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The UNFCCC has launched a pioneering interest-free loan scheme to support Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects in some of the world's least developed countries.
"....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
|Appui aux Institutions de la Transition||Etat : Clôturé|
|Renforcer les capacités matérielles et techniques de l’Assemblée Nationale, du Sénat et des cinq institutions citoyennes, et des partis politiques de manière à les rendre capables de remplir convenablement leurs mandats, et de contribuer à l’éducation civique de la population.|
|Sources de financement :||UNDP TRAC, ITALY, DFID,UNDP DGTTF|
|Fiche du projet|
|Appui au Renforcement des Capacités Institutionnelles des Partis Politiques en RDC||Etat : en cours|
|Le projet cherche à contribuer à jeter des bases favorables à l’émergence d?un système politique représentatif, où les partis politiques remplissent leurs fonctions démocratiques en constituant des relais par lesquels les intérêts de la population s’exprimeraient dans la sphère publique.|
|Sources de financement :||PNUD, UNDEF|
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|Projet d’Appui au Cycle Electoral en RDC||Etat : en cours|
|Suite à l’assistance électorale fournie à travers le projet PNUD/APEC entre 2005 et 2006 dans le cadre de la mission intégrée des Nations Unies, le présent projet représente la nouvelle étape de l’intervention du PNUD en matière d’assistance électorale, essentiellement consacrée au renforcement des capacités de la CENI.|
|Sources de financement :|
|Publication||Fiche du projet|
A United Nations agency that quietly shipped computers and computer servers to North Korea several months ago apparently was violating restrictions on the equipment’s use imposed by Hewlett-Packard, the U.S.-based maker of the computers and computer servers, which bars any HP equipment from being sent to the communist dictatorship as part of its supplier agreements.
Those agreements oblige distributors to comply with U.S. export laws, which also forbid electronics exports to North Korea, in support of UN sanctions that were levied in the wake of the regime’s illegal explosion of nuclear devices in 2006 and 2009.
“HP is thoroughly investigating the matter,” a corporate spokesperson told Fox News in a statement Monday. “Compliance with U.S. and international trade laws is a high priority for HP. HP investigates any credible breaches of contractual obligations by our partners and resellers.”
The company’s export ban applies to suppliers regardless of where they are located and whether they are international organizations.
In addition, two former members of a UN-appointed panel of experts monitoring the North Korean restrictions have told Fox News that they found the technology transfer by the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization “horrible” and “egregious” in the words of one -- “somewhat incompetent and possibly shady,” in the words of the other, in light of the sanctions the UN and its members are supposed to be enforcing.
News of the under-the-radar computer shipment -- and now, the revelation that it was delivered in violation of the manufacturer’s rules -- comes on the crest of heightened tensions between the UN Security Council and the nuclear-ambitious, rogue North Korean regime.
Hours before HP delivered its statement to Fox News, the Security Council had “strongly condemned” the government of newly installed leader Kim Jong Un for its latest provocation, a failed ballistic missile launch that North Korea said was intended to put a satellite in orbit.
The rest of the world viewed the launch as a test of the nation’s ability to deliver nuclear warheads, and a “severe violation” of the previous UN sanctions that ordered the regime to cease and desist its nuclear military ambitions. Even North Korean supporters China and Pakistan joined in the condemnation.
The Security Council -- currently headed by U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice – is to announce additional sanctions covering new “entities and items” within the next two weeks.
The latest UN-North Korea standoff underlines the strange nature of the earlier computer shipment to Pyongyang carried out at the behest of WIPO.
Fox News brought the cash-for-computers incident to light after WIPO’s director general, Francis Gurry, held a closed-door meeting with concerned diplomats, including a U.S. representative, in Geneva on March 29.
The diplomats, in turn, learned of the shipment after WIPO’s staff council voiced concerns about it.
The cash-for-computers deal was orchestrated in a way that made its discovery difficult. Procurement and payment for the WIPO goods was arranged between WIPO’s Geneva headquarters and a shipper in China, facilitated by UN offices in Beijing. The deal apparently bypassed UN offices in North Korea.
Those offices operate under a special oversight regime established after a major scandal in 2008 over financial and technology transfers in North Korea, to ensure that money and goods do not end up in the regime’s nuclear programs.
