"....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
In the blockbuster 2000 film JSA, two South Korean soldiers accidentally find themselves on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area, at the border between the two countries. They meet their North Korean counterparts. But instead of fighting, the four soldiers become friends and arrange several midnight get-togethers. At the height of their secret fraternization, one of the South Korean soldiers brings over several Choco Pies, cookies with marshmallow covered in chocolate that are wildly popular in South Korea.
The North Korean soldiers are delighted. "Why can't our Republic make Choco Pies like this?" one of the North Koreans says wistfully.
"Come south," suggest the South Koreans. "Then you can eat Choco Pies until you burst."
There is a stunned silence as the North Korean soldier spits the cookie into his hand. "I'm only going to tell you this only once," he says sternly. "My dream is that one day our Republic will make the best damned sweets on the peninsula." After this awkward moment, the soldier stuffs the cookie back in his mouth, and the foursome resumes their friendly banter.
The two Koreas have faced off across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) for six decades. Although they are connected by ethnic and familial bonds, and although traffic between the two countries has increased over the last decade, North and South Korea remain worlds apart, and their cultures have developed along very different trajectories. The conflicts that keep the two Koreas culturally distinct have even filtered down to the realm of food.
Consider the Choco Pie. Produced by a major South Korean conglomerate, the cookie represents the consumer wealth and the globalization of South Korean culture. It's made of wheat, not the rice of traditional Korean desserts, and is clearly modeled after the classic Moon Pie of the southern United States. In the scene from JSA, the North Korean soldier rejects the lure of South Korean wealth and the corrupting influences of the world beyond the Korean peninsula. He asserts that his country, through its own efforts, will one day win the Korean peninsula contest for best sweets.
This stubborn pride of the North Koreans -- better a hungry wolf than a well-fed lapdog, the Northerners often say -- helps to explain the defiant military posturing of the leadership as well as the nationalist sympathies of the population. North Korea may well admire the prosperity of the West, but it will not sell its birthright for a mess of pottage (or Choco Pies).
Which brings us to the other side of the equation: cold noodles. The food that best represents North Korea's pride in resisting the corrupting influences of the outside world is naengmyen, or cold noodles. Pyongyang-style cold noodles -- thin buckwheat noodles in a broth with a slice of beef, a hard-boiled egg, and piece of Korean pear -- are a delicacy throughout the two Koreas and outside the peninsula. But North Koreans boast that the best naengmyen can be found at the huge cold-noodle restaurant in Pyongyang called Ongnyugwan. When I visited North Korea in the late 1990s, my guide said proudly that South Korean tourists beg to eat at Ongnyugwan, where they routinely slurp down as many as three bowls. Cold noodles, unlike Choco Pies, are a traditional Korean dish.Naengmyen represents all that is "pure Korean," nationalist, and self-reliant in North Korean culture. But this division in food culture between North and South -- between the global and the local -- isn't quite as stark as either the film JSA or North Korean propaganda might have us believe.
For one thing, Korean food has been subject to globalization for many thousands of years, even the food eaten in the North. Rice and buckwheat came from China during the Bronze Age, barbecue meat (bulgogi) from the Mongols in the 13th century, the red pepper in kimchi (pickled vegetables) from the New World through Portugal and Japan in the 16th century.
After World War II and the division of the peninsula, South Korea began to absorb distinctly American influences. Hungry Koreans during the Korean War, for instance, scavenged cans of Spam from American soldiers and put the meat into a dish dubbed "battalion stew." Today, after South Korea has gone from having the GDP of a sub-Saharan African country to being one of the top dozen economies in the world in the space of a single generation, this "battalion stew" has become a trendy dish among young people in Seoul. The influences go well beyond Spam. Subsidized wheat from America poured into the country, displacing rice. Even Japan, the hated colonizer of the peninsula, introduced flavors into Korea -- such as the Choco Pie, popularized by the Japanese firm Morinaga. When the North Korean soldier rejects the Choco Pie in JSA, he is also rejecting South Korea's post-war collaboration with Japan.
