"....The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability....."
- UN Staff Union
Thursday, March 12, 2009
UN's Ban Meets With Obama, No Pesky UN Press, Myanmar Convergence Described
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
WASHINGTON, March 10 -- As school children pointed at the White House and threw bread to pigeons and sparrows, a black limousine and 20-passenger bus swept by at 5:25 on Tuesday afternoon, carrying UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his press-less entourage to a meeting with President Barack Obama. An Inner City Press source emerging from the White House described it as scripted and untransparent. He was surprised that Ban's team had not tried and gotten any UN correspondents in.
It's a pool, he said, predicting two questions to Obama, two question to Ban. Some taking photos through the fence asked this reporter about the black bus waiting in the driveway. The name Ban Ki-moon did not ring a bell with them. One mentioned Kofi Annan. The birds grabbed the bread and flew.
The White House source mentioned a sample point of convergence. Ban paid tribute to Burma's General Than Shwe, he said. And now U.S. gas and oil companies have lobbied the Administration to change course on Myanmar, to move away from sanctions and toward economic integration. They want to make money, despite the dictatorship. They pitch it to Obama as an alternative for now to oil for the Middle East and Venezuela. The ground cover is to call it a helping hand despite Than Shwe's still iron gripping fist, a change we can make you believe in.
UN's Ban's van in front of White House, no Q&A, (c) M. Lee, ICP
At 6:25 p.m., as shown above, the entourage pulled out, heading to Constitution Avenue, to a dinner with the UN Foundation. In the van, apparently after no question, was Ban's Spokesperson and media "liaison" team. An hour and a half later, Ban's press officer, which had not asked to get a single UN correspondent into the White House or pool, issued a bland summary that could have been written before the meeting. Climate change, why not, and Sudan, Iraq and Haiti, from which Ban had just returned.
At 9 p.m., the U.S. put out a transcript, in which Obama did not mention Pakistan, with no Q&A at all included.
The pool report, from the pool described as full and set, that asked now questions at all, issued this summary, including the presence of Hilary Clinton, Susan Rice and Lynn Pascoe:
From: Carol Lee To: Finkenbinder, Benjamin N.; Singh, Priya Sent: Tue Mar 10 19:04:32 2009 Subject: Pool report #3
Pool was led into the Oval Office around 6:25 p.m., and was in there for about 8 minutes for POTUS and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks.
POTUS said major topic of discussion was Darfur. Ki-moon called 2009 a “make or break year.” Full transcript to come, and some details below.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Lynn Pascoe and Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs were present while pool was in the Oval Office, standing off to the side as POTUS and Ki-moon spoke.
POTUS and Ban Ki-moon were seated in chairs next to each other in front of the fireplace. They spoke for about 4 minutes each.
POTUS, sitting with his legs crossed, spoke first:
“Hey guys. Sorry to make you work this late,” POTUS said as pool entered the Oval Office
“Let me just say I am very grateful for the secretary general
“I think the United Nations can be an extraordinarily constructive, important partner in bringing about peace and stability to people around the world,” POTUS said.
“We had a wide-ranging conversation” covering “a host of international issues.”
He said some of them included:
* Economic crisis: how it’s affecting developing countries but very poor countries around the world
* Afghanistan: How we can “ramp up and better coordinate” activities in Afghanistan, and the Afghan elections.
*Darfur: “One of the things I think we spent the most time talking about was the issue of Darfur,” POTUS said. POTUS said he pressed upon secretary general how important it is to send a unified international message on the crisis. “The United States wants to work as actively as possible to try to resolve the immediate humanitarian crisis and to start putting us on the path for long-term peace and stability in the Sudan,” POTUS said..
* Climate change: how they can work together on climate change.
Ban Ki-moon spoke next for a few minutes:
He said it is “a very good sign” for the United Nations that “we are meeting at such an early stage in your administration.”
“I think the year 2009 is a make or break year” for crises on many fronts for the United Nations for the United States and the international community as a whole.
Climate change “is a priority for the United Nations,” he said.
To save our planet: “This is an issue of our era. I count on your strong commitment and leadership.”
