Thursday, 29 January 2009

The United States Mission to the UN posts in its website Internal and Confidential Reports on DESA Corruption

While DESA management remain silent about its internal corruption, finally member states are waking up and making their voice heard. The United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN) has now posted in their website internal confidential reports on UN-DESA corruption.

The continuing ear-infection of Sha Zukang and his two ASG's leave honest staff no other options but to contact available member states and inform them on developments inside DESA and provide them with internal documentation in order to open their eyes and allow them to have a transparent look inside DESA's "high society" and it's "pay for play" modus operandi.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Korean-isation and Chinas-ation of United Nations

In this photo you can see how valuable is Lyn Pascoe (Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs) to Ban Ki-Moon. 

One cannot even realize who is the Secretary General? Is it Kim Won-so or Ban Ki-moon ?

WHAT A CARNIVAL !! This would never happen under Kofi Annan.


maybe the world should finally decide and nominate Kim Won-so in the post of Secretary General, and send the current charlatan and parrot home in Seoul, at least we would have to deal with the real "power man" instead of a fake SG.

DESA's Seoul Center plunged into scandals

During a recent visit of Ban Ki-Moon in Seoul, South Korea (July 3, 2008) he stated that his purpose of visit to Korea was to encourage Korean government to contribute more to international community, and underlined importance of further active roles of UN Family in Korea will get essential. 

At the end of his meeting in Seoul, little Ban would know that he was about to take a happy family photo with a rather disturbing and scandal embroiled branch of his own organization - called : United Nations Governance Centre (UNGC - http://www.ungc.org/)

Click in the picture for larger image

To be fair to Ban Ki-moon, UNGC was established on June 23, 2006, almost six months before Ban Ki-moon was appointed Secretary General. Eventhough the timing and selection of Seoul as the center of good governance for Asia would have left many in the region skeptical and think that it was just a move of South Korean government to strengthen their "candidacy" for the post of Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon was running for SG job at time of announcement).

In the agreement reached between DESA and GoSK (Government of South Korea), the goal of the United Nations Governance Centre (UNGC) is to act as an international and regional focal point for research, training and advocacy in government reinvention, and its functions will be oriented towards addressing information requirements of public officials, civil society, and the private sector. In the initial stages, UNGC would focus on e-government, government innovation, citizen participation, and public ethics in terms of research, capacity development, consulting and support activities.

on the opening day

All the above looked "very promising" if DESA ought to entrust the centre to anyone else other than Guido Bertucci, John Mary Kauzya and Elia Armstrong, who as usual would corrupt anything they would touch and manage on their way.

A very recent secret report from DESA's Executive Office details a massive abuse of power, UN immunities - including abuse with tax-deduction and other UN perks for SK Government officials as well as corrupt procurement practices and commitment of funds without any procedural approval from HQs.

While many at 23rd floor are "committed to secrecy on Seoul center" due to "sensitivity" it bears from Ban Ki-Moon being a south korean, the scandal has now become a heavy one, that even ASG Jomo has admitted that the center should be "shut down, or if it should continue it should not under DESA's flag".

With UNGC being the second scandal of DESA's centers in the world (UNTC - Thessaloniki Centre was the first one) now we wonder what would be the status of other centers of DESA ?


John Mary Kauzya and Catherine Pelluso have shortlisted Elia Yi Armstrong as replacement of Adil Khan

a shocking rumor is going thru the halls of UN-DESA. John Mary Kauzya and Catherine Pelluso have shortlisted the candidates that would allegedly take over the post of Head of Economic Branch - (former Adil Khan).

is absolutely amazing to even think that a more unqualified, ignorant, corrupt and un-ethical person to be shortlisted for this post. But hey, when UN-DESA has no other but John Mary Kauzya, who is under investigation for fraud, miss-management and gross-negligence conduct, to shortlist the future head of the Economic branch, this is the lowest level DESA has reached in years.

the fact that this korean lady can't stay longer at UNDP, tells a lot about her caliber and qualities.

Look at her CV (here)

What a shame !

At UN's DESA, Still No Accountability for Faked Work of Greek Center, New Chief Says

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, November 28 -- The new head of the UN's Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sha Zukang, spoke for his first time to the UN press corps on Wednesday. He addressed it head-on, saying he has been called "bad-tempered... aggressive, emotional and tough." It is "all true in a way," he said. "I hope you like me. If not, I don't mind." He added, "I am incapable of not saying what I think." Here's hoping.

            Inner City Press asked for an update on the Office of Internal Oversight Services investigations of DESA: Guido Bertucci, the Thessaloniki Center for "Public Service Professionalism," and consultants' contracts. Sha Zukang pulled out a piece of paper and read out from it. "My colleague provided this, anticipating some questions from you," he said. "Don't ask further questions, I don't know the details."

            In sum, OIOS released its audit of the Thessaloniki Center on August 2, 2007. While Sha Zukang said that DESA has fully implemented Recommendations 3 and 4, and part of the first recommendation, it is significant to consider the one still unacted upon:

"The Department should establish accountability for the inefficient use of consultants, including the irregular sign-off of a consultant's contract indicating that deliverables had been provided when no such deliverables had actually been received."

