Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Sha Zukang: from the other side of the mirror

Mr. Sha Zukang, the new USG of DESA is a very cable Chinese diplomat, but true to his background and training has remained a diplomat and a Chinese. His style of governance involves mixing statements with jokes, mostly made-in-China jokes and therefore, it is hard to know when he is serious and when he is not; when he is telling the truth, when he is not. It is not easy to trust him.

He is also overly bureaucratic and overlly obseesed with protocols etc. Even though he heads one of the most important think tanks of the UN, Mr. Sha often boasts in public saying, "I do not read books". Not a great preamble to raise the credibilty of an organization that is expected to provide guidance to global economic and social problems.

Some of the names or positions your report has mentioned as sources of problem are the very same people Mr. Sha has now turned to for running and "reforming" UNDESA. It is therefore highly unlikely that much will come of these efforts initiated by him.

Mr. Sha is a very intelligent person, but he is hardly visionary nor has he demonstrated much acumen (so far) in the area of management.

The clean up must start with immediate removal of all the three heads of the Executive Office - Zaitsev, Peluso and Oveissi who have been in these positions for last several years. These three have systematically scuttled all reform initiatives of the past, especially those that risked their respective monopolies. Another person that Mr. Sha's relies a lot on, is Mr. Jomo, the Assistant Secretary General who is an activist economist with zero background in management - he comes from an NGO background.

Starting from Mr. Desai's time alomost all consultant reports on DESA management observed serious management shortcomings, especially with its Executive Office, but these reports have either been suppressed or no action has been taken.

In a recent evaluation report on UNCRD, a Tsseloniki type centre based in Nagoya and funded by the Japanese government, has reported serious management lacunae in the tehnical cooperation office. The head of this office has so far refused to respond to these findings. Instead this person is making every effort to punish the people who reported these lapses.

UNDESA is rotting from within, though there is little doubt that UN needs a think tank organization such as this. But has to ponder whether the way it is currently structured and the way it is run, or the persons who are running it, is the best way to handle this task.

No one should be looking at Mr. Sha and his top management team to answer this question - they are the source and not the solution of the problem.

Efforts in DESA reform must not be initiated from within, but from outside.

A special team made up highly qualified and with persons of unimpeachable background should be set up to undertake the important task of DESA reform. A more wholistic assessment of the organization, linking its substantive requirements with its management setting is indeed the need of the hour.

Ban Ki-Moon : the Continuing Saga

The Secretary-General feels unappreciated . But , in the world of politics , this is nothing to write home about . He is probably in good company. Feeling depressed about it , in the position he holds, is a luxury he cann't afford.and ,as for voices telling him that critics are " unfair" , they are giving wrong advice.

Though to be sure some criticism of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon may well be unfair, most of it is certainly not. None but Mr. Ban Ki-Moon is to blame if , in his words, he "tries to lead by example" but hardly anyone follows.Not only at Headquarters but in the world at large, we've often heard it said that he is too much a Secretary and far too little a General. But if the troops don't follow , that may have something to do with the striking disconnect between his word and deed ; not because ,in his own words, he "does not talk too much".

No one will fault the S-G for not making his mark on the world in the spate of only two years. "Changing the world" ,which he promised , talking to senior managers of the UN in Turin , will certainly take longer. What everyone expected ,on the other hand , is is that he would begin the very difficult task of raising the profile and quality of performance of the UN Secretariat.

Let's be frank , Mr. Ban Ki-Moon.The image of the UN has never been so low. To outsiders and insiders alike, the prevalent impression is not that of an agency in single-minded pursuit of what is good for the world, but rather of a bloated , self-serving and inward-looking bureaucracy ; of mandarins competing for privilege and turf.

Slogans , soundbites and spin about accountability ,transparency and professionalism cannot conceal the reality of a United Nations "organized" like "warring kingdoms",where favoritism, corruption and arbitrariness reign. The Secretary-General could make a start by fighting this rampant corruption pandemic , restoring public trust , re-establishing due process , as well as unity of purpose and reintroducing respect for the rule of law.

More than a thousand words , this would raise the morale of the staff who see impunity reign ,the sycophants rewarded and culprits in the higher grades " get away with murder" ; just like this one Director who was allowed to escape with his ill-gotten gains (see Washington Times , June 12 , 2008) . In this particular case , disciplinary charges were pressed a day before the culprit was due to retire.Can anyone pretend that this is serious business ,or that the Secretary -General really means what he says ?

