"....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
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
UN's Watchdog Says the General Assembly Needs to Rein in 'Self-Expanded' Global Compact Initiative
EXCLUSIVE: A major initiative currently sponsored by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the U.N. Global Compact, is being challenged by the world body’s own watchdog agency as financially opaque, unwilling to police its membership and only questionably effective at accomplishing its mission of winning private-sector adherence to the U.N.’s anti-corruption, anti-poverty and environmental goals.
The criticisms drew a heated denial from the Global Compact itself, which charged the watchdogs with willfully distorting the evidence to make its case.
In a report issued quietly in January, the Geneva-based watchdog, known as the U.N. Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), charges that the Global Compact, headquartered in the office of the secretary general, presents a potential “reputational risk” for the U.N. as the Compact pursues a “self-expanded” mandate into areas of public-private partnership never envisaged when it was launched in 2000.
The inspectors suggest the Global Compact’s corporate initiative needs to be reined in by the U.N. General Assembly, its finances made more open to scrutiny and its governance overhauled, including the addition of U.N. member states to the list of those scrutinizing its activities.
All of those actions are necessary, the inspectors argue, to deal, among other things, with the “sensitive issue of the use of the United Nations brand by companies that may benefit from their association with the organization, without having to prove their conformity with United Nations core values and principles.”
That process is known among cynical U.N. insiders as “blue-washing” -- laundering bad behavior in the feel-good background color of the U.N. flag. The JIU adds that “the Inspectors cannot confirm whether these allegations are true, but concur that there is a reputational risk which needs to be managed.”
“Reputational risk” may not be the biggest challenge the U.N. faces in an era of austerity. Critics of the bulky U.N. bureaucracy argue its reputation is already in tatters. A bigger problem is maintaining donor support -- from anywhere -- and other means of carrying out the U.N.’s ambitious agenda of climate change support, international wealth-sharing and other expensive social goals as beleaguered donor governments are tightening their purse-strings. And that means greater involvement with the private sector, as a matter of bureaucratic survival.
The Global Compact’s executive director, George Kell, charged the JIU assessment is “riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations,” based on “incorrect or outdated information,” and “raises serious questions about the JIU’s professional standards.” Moreover, he argues, the JIU inspectors willfully ignored evidence that would contradict their case by claiming it fell outside the time-frame of their examination. This is, he said, “as much an admission of the report’s shortcomings as it is an acknowledgement of the JIU’s fundamentally flawed methodology.”
Kell’s broadside came in response to questions from Fox News about the report, which was released on the JIU website shortly after the U.N.’s winter holiday break. The unit, which employs 11 systemwide inspectors, is the only U.N. body specifically charged with examining U.N. policies and practices across the breadth of the U.N. organization. Since its formal inception in 1978, it has issued numerous reports to the U.N. General Assembly that have often been highly critical of the methods, organization and results of the sprawling U.N. bureaucracy. As often as not, however, the JIU criticisms have failed to lead to dramatic changes in the bureaucracy’s behavior.
The JIU inspectors have taken on an organization that is unusually difficult to pin down. The Global Compact is not an entity like other institutions in the sprawling U.N. constellation of funds, programs and agencies. It bills itself as a “strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.” About 6,000 of 8,700 Global Compact members in 135 countries are corporations; many others are business or corporate associations.
The Compact says it offers those businesses, and any others interested in joining, “a unique strategic platform for participants to advance their commitments to sustainability and corporate citizenship.”
What that means, in practice, is that the Global Compact is a highly fluid lobby for the U.N. when it comes to selling some of its policies, like “sustainable development,” to the global private sector, and also a means to garner corporate support for those same objectives when selling them to national governments around the world.
Connections cemented through the Compact have given corporate cachet to being associated with the dowdy and inefficient U.N. bureaucracy, and also to the workaday figure of Secretary-General Ban, who unlike his predecessor, Kofi Annan, has never been seen as anything resembling a charismatic figure.
