Friday, August 31, 2012

A message from Tehran's NAM meeting for Ban Ki-moon

Maybe in reforming the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement should from now on seek to ensure that any future head of the United Nations be truly representative of the concerns and anguish of the world’s majority, and not a diplomatic salesman for imperialist powers. 

Click here to read full story on PressTv

Considering a career in organized crime ? - Try either your Government or the United Nations

SCANDAL: UNDP management played a key role in securing Iran and North Korea's votes for Francis Gurry of WIPO (it allowed internal cover up of shipments thru its China Office)

GENEVA | Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:06am EDT
(Reuters) - Four months after a U.N. agency's decision to send computer equipment to Iran and North Korea first stirred controversy, a feud has erupted between the body's director general and a suspended senior manager over misconduct allegations.

In a suit filed with a U.N. tribunal, the manager accuses Francis Gurry, the Australian head of the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization, of pledging the equipment to the two sanctioned countries in exchange for their votes.

The suit also alleges Gurry earmarked posts for member states who backed him in his 2008 election and those whose votes he is trying to secure as part of his 2014 re-election bid.

WIPO is the U.N.'s richest body and is almost entirely self funded with annual revenues of over $300 million, mostly earned from patent application fees. It was created in the 1970s to promote intellectual property rights, particularly in the developing world, to further economic progress.

"The evidence suggests that the Director General has a track record of manipulating appointments to WIPO professional posts in exchange for votes," said the complainant's brief to the International Labour Organization's Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) filed on August 20.

The lawsuit was filed by Swiss-based lawyer Matthew Parish, partner at Holman Fenwick Willan, on behalf of a senior WIPO employee, Christopher Mason. Mason contends he was unjustly suspended for corruption in May 2011, wrongly accused of an improper relationship with a contractor at a firm bidding for a WIPO contract.

Gurry denied the allegations, saying he made no deals with any country in exchange for its support. He said a document cited by the claimant, which appears to list political appointments, was fabricated.

"No job pledges were made in exchange for political support, and no such document was ever created or approved by me. I believe that any document purporting to list pledges must be a work of fabrication," he said in an emailed statement last week.

Mason's lawyer Parish said: "The commitments document has been widely circulated throughout the diplomatic community for many months and is an open secret in WIPO."

An International Labour Organization official declined to comment on the proceedings which she said were confidential.


Some diplomatic sources in New York, where the United Nations has its headquarters, dismissed Mason's suit as a publicity ploy by an employee intent on embarrassing his former boss. They said they considered it unlikely the equipment in question would breach U.N. sanctions, which are less stringent than those imposed by the United States and European Union.

U.N. sanctions primarily target Iran and North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. They also include a ban on arms exports and, in the case of North Korea, a ban on exports of luxury goods.
One diplomatic source familiar with the case said Mason may be motivated by a desire for revenge after his suspension.

Mason asked the WIPO Appeal Board to review his suspension in August 2011. The board found that the decision to suspend Mason from duty was "flawed" and recommended re-instatement and a moral injuries payment, a document of their conclusions dated March 2012 showed. Mason remains suspended, however.

Although the suit alleges that the transfers to Iran and North Korea were promised in return for their votes in Gurry's 2008 election, it contained no proof to support this claim.

The allegations of vote buying could not be independently verified by Reuters. WIPO records show that Iran and North Korea were among 83 countries on the WIPO committee that selected the director general in 2008 in a secret ballot. The Iranian and North Korean diplomatic missions in Geneva did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Nevertheless, Mr. Mason's supporters maintain that the suit's claims are credible. These supporters include some inside the organization who declined to be named because they are not authorized to speak to the press and said they feared management retribution.

Mason's sympathizers say further that the case offers a rare glimpse into what critics say is a widespread system of political patronage within the United Nations and raises broader questions about accountability at the world body.

For instance, the head of WIPO's staff council Moncef Kateb has complained of political appointments "that contravene the most basic principles of international public service, particularly that of its independence", according to a statement in 2010 before WIPO's Coordination Committee, a body that advises the director general.

Kateb declined to comment for this story because he is not authorized to speak to the press.
"It's totally unacceptable to have this type of deals and it corrupts the system," said Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch, a non-governmental group that monitors the United Nations. "Regrettably, it is common. Governments jostle for their own interests and a lot of unsavory dealings occur."

Officials at the U.N. press office in New York did not respond to repeated email requests for comment.

The equipment in question, including servers, firewalls and computers worth roughly $200,000, was sent to Iran and North Korea, without the knowledge of other member states, according to a statement by Esther Brimmer, U.S. assistant secretary of state, earlier this month.

The 185-member agency says the transfers were legal and form part of a technical assistance program involving more than 80 countries to help them develop their patent offices.


The transfers of equipment by WIPO to Iran and North Korea are the subject of two U.S. government probes to establish whether they represented a breach of U.N. and U.S. sanctions aimed at curbing the development of nuclear technology.

The U.S. State Department said in July it was reviewing WIPO's dealings with countries that are under sanctions after media released documents showing WIPO had been involved in shipments to Iran and North Korea. The Department's initial conclusion is that there was no breach of U.N. sanctions because the items in question did not appear to be subject to a ban. The review is ongoing.
A U.N. Security Council diplomat said it was unlikely that its sanctions committees would take any action regarding the WIPO transfers of technology to Iran and North Korea for the same reason.
The U.N. panel of experts on North Korean sanctions said in its latest annual report that it was continuing to collect information on the WIPO case in relation to North Korea.

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs is not yet convinced the transfers were legal, suspecting they may have involved banned items, a senior Congressional official involved in the investigation said. It is also reviewing a possible breach of the United States' own sanctions as some of the equipment may have been produced by U.S. computer maker Hewlett Packard Co, the official added.

The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Lawmakers on the bi-partisan House Committee raised concern about possible WIPO retaliation against whistleblowers in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 12 and in a letter to Francis Gurry on July 16, both seen by Reuters.