"Changing the UN culture" is not an impossible task.This is exactly what happened in these past 15 years , but it was change for the worse.The surge of graft ,corruption , intimidation, nepotism and power abuse came in the heels of policies brought in by Kofi Annan, in the early 1990s, which strangely Ban Ki-Moon wants to perpetuate.

"Simplify, deregulate , decentralize!" he argues. What in other organizations has proved a valid strategy , in the pluralistic environment of the United Nations has served as the green light to unscrupulous top managers to treat their programs and units as personal domain. Promoting fellow-nationals , awarding phoney contracts ,dispensing favors to nephews or friends and trying to cover up all of the above with " administrative lies " ,in the words of one of the culprits, are some of the dubious practices recorded in detail in the 90-page Report of the Procurement Task Force ( WT ,6/12/08).

In a world of "warring kingdoms" , where every program manager is law unto himself, "simplify , deregulate ,decentralize" have widely been interpreted as the privilege to stall in an attempt to bury an unfavorable report. Finalized some months ago, the report is still not out , but one of the culprit's associates was recently promoted to be an Ethics Adviser ; another telling example of how some program managers interpret " moving faster" .

To stamp out such malpractices , the S-G must indeed lead by example .Not only must he disallow such questionable moves ; he must rein in the culprits and take decisive steps to stop a free for all that damages the reputation of the United Nations and undermines its mission.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Greek Parliament started looking into DESA's project in Thessaloniki and Bertucci's role in miss-management of greek public funds

Response to the Greek Parliament from Ministry of Interiors and Public Administration on DESA's project

In response to the Question (No 1333) presented by the Member of Parliament Ms. Chryssa Arapoglou on the subject of the “Operations of the Office of the United Nations in Thessaloniki by the Honourable Representative for Thessaloniki” we report the following:

In 1999, the Greek Government signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement1 with the United Nations with a view to the establishment of the United Nations Thessaloniki Centre for Public Service Professionalism (UNTC) and the financing of a Trust Fund.
The objectives of the Centre were as follows:

  • [a] to reinforce the role, performance and professionalism, ethical values and standards in the public services of the countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS);
  • [b] to strengthen institutional capacity for public service reform and to enhance professionalism in the countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS;
  • [c] to strengthen the institutions, which contribute to good governance and to combat corruption in the countries of Eastern Europe and the CIS;
  • [d] to promote cooperation for the improvement of the machinery of government, for good governance and social progress among the Member States of Eastern Europe and the CIS;
    [e] to provide a constant flow of information in support of the abovementioned objectives, activities and outcomes; and
  • [f] to promote decentralisation on the basis of the principles of devolution of authority and support for non-governmental organisations which support public service reform.

The creation of the Centre signalled the passage of Greece from a recipient country to being a donor country in the framework of the United Nations Technical Cooperation Programme. It also sought to turn the city of Thessaloniki into the hub of a network for information-sharing on issues which relate to Public Service Reform and for dissemination of relevant Greek know how in the countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe and the CIS. This goal has not been achieved and very few of the objectives of the Centre have been fulfilled because the Centre and the Trust Fund became victims of serious mismanagement on the part of DPADM/DESA2.

This mis¬management of monies of the Trust Fund was not detected immediately, on account of obstruction from the responsible Division (DPADM/DESA) which consistently refused to comply with provisions in the Trust Fund Agreement requiring it to account on economic matters. An intervention was needed, from Mr. Christopher B. Burnham, to set in motion the process of an internal audit and to secure replies, albeit with great delay, to some questions which the responsible Minister of IPAD had asked as early as June 2004, by letter to Mr. Ocampo and Mr. Bertucci, senior officials in charge of the management of the UNTC and the Trust Fund. We are talking, in effect, of a process which was first initiated in 2004 and 2005, but has yet to be completed.

Analytically, we report the following:

The Greek Government, by letter of the Minister of IPAD3, Professor P. Pavlopoulos, requested the conduct of an external audit of the Programme and the Fund. This, the Minister put forward to Mr. Guido Bertucci, Director of DPADM/UNDESA. He repeated the request to Mrs. Inga-Britt Ahlenius, Under-Secretary-General for the OIOS4.