Citing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Iraq, nuclear non-proliferation, North Korea, he said the UN will be relying on the United States’ leadership and commitment.
“The United Nations stands ready to work together with you Mr. President to make this make-or-break year turn into a make-it-work” year, full of optimism, which elicited a smile from POTUS.
Sent: Tue Mar 10 20:42:01 2009 Subject: Pool report #4 Some others at POTUS and Ban Ki-moon meeting:
From the White House:
Mark Lippert Mike Hammer Samantha Power Michelle Gavin
From the UN: Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operation Alain Le Roy Robert Orr Will Davis Michelle Montas
Carol Lee POLITICO
Ban Ki-moon will take his road show Wednesday to the House on Capitol Hill. Watch this site.
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UNDP Chief Finance Officer
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if anyone else would have done what Eveline Herfkens did, would have long been in jail. We denounce this impunity and demand justice.
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1. UNDP’s partnership with the World Bank needs to be more effective, particularly in fragile and crisis-affected countries. 2. UNDP’s near universal mandate means its technical resources are spread very thinly. The Board does not provide strategic direction. HR management is weak. It has a weak results chain. 3. There is limited evidence of active senior management consideration of cost control. Country evidence points to mixed progress on demonstrating cost-efficiency. 4. The Executive Board is politicised and there is a lack of consensus on the key areas for reform. It is not clear that current plans for change will deliver the required depth and breadth of reform. 5. Evidence gathered at country level was highly critical of UNDP’s ability to deliver results. Its delivery can be undermined by staffing issues and bureaucratic processes. 6. Its performance in fragile states is mixed. It has reasonable training and a range of guidance and analytical tools but struggles to fill posts. 7. There is no evidence that the Climate Strategy was directly guiding resource allocation decisions
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H.E. Dirk Niebel - German Development Minister
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How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security and Fails the World (Click in picture to purchase the book)
Share now information about illegal dealings at United Nations
If you are in possession of UNDP or any other United Nations Agency' contracts, correspondence, financial records or databases, which you believe detail wrongdoing such as fraud, mismanagement and abuse of authority, and you have failed to have UN's internal control, oversight and justice systems respond and/or react to your claims, you can send them to UNDP-WATCH and we will make them public keeping your identity anonymous and confidential.
Send an email to: email@example.com
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C'est vraiment ce que tu veux pour ta carriere?
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And I promise you as well that in future, when it comes to international development, we will want to see hard evidence of the impact your money makes. Not just dense and impenetrable budget lines but clear evidence of real effect
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT UNITED NATIONS
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Question: He recommends strongly that UNDP pays 14 months back pay to the whistleblower. Does the Secretary-General stand behind that recommendation? Should UNDP in fact pay that money, or are they free to rebuff that recommendation? Spokesperson: We will see what is going to happen. The Secretary-General of course is behind Mr. Benson on his report. There is no doubt about it. What UNDP will do, we will be seeing this; how they will implement that report.
UNDP Watch is a grouping of United Nations Staff committed to openness. We believe that everyone has the right to access information held by United Nations.
Despite a stated commitment to openness, UNDP remain a highly secretive agency.
Although a wealth of information is available on some UNDP websites, its Executive Board operate behind closed doors, much important programme and administrative information is never made available and, as a rule, information that is disclosed is provided only after relevant decisions have effectively been taken.
While UNDP has adopted “internal policies” on information disclosure, they in fact operate on precisely the opposite presumption. For the most part, they list which documents will be disclosed and when, and there is a presumption against the disclosure of all the other information they hold. They do not establish right of access, the lists of documents subject to disclosure is limited, they do not set out clear and narrow grounds for refusing access and they do not provide for independent oversight mechanisms to ensure proper implementation of the policy.
The UNDP WATCH is calling for the complete overhaul of these policies.
"...We believe that without accountability, there is impunity. We ask that you (Secretary General) not be complicit in cover-up of what happened prior to 11 Dec attack. The staff is sick and tired of the impunity extended by the office of the Secretary-General to senior managers for their failings especially in situations where it has led to death and disability."