"I can't think of any action that has been taken against any whistleblower," Gurry told Reuters in July.
Email correspondence dated July 20 from Gurry to WIPO senior staff member James Pooley, seen by Reuters, indicated that the director general denied him permission to give evidence to the House Committee. Pooley declined to comment for this story because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

Members of the Committee said a second senior WIPO staff member was prevented from testifying at the committee hearing in a letter to Gurry dated August 1, forcing the cancellation of the session.
Asked in July about claims that witnesses were being blocked, Gurry said he would allow any "properly competent person" on the Iran and North Korea projects to testify.

Gurry said in a statement on the WIPO website on July 19 that supplies to sanctioned countries would in future need to be referred to legal counsel, which would consult the U.N. Sanctions Committee where necessary. WIPO has also commissioned an external enquiry to review the projects with Iran and North Korea, led by a Swedish police official and a U.S. attorney.

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau in New York; editing by Will Waterman and Janet McBride)


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Helen Clark declares war against UN's Regional Economic Commissions and Kim Won-soo's Change Management Team

Even on a declared "vacation" time, Uncle Helen can't stay without doing nothing. She has led a team of UNDP top advisers in "thinking out of the box" on how to undermine UN's Secretary-General desire to concentrate more power onto his hand on Development agenda.

Helen Clark and a group of "thinkers" are extremely fraustrated with the latest attempts from the Office of Secretary General and more concretely Kim Won-soo and the Swedish Deputy Secretary General who are inclined of stripping UNDP from some of the main "duties" that until now (for almost 60 years) the United Nations Development Programme took them for granted.

But with all the scandals UNDP has gone thru, Ban Ki-moon pressed by some key donor countries is taking away slowly some of them, namely:

- UNDG (Development Group);
- One UN Initiative;
- MDGs and world coordination (recently appointed Jeffrey Sachs and a Committee of world renown experts in this area)
- HC (Humanitarian coordination); and
- RC (Resident Coordinators) ....after many complains from UNICEF, WFP, FAO and UNEP, Ban Ki-moon will be stripping UNDP from the jewel of the UN System - the ability to head the UN work in any country.

But Helen Clark is not known to give up easily. Her advisers (who are mostly connected to United Kingdom) are calling for help from the Kingdom experts in "development". After 5 years of Ban Ki-moon, now UNDP is telling many donors how ineffective Ban's team is and why the donors might have more to loose by letting UN Secretariat to go away with this "crime".

Thus the action plan for September will be to run a massive campaign with Donors and Member States, and destroy the reputation of Regional Economic Commissions (ECLAC, ESCWA, ESCAP, ECE), UN-DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) and most importantly go after Kim Won-so (Ban's stooge).

Will have more about this very soon !

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fox News EXCLUSIVE: U.N. investigation of computer shipment to North Korea and Iran looks to be much less than thorough

by George Russell at Fox News

The United Nations agency that shipped American-made computers and sophisticated servers to North Korea is now attempting to avoid a thorough investigation that includes why the goods were shipped without either notifying United Nations sanctions committees that are trying to block the country’s nuclear weapons program, or the U.S. government.

The  probe, announced on Aug. 9 by the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization, or WIPO, was advertised at the time as a “full independent external inquiry” to determine whether WIPO acted in violation of U.N. sanctions against North Korea, which continues to ignore worldwide demands that it curtail its quest for a deliverable nuclear bomb. The shipment by WIPO of Hewlett Packard computers and servers to North Korea was first reported by Fox News.

The U.S. government, in particular, says it wants to know how it happened that neither U.N. sanctions committees nor other member-states of WIPO – including the U.S. -- were informed in advance of the shipment of U.S.-manufactured equipment, which was sent from China to Pyongyang by the United Nations Development Program.

UN News: United Nations climate fund inaugurates first meeting

Photo: UNEP
23 August 2012 –
A United Nations fund aimed at mobilizing resources to help developing countries mitigate the impact of global warming has kicked-off its first official meeting, it was announced today. Established by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 2011 UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was created to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures.
However, the GCF could not meet officially until it had filled all 24 seats on its Board, which effectively governs and supervises all aspects of the Fund.
According to a press release confirming the inaugural session, the GCF will now set about satisfying its mandate, which includes providing developing countries with simplified and improved access to climate change funding, as well as providing them support to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The Board inaugurated its first gathering by electing Mr. Zaheer Fakir of South Africa and Mr. Ewen McDonald of Australia as its Co-Chairs for a one-year term. Mr. Fakir is the Head of International Relations and Governance of the Department of Environmental Affairs of South Africa, while Mr. McDonald is the Deputy Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development, and both boast numerous years of experience in development and climate change-related issues.
Meanwhile, six countries – Germany, Mexico, Namibia, Poland, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland – are vying to host the Fund.
The GCF’s meeting will conclude on Saturday, 25 August.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue

UN News: Conflict management, development among key focus areas for deputy UN chief

Conflict management, development among key focus areas for deputy UN chief

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
23 August 2012 –
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson says key development issues such as tackling food security and fighting poverty, as well as the crisis in Syria, will feature high on his agenda at the United Nations. “As Deputy Secretary-General I will of course focus on what the SG [Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] wants me to work with. But I will probably focus most on two areas: development – and we face some very serious challenges in this area – and secondly, political issues,” Mr. Eliasson said in an interview with the UN News Centre.
“On development, it’s such a wide range of areas, but the most urgent […] issue is the food security crisis,” he added. “We are expecting price increases of food all over the world in the next 4-5 months.”
The veteran Swedish diplomat, who took up his post in July, is no stranger to the Organization, having served in a number of UN positions, including Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, President of the General Assembly and Special Envoy for Darfur.
“The United Nations has always been very close to my heart,” said Mr. Eliasson. “I believe in the values and principles of the United Nations. We are often criticized but I think we are a reflection of the world as it is and not as we want it to be – but we have to bridge that gap, make sure the world becomes more of what we want it to be.”
Among the areas where there is still much work to be done, the Deputy Secretary-General cited the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – specific targets on poverty alleviation, education, gender equality, child and maternal health, environmental stability, HIV/AIDS reduction, and a ‘Global Partnership for Development’ that world leaders have pledged to achieve by 2015.
Last month Mr. Ban announced the members of a high-level panel he set up to present recommendations on a global post-2015 agenda with shared responsibilities for all countries and with the fight against poverty and sustainable development at its core.
There were many crises to deal with on the political front, Mr. Eliasson noted. “The most dramatic one, the most internationally recognized one is, of course, Syria, where we are dealing with very serious matters, providing hopefully a peaceful alternative to the horrible fighting that goes on now, and the suffering that goes on now, with huge humanitarian consequences.”
Syria has been wracked by violence, with an estimated 17,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 17 months ago. Over the past month, there have been reports of an escalation in violence in many towns and villages, as well as the country’s two biggest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.
Other issues of concern, he said, include the tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel, along with the conflict in northern Mali.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue

