 25 years in jail for espionage. His requests to the UNDP for support and legal assistance went unanswered for many months. However, UNDP officials have said there was not much they could do to save the man from being persecuted since he was he was a contract worker and not a permanent UN staff member.

In December 2004, Uzbek Lieutenant Colonel Erkin Musaev left his post at the country's ministry of defence for a job with the UNDP where he was to be in charge of a border control project. However, following a failed uprising in the province of Andijan in May 2005 many Uzbeks were arrested. The government in Tashkent saw in the uprising an attempt to launch a popular revolution similar to those that had only recently taken place in Georgia and Ukraine. Erkin Musaev was one of the victims; he was detained at the airport whilst going about his work for the UNDP.

In a statement later smuggled out of jail by his sister he told how he had been tortured in order to force him to confess:

"They said if I do not agree with this accusation they will accuse me [of] sister, Mr Musaev told how he has been tortured in an attempt to obtain a confession from himdrugs trafficking and personal involvement in the Islamic movement. They said they can put literature or drugs in my house […] and accuse me on this [basis]."

Finally, also threatened, among other things, with his family being arrested, he broke and signed a written confession saying he had spied for the United States and the UN. On 13 July 2006, after a secret 'trial' without his having lawyer or any other legal assistance, he was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

Second trial
One day later a second trial began in which he was accused of fraud involving UNDP funds. This time, however, the UNDP's regional programme manager Philip Peirce stood by Erkin Musaev, providing a written statement in which he stated that Musaev was in no way involved in such fraud and that the UNDP's financial transactions had taken place according to the rules.

These efforts were to no avail, however, and Mr Musaev was sentenced to another six years in jail. The UNDP undertook no further action to help him; it was neither represented at his trial, nor did it provide him with a lawyer or any other legal assistance. Requests from his family for a meeting with the head of the UNDP mission in Uzbekistan went unanswered.

The UNDP maintained there was a lack of clarity as to the status of Erkin Musaev as an employee of the UN, and hence his protection from prosecution by the Uzbek authorities. However, when the family asked for a copy of his employment contract, the UNDP could not produce one.

Petition
The family then turned to Dutch retired general Ton Kolsteren for help. He knows Erkin Musaev very well from the time both men were involved in a joint programme between NATO and former Soviet republics. Mr Musaev had spent more than a year in jail when on 5 March 2007 General Kolsteren sent a petition to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour and to UNDP chief Kemal Dervis and his Dutch assistant administrator Ad Melkert.

It took more than a month before James Provenzano, director of the UNDP legal affairs department, responded by claiming Erkin Musaev was a temporary employee and not a staff member. This conclusion has been refuted by Musaev himself who claims he had a permanent contract and a UNDP identification pass which is not issued to temporary workers.

Mr Melkert, for his part, took one more month to respond, but his answer was at least somewhat more explicit. He said that he would do his best to help, but repeated that Erkin Musaev was not a member of UNDP staff. He said more clarity about his status, privileges and immunity was needed before the Uzbek government could be approached about the case.

Two months later, in July 2007, the real situation became a little clearer when Mr Melkert revealed that the Uzbek government had been asked for further information, but referred at the end of his letter to "the necessity to maintain a working relationship with the Uzbek government on an ongoing basis".
He also wrote that he had brought the matter to the attention of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour. By that time the head of the UNDP mission in Uzbekistan, Mr Ficret Actura, had agreed to see the Musaev family for the first time.

Third trial
In September 2007, Erkin Musaev went on trial for a third time and was sentenced to another 4 years in jail, again on charges of espionage for which the UNDP premises were allegedly used. This time the UNDP provided a written statement stating that three of Musaev's co-accused never entered the UNDP building in the period mentioned in the charges.

Yet again, however, the UNDP did not sent a representative to the trial nor provide a lawyer. Mr Melkert was asked to comment about the Musaev case when he visited The Netherlands this autumn, but he had no time to talk to Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva says the UNDP Legal Office in New York is handling the case. Radio Netherlands Worldwide is still hoping for a more substantial response from the UNDP.