Friday, 24 April 2009

At UN, Unlicensed Doctors Give and Take Valium, Agwai's Wife Moonlights for NGO

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

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 -- In midtown Manhattan a group of largely unlicensed doctors and nurses are dispensing and in some cases taking and self-medicating with Valium, Diazepam, Demerol, Ambien and other controlled narcotics.

While anywhere else in the U.S. this would be a straight forward felony case, since it is taking place within the United Nations' compound on 42nd Street east of First Avenue, technically international territory, American authorities have yet to take action. The UN's Ethics Office, Ombudsman and Office of Internal Oversight Services have been informed, and even provided with photographs, but have done nothing.

Sources inside the UN have painted for Inner City Press a detailed picture of the operations of the UN Medical Service, housed on the 5th floor of UN headquarters, just above the Press floor. Deputy Director Serguei Oleinikov, these sources say, is both unlicensed and outside of the law. He recently signed off on the “disposal” of dozens of Valium tablets which had yet to reach the expiration date. Click here for a photo of a sample sign-out sheet, and see below.

  Tellingly, one of the unlicensed nurses is the wife of theForce Commander of the UN - African Union Hybrid Force in Darfur, Martin Luther Agwai, a Nigerian general. Ruth Martin Agwai, sources says, spends much of her time moonlighting for a non-governmental organization, the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA). Clickhere for Mrs. Agwai's letter about NAOWA. Sources say she has used the diplomatic pouch and privileges of the Nigerian Mission to the UN in order to spirit out of the country Accutech medical equipment.

  These irregularities were brought to Inner City Press' attention after its reporting on the death of UN staff member Jesmel Navoa last month. Mr. Navoa had a stroke while working at 6:45 p.m. in the UN's publishing shop in the third sub-basement. New York's emergency services 911 was not called in a timely manner, and it took an hour for a New York City ambulance to arrive. There was no doctor on duty in the UN medical service, and none of the staff present had been trained in appropriate Life Support technique. Click here for Inner City Press' exclusive story.

  The director of the Medical Service, Brian Davey, held a staff meeting this week at which he referred to the Inner City Press story, and belatedly sought to train staff in how and when to call 911. Sources link the UN medical service to other deaths in the UN on which we will be reporting again in the future.

At UN, Diazepam and Ambien, controls not shown

   Mr. Davey's predecessor Sudershan Narula was Kofi Annan's private doctor, was kept on past retirement age and left when Annan did.  Click here for a previous Inner City Press story about Dr. Narula. Mr. Oleinikov's predecessor, a Dr. Salam, was a relative of the previous Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros Ghali, and was alleged to have mis-treated UN staff members in Africa. Currently, talk at the UN is of a tourniquet mis-applied such that a staff member has faced losing a foot to amputation. Such are the dangers of nepotism combined with unlicensed and under-supervised practice.

  The nepotism of the UN Medical Service is not limited to hiring, but extends to referral. Recently a relative, Dr. Ma, was belated taken off the UN's referral list. Previously, the husband of Kofi Annan's top aide Elizabeth Lindenmayer was said to be a doctor on the UN's referral list.

  The UN Medical Service is not supposed to be anyone's primary care giver. But despite this, controlled substances are given out, sometimes by nurses without a UN "doctor's" orders. Additionally, these UN "doctors" receive and sometimes keep sample medicines and sexual aids from pharmaceutical companies. Recently, as the US Drug Enforcement Agency has been informed of these irregularities, some forms of inventory control have belated been implemented. But well placed sources describe this as a cover-up, not a reform.

   The UN medical service is part of the Office of Human Resources Management, headed by Catherine Pollard, which in turn is part of the Department of Management, headed by Angela Kane. Inner City Press has previously covered a pattern in which the UN Pension Fund sent staff members who complained against management for mandatory mental check-ups in the medical service. There is a counter-trend in which staff members with supporters in high places are given Long Term Disability letters, to be paid without working, and these ruling are never put into a date base that can be audited.

  These uses of the Medical Service would, of course, be contrary to the Hippocratic Oath. These issues, including the unlicensed practice of medicine and dispensing of controlled narcotics go further, and are crimes.

  In some but not all cases, the UN medical staff at issue have kept up licensing in the countries they come from. Even this would not be acceptable anywhere else in New York or the United States. But sources tell Inner City Press that several have not even kept up their overseas licenses, may not even ever have had them. The medical service, they say, is shot through with nepotism, such as the hiring and lack of supervision of the wife of the UN's Darfur General, Martin Luther Agwai. The sources describe other questionable behavior by Agwai, in Darfur, that is beyond the current scope of this medical series.

  For now the questions are not only how has the UN and its medical service gotten away with this for so long, but also why the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), headed by Inga-Britt Ahlenius, did nothing when told about this. OIOS investigator Florin Postica was told, in detail, and was even provided with photographs of the controlled narcotics. Yet no action was taken. Likewise, Susan John of the UN Ethics Office, headed by Robert Benson, was told part of this troubling story, and has apparently done nothing. Ms. Ahlenius has systematically refused Press questions and has not held a briefing in many months. Ban Ki-moon's Spokesperson's Office cancelled its Q&A on April 20, and resisted taking any range of questions in the days after that. Responses will be reported after they are received.