            This is as good a definition of corruption as any. But where is the accountability? Sha Zukang said to wait for the end of the year. One month remains. The OIOS report, A/62/176, also says that "[i]n its response to the draft audit report, the Department did not accept responsibility for the failure of the project. In addition, the Department rejected three of the four recommendations made by OIOS." Sha Zukang pointed out that the "OIOS investigative taskforce" did reach a finding of "no inappropriate conduct" with regard to one consultant, Catherine Elizabeth Gazzoli. Good for her. As to the rest of the investigation, Sha Zukang said it is still pending, with "no available timeline for completion." Typical OIOS.


Sha Zukang at WEF, Thomas Friedman not shown

            DESA's Johan Scholvinck answered Inner City Press' question about the report being launched, on the "World Social Situation 2007." Scholvinck said that DESA is an "analytical" body, without much of an "operational" side (which may be a blessing, see above), and that DESA does not try to overlap with the International Labor Organization. Rather, DESA works with the ILO, as well as with the World Bank, on such issues as youth employment.

            DESA has an implicit recommendation for the World Food Program, tucked into the report on page 140:

"the World Food Programme (WFP) has been a major driver of food-for-work schemes... those engaged in what is often onerous labor end up burning more calories than are gained."

            How or if WFP chief Josette Sheeran Shiner will respond is not yet clear. She has yet to speak to the UN Headquarters press corps.

            Wednesday, Sha Zukang recited the litany of issues on which DESA works, and said that since he assumed his post on July 1, he has been trying to focus more on the central mandate, "development for all." He said, twice, "it is a lot of work," adding ""without much outcome or productivity." Inner City Press welcomed him -- such candor is rare at UN Headquarters. Here's hoping.

* * *

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNetpiece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

  Because a number of Inner City Press' UN sources go out of their way to express commitment to serving the poor, and while it should be unnecessary, Inner City Press is compelled to conclude this installment in a necessarily-ongoing series by saluting the stated goals of the UN agencies and many of their staff. Keep those cards, letters and emails coming, and phone calls too, we apologize for any phone tag, but please continue trying, and keep the information flowing.

Feedback: Editorial [at] innercitypress.com

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

Did Elia Yi Armstrong misrepresented her credential at UN-DESA ?

The former Ethics Senior Advisor at UN-DESA / DPADM, and current Director of Ethics Office at UNDP, is the real thing (or not?).


But let's examine her real CV (see herein attached from UNPAN)

Experience

Education

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

1985 - Associate (Piano pedagogy) Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto, Canada

1989-1990 Legislative Aide, State Senator William Maravitz's Office, Chicago, USA

1989 - Master of Science (social policy and planning in developing countries), London School of economics, UK


This woman seem to have been at the same time in two different places almost 8000 Miles distant. 



Friday, 23 January 2009

Furio De Tomassi illegally shortlisted and selected Adriana Alberti as Italian Associate Expert

Adriana Alberti, a New Jersey born, was illegally selected and hired as Italian Associate Expert from Furio De Tomassi. 

Is outrageous to even think that a person with such a controversial CV (click here for our story) that has paid no taxes in Italy during her entire life be selected and deprive a real italian from being selected for this job. But it seem that for Mr. De Tomassi and Catherine Pelluso rules do not apply. This fake italian made it to New York, as an "Italian Associate Expert".

Only to find out that 18 months later she had to resign and be expelled from the DESA's Associate Experts Programme for not declaring and paying US Taxes. The scandal at that time was again kept under the radar of everyone, thanks to Catherine Pelluso and Marie Oveisi who bent over to Bertucci and De Tomassi and arranged with the UN Tax Unit that Alberti pay all accumulated taxes. Today all the above has been doctored from the file of Alberti at Oveissi's office.

But Alberti was made to work for her uncle, and therefore only few months passed from the above scandal until her return - this time from the "window" when De Tomassi again, hired her as a Consultant under a Regional Italian Project at DPADM/DESA. She would never undergo any selection or proper HR scrutiny.

Today Alberti is a "respected" Senior Advisor in DESA's Governance Division. There is a problem though. This fake ITALIAN continue to be in the system as ITALIAN. She declares and receives International benefits, even-though she is a US citizen and finally pays US taxes (not even a dime in Italian taxes). 

Furio De Tommassi and Catherine Pelluso are the direct responsible for allowing this US citizen to collect $189,000 US Dollars in International Benefits (so far) when she should have been hired as a local consultant and/or expert. 

Mr. Sha Zukang should call the UN Tax Unit and take the files of Alberti of her years as Associate Expert where she was obliged to pay all accumulated taxes and was expelled for lying to UN and not disclosing her being a US citizen.

Mr. Sha Zukang should initiate an investigation into the hiring and retaining of the services of Adriana Alberti and other so-called Italian Associate Experts who currently work for DESA/DPADM and the way they made it thru the system.

Mr. Sha Zukang should make public the finding of his investigation and held responsible those managers who acted against the rules and regulations of the UN system.