WSJ: Obama's U.N. Friends

The Obama Administration has based its global security strategy around the United Nations, and these days that faith isn't turning out too well. Russia and China have blocked any "collective security" action in Syria, and now U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has decided to lend his prestige, such as it is, to Iran.

Despite public requests from the U.S. and what press reports say was a personal plea from Israel ...

Click here to read this in full at Wall Street Journal

Richard Grenell: "Reporters should pay attention to the UN Official claiming he was told to falsify report"

any state department reporters paying attention to the official claiming he was told to falsify reports? who knew?

Former UN official's revelations warrant full inquiry into actions of UNAMI in Iraq, says Association of Iranian-Americans in NY & NJ

NEW YORK, Aug. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The recent revelations by Mr. Tahar Boumedra, a senior former UN Human Rights Official, about the actions of the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for Iraq, Ambassador Martin Kobler, raise questions as to whether the SGSR possesses the integrity, the competence and veracity to be an impartial arbiter in dealing with the issue of the 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Iraq, residents of Camp Ashraf and the "prison-like" Camp Liberty.

Mr. Kobler's actions, described in full detail, by Mr. Tahar Boumedra, former Chief of the Human Rights Office for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in an opinion piece in The Hill and his interviews with other media, are unconscionable. 

"Mr. Kobler not only has stained, to no end, the reputation and credibility of an organization charged with upholding the human rights and dignity of asylum-seekers the world over, but has also caused the entire community of civilized people everywhere to demand an independent, impartial and transparent investigation into Kobler's mission from the very inception," said Allen Tasslimi of the Association of Iranian Americans in New York and New Jersey, who has two brothers in the Camps, one of them disabled.

A UN spokesperson's comments Wednesday in response to these serious allegations are not acceptable. As family members of those affected by such cover-ups, we deserve an answer.
This inquiry must include looking into all potential malfeasance by Kobler, his May 2012 trip to Tehran, his dealings with the Iranian regime's Ambassador in Iraq, and his collusion with Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki of Iraq. And not the least, the suffering, deaths, physical and psychological torments endured by the residents of both Camps Ashraf and Liberty.

SOURCE Association of Iranian-Americans in NY & NJ

SCANDAL: "In Iraq UN ordered falsifying information and reports for senior U.N. leadership and the international community"

Former UN human rights chief in Baghdad Tahar Boumedra: Why I Quit the UN in Iraq

Click here to read this in full at The Hill

By Tahar Boumedra

For the past three and a half years I have served first as chief of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) Human Rights Office and then as adviser to the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq, monitoring, among other things, the human rights and the humanitarian situation of 3,400 Iranian exiles who have made their home north of Baghdad since 1986 at a place called Camp Ashraf. Iraq’s government has decided to terminate their presence in Iraq and required them to vacate Camp Ashraf. UNAMI has been facilitating their temporary relocation to a former base in Baghdad called Camp Liberty, with the purported task of conducting “refugee status determination” for all of these people and ensuring that international norms of human and humanitarian rights are maintained.

While the world assumes the United Nations has been upholding these norms, I know otherwise.
As hard as it might be for many to believe, as the United Nations serves the cause of human rights and world peace, this is a shameful story of hiding the truth and looking the other way when we knew there were violations: of complicity with wrongdoers, and neglect of human rights and humanitarian responsibilities.

The fundamental rights of these exiles — humane living conditions, access to justice, humanitarian necessities including medical services for the ill and wounded, and freedom from threats of physical harm — have been repeatedly denied by the Iraqi government at the direction of the prime minister’s office. Special Representative Martin Kobler, unlike his predecessor, who maintained his mission’s independence and integrity even at the displeasure of Nouri al-Maliki, has enabled the prime minister’s agenda while falsifying information reported to senior U.N. leadership and the international community.

As the lead person on Camp Ashraf-related matters in UNAMI, I faced a serious moral dilemma as I saw my reports doctored and censored. No first-hand report of mine ever reached U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon or top officials in New York. And while I kept silent far too long, I have now resigned and my conscience demands that I bring the truth to light. I am prepared to attest to these facts under oath.

When Iraqi forces attacked the unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf in 2009 and 2011, it was I who conducted the body count. The April 2011 raid, which took 36 lives and caused hundreds of injuries, was a massacre in which men and women alike were crushed to death by military vehicles or killed with one bullet at close range. Yet when the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNAMI called for an independent commission of inquiry, the Iraqi government refused. Our repeated efforts to send severely wounded exiles to Iraqi hospitals were blocked by the Iraqi government, and some died. UNAMI never objected, reporting instead that Iraq had met its international obligations.
When Iraq was ready to start relocating the exiles to the new site at Camp Liberty in December 2011, I made several visits to inspect Camp Liberty, and told Kobler that it was not fit to accommodate 3,400 men and women. Kobler visited Camp Liberty and saw that I was right; yet when the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hired a consultant to assess the conditions at Camp Liberty, Kobler pressured him to certify that the camp met all required humanitarian standards, which we knew was far from the truth. After the consultant declined, Kobler issued a report that misled the international community and the exiles alike into believing the standards were being met so the transfer process could proceed.