After the passage of several months, an answer was received from the Under¬Secretary-General of the Department of Management Mr. Christopher B. Burnham5. Mr. Burnham expressed regret for this delayed response to the Minister’s request. He added that, after consultations with Mrs. Ahlenius, an internal audit had been launched, which was expected to reach its conclusion towards the end of July.

In the framework of this audit, two Auditors visited Greece during the third week of July. They met with the former professional staff of the UNTC, Dr. Panos Liverakos, Chief Technical Advisor, and Ms. Anne Caroline Tveoy, former Public Administration Officer and Officer-in-Charge. They also met with a member of the responsible Division (D1) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Alexandros Rallis, with the Minister of IPAD and the Secretary-General of the same Department of government. At the close of the working session, the Secretary-General gave the auditors a list of questions6 on which the Government wished to receive detailed replies.

This mismanagement and misuse, have been corroborated by the Under¬Secretary-General Mr. Christopher B. Burnham in a letter which he addressed to the Minister of IPAD7. In this letter, Mr. Burnham briefly referred to the progress of the audit and also thanked the Minister for his cooperation, noting that his insistence had helped to bring to light a number of deficiencies not of the UNTC – this should be stressed - but of the UNDESA Division charged with its supervision, and headquartered in New York.

The deficiencies in question, which the Hellenic Government had repeatedly underscored and brought to the attention of the United Nations, could be summed up as follows:

  • [a] Non-compliance with the terms of the Trust Fund Agreement, as ratified by Parliament on 17 July 20028; specifically:
    - submission of detailed financial data on an annual basis;
    - submission of progress reports on a six-monthly basis;
    - provision of the requisite administrative and technical support (backstopping) to the Programme; and
  • [b] Lack of any consistency and transparency in the actions of the Division (DPADM) tasked with the supervision and management of the Centre.

These rendered it impossible for Centre’s professional staff to implement its Programme and to accomplish goals to which Mr. Bertucci himself had agreed in December 2004 after his consultations with the Minister of IPAD9.

The complete lack of consistency and transparency in the actions of the Division entrusted with the management of the UNTC became abundantly clear during the final months of the Centre’s operation – or to be more precise, deficient operation. Specifically, on 5 December 2005, Mr. Guido Bertucci, Director of DPADM, sent a letter10 to the Minister of IPAD, which announced his intention to close the Centre down on 31 March 2006. This intention, Mr. Bertucci repeated in a letter11 to Ambassador F. Verros, Director of the responsible Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Indeed, in this second letter, Mr. Bertucci confirmed, not only the removal of the UNTC’s Chief Technical Advisor, which had already taken place on 31 December 2005, but also his intention to inform the landlord of the building housing the Centre that he would take all measures in order to surrender the building in due form by 31 March 2006.

However, as stipulated, in a subsequent letter12 of the Secretary-General of IPAD, the Centre did not close on 31 March as stated, but continued to be open though idle for six months, at a monthly cost of US $ 16,000 approximately. The Secretary-General demanded immediate remedial action to put an end to this situation. He added that, if the Centre remained open past 15 October 2006, the corresponding expenditures would burden DPADM exclusively. In response to this ultimatum, the Director, Mr. Bertucci instructed his subordinate to go to Athens immediately and close the Centre down on 31 October 2006.

In addition to lack of transparency, accountability, consultation and cooperation on the part of DPADM (New York), the management of the Centre consistently exemplified obstruction and lack of any continuity in the pursuit of the objectives of the Centre, as well as systematic passing the blame for failures on its successive heads (Chief Technical Advisors), i.e., Mr. Tsekos (2000-2004) and Mr. Liverakos (2004-2005). In retrospect, it is manifest that obstruction was intended to maximize the funds of the Trust Fund and Centre, which would remain available for totally extraneous purposes, which only now belatedly have surfaced: payment of numerous “consultants”, who never produced any output related to the Centre; whose employment did not have either specific goals or outcomes.

The above corroborates the view that the Trust Fund became the victim of very grave mis-management. This view was clearly expressed, at a very early stage, by the Minister of IPAD in a letter13, which requested the return and restitution not merely of the remaining balance of the Trust Fund, but also half the amount (13%), which DPADM received in return for support services. Specifically, the Minister emphasised that, in a period of three years (2 004- 2006), the Centre was operational for barely 18 months.