North Korea, meanwhile, officially took its own path after the wars of the mid-20th century. It rejected integration into both the capitalist and communist economic systems. It eventually developed an ideology of self-reliance (even as it quietly accepted aid and subsidized imports from China and the Soviet Union). The trappings of communism gradually fell away, and North Korea emerged in the 1990s as an essentially nationalist state. Many South Koreans, particularly after the first inter-Korean summit in 2000, romanticized their northern neighbor as somehow "purer," untainted by globalization and capitalism: a more authentic Korea.
But the collapse of the North Korean economy in the 1990s undermined the myth of North Korea as somehow a "purer" Korea. Foreign aid poured into the country. Private markets became an essential way for North Koreans to acquire food, and many foreign influences began to appear through this route. The first fast-food restaurants started up in Pyongyang, serving fried chicken and even hamburgers, albeit labeled "minced beef and bread." At the very top of the leadership, Kim Jong Il's tastes in foreign food are legendary -- he brought over a Japanese sushi chef to cook for him and an Italian pizza maker to teach his chefs how to make the Italian pies.
So, the confrontation between the globalized South (Choco Pie) and the nationalist North (cold noodles) has become considerably blurred. Thanks to North Koreans, for instance, you can get authentic Pyongyang-style cold noodles today in South Korea. When North Korean defectors arrive in the South, where about 16,000 now live, they bring little in the way of marketable skills -- except for the cold noodle recipe of their mother or grandmother. North Koreans have opened cold-noodle restaurants all over South Korea. But in a sign of how much the two cultures have changed over the last 60 years, the owners of these cold noodle restaurants adjust their "authentic" recipe to meet the tastes of South Koreans.
And Choco Pies? They, too, have crossed the border. At the Kaesong Industrial Complex, South Korean managers and North Korean workers produce watches and kitchenware in factories just north of the DMZ. The North Korean workers receive several Choco Pies as part of their wages. These symbols of the decadent South are popular not only with the workers and their families. A new retail market in Choco Pies has also emerged in the North.
In other words, it's no longer Choco Pies versus cold noodles. As the two Koreas continue their slow-motion reunification -- despite occasional naval confrontations, exchanges of hostile rhetoric, and hiccups in economic relations -- a new future for the peninsula is emerging: Choco Pies and cold noodles.
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637 UNDP Staffers are Millionaires, and another 1041 UNDP staffers have enough salary (income) to justify million dollar homes in New York (or tri-state area NY/NJ/CT).
UN/UNDP's budgets are untransparent !
U.N. budget is “utterly opaque, untransparent and completely in the shadow” and would benefit from being consolidated and audited from the outside. MMB from NyTimes
JOSE RAMOS HORTA - PRESIDENT OF EAST TIMOR
‘‘You know how many layers of bureaucracy there are when the European Union wants to help East Timor? Well, they don’t provide the funds to us, the funds allocated are managed by world bank. And the world bank has its own layers of bureaucracy. And they charge for that. The project is then managed by UNDP. But UNDP is only good at doing studies, they don’t execute projects.’‘
Boutros Boutros-Ghali on UN:
"perhaps half of the UN work force does nothing useful"
Can Helen Clark be trusted on Climate Change ?
President Obama's answer to Helen Clark's appeal for US to do more on climate change was : "I think the American people right now have been so focused, and will continue to be focused, on our economy and jobs and growth that ... if the message is somehow, we're going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don't think anybody's gonna go for that," he said. "I won't go for that."
In 2011 Rami Makhlouf - a trusted development partner of UNDP in Syria
In 2008 U.S. Treasury designation: Rami Makhluf Designated for Benefiting from Syrian Corruption (Click on photo to see US Treasury page)
"Screwed" How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off
A full chapter (7) dedicated to UNDP and UN Secretariat. But it today at Amazon.com (click above picture)
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Asma al-Assad is UNDP's champion of reform in Syria
UNDP's special relations with dictators and terror is well documented. Yet, they continue to operate covered by UN Immunity. Click on immage for story.