He also had UNAMI staff take around 500 photographs at Camp Liberty, of which 20-30 of the least offensive were selected, and sent to the exiles’ parent organization in Paris with the message that the new site would measure 40 square kilometers, reduced to 2.5 square kilometers. On that basis, the exiles agreed to move out of Camp Ashraf. In reality, the site at Camp Liberty measures 0.6 square kilometers and is surrounded by three-to four-meter concrete walls. It reminds me of the concentration camp I lived in as a child during Algeria’s war of liberation.

Al-Maliki, with Iran’s encouragement, has continuously obstructed the U.N. mission of processing these exiles as potential refugees and placing them safely in third countries. Iraq would not let UNHCR conduct interviews at Camp Ashraf, although it had done so satisfactorily in the past. Iraq refused the Camp Ashraf residents’ request to cooperate with them in planning their departure. Death threats in Farsi have been broadcast for 18 hours on most days through loudspeakers surrounding Camp Ashraf, and Iraq has issued nearly 200 arrest warrants against residents with no due process. Each movement of exiles this year from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty has been coordinated, including dates and specific numbers, by Iraq with the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad.

Their agenda is obvious: to break the exiles’ will and morale as an organized group and force their departure. UNAMI never seriously tried to arrange for a third country to host the population and UN staff so that refugee processing could be accomplished smoothly. With 2,000 exiles at Camp Liberty to date, the United Nations has interviewed only a small number, and not one person has completed refugee processing. Whether U.S. government officials involved in the relocation and processing of the exiles are aware of these realities I do not know; Kobler is their interlocutor. Foreign officials other than from the United Nations and a few consular officers have been denied access to both Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

Iraq’s actions toward these exiles, which for years had been accorded a guest status comparable to a foreign sovereign establishment, violate the well-established principle that a change of government does not affect acquired rights without due process of law. The United States, which earlier granted them protected persons status under the Fourth Geneva Convention and then turned over their protection to Iraq in 2009, retains the obligation under Article 45 to ensure their continued protection.
These defenseless people are facing intolerable abuses and dangers. The U.N. secretary general and willing governments need to establish conditions, in Iraq or elsewhere, enabling the United Nations to process these people properly, expeditiously and safely. Immediate action is needed to uphold their basic human rights, secure them from further threat of physical harm, and restore the United Nations’s reputation.

Boumedra is an Algerian human-rights activist who previously taught law and served as co-editor of the African Journal of International and Comparative Law, deputy secretary general of the African Society of International and Comparative Law, consultant to the African Commission of Human and Peoples’ Rights, editor of the African Review of Human and Peoples’ Rights and regional director of Penal Reform International.

Click here to read this in full at The Hill

Thursday, August 23, 2012

InnerCityPress: Ban Ki-moon Crime Report Has Moonlighting, Pipe Attacks, Sex for Hire, Guns

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, August 22 -- Some say, with reason, that the UN was too weak in Srbrenica, in Rwanda and now with its observers fleeing Syria. 

  But Ban Ki-moon's report to the General Assembly on misconduct and criminal behavior paints a picture of violence and threats in the UN, with armrests torn off chairs, firings based on gun threats, physical assaults with pipes. Here are excerpts:
23. A staff member physically assaulted another staff member by detaching an armrest from an office chair and throwing it at the other staff member’s face, resulting in injury to the staff member’s right eye and forehead. Disposition: Dismissal. Appeal: None.
24. A staff member physically assaulted another staff member by hitting the other staff member in the head with a metal pipe, resulting in injuries to the staff member’s head. Disposition: Dismissal. Appeal: None.
26. A staff member on three occasions acted in a verbally disrespectful and disruptive manner by arguing with colleagues and supervisors; on one occasion the staff member destroyed property during an argument; on two occasions the staff member made threatening remarks about the use of guns in the workplace. The staff member admitted the conduct with regard to the first two incidents and apologized to the persons involved. Disposition: Separation from service with compensation in lieu of notice and with termination indemnity. Appeal: None.

  Having seen how the UN conducts its interviews, some of these admission may be dubious. But the descriptions continue, with sexual exploitation:
"A staff member attempted to obtain sexual favors from a job applicant, who was a beneficiary of assistance, in return for offering to provide assistance with the United Nations recruitment process. The staff member falsely suggested to the applicant that there was a problem with the application form, and invited the applicant to the staff member’s residence to review the application. In the context of the invitation to the applicant, the staff member made sexually suggestive remarks. Disposition: Separation from service, with compensation in lieu of notice, and without termination indemnity. Appeal: None."

  There were stolen laptops and hard drives, airplane tickets and even copper wire. Some were more sophisticated:
"A staff member created a false note verbale on official letterhead on their United Nations computer. The staff member forged the signature of another staff member, and sold the note verbale to another staff member in order for the latter to obtain a non-immigrant visa. Several false documents, such as fake diplomas, were found on the staff member’s United Nations computer."

  And now, we'll perform or try to perform some detective work. Ban Ki-moon reports:
"A staff member was employed by their government for one year while employed with the Organization, without the approval of the Secretary-General. A conflict of interest existed between the nature of the staff member’s outside activities and their status as a staff member. The time taken to conclude the investigation and subsequent disciplinary process were taken into account in determining the disciplinary measure. Disposition: Separation from service, with in lieu of notice and with termination indemnity. Appeal: Filed with the Dispute Tribunal, where the case remains under consideration."

  This double employment, unless occurring more than once, sounds like a case Inner City Press has asked the UN about, that of Jeffery Armstrong

  Since the UN's ODS system has problems with direct links, Inner City Press is putting the report online through its Scribd, click here and watch this site.

Scandal: 637 Millionaires work for UNDP !!

United Nations Development Millionaires !

Welcome to the Republic of Humanitarian Millionaires !!

As per the latest internal statistics report of UNFCU for 2011, it revealed that only from UNDP (United Nations Development Progamme) 637 individual accounts are at $1 Million plus dollars.