In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasise the following:

  • [a]From the very early start and assumption of his duties in March 2004, the Minister of IPAD despatched repeated messages to the responsible agency requesting the submission of the mandated reports together with details on assets and expenditures of the Centre14;
  • [b]The Director of DPADM, Mr. Bertucci consistently refused to account, as he was required under the terms of the Trust Fund Agreement. Indeed, he falsely claimed – in his letter of 5 December 2005 – that an audit could not be conducted. He further “threatened” closure of the Centre, by 31 March 2006. As stated, however, this closure did not take place in fact until six months later and only after despatch of an ultimatum by the Secretary-General of the Ministry of IPAD, Mr. Vassilios Andronopoulos;
  • [c]The claim to restitution remains in force. It demonstrates the country’s firm commitment to recovering the amounts which correspond to funds that were embezzled for reasons unrelated to the Centre, or money paid in return for support services which the Centre did not receive;
  • [d]Lastly, as might be expected for any further action, we shall await the outcomes of the audit, which the responsible Department of the United Nations is currently concluding.

Thursday, 18 September 2008


To: H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
     United Nations

Cc: H.E. Mr. Sha Zukang
     Department Economic and Social Affairs
     United Nations

Cc: Mr. Robert Benson
     Director Ethics Office
     United Nations Secretariat

Cc: Mr. Stephen Kisambira
     United Nations Staff Union

Date: September 18, 2008

Subject: Questions regarding Elia Yi Armstrong 

With latest changes back-and-forth Ms. Armstrong's curriculum  vitae  raises  more  questions  than  it  answers regarding  her profile ; specifically  :
a) She  presents  herself  as " Project  Coordinator  for  Economic and Social affairs" Concretely  ,  what  projects has  she in mind since,  under  the sub-title  Profile , she states  that she " has been  working  as a public administration  Consultant  and Adviser at  the  United Nations..." ?
b) Has she been a Coordinator or  a Consultant  /Adviser in  UNDESA;  have  her duties, in other  words, been  chiefly  managerial or chiefly  advisory ?
c)  In either case, what credentials  (academic degrees, publications, tested high-level experience over  a period  of  years ) is she able to produce as proof of preparation for either of these roles :
  • Has  she earned  an  advanced degree  in Public  Administration ,from a  recognized  University?
  • Other  than  a BA degree  in  Social  Work ,from  the University of  British Columbia ,  and a one-year  course at  the Masters'degree level, at the  LSE ( UK), in the field  of  social policy  and  planning , what proof of  in-depth study and research in either Economics or Social Affairs is she able to produce?
  • Did  she  actually  attend  graduate courses at the LSE ? How could she be  concurrently  in full-time attendance of courses  towards a Master's degree in London and working as "legislative aide at State Senator Marovitz's Office in Chicago", from 1989 to 1990 (see :Experience ) ?
d)  Where does she base  her claim of Specialization in public sector ethics? Specifically:
  • Other  than  a brief  stint   (1995-1996) as Management  Trainee in the Privy Council  Office of the Government  of Canada, with  few-month secondment  to  the OECD, what practical experience in  public sector management did she bring to UNDESA, which she joined in 1997 ?
  • Other than  the few months  that she  spent in the newly established UN Secretariat - Ethics Office, of the Department of Management in the UN  Secretariat, what practical experience ,  substantive knowledge and skills  in  the complex  field  of Ethics  did she bring  back  to DESA in 2006  or the UNDP,  which she  has recently joined  as Head  of  the Ethics  Office ?
  • Did she act  as an "ethics  adviser " or as a program manager in the  office of the Director  of DPADM ,from  2006 to 2008; what role or part, if any did she play in the conduct of the in-depth investigation of the scandal-riddden division of DPADM, by the OIOS/PTF ?
  • Given the senior level of her present post as head of the Ethics Office of the UNDP, is it  fair  to  ask what serious proof of competence in Ethics she can produce to substantiate her claim to this high-level position ?..Has  she  an advanced  degree in either Law/Ethics or  in Political Science ? Has she  published, in scholarly journals or in UN reports, articles that would prove that she  commands deep kowledge of the issues  that  are  involved ;
  • Other than "teaching  a  mini-course  on  Accountability, as  an  Adjunct  Instructor ,at Columbia  University" - where her husband teaches, has she demonstrable  skills in communicating  knowledge and understanding of Ethics, as required of the Head of a major Ethics Office?
e) Given the very  short  span in  which Elia  Armstrong  has  moved from junior -level officer  or consultant  in UNDESA to a very senior post in a highly sensitive area of the UNDP,  is it  fair to  ask whether  her  meteoric  rise , in  the past  two  years  especially, has  a lot  to do with her Korean origin and marriage to  a Professor of Korean History  at Columbia  University  and correspondingly little to do with substantive qualifications, at least as demonstrated  by  her clearly  skimpy  resume ?

