"....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, April 3, 2012
Uuups...UNDP does it again in North Korea - (FoxNews Exclusive reporting finds out UNDP China circumventing UN Sanctions Committee)
EXCLUSIVE: Cash for computers: Is the U.N. busting its own sanctions in North Korea?
An agency of the United Nations has quietly shipped computers and sophisticated computer servers to the government of North Korea, despite ongoing U.N. sanctions resolutions against the regime for its efforts to build nuclear weapons, Fox News has learned.
The complicated method chosen by the Geneva-based agency, the U.N.’s World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, to carry out the transaction seems designed to bypass safeguards specifically created by U.N. authorities to prevent a repeat of previous U.N. scandals involving shipments to North Korea.
Among other things, procurement and payment for the WIPO goods appears to have been arranged between WIPO’s Geneva headquarters and China, bypassing the U.N. offices in North Korea. Those North Korean offices operate under a special oversight regime established after the last scandals erupted 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 last month, according to U.N. emails, by Bank of America, which is the host bank for U.N. accounts in China, on the grounds that the money transfer for goods shipped to North Korea was a possible violation of U.S. Treasury rules.
When asked by Fox News about its actions, Bank of America declined to comment. A State Department spokesman, asked a variety of questions by Fox News about the cash-for-computers deal, said only that “we’re looking into it.”
According to documents obtained by Fox News, WIPO is still looking for ways to make the payment.
Concerns about the WIPO computer shipment apparently led to a meeting between the U.N. agency’s top official, Director General Francis Gurry, and a number of foreign ambassadors in Geneva on March 29. Among them, according to one source, were representatives of the U.S.,Canada, Japan and South Korea.
The diplomats first learned of the shipment after the head of WIPO’s staff council, Moncef Kateb, voiced concerns in a letter to a special U.N. watchdog in Geneva known as the Joint Inspection Unit.
In that letter, also obtained by Fox News, Kateb declared that so far as WIPO staffers could tell, WIPO’s member states “had not been consulted and have no knowledge of this project. Thus, they were not given an opportunity to review or object to it.” The project, Kateb said, “was allegedly approved directly by the director general.”
Gurry denied at the meeting with diplomats that WIPO’s technology transfer violated any international sanctions efforts. He subsequently circulated to the attending ambassadors a WIPO legal memorandum -- written by the office of WIPO legal counsel Edward Kwakwa -- which claimed that the computer exports were “part of WIPO’s technical assistance program,” which “does not violate any U.N. Security Council sanctions.”
The memo acknowledged that payment for the computers had been blocked by U.S. sanctions laws “enacted in part to implement” the binding U.N. 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.
In response to questions from Fox News about the technology transfer and the routing of its payments, a WIPO spokesman described the program as routine -- 27 country offices were serviced in similar fashion in 2011 -- and largely ignored questions about payments and where they came and went.
“As part of WIPO’s technical assistance program -- and through a mandate from its member states -- the Organization has been supporting IP [intellectual property] offices in developing countries to facilitate the processing of patent and trademark applications since the 1990s,” the spokesman said. “The assistance in question was part of this program.”
The assistance “is intended to enhance the efficiency of the operation of registration for patents by replacing the current ICT equipment with more efficient ICT [information and communications technology] equipment,” the spokesman continued. “WIPO followed all due processes --procurement and other -- applicable in this context.”
Technology transfers to North Korea -- a truculent communist dictatorship with a thirst for nuclear weapons, whose often-starving citizens are brutally kept in line by a military-dominated elite with widespread international criminal ties -- are hardly routine, however. The country has been under varying degrees of U.N. Security Council sanctions since 2006, when it first set off an illegal nuclear explosion, followed by another in 2009.
The cash-for-computers scheme comes at a new tinderbox time for international relations with the rogue North Korean regime, which shocked the world in mid-March with the announcement that it would launch a satellite-bearing missile next month. That announcement flew in the face of a newly-minted deal with the Obama administration that was intended to send 264,000 tons of food aid to North Korea in exchange for its putting an end to nuclear bomb-related activities.
Many countries, and especially the U.S., see the North Korean satellite program as a cover for further work on missile-ready nuclear weapons. According to North Korea, the satellite launch is a peaceful, scientific effort -- the same argument for satellite launches that is being used, as it happens, by Iran, another country with a clandestine and illegal nuclear weapons program -- and close ties with the North Korean regime.
As a result of the latest North Korean announcement, the Obama administration last week canceled its just-announced food aid program for North Korea until further notice. North Korea, under its new leader, Kim Jung Un, is still fueling up a rocket for its satellite launch, currently scheduled for mid-April.
On the surface anyway, the latest WIPO technology transfer has little to do with nuclear weapons or satellite launches. It involves laptops, printers and servers intended to create a high-speed digital archive for North Korea’s Inventions Office -- the equivalent of the U.S. Patent Office. (In all U.N. correspondence, North Korea is known by its formal name of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK.)
The archive plan, which goes by the name of the Patent Databases Upgrade Project, would allow North Korea, among other things, better access to the gigantic trove of international patents held by WIPO, which is the international repository for such legal documents.
According to WIPO’s website, more than 2 million patents are accessible via database technology to 142 signatories of the Patent Cooperation Treaty, one of 24 international agreements administered by WIPO. The PCT offers the access to the patents in its archive in exchange for greater guaranteed protection of intellectual property rights, especially in developing countries. By far the biggest patent producer in the world is the U.S., which also supported WIPO to the tune of $1.3 million last year.