Yes you heard it well:

637 UNDP Staffers are Millionaires !

While the above have $1 Million + in their accounts, the report also reveals that at least 1041 other UNDP staffers have home loans between $850K - $1.5 Million. Translation: 1041 UNDP staffers have enough salary (income) to justify million dollar homes in New York (or tri-state area NY/NJ/CT).

Ban Ki Moon to meet Kim Jong UN in Iran: will discuss the request for DPRK Leader to attend the UN General Assembly in September 2012





Ban Ki Moon's Office and UNDP are working behind the scenes with Chinese counterparts to organize this "historic" visit, which now they claim will have the potential to "open-up" North Korea (DPRK).

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Helen Clark: “What does Rio+20 mean for sustainable development?”

Click here to read full article

20 August 2012

Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator
State of the Nation’s Environment

 “What does Rio+20 mean for sustainable development?”

Lincoln University, New Zealand, 20 August 2012, 7:30pm

I thank Lincoln University for the invitation to deliver this year’s State of the Nation’s Environment address. I commend both the University and the Isaac Centre for Nature Conservation for establishing and supporting this annual lecture as a way of drawing attention to the environmental and sustainability issues New Zealand faces.

This year’s address takes place in the 25th anniversary year of the release of the Brundtland Report - the UN Report which, in defining sustainable development, helped facilitate a global consensus on its importance. We also meet just two months after world leaders gathered in Rio de Janeiro to agree on steps to advance sustainable development at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20.

Monday, August 20, 2012 journalists Freke Vujist and Pieter van Os were right: UN Tribunal says that Eveline Herfkens case was corruption and UNDP's letting her go away with Dutch taxpayers money was unlawful

De zaak-Herfkens - Het eigen belang van een Nederlandse armoedebestrijder

click here to read this on

Reconstructie de zaak-Herfkens

Door Pieter van Os en Freke Vuijst

Als minister maakte Eveline Herfkens ‘goed bestuur’, een voorwaarde voor Nederlandse ontwikkelingshulp. Maar als het gaat om haar eigen leefomstandigheden doen de regels er niet toe. Uit naam van de allerarmsten stelt ‘miss millenniumdoelen’ hoge eisen, vooral aan haar eigen secundaire arbeids- en leefomstandigheden.

Het begon allemaal zo mooi. Nederland, een van de weinige landen met een internationale reputatie op het gebied van ontwikkelingssamenwerking, werd beloond met de aanstelling van een hoge functionaris bij de Verenigde Naties. In oktober 2002 benoemde Kofi Annan, de toenmalige secretaris-generaal van de VN, Eveline Herfkens om de campagne voor de millenniumdoelstellingen te leiden. Tot die tijd was ze minister voor Ontwik­kelings­samenwerking in het kabinet-Kok II. Daarvoor was de PvdA-politica Nederlands woordvoerder bij de Wereldbank in Washington.

In New York krijgt ze enkele medewerkers om wereldwijd de millennium-development goals te promoten. De slogan: ‘Make poverty history’: ‘Help armoede de wereld uit.’

Zes jaar later is ‘Miss Millennium Goals’, zoals Herfkens in de wandelgangen van de VN wordt genoemd, zelf in opspraak geraakt. Uit vertrouwelijke e-mails en memo’s blijkt dat Herfkens marchandeert met de regels als het gaat om haar eigen belang. Dat is extra wrang voor een Nederlandse functionaris die ‘goed bestuur’ voorwaarde maakte voor Nederlandse ontwikkelingshulp. Bij het reconstrueren van de zaak kwam ook aan het licht dat de Nederlandse regering de huur van haar appartement in New York betaalde; een schending van de VN-regels voor internationale ambtenaren.

Januari, 2008. Officieel is Herfkens nog altijd de VN-cheerleader voor de uitbanning van armoede. In werkelijkheid zit ze, onbetaald en zonder contract, thuis in Maryland, even buiten Washington DC. Wat is er gebeurd? De Nederlandse bestrijder van wereldwijde armoede is verzeild geraakt in een ordinair personeelsconflict. Haar eigen doelstellingen – waaronder een permanente verblijfsvergunning in Amerika – botsten met haar officiële aanstelling.

Zelf zegt Herfkens dat ze ‘met veel plezier doorwerkt’, in het vertrouwen dat er binnenkort ‘een definitieve oplossing wordt gevonden’ voor het conflict dat ze uitvecht met de personeelsafdeling van UNDP. Maar bij die organisatie, waaronder Herfkens’ bureau voor de promotie van de millenniumdoelstellingen valt, is niet iedereen zo zeker van een snelle oplossing. ‘God, wat is deze dame een lastpak,’ schrijft een medewerker in een e-mail.

De problemen begonnen meer dan drie jaar geleden. Eveline Herfkens realiseerde zich toen dat ze in Amerika wil blijven wonen, ook na haar werk bij de VN. Ze vroeg daarom een permanente verblijfsvergunning aan.

Enkele maanden later kwam ze er achter, naar eigen zeggen bij ‘stom toeval’, dat dit niet mogelijk is. Net als in Nederland kan in Amerika een ambtenaar in dienst van een internationale organisatie geen beroep doen op de vreemdelingenwet van het land van verblijf. Ze zijn te gast, hoeven geen belasting te betalen, maar een naturalisatieverzoek, zo bevestigt IND-woordvoerder Karin Timmer, heeft net zoveel kans als dat van een boer in de achterlanden van Ethiopië. Dat had de ex-minister kunnen weten. Maar ze legt zich niet neer bij deze regel. Eveline Herfkens wil niet alleen de status van Amerikaans ingezetene, ze wil ook haar werk bij de Verenigde Naties niet kwijt. Dus schrijft ze op 16 maart 2007 een brief aan de personeelsafdeling van UNDP. Ze wenst dat haar contract wordt omgezet in een kortlopende verbintenis. Het wordt een zogenaamd ‘SSA-contract’, een contract dat consultants krijgen met een enkele opdracht en waarmee het wél mogelijk is mee te dingen naar een permanente verblijfsvergunning. Herfkens deelt in haar brief mee dat ze bij aanvraag van de Green Card, zoals een permanente verblijfsvergunning in de volksmond heet, hulp krijgt op ‘het hoogste niveau van het Amerikaanse Congres’. En ze wil dat het werk dat al is verricht aan haar aanvraag bij een nieuw contract niet te niet wordt gedaan. Bovendien wil ze er in salaris niet op achteruit gaan; Herfkens zit in de op één na hoogste schaal, op het niveau van een zogenaamde ‘ASG’, een Assistant Secretary General, met een bruto jaarsalaris van 225.750 dollar.