Aicha Gaddafi You are Fired !
UNDP continues to be in bed with other dictators. Will clean it one at a time.
Where is NETAID money David Morrison?
UNDP Transparency Censored
UNDP's moto is: - eliminate the uncomfortable, frighten those who disagree, "educate" the perplexed..
UNDP Chief Finance Officer
The UNDP is a secretive organization and so far has kept in the dark every information related to its Chief Finance Officer and Deputy Assistant Administrator, Mr. Darshak Shah. Click on the picture for more on Finance Office of UNDP.
UNDP Belarus - best breast corner
Should tax-payers dollars be used to photograph beautiful breasts - even when making a valid point?
Uncle Helen turning UNDP into a cove of corrupt NZ labour politicians
CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE Chris Carter's latest Credit Card scandal - can he work at UNDP after that? It seems YES he is full tested!!
Helen Clark says: "No more cars"
Thinking about buying a new car this year? Why, you evil Westerner! You don’t need that. You are demanding your new car off the sweat, toil, and exploitation of the world’s poorest people in developing countries.
Eveline Herfkens belongs to Jail - she should return imemdiately Dutch Taxpayers money.
if anyone else would have done what Eveline Herfkens did, would have long been in jail. We denounce this impunity and demand justice.
Andrew Mitchell - says Helen Clark is up to no good!
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
Mark Malloch Brown outraged over Aicha Gaddafi
“I hope she's not a UNDP Ambassador,” ...“I don't think it's UNDP. I was surprised when I saw that... she was an Ambassador to any part of the UN system.”
Travel Palestine - Rediscover Your Senses
Get ready to a sensual feast of ...sounds...scents of The Land of حماس Ḥamās Documentary sponsored by UNDP Funds (click on picture for video)
Helen Clark on UNDP's own corruption (Can she be trusted?)
“When funds intended for life-saving treatment and prevention are stolen, that theft is tantamount to murder.” CLICK ON PICTURE FOR MORE
Scandal in Rwanda with Human Development Report
Aurelien Agbenonci, UNDP's RR in Kigali accuses Khalid Malik of making up data without UNDP Rwanda's knowledge. Rwanda Government is unhappy !!!
H.E. Dirk Niebel - German Development Minister
"I take the accusations made in the media concerning corruption and breach of fiduciary duty at the Global Fund very seriously and I am sure that the Fund will clarify the matter without delay. Germany is one of the biggest donors to the Global Fund. I have therefore seen to it that a special review will be held. I have frozen all further disbursements to the Fund until matters have been fully clarified, and I will ask a representative of the Fund to come to the BMZ to discuss the matter."
US Amb. Joseph Torsella blows the whistle on UN budgets
U.N. Secretariat’s proposed $5.2 “regular” budget for 2012-2013, was “simply loosening our belt a little less than we originally planned.”
The U.N. Exposed
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Helen Clark is watching you!
Gaddafi aint got nothing on UNDP - Click on the picture for more!
Malakia: A Turk advises Greece on Economy
Kemal Dervis (Turkish) and George Papandreou (Greek) share many late-night phone calls together (Click on picture to read story)
Where does Ban stand on Libya?
C'est vraiment ce que tu veux pour ta carriere?
United Nations Dispute Tribunal finds Ethics Office decisions Appealable
Because UNDT is the first level of the UN’s two-tiered justice system, there is a possibility that this decision may be appealed. Hopefully, the Secretary-General will not be “absurd” enough to do so. Click above to go to GAP page.
Andrew Mitchell Demands Transparency from United Nations
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
Ban Ki Moon supports Ethics Decision on UNDP North Korea
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."