WIPO’s payment of $52,638 to a Chinese supplier and installer for the computer shipment, however, did not go through. It was blocked at the beginning of March by Bank of America, the host bank for UN accounts in China, on grounds that the money transfer for goods shipped to North Korea was a possible violation of U.S. Treasury rules.
The computer equipment itemized in WIPO’s work plans for the installation was manufactured by Hewlett-Packard.
In a legal memorandum delivered to the diplomats in Geneva, WIPO said the shipment was nothing more than “part of WIPO’s technical assistance program” with North Korea, which is completely above board and consisted of “general computer technology” that “does not violate any UN Security Council sanctions.”
The memo acknowledged that payment for the shipment had been stopped due to U.S. laws “enacted in part to implement” the binding UN sanctions.
But it also declared that WIPO, “as an international organization, is not bound by the U.S. national law in this matter” and was still looking for ways to pay for the shipment.
The agency has since said it found a way to pay for the goods through other channels that did not involve U.S. banks.
The WIPO legal memo made no mention of contact with or notification of UN sanctions committees that monitor the restrictions on North Korea before the shipment was delivered.
The most recent Security Council resolution, passed in June 2009, specifically calls on “all States, relevant United Nations bodies and other interested parties, to cooperate fully” with the sanctions committee and its panel of experts, “in particular by supplying any information at their disposal on the implementation of the measures imposed by resolution 1718 (2006) [the previous sanctions measure] and this resolution.”
According to George Lopez, a professor of political science at Notre Dame University, who served on the North Korea sanctions panel of experts from November 2010 to July 2011, WIPO’s lack of communication with the sanctions committee is a puzzle.
"Were I still on the panel of experts,” he said, “I am sure some of us would insist that the UN secretariat issue a memo to all agencies reminding them that no movement of goods or individual experts into a sanctions state should occur without some exchange of ideas and views with the panel and/or the UN sanctions committee for that case.”
Lopez also pointed out that the UN sanctions against North Korea prohibit the shipment of “luxury goods” to the regime and even if they did not qualify in any other way, the computers sent to Pyongyang fit that description.
“The Japanese have actually arrested and indicted people who have illegally exported computers to the DPRK in at least two instances,” he said, citing reports of a shipment to a North Korean computer center believed to be a focal point for hacking attacks on South Korea.
According to Victor Comras, member of a UN panel of experts from 2009 to 2010, “something is not kosher when a UN agency takes advantage of being immune to knowingly violate U.S. laws.”
“They are walking through the cracks and loopholes of the sanctions regulations,” he told said. “There should be some recognition that international organizations themselves are obliged to follow the rules.”
“It clearly has hurt the credibility of the U.N. and its sanctions. To what end?”
George Russell is executive editor of Fox News and can be found on Twitter@GeorgeRussell
At the best of times, North Korea’s regime ranks among the most vile on the planet, and this past week has not been the best of times. The totalitarian Kim dynasty carries on, and on, from grandfather to father to son — a brutal regime sustained by proliferation, extortion, and counterfeiting rackets abroad, and grotesque repression at home. This is the regime that targeted an estimated one million or more North Koreans for death by famine in the 1990s, and continues to eradicate dissent by means of such atrocities as incarcerating hundreds of thousands of people in Stalinist prison camps, as described in the recently updated report on “The Hidden Gulag.”
With the late Kim Jong Il now exalted as “general secretary for eternity,” his son, new ruler Kim Jong Un, has just reaffirmed the regime’s “military first” policy, and celebrated the advent of the 100th birthday of Kim Junior’s dead totalitarian grandfather, Kim Il Sung, by conducting a ballistic missile test — which North Korea’s propaganda organs dutifully translated for us as being an attempted satellite launch. There are signs that another North Korean nuclear test may be right around the bend, and this one may be uranium-based, which would be potentially more helpful to North Korea’s business pals in Iran than North Korea’s previous plutonium-based tests, in 2006 and 2009. North Korea’s regime collaborates with Syria and Iran on weapons development. And for its record of kidnapping alone — many of its victims never returned or even fully accounted for — North Korea deserves to be put back on the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.Yet, even beyond Tehran and Damascus, Pyongyang’s regime has its fans, and receives its share of tribute, including floral wreaths and letters, which the state’s Korean Central News Agency loves to report. For instance, KCNA tells us this week that the communist parties of Peru and Norway sent delegates, bearing gifts, to celebrate the 100th birthday of Kim Il Sung (what the gifts are, KCNA does not explain).