   Even the UN's Capital Master Plan can be impacted, as unlicensed staff in the UN medical service are rebelling against a planned move to a rented office space on Second Avenue and 42nd Street, over Innovation Luggage and a liquor store. There, the lack of licenses and the dispensing of controlled narcotics could, they fear, subject them to arrest. Attempts are being made to keep them within the UN compound east of First Avenue, beyond the reach of the law. Watch this site.

Sample Diazepam sign-out sheet from UN Medical Service

Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

As UN-DESA Staffer Found With Child Porn, No Answers on Supervisors' Role, UNMIS or Cote d'Ivoire, Gun-slinger Retained in Nairobi

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

UNITED NATIONS, April 21 -- A long-time UN-DESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs) staff member was arrested for child pornography at Canadian customs on April 9. When Inner City Press asked the UN about it on April 21, Deputy Spokesperson Marie Okabe saidthat the UN's Mr. Jose Antonio "Ortega was on a personal trip and left on Thursday, 9 April, for Canada.  He was expected to be back in the office on 13 April but did not show up."

   As reported in the Canadian press, "portable memory devices found in his backpack contained more than 800 images of hard-core child pornography, some involving a girl who appeared to be about five years old. Mr. Ortega Osona expects to lose his job as a demographer with the UN-DESA's fertility division because of the convictions, defense lawyer Geoff Newton said. 'Any jail sentence he gets pales in comparison to the effects this will have on his life,' Mr. Newton said."

   But if the UN's refusal to oust or reassign Alexander Barabanov, a Russian staff member at the UN in Nairobi who insulted local authorities and carried an unlicensed gun, or its reportedly kid-gloves treatment of higher officials involved in a pornography ring are any guide, Mr. Ortega will not necessary "lose his job."

   At Tuesday noon briefing, Inner City Press also asked, video here

Inner City Press: In terms of seriousness, there is a report that the Head of Operations of the UN Centre in Nairobi, Alexander Barabanov, who was found by Kenya to have an illegal weapon, is still serving the UN.  A series of letters has been sent to Angela Kane and OLA trying to get authority to discontinue his service to the UN, due to the illegal gun. Is he still in service, and if so, why?

Deputy Spokesperson:  I don’t have any information on that. I have to look into that for you.

  But twelve hours after that statement, no further information has been provided.  Some now say that Anna Tibaijuka's demotion at the UN in Nairobi in favor of Achim Steiner may have been related to her persistence in trying to hold Mr. Barabanov accountable. We aim to have more on this.

UN on screen in Canada, child porn arrest(s) not shown

  Earlier in Tuesday's noon briefing, Ms. Okabe claimed that there was no substantive difference in having cancelled the previous days' Q&A session, because we "took your questions in our Office and we responded to your questions like we normally do." That is, responded only partially, and to some questions, not at all.

UN: blue passport, blue movies, carte blanche

   Earlier in the afternoon on Tuesday, since Ms. Okabe limited questioning by saying, "only one more question" even though the previous day's briefing had been cancelled and there was no one else waiting for the room, Inner City Press submitted these questions in writing, none of which have been responded to ten hours later:

Subj: Re: your question on sri lanka - follow-up, incl. on Sudan, Nairobi (2), Cote d'Ivoire, pornography (2), thanks 
From: Inner City Press
To: Deputy Spokesperson, Associate Spokesperson, Spokesperson for OCHA
Sent: 4/21/2009 2:05:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time

In a message dated 4/21/2009 1:19:19 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, unspokesperson-donotreply [at] writes:
We have raised the issue of staff in IDP camps with the GoSL since at least February. --Stephanie Bunker

Hello. (1)  Please comment on / respond to the following publicstatements by the GoSL:

"The Government has received a letter from the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator Neil Buhne requesting movement for UN staff in refugee camps in Vavuniya, Resettlement Minister Rishad Baduideen said yesterday. “We received the letter on Wednesday evening and it was from Neil Buhne,” Minister Baduideen said. .. Minister Baduideen said he had not received a letter from the UN and unless they receive a formal complaint that they cannot look into it, and as and when they do they will discuss it with the military officials. END
 So are you saying that the UN's raising of the issue since Feb was informal? To whom was it raised, given the above? And what is the current status?

  I have been told that a (South) Sudan paragraph was sent to me, but I have not found it. Please send. And (2) what is the UN's response to

"report on the March attacks by a joint team of different U.N. agencies... called for UNMIS to increase patrols in the area and to increase support to local officials to try to improve the dire security situation."

   (3) What is the UN's response to the Forces Nouvelle in Cote d'Ivoire saying they will withdraw from the peace process if elections are not held in 2009?

According to the UN, when will elections be held?

  (4a) The name of the administrative officer in UN - Nairobi I asked about is Alexander Barabanov, director of administrative services.

(4b) on the UN Security officer killed in his home in Kenya, please state whether the UN has any inkling if it had anything to do with his service at/to the UN, or that is had nothing to do with it.

