"....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
Monday, July 12, 2010
MassiveGood, Praised by UN's Ban, Bill Clinton & Douste-Blazy, Called MassiveScam, $525,000 Spike Lee Film Yields $200,000
By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, July 11 -- To raise money for the fight against AIDS and other diseases during the purchase of an airplane ticket: it sounds like, or as the UN calls it, “MassiveGood.”
Inner City Press: UNITAID allocated $22 million to something called the Millennium Foundation, which is also headed by Mr. Douste-Blazy, for this thing called MassiveGood, where for every plane ticket people were going to click. It was estimated that it would raise hundreds of millions of dollars [but] it’s raised much, much less than that. Given that Ban Ki-moon was the first clicker and used the UN platform to promote this idea, what does he think about the article and of the use of $22 million that should have gone to, actually, antiretrovirals, to pay Spike Lee to do an ad for something that’s raised so little money? And what is Mr. Ban Ki-moon going to do to clean up this scandalous use of funds?
Associate Spokesperson: We’ll check with our colleagues dealing with this about what kind of response there is on that.
The following afternoon, this response was proffered:
Date: Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 2:22 PM Subject: Your question on MASSIVEGOOD From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply To: Matthew Lee @innercitypress.com
Our colleagues at UNITAID wish to stress that MASSIVEGOOD is a private-public partnership in the first stages of development.
Three months after the initiative was launched at the United Nations, MASSIVEGOOD has raised $200,000 in micro-contributions from travelers and corporate donations, a figure which is completely in line with the original fundraising projections.
UNITAID adds that it is already seeing an impressive number of donation “clicks” coming from travelers this summer, only four weeks after its operational launch. The Millennium Foundation will be holding its operational launch in the USA this October and it is sure to be fully deployed throughout the travel industry there.
Once fully deployed in the USA and in several European countries, MASSIVEGOOD will allow travelers to make a micro-contribution towards the three health-related Millennium Development Goals, as is already the case in Spain. The Millennium Foundation will continue to secure partnerships within the travel and tourism industry, and to ultimately ensure that each of us who travel can help the world reach the Millennium Development Goals.
It all sounds very nice. But consider:
- the Millennium Foundation (MF) is headed by Philippe Douste-Blazy. It has been established in Nov. 2008 as a private Swiss Foundation. Its purpose is to collect "voluntary contributions" (i.e., donations) to support global health initiatives. The key idea is to encourage travel agents, individual travelers and corporate companies to routinely donate a small sum of money (2 €, 2 $ or 2 £ per ticket) each time they book an airplane ticket online, thanks to the cooperation of the main companies part of the Global Distribution System (GDS). The MF was created with the assumption that those main companies - top three being Sabre, Travelport and Amadeus - would fully cooperate with the above-mentioned donation scheme. Under a set of favorable assumptions, a McKinsey report was predicting the scheme could raise a fair amount of money, in the few hundreds of millions $ per year.
- Philippe Douste-Blazy, UN Secretary General Ban's Special Adviser on "innovative financing", has lobbied for such a donation scheme given his close ties with the travel industry (notably French businessman Jean Francois Rial). As Chairperson of UNITAID Executive Board, he came to realize that certain governments, notably the US government, would never support UNITAID and implement an airline tax similar to the French tax himself had created when he was a member of the French government. UNITAID is a big UN procurement agency for HIV/AIDS drugs hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva.
- Mr. Dousteblazy has used his position as UNITAID Chairperson to have UNITAID granting a substantial budget ($22 million) for the creation of the MF, while we was simultaneously taking up the presidency of the newly created entity (thus cumulating the two presidencies : UNITAID, MF). This entered into force in Nov/Dec. 2008 with the establishment of the MF, recorded by the Swiss government, and the first wire of funds from UNITAID to the MF.
UN's Ban and Bill Clinton click, return and accountability not shown
- the MF quickly recruited his own secretariat, starting with a Director General, another Frenchman named Bernard Salome. An Executive Board of the MF was set up, with representatives of most countries already involved in UNITAID (notably France and the UK), but also representatives of prominent NGOs (Oxfam). The MF's HQ was officially located in Geneva, in the commercial zone by the city airport.
- the MF has designed its collecting scheme on 2 main tasks : i/ having the GDS companies developing the software enabling their customers (e.g., travel agencies) to make the routine online donation ; ii/ launching massive media and advertisement campaigns in targeted countries representing a great potential of air travelers : the US and selected European countries (Germany, Switzerland, UK, Spain).
Eighteen Months Later, This is the Situation
- approximately half of the UNITAID grant, i.e. 11 M$, has been spent or engaged. The MF spends an additional 500,000 $ a month minimum. At the current pace of spending, most insiders think the MF will run out of funding by end 2010, Q1 2011
- the donation scheme ("Massivegood") has been launched in 2 countries only : the US (early March 2010) and Spain (1 June 2010)
- the donation situation is dire : after 4 months targeting the US market (i.e., the key market), the amount of donations is about 14,000 $, and only a few hundreds of people have donated. Some sources actually suspect those donors to be employees of one of the GDS companies partner to the donation scheme, inviting its staff to make a donation to get the process started.
- none of the main GDS companies (Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre) has implemented the online donation software with its own customers (travel agencies), for various (legal, technical) reasons. It seems that as little as 5 out of 150,000 travel agents in the US have individually and voluntarily responded to the call for donation.
- in 2009, the MF has contracted an advertising consortium (led notably by French advertising firm Fred & Farid) for its media and ad campaign, labeled "Massivegood". According to sources, the contract would amount to 9 M$. Today, at least 3 M$ have been spent for the Massivegood campaign and the US launch in particular. A very big expenditure ($525,000) has been the making of a 60 second promotional movie by Movie Director Spike Lee, featuring brief appearances by Samuel Jackson, Susan Sarandon, Paul Auster and a recording of former President Bill Clinton's voice. This (fairly ordinary) movie has generated little interest on the Internet.