Curious to see who else was sending tribute to the Kim dynasty during this fraught week, I was scrolling through the KCNA site, and lo! What to my wondering eyes should appear but a KCNA report that on Friday — the same day as the missile test (which United Nations sanctions forbid) — “The dear respected Kim Jong Un received congratulatory letters from the offices of the World Food Programme and the United Nations Development Programme.”
Congratulatory letters? For what?
KCNA does not elaborate. To be fair, we can reasonably assume that the World Food Program and UNDP were not congratulating Kim on the missile launch (which was in any event not a successful launch, though such are the hazards of missile tests). And, of course, this is a report from KCNA, a state propaganda organ, prone to such paroxysms as its description Friday of Kim Jong Un as “a great statesman of literary and military accomplishments, who is possessed of outstanding wisdom, distinguished leadership ability, matchless pluck and noble revolutionary comradeship.” It would be unwise to trust entirely to KCNA’s reports.
Except I can find no account of either the World Food Program or the UNDP hustling to deny any such congratulatory letters. If they would like to do so, I would cheerfully write that up. In the meantime, here they are, both these august UN agencies, described by KCNA as orbiting the firmament of Kim Jong Un, the man of matchless pluck and noble revolutionary comradeship. Were they perhaps congratulating him on pioneering a third generation of totalitarian dynastic rule in North Korea? Or applauding the accomplishments of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, in founding this family enterprise?
It gets worse. Scrolling further down the KCNA roster of Friday’s doings in North Korea, there’s a more detailed account of UNDP “staff members” laying “a floral basket before the equestrian statues of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il.” Apparently, after the UNDP staffers laid the floral basket before the statues of the two dead totalitarians, they “paid tribute,” according to KCNA.
Tribute? What does that mean? Did they bow? Toss coins? Drop off a few dual-use items, of the kind the UNDP got caught in 2007 importing into North Korea? Both these UN outfits have a troubling record in North Korea. The UNDP pandered so shamelessly to Kim Jong Il — dispensing cash, buying him dual-use equipment, and storing counterfeit U.S. $100 banknotes in its office safe — that in 2007 it was forced by the revelations of the Cash-for-Kim scandalto close its Pyongyang office for a while. And according to a report this past December by George Russell of Fox News, the World Food Program “may be helping the Kim regime stay afloat” — allowing the North Korean regime to insert itself as overpaid middleman in the supply chain of relief cargoes, with numerous “lapses” and “anomalies” turning up once the aid arrives in North Korea.
Whatever the World Food Program and the UNDP just wrote, or did, to congratulate Kim Jong Un, or pay tribute to his monstrous ancestors, one might have hoped the UN officials running these organization would have more sense. No doubt while operating in North Korea the UN comes under constant pressure from the regime to bow down, pay tribute, and thank the Kim dynasty for the privilege of sending other people’s money and goods its way. But surely we should also expect from the UN at least some slight grip on a basic moral compass.
For that matter, both the World Food Program and the UNDP are entrusted with taxpayer dollars meant to provide resources for helping hungry and impoverished North Koreans — not to be spent buying flowers and writing letters to glorify mass-murdering tyrants. Would the UN condone sending flowers to honor the memory of Hitler, or Stalin, or Mao?
And if the KCNA reports were dead wrong, if the World Food Program sent no such letter, if the UNDP did not purchase flowers and pay tribute to Kim Il Sung, it should not require the questions of a reporter to persuade them to issue a public denial of these KCNA stories. They should be calling press conferences at their headquarters, in Rome and New York, to explain they would never engage in such acts. Swathed as they are in diplomatic immunity, they might even try calling a press conference to this effect in Pyongyang — provided they’re not too busy penning love notes and buying bouquets for this third generation military-first regime still starving its people while readying its next nuclear test.