Intern memorandum
‘Miss millenniumgoals’ wenst geen genoegen te nemen met de restricties die bij zo’n kortlopend SSA-contract horen. Ze heeft ‘slechts één verzoek’, dat uit een paar wensen blijkt te bestaan. Ten eerste wil ze haar gold grounds pass behouden, een kaartje om de nek die je plaats in de interne hiërarchie weerspiegelt, als een soort clubdas. Tevens wil Herfkens business class blijven vliegen, ook op vluchten korter dan negen uur. VN-medewerkers met kortlopende SSA-contracten krijgen standaard alleen business class-tickets vergoed voor vluchten langer dan negen uur. Tot slot wil ze haar officiële titel behouden: ‘Secretary General’s Executive Coordinator’.

De brief valt niet in goede aarde bij de personeelsafdeling. Medewerker Romesh Muttukumaru schrijft erover in een intern memorandum aan Ad Melkert. Hoewel Melkert tweede man is van UNDP, deelt hij feitelijk de lakens uit. Muttukumaru benadrukt in zijn memo dat Herfkens onder een SSA-contract net als iedereen economy class zal moeten vliegen. Herfkens, zo schrijft hij ook, zal voortaan slechts de titel ‘speciale adviseur van de millenniumcampagne’ mogen dragen. Tot slot schrijft hij Melkert: ‘We adviseren verder dat iemand anders de leiderschapsrol voor de Millennium Campagne op zich neemt.’

Na nog wat heen en weer vergaderen, wordt er uiteindelijk een compromis bereikt. Een andere afdeling gaat de Millennium­campagne leiden, zo blijkt uit een e-mail aan Ad Melkert. Herfkens blijft achter bij de oude afdeling, die voor ‘strategische partners’. In de mail aan Melkert, van 26 september 2007, waarschuwt Tegegne­work Gettu, een medewerker die jarenlang corruptie heeft moeten aanzien als VN-man in Nigeria, dat voortaan ‘all other logistical support provided to Evelyn’ in overeenstemming zal moeten zijn met de regels. ‘Zonder uitzonderingen,’ voegt Gettu er aan toe. ‘That must be clearly stated to all.’ Hij kan het niet laten nog even te bevestigen dat er ook geen uitzondering kan worden gemaakt voor het vliegen. Herfkens zal economy vliegen, geen business. Gevraagd om een reactie schrijft Herfkens daarover in een e-mail aan Vrij Nederland: ‘Als ASG had ik er recht op, en alle betrokkenen vonden het meer dan redelijk dat ik dat recht zou behouden.’

Maar vliegtickets zijn niet het belangrijkste. De klachten in de wandelgangen van de VN gaan vooral over de manier waarop Herfkens haar leidinggevende taak op afstand uitvoert. Sinds januari 2006 woont ze niet meer in New York, maar in Maryland, even buiten Washington DC, samen met haar partner Costas Michalopoulos. ‘Inderdaad ben ik allang van plan,’ schrijft ze in dezelfde e-mail aan Vrij Nederland, ‘de leiding van de Millennium Campaign op parttime (75 procent) basis te doen, om meer tijd te hebben voor privéleven, boards van non-profits en ander vrijwilligerswerk.’ Al lang geleden, benadrukt Herfkens, heeft ze de dagelijkse leiding over de campagne overgelaten aan de campagnedirecteur Salil Shetty.

Aan de personeelsdienst schrijft ze blijkbaar iets anders. ‘Door een zieke moeder kan ze niet fulltime op kantoor zijn,’ beweert een UNDP-­medewerker. Die beweert ook: ‘We hebben hier nog nooit iemand van haar rang gezien die parttime werkt. Dat is zeer ongewoon.’

Over het gesteggel rond haar titel schrijft Herfkens aan Vrij Nederland: ‘Kofi Annan heeft me destijds persoonlijk, op grond van mijn kwalificaties, benoemd als “Executive Coordinator” et cetera, een titel die los staat van arbeidscontractrechtelijke regelingen.’

Het gedoe rond het contract van Herfkens heeft er inmiddels toe geleid dat twee toezichtcommissies de zaak moesten beoordelen. De conclusies van de tweede commissie leidden ertoe dat Herfkens momenteel zonder contract thuis zit, zo legt David Morrison uit, de officiële woordvoerder van UNDP. De commissie wil eerst van secretaris-generaal Ban Ki-moon weten of de organisatie niet een open sollicitatieprocedure had moeten starten na het verlopen van het eerste vierjarige contract van Herfkens. Want waarom zou niet iemand anders in aanmerking kunnen komen voor haar baan?

Een antwoord zou kunnen zijn: omdat iemand anders niet zo goed fondsen uit Neder­land kan werven. Kort na de strenge brief van Muttukumaru bleek Herfkens met succes vijf miljoen uit eigen land te halen, voor dezelfde pot waaruit haar salaris wordt betaald. Bij haar opvolger, de CDA’er Van Ardenne, was het niet gelukt, maar dit voorjaar waren de kansen gekeerd, met partijgenoot Bert Koenders aan het roer. Toch ging het niet zonder slag of stoot. In de ‘projectencommissie’ die iedere aanvraag van vijf of meer miljoen bespreekt, wordt zelden heftig gediscussieerd. Dit keer wel. Niet zozeer door de zweem van vriendjespolitiek die rond de aanwijzing hing, maar om inhoudelijke redenen. Waarom, zo was de vraag van menig aanwezige afdelingsdirecteur, betaalt Nederland de VN-millenniumcampagne om daarmee Herfkens in staat te stellen andere Europese landen onder druk te zetten meer van hun belastinginkomsten uit te geven aan armoedebestrijding? Is het niet efficiënter ons ontwikkelingsgeld direct uit te geven aan projecten en landen in de derde wereld?