To summarize : 11 M$ of HIV/AIDS funding have already evaporated, and more is at risk ; the launch of the Massivegood brand on the most critical market (US) has been a failure ; unable to ensure the dissemination of the donation software, the MF seems irreversibly unable to achieve the two elements of its initial strategy, i.e. organizing a vast network of online donations through the GDS companies, and promoting its brand vis-a-vis the citizens and travelers in key countries.
Beyond the incompetence, the most striking and shocking factor is that UNITAID funding should legally be used to scale up access to HIV/AIDS and malaria drugs for the poorest countries. Today, UNITAID, the Global Fund against HIV/AIDS and all organizations fighting global pandemics are struggling with declining resources. How many doses of anti retrovirals, how many bed nets against malaria, how many packs of therapeutic food could have been bought with those wasted 11 M$ ? Is it worth waiting for the remaining 11 M$ to disappear into thin air ?
And so informed sources want to know:
- is the UN Secretary General Ban aware of the failure of the Massivegood scheme ? Why did he decide to support it by making publicly the first online donation himself on March 4th ? Was he briefed on the fact that the software wasn't ready ? Does he intend to keep Mr. Dousteblazy as his Special Adviser ? Does he intend to take full responsibility for his adviser's initiatives ? Would his attitude have anything to do with his wish to retain French support in view of a second mandate ?
- what is Mr. Douste-Blazy reaction in front of this situation ? Does he consider resigning from his position of Chairperson of UNITAID Executive Board for having distracted resources of this organization ? How could he plea ignorance as he chaired both organizations (the grantor and the grantee) ? Did he consider he exerted objective control and defended UNITAID's interest ? Can he display the exact and detailed account of all travel expenses incurred by UNITAID and the MF for him to "promote" the Massivegood scheme ? He is supposedly an unpaid UN adviser ("one dollar contract") : who pays for his income,secretariat and office(s) located in Paris, not in Geneva ? Some say the Paris office rent would be as high as 10,000 € a month : is it correct ? Is Mr. Dousteblazy using this office only for UN or MF related purposes, or for his participation to French politics ?
-Why was Mr. Salome, like Douste-Blazy a Frenchman, appointed Director General without any transparent and competitive process, post publication and selection panel ? Why is the amount of his salary not published or disclosed even to the members of the MF Board ? What is the amount of travel and other expenses incurred by the MF on Mr. Salome's behalf ? Could this complacent situation have something to do with the fact that Mr. Salome is a former adviser and very close friend to Bernard Kouchner ?
- why did WHO, UNITAID's hosting entity, validate the "transfer" of $22 million from a UN HIV/AIDS fund to a non-UN, opaque private entity such as the MF, entirely created from scratch and specifically designed for a dubious fund-raising scheme, without raising questions or demanding guarantees ? Especially since this operation did not enter into UNITAID's legal purposes ? Would it have something to do with the fact that the WHO lawyer in charge of this scrutiny process (Ms. Donna Catliota) has been recruited by the MF as a lawyer immediately after she validated the transfer of funds from UNITAID to the MF ? And why did such an obvious conflict of interest remain unnoticed by WHO upper management ?
- what is the level of administrative expenses of the MF ? how many people are actually employed by the MF : some say 25 staff, is it true ? it is true that at least 6 of them perceive net salaries in excess of 10,000 € a month after tax ? The MF website mentions that the MF has its offices in Geneva but also maintains a "satellite office" in Paris : what are the expenses linked with this Paris office ? How many people do work in Paris for the MF ? Some say that the Geneva office, actually located inside the airport zone, is a "ghost office" : how many people do actually work there on a daily basis ? And above all, why does a private Swiss law foundation have an office in Paris, while planning operations in the US or Spain and not in France ? Would it have something to do with the possibility for some French, Paris-based staff to evade from French tax laws, receiving tax-free salaries under Swiss laws while enjoying Paris ?
- why did Mr. Douste-Blazy prefer to use UNITAID funding for the MF/Massivegood scheme instead of leveraging private philanthropic funds or even turning to (development) banks to provide the seed funding ? After all, the McKinsey study had predicted a certain potential for the donation scheme (under a set of precise assumptions though) : with appropriate guarantees, the initial capital could have been borrowed and reimbursed as quickly as a 2 or 3 years. Why then distracting UN HIV/AIDS funding ? Would it have something to do that Mr. Douste-Blazy wanted to avoid any external scrutiny over "his" scheme, be it from a philanthropist, a bank or a UN body, whereas such scrutiny could have prevented the current mismanagement of funds ?
- how was the advertisement company for the Massivegood campaign chosen ? Was there a competitive tender for the 9 M$ contract ? Why was a French company chosen, notwithstanding the fact that the donation scheme had to be launched in the US primarily ? Did the French company enjoy early information and contact from the MF and its Chairperson, ahead of the contract ? How does the firm explain the mediocre success of its campaign in the US ?
- why did Director Spike Lee bill the MF 525,000 $ for such a short promotional material ? Was it non-profit ? Did he and all the actors involved work pro-bono ? What is the detail of expenses incurred by this movie ? How does he explain the movie has generated so little interest ?
- are the CEOs of the main GDS companies (Amadeus, Travelport, Sabre) aware of such financial mismanagement by the MF ? If yes, is it why they have refused to cooperate further with the MF, notwithstanding the fact that they had signed a letter of intent ? If yes, again, why then didn't they alert political and administrative authorities?
And what of Bill Clinton, Paul Auster, Spike Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and Susan Sarandon.
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)
There was an error in this gadget
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."