f) Last but not least, under affiliation in her CV, Ms. Amstrong states that she was/is a "Fellow" with International Institute for Public Ethics. Can you please confirm or deny this statement? 

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

UNPAN changes again the CV of Ms. Elia Yi. Armstrong - adding dates/events and making it even more suspicious than before

Big changes over night in UNPAN webpage !

The korean mafia of 38th floor seem to have contacted and managed to oblige Ms. Haiyan Qian (China), current OIC of DPADM and Chair of UNPAN - to "improve" the Curriculum of the Korean citizen Ms. Elia Armstrong adding into the EDUCATION section the following:

1984 - English Instructor Yonsei/Jilin Universities, Changchun, China (Click here to see in UNPAN) or here (if UNPAN deletes it again)

On the 8th of September when we published our story about the discrepancies of Armstrong's  CV, this element in her EDUCATION section was missing. (click here to see our story of 8th of September 2008)

Cought by panic, the change instead of "improving" the CV, raise even further questions of Ms. Armstrong persona, her real life career and experience.  

This Korean citizen should make up her mind, and chose either she was a Teacher (teaching English) or a Student (studying English) in Yonsei/Jilin Universities in Changchun - China. The question though would be: - why would she go to China to learn how to be an English teacher? 



1984 - English Instructor Yonsei/Jilin Universities, Changchun, China

1984 - 1987   English Instructor, Yonsei/Jilin Universities, Changchun, China

Meanwhile, sources report that the HR file (consultancy) of korean citizen Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong has disappear from the file cabinet of the office of Mr. Furio De Tomassi. No one seem to know where her personnel folder, with her initial contracts and her initial CV is anymore.

Based on the above DESA staff  have the right to ask: 
  • Who is Elia Yi Armstrong ? 
  • Is she for real ? 
  • Does her past qualifies her as a D1 - Ethical Director at UNDP?

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

UN "Watchdog" Caught Diverting Funds

This one gets filed under "why am I not surprised" Guido Bertucci, director of the U.N. Division for Public Administration and Development Management (the UN's Good Governance division) diverted funds donated by the Greek government to improperly pay contractors and mismanaged a $2.8 million trust fund meant to foster transparency and accountability. This is just another example of how the United Nations is Corrupt both Morally and fiscally. Ladies and gentlemen your tax dollars at work. More on the story (click here)

Monday, 8 September 2008


Millions of dollars in fraud and embezzlement on a global scale. The UN-DESA's DPADM, formed to “save public administration and good governance around the world,” has instead become more like a movie that is too graphic to show our children.

In the last 5 years, the reputation of the UN-DESA has been shredded by allegations of kickbacks, hundreds of thousand of dollars in graft in the Bertucci scandal, the miss-management and corruption in Associated Expert Programme, and a total lack of accountability.

We hope Mr. Sha that you know that it’s time for serious reform, for serious change.

The OIOS and Procurement Task Force report on Guido Bertucci scandal, which was finally released at the end of June 2008, is still being kept by USG-DESA office without any proper feedback to the Greek Government and OIOS. Criticizing the UN-DESA and specifically DPADM from top to bottom, the language of the report was crystal clear: “The inescapable conclusion from the OIOS’s work” is that the UN-DESA “needs thorough reform—and it needs it urgently.” We will see exactly how serious the lapses in judgment were at every level.

We question ourselves how did things go so terribly askew? What’s wrong with the UN-DESA?

Guido Bertucci Scandal: - As the OIOS investigated Greek Project, it uncovered another, related scandal.

Guido Bertucci, was miss-managing and abusing UN-DESA funds and projects to pay friends and family relatives.