The staff of UNDESA deserve to know what is going on. 

Friday, 16 January 2009

Chinese Department of Economic and Social Affairs



Under Secretary General for DESA:
Sha Zukang (Chinese)

Chief of Office of USG for DESA:
Juwang Zhu (Chinese)

Special Assistant to USG for DESA:
Jian Tan (Chinese)


Director of Division of Public Administration and Development Management:
Haiyan Qian (Chinese)


Wednesday, 14 January 2009

OIOS Risk Assessment Report on UN-DESA

On June 10th 2008, the Internal Audit Division of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) of the UN Secretariat reported to Sha Zukang with a detailed report on management risks at DESA. (Click on the picture)
Dagfinn Knutsen, Director of Internal Audit sent the report (Audit File# 08-01411 and Assignment Nr# AN2007/540/01) to DESA's USG asking Mr. Zukang to properly evaluate and take into account the risk assessment of DESA and ensure that appropriate risk mitigation measures are in place.

Our blog wanted to post the attached Audit already back in July, but we thought that by giving some times to Sha Zukang he would have done the right thing. Well - as ll know he failed miserably to do the right thing, and his administration has resulted as corrupt and colluded as those of Desai and Ocampo.

We ask DESA staff to read the report, learn from it and ask explanations from your supervisors as to what have they done so far to implement the report.

We will continue to bring to you the entire internal-secret reviews, audits and management decisions on DESA. Only by making it transparent and public our mistakes we will be able to eradicate once and for all the internal corruption of Catherine Pelluso, Marie Oveissi, Furio De Tomassi, Guido Bertucci, Elia Armstrong, and many others (soon to come).

Enjoy it....

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Bogus project with two fake CTA's in New York and no one working in the center

Today we will visit a bogus project, totally fake and inexistent with a fake website and no products, but that pays well and keeps two CTA's at Headquarters in New York, while nothing exists on the ground.

http://www.unpan.org/innovmed/index.asp

Within the framework of United Nations’ efforts to promote economic and social development, the Programme for Innovation in Public Administration in the Euro-Mediterranean region has been established to assist interested governments in improving their governance and public administration systems and to provide policy makers, experts and citizens in general with relevant regional knowledge and information on governance.

Who implements the Programme?

The Programme is implemented by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, through its Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM), with the support of Formez – Training and Research Centre based in Rome, with branches in Naples (Arco Felice) and Cagliari, Italy. It has been launched in mid 2003.

Who funds the Programme?

The Programme is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Italy through Funds in Trust to UNDESA.


From the above one would think that this "huge" project funded with Italian Taxpayers money, have huge offices and thousands of activities on the ground. Well hold your thought, the project is composed by the following staff:


 


Adriana AlbertiChief Technical Adviser 
Programme on Innovation in Public Administration in the Euro-Mediterranean Region 
Governance and Public Administration Branch 
Division for Public Administration and Development Management 
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
Email: 
alberti@un.org
Phone: 212-963-2299




 


Laila Fala, Governance Specialist 
Programme on Innovation in Public Administration in the Euro-Mediterranean Region 
Governance and Public Administration Branch 
Division for Public Administration and Development Management 
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
Email: 
falal@un.org
Phone: 917-367-5012



Yes both of them in New York, implementing and "running" an inter-regional project from the 17th floor of DC2 building...... But why be so mean and not trust them - give them the benefit of the doubt? Let's review together  the above mentioned website, maybe they really did what they say they did.....

WHAT'S NEW?

Upsss - There is nothing new (Click here

REGIONAL INFORMATION ON GOVERNANCE?

Upsss - a blind copy of CIA country profile with UNDP links (Click here)

INNOVATORS NETWORKS? 

Upps - words but there are not networks - the links are bogus and lead you no-where...(Click here

BEST PRACTICES?

please don't even go there - is like buying a designer bag in Naples - its so fake and empty and lead to no where.. (click here

PILOT PROJECTS?

Uppsss...after 5 years there are not pilot projects....(Click here

If you happen to go to Naples in Italy among many things they sell for turists are some typic metal box-es beautifully hand-painted - with script - "THE BOX CONTAINS AIR FROM SORRENTO"......

Well it seems that Guido Bertucci, Adriana Alberti and some other unknown elements have been selling .....well ......PURE AIR...... to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Meanwhile the two ladies in New York who are supposed to maintain the above AIR-BOX receive the following remunerations:

Adriana Alberti (P5)

annual Salary After deductions: US$121,774.31
monthly Salary After deductions: US$ 10,147.86

Laila Fala (L4)

annual Salary After deductions: US$108,857.80
monthly Salary After deductions: US$ 9,071.48

And the kids in Gaza continue to die waiting for United Nations to save them...........

Monday, 12 January 2009

Stelzer lost......

anyone seen Thomas Stelzer?



Someone should remind the guy that he works for the UN-DESA in New York, and there are no UN-DESA offices in Vienna or other countries in the world. 