North Korea signed on to the treaty in 1980 -- just months before Kim Jong Un’s erratic father, Kim Jong Il, took over the reins of the family-run communist dictatorship from his own father, Kim Il Sung. How well the country adheres to the treaty is another question, given North Korea’s notoriety as a center for drug smuggling, the production of illegal pharmaceuticals and counterfeiting, notably of U.S. $100 bills.
North Korea signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty five years after it joined the patent treaty -- in 1985. It has since been cited repeatedly for ignoring the NPT with its illegal shipments of nuclear materials and equipment, and other prohibited technology, to Syriaamong other places, as well as its own bomb-making efforts.
“North Korea is trying any way it can to augment its computer power,” observed John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and, prior to that, head of a U.S. State Department initiative to police illegal efforts at nuclear proliferation, notably from North Korea.
“Any augmentation of North Korean computer power is something that can be used immediately in their nuclear program,” said Bolton, who is a Fox News contributor. “For the United Nations system itself to violate the sanctions is reprehensible.”
WIPO’s detailed plan for improving North Korea’s patent access was a lengthy process, which really took off after a five-day visit to North Korea in March 2011, by William Meredith, a senior WIPO technician. North Korea signed off Meredith’s proposal for the data upgrade the following July.
As it happens, the WIPO patent data retrieval upgrade was conceived and explored during another period of extensive and pessimistic analysis of the success of U.N.-sponsored sanctions against North Korea.
In the months between WIPO’s exploratory trip and the North Korean agreement to the plan, press reports alleged that China had attempted to suppress a report by a U.N. panel of experts that found U.N. sanctions against North Korea had not been effective, and that alleged prohibited transfers of “ballistic-missile-related items” had taken place between North Korea and Iran.
When the new computers and servers actually arrived in North Korea is not clear from the documents obtained by Fox News. An invoice from the Chinese supplier for the overall cost of the completed project is dated Jan. 20, 2012, but a heavily blacked-out inspection signoff from the Director General of North Korea’s Invention Office does not appear to bear a date.
What is clear, however, is a signed order from WIPO’s Geneva headquarters to the office of UNDP’s Resident Representative in China, dated Nov. 11, 2011, which authorizes payment of the $52,638 total within 30 days of receipt of the invoice and the signoff.
The United Nations Resident Representative in China is Renata Lok Dessallien, a Canadian citizen, who is also the country’s Resident Coordinator, and whose agency, the United Nations Development Program, is responsible for paying WIPO’s China-related bills.
Queried specifically by Fox News about the payments in China for technology installed in North Korea, Dessallien offered no reply before this story was published. Nor did UNDP spokesmen at the agency’s New York headquarters, who were asked similar questions.
That Dessallien or her subordinates approved the payment can be inferred from the increasingly perturbed WIPO email chain obtained by Fox News, which also includes messages from at least one UNDP treasury staffer, Mediana Yudianto, who is based in New York.
The initial messages relay Bank of America’s balking at the payment order, and the fact that the bank wants further information about the actual beneficiaries of the shipment.
The same emails show that by March 13, Bank of America’s questioning of the WIPO computer transfer deal had made some members of the U.N. organization uneasy -- especially the man later charged with defending them. The email string includes advice from none other than WIPO’s legal counsel, Edward Kwakwa, suggesting that WIPO abandon the deal “unless you think this arrangement is of crucial importance to WIPO.”
The reason, he said, was that “it does not seem to be of any consequence or benefit to WIPO, and can bring more trouble than benefit ultimately.”
In the legal formal memorandum presented by WIPO Director General Gurry to ambassadors in Geneva, however, Kwakwa’s office took a very different stance. His argument was not whether WIPO should do it. He argued instead that it could do it.
Kwakwa’s legal memorandum takes on the tone of a defense brief in a seven-page look at the specific U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions and itemized lists of sanctioned goods, institutions and people in North Korea before declaring that the specific laptop computers, servers and Iinternet connections contained in WIPO’s shipment do not fit on any of them. In particular, the memo notes “there is no provision excluding general computer technology.”
The memo is even more intriguing, for what it does not say. For one thing, it is silent on whether WIPO consulted in advance with U.N. Security Council sanctions committees that monitor the sanctions against North Korea before the agency entered into the tech transfer deal. Nor does the memorandum address any concerns about “dual use” of technology that could be repurposed to aid a nuclear weapons campaign -- and many of the items on the U.N. sanctions list require computerized assistance.
Such concerns about the dual uses of technology have been involved in other U.N. scandals In North Korea -- climaxing in a 353-page report in 2008 that itemized numerous infractions by UNDP itself.
A bulletin on UNDP’s country website for North Korea now states that “special attention will be given to equipment to ensure that procurement is in compliance with U.N. rules and regulations and export licenses and that no equipment will be used for dual-use purposes.”
Yet WIPO’s equipment transfer got no such special U.N. attention in North Korea -- only an approval by a top North Korean government official.
For his part, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon explained that the entire affair involving cash and technology transfers was, literally, none of the top U.N. official’s business.
“WIPO is a specialized agency that operates independently of the United Nations and has its own governance structure in which its member states participate,” the spokesman said. “Accordingly, the Secretary-General would not normally be informed of the details of any particular project.”
For the U.S. and most other concerned nations, however, it would be hard to describe anything taking place in a nuclear-ambitious rogue state that frequently threatens its neighbors with annihilation as normal.
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
This is what pro-poor means at United Nations
Click on the above image for the story.
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!!
UNDP's Free Speech Concept
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: email@example.com
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."