"....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
Is austerity making the world a more dangerous place? Republican hawks are making the case that the Obama administration's planned Pentagon cuts are making the world safe for bad guys, and now European governments are looking at their defense expenditures as well -- and they're targeting the blue helmets budget line, particularly in peacekeeping missions favored by the United States.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, fended off a push last month by European governments to press to consider cuts next year in U.N.-backed peacekeeping mission in Liberia, which costs upwards of $525 million a year, more than Liberia's $459 million annual national budget. Rice has also resisted calls from other European governments, like Britain and France, to consider deeper cuts in U.N. peacekeeping missions in Haiti and in Sudan.
France and Britain are required to pay, respectively, 7.5 percent and 8.16 percent of all U.N. peacekeeping costs.
U.S. officials say that peacekeeping missions must be adequately funded to ensure their success, and that European governments, who each pay a far smaller share of the U.N. peacekeeping budget, are in some instances motivated by a desire to shift funding to their own "pet" missions, not the commitment to fiscal discipline that they claim.
"There is no country that has a greater interest in the economies, effectiveness, and efficiencies of U.N. peacekeeping missions [than the United States]. We pay 27 percent of the bill while the Europeans pay a smaller percentage," Rice said in an interview with Turtle Bay. "For them to be holier than thou is a bit rich, to say the least."
"We want missions to succeed at maximum efficiency and minimum cost," she said, noting that the United States has already agreed to send thousands of U.N. peacekeepers from Haiti and Liberia back home. "We are all feeling the strain.... But we are not going to sacrifice the effectiveness and success of missions by prematurely closing them or prematurely cutting them down beyond what the security situation on the ground will allow."
But while Rice is backing a prominent contribution to peacekeeping, the Obama administration is seeking cuts elsewhere at the United Nations, delivering a series of sharply critical statements about the organization's failure to tighten its belt and cut waste in these hard times.
The debate is unfolding at a time when the United States and other major donors are facing major financial crises at home, prompting their envoys to press for deeper cuts while securing support for operations of critical national interest. The U.N.'s administrative and peacekeeping budget, however, has been expanded over the past decade, and shows little sign of contracting.
"We meet at a time of severe -- and worldwide economic challenge.... Member states around the world are under financial strain," said Joseph M. Torsella, the U.S. representative for U.N. Management and Reform, in a Sept. 29 speech calling for more belt-tightening before the U.N.'s main budget committee. "That is the simple reality we face, all of us: in a time of scarce resources, the United Nations cannot afford business as usual. But that unfortunately, is exactly what is represented in this budget."
The United Nations currently has about 120,000 peacekeepers serving around the world at a cost of more than $8 billion, with about 27 percent of that amount paid by the United States. Indeed, those costs don't even include a series of expensive "special political missions" in Afghanistan($200 million), Iraq ($200 million) and now in Libya ($10 million in start-up costs) that are favored by the United States. (The U.S. pays only about 22 percent of the costs for these missions.)
The missions in Afghanistan and Iraq are unpopular, however, among developing nations, who say the United States, Britain, and France get a discount because the operations are funded through the U.N.' regular budget. (Under a highly complex set of U.N. budget rules, the five permanent members of the Security Council -- the United States, China, Russia, France, and Britain -- have to pay a premium on peacekeeping missions, because of their special role in establishing them.) But now budget strains are bringing the United States and its allies at the U.N. into conflict, as competition for scarce resources increases. And even more draconian budget cuts may be coming.
"We're gearing up for a big -- cross-the-system-wide -- fight over the budget, and the peacekeeping stuff will be part of that," said Bruce Jones, the director of NYU's Center on International Cooperation. "There will be a decreasing budget one way or another [because of the] financial crisis. Nobody has any money left."
France, which oversees the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, has been engaged in a running competition with the United States over resources.
In a cost-cutting effort, the U.N. Security Council decided six years ago to pass a resolution requiring the United Nations to share peacekeeping personnel and equipment among the three West African missions in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ivory Coast. The deal has led to enormous friction between the United States and France, which has sought periodically to borrow for use in the Ivory Coast three Ukrainian-piloted attack helicopters, which are based in Liberia.