You should come back Mr. Stelzer, and dedicate your time to real policy coordination, for which you are selected and paid for. Stop spending DESA's and world tax-payers money on first class travel. If you wanted to travel this much, than you should have asked for the World Tourism Organization in Barcelona and not DESA. 

Sunday, 11 January 2009

UN-DESA fails to implement mobility, while 70% of its Managerial force is expected to retire - there is a total lack of succession planning

Our dear leader Ban Ki-moon in his address to General Assembly on September 23, 2008, said:

In closing, let me briefly return to the theme of my address to you last year – a stronger UN for a better world. The foundation of all our work is accountability. The UN Secretariat, including myself, is accountable to you, the Member States. And that is why I push so hard, so strongly for UN reform.

We need to change the UN culture. We need to become faster, more flexible and more effective and more modern. In the coming weeks, I will ask you, the Member States, to support my proposals for a new human resources framework. We need to replace our current system of contracts and conditions of service. It is dysfunctional. It is demoralizing. It discourages mobility between UN departments and the field. It promotes stagnation, rather than creativity. It undercuts our most precious resource – the global, dedicated corps of international civil servants that is the backbone of the United Nations.


But at United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), our management composed by:

  • USG- Sha Zukang - Arm Expert;
  • ASG- Jomo Kwame Sundaram - the only Economist;
  • ASG- Thomas Stelzer - former President of Klangforum Wien, a leading ensemble for contemporary classical music;
have still to initiate an internal assessment and implementation of Ban's plans.

All these three gentlemen have been on the job at minimum one year (Stelzer - Feb 08). They need to initiate immediately an assessment of the age structure of the staff across in DESA, to assess the overall dimensions of the average ageing of staff and its impact on human resources management policies, including succession planning, and its financial implications, with a special emphasis on the Professional staff.

All the reports that come from Catherine Pelluso's office provide only general statistics on gender, geographical distribution and the basic demographic profile of staff. Most reports do not pay sufficient attention to age-related issues, lack analytical details about the consequences of the existing age structure, and do not call the attention of Senior Management in DESA and OHRM at Secretariat to the likely impact of the age structure. Often these reports are submitted either for the purposes of "information" or "taking note of" and rarely contain proposals to address age-related issues which are about to engulf Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA).

Both Catherine Pelluso and TCMS's Marie Oveissi are totally ignorant of what a Succession planning tool mean and how that affect the work of the department. For Pelluso and the entire Executive Office at DESA, "succession planning" is done as part of vacancy management, and in most cases it does not go beyond filling vacancies. Instead Sha Zukang should invest in a professional Human Resource Specialist within Executive Office - who should follow professionally the HR strategies and age structure of DESA against the particular mandate and objectives to be accomplished our Department.

Good and fresh example is that of Director of DPADM - instead of being prepared for Guido Bertucci's retirement (and failing to collect the $34,000 as established by OIOS Investigation and requested by Ban Ki-moon), DESA's EO failed to have in place a succession plan and thus being ready to replace both Bertucci (D2) and Khan(D1) right after their departure in July 2008. The lack of such detailed planning led to a leadership gap and a total chaos for the work of the division for the past nine months.

Lack of a coherent HR planning in DESA leads to major implications for a real succession and in endless process of replacing those who retire. While many now believe that such practices are "man maid" - whereby corrupt managers make "deals" with Executive Office (EO) in order to either remain in their positions post-retirement date, or micro-manage the vacancy and replacement process to ensure "continuity".

We will continue to talk about these problems..........

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Eight months to appoint replacements for D2 (DPADM) and D1 (SEGMB)

the process of replacing Gudio Bertucci the former D2-Director of DPADM and Adil Khan the outgoing D1-Chief of SEGMB, has been anything but transparent and accountable. 

In the case of D1-Chief of SEGMB, since the beginning the process has been tainted with mismanagement of applications and proper shortlisting. Sources very familiar with the Executive Office of Sha Zukang tell us that until recently the panel had to interview and review "late comers" to the process, who have been entering thru the "back-door" and were not shortlisted with the first pile of applicants back in July-August 2008. 

Sources very familiar to the process say that until late October at least 4 shortlisted candidates were still standing and were presented to Sha Zukang. But that list suddenly changed a week before USG's departure to Doha with the addition of another "extra one", and soon after removal of two.

"Justice delayed is justice denied" says a person familiar with OHRM rules and regulations. The source says that such delays only prove the inability, unprofessionalism and unethical behavior of DESA's current management, thus allowing major doubts over the entire process. 

If Sha Zukang, Rob Vos and Hayian Qian would have followed the rules of the game, they should have re-advertised by now twice the post, for failure to find qualified applicants to fit the job in the first bunch. But keeping and holding for 8 months same initial bunch of applicants and adding to the group without proper screening process it only adds up to the already bad image of the Department. 

The source says that whatever decision the Panel took again "very recently" it would be better if they publish now the whole list of applicants and transparently explain their choice and ratings. Otherwise many at Executive Office have seen the correspondence between the Panel-USG-OHRM-CRB-USG, and if those exchanges out to be made public, it might result into another blow for DESA's management as well as to another "tainted post" which would soon after may become disputed and subject to OIOS further investigations. 