Op het ministerie leeft ook verontwaardiging over een andere regeling rond Eve­line Herfkens. Sinds haar verhuizing naar New York in 2002 tot haar definitieve vertrek naar Maryland, begin 2006, betaalde de Nederlandse overheid de volledige huur van haar appartement in de chique Ham­mar­skjold Tower, op loopafstand van het VN-hoofdkantoor. De huur bedroeg zevenduizend dollar per maand.

Terwijl Herfkens volledig in dienst was van de VN, bood Buitenlandse Zaken ook aan de verhuiskosten te betalen. Vier jaar later herhaalde BuZa dat aanbod nog eens, dit keer om haar spullen naar Maryland te verhuizen.

Deze cadeautjes van de Nederlandse overheid vormen een schending van de interne regels van de VN, zo bevestigt een werknemer van de afdeling ‘Internal Oversight’ van de VN. Een jaar voordat Herfkens bij de VN begon, nam de Algemene Vergadering een vernieuwde versie aan van de ‘Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service’, een gedragslijn waaraan internationale ambtenaren zich dienen te houden. Na enkele aan het licht gekomen misstanden, meestal in Afrika, vond de Algemene Vergadering het nodig opnieuw duidelijkheid te verschaffen over de ethische richtlijnen, zowel aan regeringen als medewerkers.

Onomwonden stelt de gedragscode dat het verboden is giften te ontvangen van ‘meer dan nominale waarde’. Kortom, alles meer dan een pen. ‘Het past internationale ambtenaren niet om aanvullende betalingen of andere subsidies te ontvangen van een regering (…) voor, tijdens of na het aangaan van een opdracht van een internationale organisatie, (zeker niet) als die betaling gerelateerd is aan die opdracht.’ En: ‘Dit geldt ook voor giften van regeringen.’

Internationale ambtenaren moeten dit soort betalingen niet alleen weigeren, stelt deze VN-gedragscode, overheden moeten ze ook niet aanbieden. Ze zijn ‘in strijd met de grondgedachten van de Verenigde Naties’. Ambtenaren die in dienst zijn gegaan bij een internationale organisatie, zoals Eveline Herfkens, behoren geen voordeeltjes uit het land van herkomst te krijgen. Alleen dan kunnen deze ambtenaren onbevooroordeeld in het belang van de internationale gemeenschap handelen. Bovendien, zo is de gedachte, voorkomt de regel dat VN-medewerkers uit eerste wereldlanden meer mogelijkheden hebben dan medewerkers uit landen die minder ruim in de belastingcenten zitten. Of uit landen die hun gemeenschapsgeld beter besteden, bijvoorbeeld aan armoedebestrijding.

Gevraagd om een reactie, blijkt Herfkens geen enkel probleem te zien. Volgens haar is het ‘standaardbeleid’ van Buitenlandse Zaken, en al helemaal van Defensie, om ‘onder meer de huisvesting van landgenoten in relevante VN-functies te subsidiëren, omdat het onmogelijk is in Manhattan enigszins representatief te wonen van een VN-salaris.’ Dat salaris kwam voor Herfkens neer op bruto achttienduizend dollar per maand. ‘Ik woonde soberder dan waartoe ik, gegeven mijn rang, gerechtigd was.’

Bestrijding van corruptie
‘Als Rwanda zoiets doet, schreeuwen we corruptie,’ zegt een ambtenaar van Ontwikke­lingssamenwerking in Den Haag die anoniem wil blijven. ‘Ook bij iemand als Wol­fo­witz vinden we iedere misstap schandalig en hypocriet, omdat juist hij corruptie boven aan de agenda van de Wereldbank zette. Waarom zou zoiets niet voor Herfkens gelden, die altijd hamert op de bestrijding van corruptie in ontwikkelingslanden?’ Tijdens haar ministerschap maakte Herfkens ‘goed bestuur’ inderdaad tot maatstaf van hulp. Maar de goede fee van de good governance marchandeert met de regels als het om haar eigen belang gaat.

Andere geraadpleegde ambtenaren wijzen erop dat Herfkens tijdens haar ministerschap bezuinigde op ‘projecten’ in ontwikkelingslanden, maar tegelijk de bijdragen aan multilaterale hulporganisaties als UNDP vergrootte. Geloofde Kofi Annan in haar als toplobbyist voor de millenniumcampagne, of heeft hij haar beloond voor bewezen diensten met een lucratieve, niet al te zware baan?

In de taakstelling die de personeelsdienst met haar overeenkwam voor 2007 blijkt dat ze op tien missies gaat, de helft naar Europa, de andere helft naar New York, de stad waar haar kantoor staat. Vier keer dient ze rapport uit te brengen aan Ad Melkert, bij afwezigheid van de hoogste baas. En, zo luidt punt één van de taakstelling, ze moet ‘expertise leveren op het hoogste niveau, in publieke fora (…) door participatie in key high-level events; zoals keynote speeches bij verschillende evenementen, parlementaire hoorzittingen, high-level meetings en mediamomenten.’ En voor fondswerving dient ze ‘high-level contacts and access’ te gebruiken.

Het is ‘high-level’ voor en na. Maar voorlopig zal ze het moeten doen zonder gold grounds pass, zonder de titel ‘executive coordinator’ en met een ticket economy class. In VN-speak: ‘monkey class’.

Marc Broere of Dutch "Vice-Versa" attempts to clear Eveline Herfkens in lieu of upcoming daming report from UN Tribunal.

‘De belastingbetaler moest opdraaien voor haar dure flatje. Dat ging alle perken te buiten. Ik heb het laten uitzoeken en inmiddels is ze geen lid meer. Daar ben ik blij mee. Wat zij deed, was zelfverrijking van de ergste soort.’

