Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Under Gadhafi, UNDP has Praised Libya on MDGs & UN Women, Contra Ban

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 22 -- As questions mount about the UN's coddling of dictators in the Middle East and North Africa, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his spokesman have claimed that the UN, through the UN Development Program and its Human Development Report, have been criticizing the region's lack of democracy for years. Click here for UN's February 17 answer to Inner City Press.

But the UN system's coordinator for Libya, UNDP official Costanza Farina, has in fact been praising Gadhafi's regime. She has said, “''Libya has made immense progress and is well positioned among the countries that will be able to say that they have reached 8 of the Millennium Objectives in 2015.” And click here, 2010 "UNIC Tripoli organizes Reception at UN House in celebration of UN Day."

She has also praised Gadhafi on women's rights, as Libya is on the board of UN Women:

the UN chief for Libya, Costanza Farina, said that the fight against violence against women was one of the priorities of the agencies operating in the country and announced that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), thanks to a contribution from the Dutch embassy in Tripoli, would be able to support the programme financially. Farina added that Libya is one of the 41 members elected to the executive committee of the new UN Women agency, which was created on July 2 to show the desire of governments to respect women. Farina also said that "Libya confirmed the equality in rights between men and women in 1969.”

Maybe she is unaware, as “local UN officials said, the new coordinator of the UN in Libya, Costanza Farina, credited only last June 1, is located in Geneva.”

As of February 22, UNDP Libya had a blank press release page.

On February 17, Inner City Press had asked Nesirky

Inner City Press: Is there any thought of using the existing UN programs on the ground, whether it is UNDP or otherwise? There was some criticism of this training of police in Egypt prior to the — there was criticism by NGOs that it didn’t bring in human rights activists but rather Government people. Is there some thinking of how — the UNDP website about Libya hasn’t been updated now in several months, I guess — it seems to some, due to the turmoil. What about these UN…?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Who might that be? Who is it, these people who think it might be?

Inner City Press: People that look at it and have seen that it was updated all the way, until suddenly there was turmoil in the country and then it is not updated any more. What’s the role, according to the Secretary-General, of the existing UN programmes in countries like Libya and Yemen, where Helen Clark visited and didn’t say anything about democracy?

UN's Ban & Gadhafi, MDG and woman's right praise not shown- erased?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, there are lots of, as you know, across the region, there is a UN presence in different constellations; country teams with different components, whether it is UNDP or other UN agencies, funds and programmes. Of course, given that they are already on the ground, given that they have been working there in different capacities on different projects, they are well placed to be further involved. But this is part of a bigger picture, and it is being very carefully coordinated.

Inner City Press: Is there any change of policy? I guess I am saying, given that the announcement today that the UN is sort of taking cognizance of all this, is there, is that…?

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, Matthew, it’s hardly an announcement today. This is something that has been said consistently for a number of weeks now. And indeed, further back, as you know, the Human Development Reports on the Arab world have been saying this for the best part of a decade. So, okay, thank you very much.

What have the UN and UNDP been saying about Gadhafi, other than praising MDG achievements and women's rights in Libya? Watch this site.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Libya office, very tricky one. Suggest to read 2010 Global Staff Survey or even to publish it.