This fourth OIOS report into DESA/DPAM operations, ended up fingerpointing Guido Bertucci, Jose Manuel Sucre and John Mary Kauzya on miss-management, and gross-negligence. The report asked the Secretary General to have Guido Bertucci reimburse at least 35,000 USD from his Pension/Salary to the UN.

But if Guido Bertucci and Jose Manuel Sucre, with the collaboration of Catherine Pelluso and Furio De Tomassi, are responsible for 35,000 USD in one single project, how much would they be responsble towards 281 projects that Guido Bertucci's shop managed during the past years?

Guido Bertucci didn't pay himslef his friends or family relatives. He was better than that. All payments and contracts were generated from the Techincal Cooperation Division headed from Marie Oveissi ( a former G - who became a P and than a D), and all contracts were cleared from Catherine Pelluso (another former G - who became a P and a D) of the Executive Office prior to execution and disbursement.

The biggest problem with this scandal is its scope: The Technical Cooepration department touches every program at the UN-DESA (it is through procurement contracts of services and goods that the UN-DESA spends the billions of dollars its members contribute). These men and woman specifically wielded a lot of influence. Line items in the UN-DESA budget were judged by Patrizio Civili and signed from Catherine Pelluso. Guido Bertucci worked in the UN for over over 30 years and dealt with contractors in Africa, Asia and the Middle East—all over the world.

This report is only the beginning of series of OIOS reviews that have initiated. But what's more important, Member states are now worried of what's really going on inside UN-DESA, and the current management ability to promote substantial and qualitative change.

In the report, which was based on more than 12000 document/emails, the OIOS speak about the UN-DESA’s reputation and the connection with its ability to function effectively: “At stake is the United Nations’ ability to respond promptly and effectively to the responsibilities thrust upon it by the member states. In the last analysis, that ability rests upon the organization’s credibility—on maintaining a widely held perception among member states of its competence, honesty and accountability".

“It is precisely those qualities that too often were absent in the administration of the DPADM and ultimately at the 23rd floor.”

This scandal happened under USG Ocampo’s watch. But most importantly was micromanaged by Patrizio Civili who had a direct interest vetted inside DPADM, and why not he was following the directives from a specific country to undermine another.

The scandals discussed here are the UN-DESA at its worst; but any honest analysis shows that the United Nations's Department of Economic and Social Affairs was a failure even without the “Guido Bertucci” scandal or the Associate Expert scandal from Technical Cooperation Division.

What went wrong ?

Men acted according to their own human nature. Patrizio Civili acted according to his interests; Catherine Pelluso acted according to her interests, Guido Bertucci acted according to his interests, Furio De Tomassi acted according to his interests, Elia Armstrong acted according to her interests; and friends and family members were looking for profit. Rather than following God’s way of love—of out-flowing concern—these men/woman were looking out for number one—themselves!

Jeremiah 17:9 tells us the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Greed affects every level of society. Even when we see an organization that should embody ethics, morality, and the highest standard of human virtue as an example to the entire world, we see instead a perfect depiction of human nature at its worst. Instead of a godly, righteous institution, we see a carnal one.

Rather than effective management at the top, the UN-DESA has had no true leadership (so far). DESA's USG (Desai/Ocampo) have proven both that they were not up to the task and that they were unwilling to step down—or even to replace those beneath them when they fail.

YES the answer is YES, Mr. Sha.......We need change NOW !!!!!

USG Sha's reforms under way: major cuts on DPADM mandates

one of the so-called flagship products of corrupt Italian manager - Guido Bertucci, during his tenure at UN-DESA, was the Global Forum.

We learned that now the office of USG Sha Zukang, has decided to reform DPADM and refocus its mandate along with straightening up its objectives and expected results.

One area that will be suffering from the reform will be the discontinuing of the Global Forum. Staffers at 23rd floor, who doesn't want to identify themselves are already talking about substantial cuts in DPADM, as well as re-shuffling of its offices/brunches.

An official request from EO has been sent to OHRM across the street to request that two posts (D1 + D2) currently with DPADM be shift at the Executive Office of USG Sha.

Meanwhile, at DPADM the residual clan of Bertucci, are trying hard to counter-power Qian (OIC) and manage to bring inside the DPADM, Italian staffers who should protect the interests of the outgoing Director.

It's a real shame though that while USG Sha tries hard to bring some needed changes inside DESA, Catherine Pelluso and Furio De Tomassi, are instead in hurry approving extension of contracts for Bertucci's people.