While other UN funds and programmes have increased enormously their transparency and becoming more and more accountable, DESA continues to run as a 1800' - feudal organization. How can you expect member states to trust the Economic and Social Affairs Department of the UN, when we never follow what we preach to others?

Your reputation is at stake here Mr. Zukang as well as that of your two ASGs. How ethically and transparently you will handle the replacement of Guido Bertucci and Adil Khan (and some others) will affect our trust in you.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Anectodes and observations

Accountability?           "Ideally the UN, foreshadowing a future world government, ought to be run by a global meritocracy -- rule by the best.  In practice, it is the opposite. Any state that can be legally defined as one can join the UN -- it is a club having no rules of probity or morals. …  The result is failure and graft.  UN officials are not answerable to bodies like Congress or the U.K.'s Parliament, which would be sure to track down, expose and punish gross abuses and manifest failures.  No senior UN official has ever gone to jail.  It's rare for anyone to be sacked or removed.  The top brass resist any kind of investigation, on principle.  The oil-for-food inquiry is unique in that it has taken place at all and seems to be garnering results.  But will any punishment be meted out?  Will any serious reforms be pushed through?  Of course not. …"

Paul Johnson, "The UN is for talk, not actions," Forbes (US), March 14, 2005.

                                                                                                           

 

Accountability’s importance, then and now        “[A free people has] an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge,  I mean, of the character and conduct of its rulers.”

                                    John Adams, second American president, 1797-1801

 

“Adams had in mind the ministers of the British crown in the reign of King George III, and presumably he knew that the knowledge  in question was interactive, moving mostly in the direction of the man being discovered as a thief but also toward the man afraid of finding out that he’s been robbed.”

                                                Lewis Lapham, “Uncle Sam”, Harpers’ Magazine (US), January 2007, pp. 7-9.



Latest rumors on Replacement of Adil Khan (SEGMB)

after eight months of a prolonged and secretly held vacancy announcement, shortlisting and selection process (which took 5 months) for replacement of Chief of SEGM Branch of DPADM in DESA, and which process led to the temporary appointment of Jay De Vera's as Chief of SEGMB (only so he could retire at D1 salary) -  a confidential source reports that the decision about the replacement of Adil Khan as Chief of SEGMB has been made. His replacement will allegedly be a Mexican - an outsider. 

Rob Vos, who apparently chaired the interview panel, reportedly is notorious for favouring appointments of "university" type persons and former research associates. Staff of DPAD says that: "He is still totally clueless about the low value of "academic" qualifications for the work of the UN". Since joining DESA he has demoralized his staff in DPAD by running his Division like a University Faculty. Staff of DPAD complain also that there is zero weight given to experience in the UN and past contributions to DESA, nor to management experience and expertise. 

Same source report that under Mr. Vos chairmanship of the selection panel, he insisted that not one internal DESA candidate was considered capable of managing SEGMB. Sources say that allegedly the only other candidate who received highest recommendations was a fellow countryman of Mr Vos. While same source says that two internal candidates from DESA were dropped at last minute in favor of the external ones. 

Enough said. Mr Sha maybe doesn't know that as matter of policy all selection panels are required to recommend at least one internal candidate for each senior position to be filled.

This requirement will ensure that Mr Sha is afforded the opportunity to select an internal candidate if he so wishes. The game of eliminating all internal candidates to ensure free passage for the favoured external candidate must be stopped. 

If the above would be true it would be a real hypocrisy. It would be inconceivable that not ONE single DESA staff is deemed qualified to fill this particular position. Or maybe this is a new policy to bring in Koreans, Chinese and/or other "preferred" nationalities.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

A collection of lies from Ban Ki-moon on Reforming the United Nations

The following are the statements made by our Secretary general when he started office in 2007.  He promised to reform management and operations practices as follows:

PURE LIES

Improving accountability and oversight 
“To improve accountability, it is not enough just to talk about it.  We must take a deep and detailed look at our internal systems, and examine what practical steps need to be taken to improve them.”

Setting the highest ethical standards
“I will seek to set the highest ethical standards. The good name of the United Nations is one of its most valuable assets – but also one of its most vulnerable. The Charter calls on staff to uphold the highest levels of efficiency, competence and integrity, and I will seek to ensure to build a solid reputation for living up to that standard. I assure you that I will lead by example.”

Providing and Efficient, transparent and service-oriented Secretariat
“To do the job expected of it, the UN needs a strong, robust empowered Secretariat.  My vision is an administration focused on results – efficient, directed, pragmatic and accountable.” 

Establishing a mobile, multi-skilled and motivated staff with access to internal justice
"If we are to attract, recruit and keep the high quality staff the UN needs, we must change our human resources framework and move away from rules that are anchored in the past."

Championing a more integrated UN family approach to achieve common goals
"In an ever more interdependent world, a coherent and strong United Nations is needed to meet an immense set of global challenges and a wide diversity of needs. It should respond to the diverse needs of countries and perform as one at the country level, and have the governance, management and funding practices in place to support those efforts."