But while the Global Compact has helped to give U.N. causes some corporate sizzle, its actual heft is more problematic. Unlike an actual development agency, membership in the Global Compact is voluntary and much of the commitment it encourages is rhetorical. All Compact funding is voluntary and does not come from the regular U.N. budget; the amounts involved are relatively small -- insofar, the inspectors note, as they can be compiled. The actual number of Compact employees is also small, and the impact of the initiative, as the JIU inspectors underline, is extremely diffuse and hard to measure.
Moreover, corporate adherents to the Compact don’t have to agree to much. Their boards of directors must agree to “embrace, support and enact” ten core principles derived from a variety of U.N.-sponsored declarations, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and formally sign a letter declaring that support. Most of the principles are fairly bland: to “support the elimination of all forms of child labor,” for example, and to “work against corruption in all its forms.” Some may be open to differing interpretation, such as to “support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges.”
What the U.N. has gained as a result is a Rolodex of influential associates loosely attuned to U.N. goals and who can lobby, or be lobbied, if they choose, on the world organization’s behalf. What the corporate members have gained, the inspectors underlined, can often only be guessed at.
But whether all members are worthy of inclusion is another issue. As the Compact itself admits, the “vetting process” for new members is “minimal,” and the process for seeing whether businesses actually conform to the principles they espouse is even less so.
The JIU inspectors’ concern is that the lack of selectivity and enforcement leaves the Compact vulnerable, among other things, to giving some organizations an undeserved free pass, especially when it comes to the corporate malpractice they claim to shun, or the high-minded goals they claim to support. Or, as the inspectors ponderously put it: “There is concern that the Global Compact is being undermined by some companies’ reluctance to meet the challenge of in-depth commitment.”
When it comes to the Compact’s inclusive membership policies, for example, the inspectors note that other, less nebulous U.N. organizations have stricter standards for screening would-be corporate supporters. Among them: UNICEF, where corporate supporters are screened by an outside agency before being accepted by the U.N. organization. Other U.N. bodies, such as the World Health Organization, the inspectors note, set absolute standards for entry that are tougher than the Compact’s: WHO does not accept support from companies selling alcohol, tobacco, or weapons.
“Trust needs to be built on the basis of yardsticks by which performance can be measured,” the inspectors argue.
The JIU also expressed concern over the Compact’s use of a U.S.-based non-profit, the Foundation for the Global Compact, to fund its activities, rather than traditional U.N. funding vehicles that would be subject to the organizations normal accounting procedures. It termed the Compact’s hybrid financing arrangement “unusual,” and noted that it bypassed “existing United Nations rules and procedures.”
The Compact response is a blunt denial that it is doing anything wrong. To the contrary, the Compact’s “actions in building the U.N.’s capacity to better understand corporate responsibility” are helping to “safeguard” the organization from corporate partners who want a relationship with the U.N. without espousing U.N. “values.” As far as funding goes, Kell noted that “it is not unusual for U.N. entities to receive support from non-profit foundations,” and said the Global Compact foundation operates in accordance with U.S. law, is properly audited, and summarizes its funded activities on its website,
Kell emphatically continues to reject the selection idea. As he declared in response to Fox News questions: “Monitoring the performance of over 6,000 businesses around the world falls outside the mandate of the initiative and is not practical.” Instead, “the initiative focuses on transparency,” leaving it to others - “governments, investors, employees, business partners, etc.”— to ensure the companies remain accountable.
The Compact’s executive director even suggested tougher entry criteria could itself “imply some kind of endorsement by the U.N.”— which the Compact does not want to hand out.
Kell argues that the JIU inspectors were particularly unfair in ending their assessment research prior to a June, 2010 meeting of some 1,500 corporate, “civil society” government and U.N. bigwigs at a U.N. Global Compact Leaders Summit, which helps set Compact policy direction for the next three years. The session produced a welter of studies, reviews and analyses of such topics as social investment and “corporate sustainability leadership” intended to power even greater corporate-U.N. partnership in the future.
THE JIU analysis is the second bid by the inspectors to spotlight issues with the Compact. The unit made many similar criticisms in a less formal “management note” that was submitted to the Compact roughly a year earlier, and at time, noted that the issue was important enough to the U.N. to merit additional, extended treatment.
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."