Reform DESA call upon all the staff inside DESA to report and raise their voices against these corrupt activities of Catherine Pelluso and Furio De tomassi, there cannot be any reform inside DESA if we are not able to clean-up DESA from the corrupt, ignorant and totally unprofessional staffers that Guido Bertucci, Patrizio Civili, Catherine Pelluso and Furio De Tomassi have put in place.

We should bring back to DESA the good name, and quality people who are capable to provide substantial qualitative advise to governments and members states around the world.

Friday, 5 September 2008

UN-DESA's "talent scout" expert

Furio De Tomassi, is the talent scouting expert of the future UN Managers. As head of Human resources for Technical Cooperation Unit, since 1992 he has been the man behind the scenes of the so called "Associate Experts Programme" (AEP). 

AEP was suppose to offer young professionals who are graduates from universities or institutions of higher education an opportunity to acquire professional experience in the technical cooperation of the United Nations Secretariat.

During the years AEP was responsible for bringing in "experts" who may have had limited or no professional experience. This is not actually a problem, since it is foreseen under the MoU's that UN-DESA has with many countries. These experts were/are suppose to work and acquire expertise/knowledge and practices in development projects or regional projects or regional activities within the UN's wide fields of competence.

AEP Experts are provided by the eighteen governments that participate in the Associate Experts Programme (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom).

The rules says that AE's (Associate Experts) should have been generally nationals of these countries. Some of these countries, however, agree to finance nationals of developing countries, particularly of least developed countries, as associate experts.

But how did Mr. Furio De Tomassi performed during these years? Have he ever broken the rules on AEs? When and How?

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Ban Ki-Moon : and..... the buck stops..... where?

" In Turin , at a meeting of Chief Executive Officers of UN Funds, the Secretary-General addressed the need for "change".

"People forget" , he argued , that "we are here to act. We are here to deliver results. We are the agents of change". Specifically, he added:- " Our job is to change the UN -and through it, the world." Not a small job, you would say. But how is the SG going about this task?

The SG feels "frustrated "; frustrated by "micro-management " in the UN Secretariat and by "resistance to change". For this, part of the blame, he traces back to governments of Member States; part to his senior managers, who are in cohoots with the very same governments.

Frankly , the time has come for the SG to accept his own share of the blame. He should remember Truman who, proudly in his Office, displayed the sign: - "The Buck Stops Here". Likewise, with the SG, it stops on the 38th floor.

The UN needs a leader. "I tried to lead by example" Mr. Ban Ki-Moon lamented, but "Nobody followed". He needs to be reminded that no one is a leader until his example is followed; and it is followed only when he has made it clear that he means what he says. This is hardly, one might add, the impression senior managers at the UN have formed of Mr.Ban Ki-Moon.

Actions speak louder than words; and lack of action likewise. More than a year ago, on August 27th, the Council of Representatives of all the UN staff passed a landmark resolution drawing the SG's attention to the "culture of impunity" , rampant in the upper echelons of the Organization. It called on the SG to put his house in order.

However, one year later, has anything changed ? Hardly.

Talking of "micro-management", Past Master of the art, Director Guido Bertucci, Head of DPADM--now better known, in jest as the "good governance division" --was allowed to retire with full honors, although he stood accused of maladministration as well as gross mismanagement by three successive audits between 2003 and 2007.

Among the latest charges leveled against Bertucci --which were leaked to the Press (Washigton Times- June 12th 2008) was blatant obstruction of justice by Bertucci and his entourage. Plainly stated the Director and his close associates refused to cooperate with the Investigation and sat on the report, which had been sent for comments--until it was too late...When the SG, under pressure, remanded Mr .Bertucci for disciplinary action, it was-too late. Bertucci-was retiring on July 31st, and could no longer be touched. His acolytes remain. Two also stand accused with their departed boss. A third, however, who served in the Director's Office, as his "right hand" and probably colluded in his protracted obstruction, was recently promoted to be --no I am not joking -- the new Ethics Director (D1) of the UNDP (Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong).

Worse still for Mr. Moon, the Officer in question is of his nationality.

The Secretary--General may want to impress the world with his "philosophy of life"; with statements like "giving is gaining". But if he allows examples like these to multiply and culprits like Bertucci to run away with their ill-gotten gains , the Secretary-General might well kiss "change" good-bye.