Click here to read Broere article on "Vice-Versa"

Click here to read UN Tribunal decision and it's statement on Eveline Herfkens affair

Eveline Herfkens: The corrupt socialist dutch politician who stole money and run away with it - now UN Tribunal finds UNDP's actions on letting Herfkens go away unscathed -- as unlawful !


#UNDT: Eveline Herfkens collected double allowances from her Government and the UN = no disciplinary action @undpwatch

21. The decision to dismiss the Applicant without termination indemnity or payment in lieu of notice was discriminatory, and therefore unlawful. The Respondent referred to a few cases in which UNDP allegedly dismissed staff members in situations similar to that of the Applicant. The Respondent failed, however, to provide full details of these cases so the Applicant is not in a position to compare these cases to the instant case. Even if in these cases the Respondent took a harsh line, this still fails to clarify why such a markedly different approach was taken in the case of Eveline Herfkens. 

22. In a letter dated 23 May 2008, Kemal Dervis wrote that during the period Eveline Herfkens was employed as a staff member by UNDP, the Government of the Netherlands provided her with financial benefits in the form of rent of a three room apartment in Manhattan, relocation from the Netherlands to New York in November 2002 and from New York to Maryland in January 2006, and a continuation of her enrolment with the Netherlands national pension scheme. 

23. Kemal Dervis further noted that UNDP had provided Eveline Herfkens with a copy of the applicable UN Staff Regulations and Rules relating to her appointment and that she had signed an acknowledgement of having received them. Despite this, UNDP found that:

Ms. Herfkens appear[ed] to have unknowingly breached the Staff Regulations, in good faith and without mal-intent. 

and that

Ms. Herfkens [would] remain an advocate in the global effort to achieve the MDGs, and [that UNDP would] count on her continued support in this effort. 

24. The Applicant submits that in contrast to Eveline Herfkens, she was a low level general service staff member, and that unlike Eveline Herfkens, she obtained no personal gain. In light of this, to excuse Eveline Herfkens, while dismissing the Applicant without termination indemnity or payment in lieu of notice, is discriminatory and unlawful. 

25. The Respondent cannot rely on the Applicant’s failure to comply with her obligations during the investigation when the Respondent failed first to comply with his. From the outset of the investigation, she was considered a possible wrongdoer and the Organization was obliged to advise her that she had the right to secure the assistance of counsel. This omission amounted to a violation of her right to due process. 

43. The Respondent did not apply double-standards. According to the letter dated 23 May 2008, sent by the then Administrator, UNDP, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the UNDP OAI finalized an investigation concerning Ms. Eveline Herfkens on 20 May 2008 who reportedly accepted financial benefits from her government while being a staff member with UNDP. In this connection, the Applicant claimed that Ms. Herfkens was found to be in a conflict of interest, but that no disciplinary action was taken against her. According to the Applicant, this demonstrated that the Respondent applied double-standards. 

44. The Respondent submits that the Applicant’s reference to the letter is of limited relevance in the context of her case. Ms. Herfkens’ appointment expired on 31 October 2007 and was not subsequently renewed. Ms. Herfkens was no longer a staff member when the investigation report of 20 May 2008 was purportedly issued. Thus, in light of the foregoing, UNDP could not possibly have initiated disciplinary proceedings against Ms. Herfkens as she was no longer a staff member.

Click here to read the UN Tribunal decision...

InnercityPress's "mole" inside Bratislava Office reveals the secrets of Cihan Sultanoglu plan to become ASG os RBEC

A year ago Cihan Sultanoglu purchased a 1 Million dollar condo (as if she knew that her stay in New York would be extended). Now Innercity Press (Matthew Russell Lee) reveals the inside secrets of how Cihan managed to stage her rise to ASG of RBEC ...


UN Bratislava Center Slated to Be Moved to Turkey, By Turkish UNDP Official

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, August 16 -- The UN is poised to close its Bratislava Center and move dozens of jobs held by Slovaks to an increasingly powerful country in the UN and the world, Turkey, sources tell Inner City Press.

   Giving rise to complaints not only in Slovakia but elsewhere in the UN system is that the official making the stealth move is herself Turkish. 

  Six months ago, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon named "Ayse Cihan Sultanoglu of Turkey as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States" for the UN Development Program.

   And now she moves the UNDP Bratislava Regional Center for Europe and the CIS to Istanbul -- "subject to a feasibility study but that will no doubt come up with the right answers," as one Inner City Press source puts it.

   Inner City Press has previously covered this Bratislava Center, getting UNDP to admit that then-director "Ben Slay sometimes works from the Vienna office" while ostensible running the Bratislava Center. This was part of a series on UNDP, resulting in a press release against Inner City Press by UNDP, since mimicked by others. 
   Now the Bratislava Center is slated to be closed, and some 80 Slovak jobs put in jeopardy.

   Inquiring into the process of this decision making, a well place source tells Inner City Press that Cihan Sultanoglu

"informed the acting director of the Bratislava Regional Center on or around Monday 13th August. The director designate, Olivier Adam, was visiting the Bratislava Regional Center at that time and claimed that he did not know prior to this. The acting director made an announcement at a staff meeting in Bratislava on 15th August. No announcement has been made by Cihan herself.

"The only person who appears to have known in advance of her intentions is Dmitri Mariassin. He is the 'partnerships adviser' in Bratislava and reputed to be Cihan’s close confidante. She thus apparently shared her views with one member of staff while the 70 Slovaks who will probably all lose their jobs, the acting director, and director designate were not informed. 
"It is also known by the way that the recruitment of the new Bratislava Center director was a pure fix and that Cihan had decided he should get the job in advance. At the same time she has arranged to bring back Ben Slay, who used to be the Bratislava director, as a Practice Manager – of course without any recruitment procedures (apparently as 'a move within the same business unit'). Junior staff are livid since they all have to apply for jobs in the normal way, plus Ben was known as an awful manager. The Ombudsman’s office has picked up on this one."

   We'll see -- watch this site.