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The guillotine started ...

shaking up everyone ? Well you better be .......with Ban Ki-moon taking away the permanent appointment and replacing those with "continuous" ones, you better get ready to kiss .... because it will depend on your supervisor's evaluation whether you will continue or not on the job. 

On the other hand the impact of a potential "UNDP deal" in the horizon is already being felt with plentiful of DESA Advisors being extended for only 6 months. And this is only the beginning...........

From Wall street the crisis has now reached DC2 and DC1 main floors, and the tightening up of donors will have an immediate and "short term" effect on those seating in project posts to start with. 

While Ban Ki-moon has increased on paper the UN budget for next biennium, and managed to get an additional 91 posts for Secretariat (mostly DPA), none of those will be coming our way (for DESA). Meanwhile the guys with big pocket seem to have run out of CASH and even if they start printing money and photocopying $100 bills - DESA wont see a penny of it. 

UNDP, UNOPS as well as Regional Commissions who are on the ground are already running on tight budgets and have already reduced their AOS to keep afloat. Their desire for inter-agency cooperation is at the lowest since the One UN agenda came along. With donors running low in cash - no one wants to share "development markets". And as most in UNDP would say: "they 'aint got time for DESA's BS advisors....who come and overcharge their projects". Hey it aint their fault .....they all trying to survive. 

Unless DESA's boss, Sha Zukang, wakes up and really tighten up this ship, come out clean and with a real restructuring plan - 2009 doesn't look good at all. Specially with a poor performance like the recent one in Doha. 

With a myriad of UN satellites and parasites, NGOs, research institutes as well as $1000/day freelancers competing on daily basis for same CASH --> DESA has really lost its relevance thanks to the poor quality of in-house advice/advisors, extreme bureaucracy,  outrageous "administrative overheads" and lack of a courageous management willing to reinvent our organization. Maybe Sha Zukang should reconsider bringing back Guido Bertucci, he together with TCMS would reinvent the house in a week.

Unless you guys get smart and move fast to DPKO, OCHA, WFP or UNRWA (where the real CASH still exist), you better get ready to ride the storm and learn HTML because all will end up web-surfing and entering data into useless databases, which at the end are not being used from member states because UNDP/UNOPS and others competing already on the groundare  developing their own projects closer to the "reality" and close to the MONEYYYYYYYY.

Good luck !

Monday, 5 January 2009

At UN, Ban's Town Hall Is Stacked with Pre-Screened Questions, on G-to-P Injustice and Permanent Contracts, Few Answers

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 5 -- As Ban Ki-moon kicked off his third year as Secretary General, reviews Monday by UN staff outside Ban's town hall meeting were less than glowing. "It was like a Soviet event," one well-placed staffer quipped to Inner City Press, "complete with pre-selected questions and answers read out of a book." Another marveled how "it's a new day every day in Ban's UN," constant reinvention with no memory of previous new beginnings not followed up on.

Other Headquarters employees grumbled that other duty stations, from Geneva and Vienna to Nairobi, were given questions first. The head of the New York Staff Union, who had been asked to disclose his question in advance, inquired into the elimination last month of the UN's permanent contracts, and whether this violated the UN Charter. Union officials complained that no real answer was given.

Also from New York, a General Service staff member asked Ban why not extend educational benefits to General Services as well as Professional level staff. Ban answered that the limitation comes from the General Assembly, and that American citizens will not get such stipends unless they move and serve in Geneva or elsewhere. At least there was one seemingly unscripted question. The broader unfairness and waste of talent occasioned by the wall between Professional and General Services staff remains unaddressed.

Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson at Monday's noon briefing to respond to this Charter-based argument. The Charter doesn't require or provide for permanent contracts, she responded. The new term is "continuing." But what about whistleblower protection? And what about Article 101 of the the Charter's reference to staff being "permanently assigned"?

Inner City Press spoke with a number of senior UN officials on their way in and out of the town hall meeting. One demanded off the record treatment, when discussing Team Ban's crack down on the Press. Others, however, to their credit made no such request.

Peacekeeping chief Alain Leroy, walking in with his colleague Susana Malcorra, replied about the Lord's Resistance Army that the UN Mission in the Congo must focus in the Kivus, and cannot provide protection to the North. Click here for more on that.

The current Special Advisor on Africa may not long retain that title. "I started with Small Islands," he said, adding that he'd prefer not to be too identified with the Continent. So if Ban in fact complies with the stated wish of the General Assembly, expect a new Africa Advisor.

Controller Warren Sach confirmed that for a time he had been officer in charge of the Department of Management, but not on the day for replying to a report of UN retaliation. The resulting letter to the editor was by Catherine Pollard, "that was December 26," Sach said, "she was in charge." And as the Arab League meeting about Gaza droned on the basement, Ms. Pollard held court in the Delegates' Lounge. Every day is a new day.

Footnote: the Town Hall meeting was closed to the press. Even member states were not, at least as of Monday night, able to access the video. Delegates' link to the UN's intra-net had not been undated so far in 2009.

