"....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, December 30, 2010
In Sudan, Disarmament Irregularities Freeze UN Program in Referendum Run Up
By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, December 29 -- Mismanagement and corruption in the UN system, hardly rare, sometimes comes to light at a particularly bad time. Such is the case in Sudan with irrregularity in the disarmament programs run by the UN Development Program.
Less than a month before the Southern Sudan secession referendum which many predict may give rise to a renewed civil war, UNDP confirmed in response to questions from Inner City Press that it has suspended seeking funding for its disarmament programs.
This is the answer provided to Inner City Press by the UN's Spokesman's Office:
From: UN Spokesperson unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org Subject: Answers to your questions To: Inner City Press Date: Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 7:42 PM
SUDAN Please provide the UN system's response..
Our colleagues at UNDP provided the following: “The UN’s DDR programme in South Sudan is facing challenges. The UN’s team in Sudan was concerned that the total number of former combatants, and women associated with the armed forces, that have been reintegrated has been low. That is why we commissioned an independent review and why an internal audit is currently on going. UNDP management expects that the review will enable us to improve the focus of the programme, assess the objective conditions for its implementation and take a critical look at the project and local capacities on the ground. It will also help us in terms of the redesign of the programme and only then will we seek future funding.
“We take audits and evaluations very seriously so as to improve our performance on the ground. The issues you highlight in your questions are being critically examined. Once the review has been thoroughly studied and the audit completed, it is vital that corrective measures be taken rapidly and in consultation with all parties involved.
In Southern Sudan, registration, disarmament not shown
“The overall political context under which this programme operates is the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). As you know, some of the planning assumptions in the CPA have not yet materialized on the ground, increasing the complexities and challenges of implementing the programme.
“More broadly, this programme is operating in a state that is recovering from a long civil war. That has a very significant impact on the results of reintegration --whether it is the abject poverty in many rural areas, the lack of opportunities or the almost non-existent infrastructure.
“That being said we owe it to the people of South Sudan and our donors to make this programme as successful as possible despite all of the difficulties. We are always looking for ways to improve it and make the intra-UN cooperation more effective.”
While the investigation and suspension of requests for more funding is all to rare in the UN system in response to unveiled irregularities, it comes at a very bad time. Some call it inexcusable. Watch this site.
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JOSE RAMOS HORTA - PRESIDENT OF EAST TIMOR
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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
"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."
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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."