"....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, January 26, 2012
FOXNEWS: Obama Warns UN: Reform or Else... (We'll keep sending you money)
With presidential elections looming, the Obama administration has launched a high-profile campaign in favor of belt-tightening at the United Nations -- but without the threat of withholding U.S. funding for the sprawling world organization.
The aim, at least in part, is to preempt even tougher action proposed by the Republican-dominated House of Representatives, which calls for selective U.S. funding cutoffs unless specific demands for U.N. reform and transparency are met.
Unlike the Republican proposals, the administration’s campaign, spearheaded by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. for Management and Reform Joseph Torsella, explicitly rules out withholding of U.S. financial aid and counts on persuasion to propel its agenda of efficiency, transparency and openness. Whether U.N. bureaucrats and their developing world supporters will be impressed remains to be seen.
Torsella’s effort -- and even his appointment -- nonetheless represents a sea change on the part of the administration, which did not even have a full-time diplomat assigned to the reform effort until Torsella was sworn in last April. Even so, Torsella’s expertise in the area is newly minted: prior to his swearing in, he was head of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education. Prior to that, he served as founder and head of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Currently, the U.S. pays 22 percent of the U.N. Secretariat’s $5.2 billion regular biennial budget, and 27 percent of peacekeeping, as well as greater or lesser amounts of a host of other programs. Last year, the State Department said the U.S. gave U.N. funds, programs and agencies about $7.4 billion, but that may still understate U.S. largesse.
Among the main elements of the reform campaign:
-- significant future cuts in the fast-expanding, multibillion-dollar U.N. “regular” budget; and a “comprehensive reform” of the U.N.’s “broken” budget process.
-- a pay freeze for top U.N. officials, mirroring a freeze in existence for top U.S. civil servants ordained in 2010, and a staff reduction through attrition to “right-size” the bureaucracy by 2015. The U.S. first tried to get the freeze installed last September; instead, top U.N. officials in New York got a roughly 3 percent pay hike.
-- a comparative study of “seriously distorted” U.N. pay for senior officials, who now earn, according to U.S. calculations, nearly 130 percent of their U.S. equivalents, and a “new look” at U.N. benefits ranging from health care to vacations to pensions.
-- greater scope and protection for the U.N.’s internal watchdogs to look into waste, fraud and mismanagement, and publicly air the results, along with greater openness in U.N. budget proceedings.
-- a louder and more public effort to keep human rights and nuclear proliferation outlaws likeIran and North Korea out of U.N. committee chairmanships and other key positions -- roles they have recently won.
-- a coordinated effort by the relative handful of U.N. donor countries -- roughly a score pay most of the U.N.’s bills -- to force the hydra-headed U.N. bureaucracy to focus on better results and “real world outcomes,” as Torsella put it, rather than bureaucratic process.
Just how convincing the reform campaign will be is unclear. The hidebound, bloated and inefficient U.N. is already suffering, according to internal documents obtained by Fox News, from a “crisis in confidence” in the 43,700-member organization headed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has been assembling his own variations on a reform agenda.
At the same time, he has been publicly excoriated by key U.N. budget committees for a “failure of management” in the continuing fiasco of a high-tech, $315 million computer and software system that is supposed to be the key to future U.N. management reform. The project, adrift for more than a year, is now three years behind its original schedule and not slated for completion until 2015.
Deploying 21st century information technology to improve the U.N.’s performance is nonetheless another mainstay of the Obama administration’s reform offensive.
Ban was also rebuffed by U.N. member states in a bid to gain greater authority over the micromanaged U.N. budget process by increasing his ability to move unspent money around in the organization at his own discretion to meet new or unexpected needs. The U.N. General Assembly currently allows Ban to spend up to $10 million that way each year; Ban had asked for an increase to $15 million. A key U.N. budget oversight committee said Ban had not put forward “any new arguments or rationale” for his case.
For its part, Ban’s office maintains that his proposal has not been rejected and will be taken up again in April. “We therefore have to await the related discussion and the resulting outcome,” a spokesman for Ban told Fox News.
So far, the biggest victory claimed by Torsella and his U.N. reformers is a slight reduction in the U.N.’s recently passed biennial “regular” budget, to $5.15 billion for 2012-2013.
It was, Torsella told the Washington branch of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations late last week, “the first U.N. regular budget since 1998 that’s gone down in comparison to the previous budget’s actual expense.” Torsella said the cut amounted to a 5 percent U.N. budget decrease compared with the previous biennium, and at least a $260 million saving.
Torsella’s comparison, however, is slightly misleading. U.N. spending totals have always tended to grow through a process of programming creep as the budget cycle progresses. Compared to the starting, rather than the ending, point of the 2010-2011 budget cycle, the new U.N. proposal is only about $44 million, or 0.8 percent, lower than at the same point in the previous cycle. All the remaining savings are still speculative.
The administration is “taking baby steps forward” on the U.N. reform agenda, says Brett Schaefer, an expert on U.N. financing at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “It’s still not nearly what we need to see.” U.S. claims that it has successfully held the line on U.N. spending in the current budget, he adds, are “jumping the gun.”
The administration’s transparency agenda has also not fared well out of the starting gate. An effort by the head of the U.N.’s watchdog Office of Internal Oversight Service (OIOS) to post all of her units audits publicly online was held up by what Torsella called “a small group of member states,” though the U.S. Mission to the U.N. claims to post most of them on its own website.
The last posted OIOS audits on the USUN website yesterday, however, dated from September 2011, and the posting was not comprehensive.
Whatever its limitations, the administration’s reform effort has been loudly backed by such pro-U.N. groups as the lobbying subsidiary of the Better World Fund, originally funded by billionaire Ted Turner to further the U.N.’s agenda, and whose board is heavily studded with current and former U.N. officials and officeholders. (Many of the same board members also sit on the board of the U.N. Foundation, which Turner also chairs, and which fund-raises and creates partnerships to support U.N. initiatives.)
All of those groups vociferously oppose any notion of using U.S. financial contributions to the U.N. as a club in the reform effort.
Exactly the opposite approach, however, is taken by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chair of the House International Affairs committee, and one of the world organization’s sharpest congressional critics, who insists that “the U.N. is fundamentally flawed and needs fundamental reform, not tactical tinkering.”
“While I appreciate Ambassador Torsella’s efforts,” she told Fox News, “from the beginning the administration’s strategy has fallen short of the fundamental reforms we need.” It “does not use our strongest leverage -- our contributions -- to demand real change. To the contrary, the administration surrenders our leverage by insisting that we pay our contributions to the U.N. in full, no matter what. As long as this continues, real reform efforts are destined to fail.”
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)
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."