The arrangement has not always gone smoothly.
In 2006, the United Nations made a request for a battalion of Liberia-based peacekeepers, plus a team of 140 police officers, to assist the U.N. mission in Ivory Coast, which had come under attack by forces close to then President Laurent Gbagbo. They only secured the support of a much smaller company of peacekeepers.
The United States allowed the Liberian-based helicopters to be used in a French-led military offensive that toppled Gbagbo's government earlier this year,after he refused to accept defeat in U.N-certified elections. But U.N. diplomats say the United States still dragged its feet. "This time took a couple of weeks longer than it should have," said a council diplomat.
A senior U.S. official said that French complaints about American stinginess are a "bit galling," given that the United States has allowed the French to use the helicopters for the better part of a year, and only demanded them backas Liberia headed towards a landmark second presidential election. "We have been very flexible," the official said. "The French took the view that these were their helicopters.
The United States has long historical links to Liberia, which was settled by freed American slaves. And Washington has resisted a European push for further U.N. troop reductions in the U.N. mission in Liberia, which stands at more than 7,000 international blue helmets, down from more than 15,000 in 2006. In September, Rice blocked an amendment by the Security Council's four European governments -- Britain, France, Germany and Portugal -- to consider carrying out a review of the costly U.N. peacekeeping mission in Liberia, with a view to trimming costs.
"We are not ready to predetermine Security Council actions on so important a matter as UNMIL's drawdown, given uncertainties surrounding the election and tensions in the region," Rice told the council after the vote, expressing hope she could consider cuts next year. "Now is not the moment to impose rigid timelines on UNMIL."
The U.S. refusal to wait for a review of the mission's mandate infuriated European delegations, who took a veiled swipe at the Americans in their explanations of the vote. "We are disappointed that Resolution 2008 did not take up amendments that a number of Security Council members put forward" to review the authorized military and troop strength in Liberia by May 30, 2012," said Britain's U.N. ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, "We do not expect any peacekeeping mission to be exempt from regular review by this council."
The tone has been sharp. Earlier this year, Lyall Grant also raised concerns about a decision to authorize and fund the deployment of 4,500 Ethiopian peacekeepers to Abyei, disputed territory that straddles the borders of Sudan and South Sudan.
"Why do we need so many troops?" Lyall Grant asked in a closed-door session of the Security Council, according to two diplomats who were in the room. It only required 10,000 British colonial soldiers, he quipped, to administer India. An Indian envoy responded that Britain had not been engaged in a state building effort.
British officials maintain that their concern is not limited to costs, but to the wisdom of maintaining large foreign peacekeeping missions in countries that are no longer at war, and no longer need foreign military assistance. Haiti, for example may be economically distressed and still recovering from the devastating 2010 earthquake, but it is not at war and still hosts some 12,000 U.N. peacekeepers. Britain believes its time to bring the blue helmets home.
"There are worrying reports that many ordinary Haitians increasingly see MINUSTAH as an occupying force," said Philip Parham, Britain's deputy U.N. ambassador. "We believe the continued presence of large number of troops is counter-productive and police officers, whether from UNPOL, or ideally the Haitian National Police, would be seen as a more sensitive and low-key presence on Haiti's streets."
The United Nations, backed by the United States, plans to reduce the size of the force in Haiti to about 8,000 troops, but will maintain a robust peacekeeping force to fill the vacuum left by a national police force that is incapable of taking full responsibility for security. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the U.S. ambassador for special political affairs at the United Nations, insisted that the peacekeepers remain with "strong rules of engagement...to deal with a stable but fragile security situation in Haiti. The United Sates believes that any determination of the future size of MINUSTAH forces must be based on security conditions on the ground."
The United States has long had interests in the fate of Haiti, an island nation located some 700 miles southeast of the coast of Florida. The country has sent large numbers of immigrants to the United States, particularly during periods of violence and political instability. Britain, on the other hand, has few vital national security interests in Haiti.
Rice was even blunter. If the British don't think a peacekeeping force is appropriate for Haiti, they "shouldn't have voted to authorize it in the first place, because the nature of it hasn't changed. The Haitian people and the Haitian government are not asking for it to leave now."
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."