Is this any way to run the so-called World's Body? We may have more on this.

UN System Will Lack Justice Come January 2009

by Government Accountability Project

The UN’s Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) has released a report criticizing the Secretary-General for failing to implement General Assembly mandated internal justice reforms in a timely manner. 

In 2007, the UN General Assembly committed to establishing a new, independent justice system to ensure the due process rights of staff members and hold managers and other employees accountable. It was originally envisioned that this new system would take effect on January 1, 2008, but the General Assembly extended this deadline to January 1, 2009 at the request of the Secretariat. 

Now it appears that the Secretariat will also miss the January 2009 deadline. According to the ACABQ’s report:

Since the adoption of General Assembly resolution 62/228 in December 2007, none of the 30 posts authorized for the Office of Administration of Justice (18 new posts and 12 redeployments) have been filled…As a consequence of the lack of staff in the Office, as well as the fact that the statutes of the Dispute and Appeals Tribunals have not yet been adopted, delays have occurred in such areas as the development of procedures for the transition phase, a code of conduct for legal practitioners, terms of reference for the registries and a training and communications plan for the new system of internal justice…The procedures related to the new mechanisms of the disciplinary process, including the reporting of misconduct, investigations, the due process rights of staff, the evaluation of investigation reports and disciplinary proceedings, have not yet been completed. (paragraph 5 and 16(d))

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Joint Disciplinary Committee – one of two main bodies in the current UN justice system – has reportedly submitted a resignation letter, effective December 31, the sunset date of the current system. According to this letter, “there is no valid reason to continue, even as a transitional measure, to rely on this obsolete system. Justice will be much better served by focusing all efforts on launching the new system as soon as possible, and bringing all pending cases before it.”

This effectively means that unless the Secretary-General takes immediate action to complete the reform process, there will be no functioning justice system at the United Nations on January 1. In other words, whistleblowers and other employees at the United Nations – the organization charged with promoting human rights – may have no venue whatsoever through which to defend their own rights. 

This could not come at a worse time, as the number of people seeking relief through the justice system has recently increased, with an “exceptionally large number of new cases filed in the first half of 2008.” (paragraph 8) The number of disciplinary cases at the United Nations, jumped from 72 in 2006 to 277 thus far in 2008. (paragraph 10

As the legal cliché "justice delayed is justice denied" suggests, a delay in justice tends to be most harmful to the victim in the case and violates a person’s right to a speedy trial. Therefore, it is critical that the international body meet the January deadline. In doing so, however, the Secretary-General must also adhere to the recommendations made by the Redesign Panel in its original report and address the concerns raised by the UN Staff Union and seconded byGAP.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

UN's Hiring from Permanent Five Grows, China by 8%, US by 134 Jobs, Japan Slower While Others Lose

UNITED NATIONS, -- The number of staffers employed by the UN from the 15 member states on the Security Council continued to rise in 2008, even as the global financial crisis set in and Ban Ki-moon appeared to call for cost-cutting. The just-published List of Staffsupposedly confidential but obtained by Inner City Press, compared to the previous year shows that the number of U.S. nationals employed by the UN rose 134, of six percent, between mid-2007 and mid-2008. France rose by 44 jobs, or 3.8%. The UK gained 27 posts, 3.6%. Russia rose by 11, or 2.4%.

   China had the sharpest percentage increase of the Council's Permanent Five member, fully eight percent, but this constituted only 27 jobs, as China began with the fewest of the so-called P-5. UN insiders tied China's eight percent increase to Chinese national Sha Zukang taking the reigns at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, which the Group of 77 and China is now trying to further expand.

  Two non-permanent Security Council members saw their number of staff members decrease, Indonesia and Belgium, while Vietnam and Libya stayed the same, at eight and four posts in both 2007 and 2008, respectively. Italy, on the other hand, rose from 390 to 417 posts, having more jobs in both periods than much more populous China, and larger contributor Japan.


UN's Ban and staff: through often withheld List of Staff, patterns emerge

   Japan, the second-largest contributor to the UN budget, rose by 3.4% from 237 to 245 positions. Rising faster were Germany, from 422 to 450, and Canada, from 550 to 598 (8.7%). Australia grew even more rapidly, at an eighteen percent clip, from 245 to 289. 

  Leaders in the Group of 77 Brazil and Egypt, currently proposing many more jobs for the UN's Department of Economic and Society Affairs, themselves had only 135 and 164 posts, respectively. Incoming Security Council member Turkey declined from 51 posts to 50. Other decliners included Iceland, from 16 to 13, and Greece, from 56 to 52.

  The pattern that emerges from the data is that the UN's employment of nationals of the Security Council's Permanent Five members continues to rise, even as posts for some of the Council's non-permanent members declines. Whether this is because the P-5 actively demand the jobs, or those who do the UN's hiring see the value of pleasing the System's most powerful countries, cannot be determined from the data. On that, our inquiries continue, as well as analysis of certain countries not listed in this first report. Watch this site.

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

Sha Zukang praises Bertucci's creativity and performance

video

Does Ban Ki-Moon Think It’s His Job to Help Destroy Israel?


by Claudia Rosett at PajamasMedia.Com

Or is he simply a fool, dutifully reciting excerpts from the UN’s Moral Equivalency Manual and Guide to Validating Tyrants and Terrorists of the Middle East. (Seems like they must have one … Maybe Kofi Annan left his dog-eared copy to Ban?)

Or maybe it all amounts to the same thing. Whatever might be going through the Secretary-General’s head as he pops up to opine about Israel and Gaza, he sounds like he’s either pro-Hamas (which, with Iranian backing, is dedicated to destroying Israel) or living on Pluto.

Ban has by now established himself as a knee-jerk subscriber to the UN formulation of “disproportionate force” — the term which is never applied by the UN to Hamas (or Hezbollah) terrorists launching rockets indiscriminately into Israel, or kidnapping Israeli solders, or gunning down and blowing up Israeli civilians. But “disproportionate force” is habitually howled out by the UN when Israel — having negotiated and conceded and warned — finally strikes back, targeting terrorists in its own defense. In practice, this means that terrorists attacking Israel get a ritual and meaningless tut-tut from the UN, usually while UN aid trucks keep rolling in to keep them resupplied. But when Israel attacks terrorists, that warrants emergency Security Council meetings and special press briefings at the highest levels, and repeated, lengthy statements aimed at generating genuine, massive pressure for Israelis to lay down their arms and let the terrorists carry on. Thus Kofi Annan’s histrionics when Israel struck back after Hezbollah, unprovoked, attacked Israel out of Lebanon in 2006.

And so, since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead on December 27th, to stop the attacks out of Gaza, Ban has been preaching full-throated Moral Equivalence from the UN pulpit, demanding an “immediate ceasefire,” calling on “all parties” to “fully uphold humanitarian law,” and insisting that all border crossings into Gaza should be flung open “to ensure the continuous provision of humanitarian supplies.” He got worked up enough about it to make a rare appearance in person at the UN noon press briefing this past Monday.

You can toil through some of his recent effusions here, and here; or for a bit of earlier history, here is Ban’s statement of September 19,2007, in which he pronounced himself “very concerned” that the government of Israel had declared the Gaza Strip an “enemy entity,” and called on Israel not to interupt essential services to Gaza. Ban did allude to the reason for Israel’s action — calling for a stop to “the continued indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.” But how did he propose to make that happen: “I call for it to stop immediately.” (Note: Ban did not mention the word “Hamas,” or call upon any specific actor firing the rockets; he called for “it” to stop. And, thousands of rocket and mortar attacks later, Ban might have noticed that “it” didn’t give a damn).

OK, so what could Ban do? As Secretary-General, he enjoys the opportunity to provide statements and advice to the Security Council, and of course he can order up a press conference and find an instant world audience. And though it might be something of a departure from custom, he could try finding the backbone to speak the truth — that the UN member state of Israel is under relentless attack out of Gaza by a terrorist group, Hamas, dedicated to its destruction. That another terrorist group, Hezbollah, which infests Lebanon is also dedicated to “Death to Israel.” That both are backed and provisioned and trained by Iran, where the president, who is overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Ban could even throw in a few footnotes, about the role of Syria as a cohort and enabler of all this destructive activity and intent, and Saudi wahhabism in all its ruinous manifestations. He might even add a note about a subject which, as a former foreign minister of South Korea, he ought to know very well — the collaboration of Syria and Iran with nuclear-armed, missile vending, totalitarian North Korea.

Ban might also want to mention a name which, as far as I can see on the UN web site, has not passed his lips in any public setting since a September press conference in which he read out a Quartet statement that included a fleeting reference: Gilad Shalit. Actually, it would be fitting for Ban to devote an entire press conference (and then some) to Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped two-and-a-half years ago into Gaza. If Ban is genuinely concerned about humanitarian traffic through the border crossings, would he care to explain why he has been so publicly insistent on the flow of free goods into terrorist-run Gaza, and so apparently uninterested in whether Gilad Shalit might finally be released to travel back out?

All this would be a great help in clarifying the problems in the Middle East. It would be salutary for the UN as well. True, the organization still has no official definition of terrorism, so Ban might find himself venturing into what is, for UN officials, exotic terrain. But there is nothing to prevent the Secretary-General from saying “terrorist,” if he wants to. It might bother the finely tuned sensitivities of actual terrorists, or states that support them. But there’s not much they could do about it. The UN has no procedure for removing a sitting secretary-general. It would be a move of great integrity were Ban to re-focus the UN debate right now, away from the inane formulations about “disproportionate force,” and toward the genuinely germane issue of terrorism.

So that’s what Ban could do, were he willing to stand up for the actual peace-and-human-dignity charter causes of the UN, or even for simple decency. And if he cannot find it in himself to do that, then the least he could do right now is stop making statements that sound like the utterances of a UN-trained parrot. Give it a rest. Take a holiday, Mr. Ban. It will make for a better world.