  (5a) The child porn guilty plea, on which I am asking for updates on what the UN does, was by "Jose Antonio Ortega Osona, 40, a Spanish citizen who lives in New York, pleaded guilty Friday in Dartmouth provincial court to a Criminal Code charge of possessing child pornography and a Customs Act charge of smuggling prohibited goods."

(5b)  Finally, for now, a simple factual question best answered in this format / medium:

 please confirm or deny that there are several senior DSS / SSS officers at UNHQ in NY who have received letters of reprimand for pornography, and explain any difference of treatment from that accorded on the same charges to a lower level staff member. To ensure your answer, I suggest you ask OHRM, OIOS and DSS.

   The context of this last still-unanswered question is the UN's show of discipline against a lower level UN purveyor of pornography, while the underlying investigative report made it clear that many more people, at higher levels, were and are implicated. Click here for Inner City Press' exclusive December 18, 2008 report, " Suspended UN Pornographer Opposed Gays, Liked Dogs, As Higher Ups Escape."

  Now, sources in the Department of Safety and Security complain more loudly of and name supervisors who have been informed they are under investigation or found to be involved in pornography, but nothing has happened to them. Several were part of the "scam promotions" imbroglio exposed by an intra-DSS memo leaked to and published by Inner City Press, click here for that. Some say a wave of disciplinary actions might soon begin. Watch this site.

  Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

UN-DESA employee caught with child pornography at airport

A United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs employee was caught with child pornography as he entered the country last week at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Jose Antonio Ortega Osona, 40, a Spanish citizen who lives in New York, pleaded guilty Friday in Dartmouth provincial court to a Criminal Code charge of possessing child pornography and a Customs Act charge of smuggling prohibited goods.

Associate Chief Judge Brian Gibson gave Mr. Ortega Osona double credit for the nine days he spent on remand and sentenced him to an additional 72 days at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Burnside.

Customs officers searched Mr. Ortega Osona’s personal belongings after he arrived at the airport on a flight from New York on April 9.

Portable memory devices found in his backpack contained more than 800 images of hard-core child pornography, some involving a girl who appeared to be about five years old.

Mr. Ortega Osona expects to lose his job as a demographer with the UN’s fertility division because of the convictions, defence lawyer Geoff Newton said.

"Any jail sentence he gets pales in comparison to the effects this will have on his life," Mr. Newton said.

Mr. Ortega Osona was ordered to provide a sample of his DNA for a national databank.

"We are committed to keeping this type of material out of our communities," Andrew LeFrank, the Canada Border Services Agency’s director for Nova Scotia, said in a release.

"This seizure reaffirms our role in the efforts to prevent the exploitation of children in Canada and around the world."

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

GA's 5th Committee says NO to a second term for Ban Ki-moon !!

Tuesday , April 14, 2009

By George Russell


Something like a civil war has erupted between United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the branches of the world organization that are supposed to oversee, constrain and fund the U.N.'s sprawling central bureaucracy.

At issue is the accountability and effectiveness of the entire U.N. Secretariat — a ponderous bureaucracy that everyone agrees is in need of reform, but somehow continues to evade it. In some quarters, patience is apparently wearing thin.

As one sign of that, in a remarkable public slap at the secretary general, the U.N.'s powerful, budget-setting Fifth Committee, which represents all U.N. member states, late last week passed a resolution ordering him to throw out a plan that he claimed would transform the Secretariat into something more responsible and effective.

The committee said that Ban should try again — only much, much harder.

In effect, the Committee resolution charged that Ban's proposed plan would result in the opposite of what he claimed, making the U.N. Secretariat less accountable, less responsible, and less prone than it already is to producing effective results.

The committee also bluntly told Ban that his proposals involved a power grab that overstepped his authority, and explicitly warned him to "refrain" from efforts to meddle with the "roles and responsibilities" of U.N. bodies that are supposed to scrutinize the Secretariat's performance.

It also outlines in lengthy detail the "clear and specific measures" it expects him to provide next time, including "timely and reliable information on results achieved and resources used" by the Secretariat, "as well as its performance including on measures to improve performance."

It further demands "measures to strengthen personal accountability within the Secretariat," more transparency in the hiring of top managers, "concrete proposals on the reform of the performance appraisal system," and detailed measures on how to turn the U.N. into an organization with a "results-based management system."

Click here to read the resolution.

In its summation, the Fifth Committee pointedly says that its own concerns about reforming U.N. management harked back to "the significant flaws in terms of internal monitoring, inspection and accountability regarding, for example, the management of the United Nations oil-for-food program."

That multi-billion-dollar scandal, in which Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein funneled mammoth kickbacks and other scams through the world's biggest U.N.-administered humanitarian program, is widely acknowledged to be one of the U.N.'s biggest administrative disasters. It spawned, among other things, a $30 million investigation headed by formed U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, which found that the head of the program, Benon Sevan, personally chosen by then-Secretary General Kofi Annan, had taken money from Saddam. But the Volcker committee cast blame across the entire U.N., as well as the U.N. Security Council, for the fiasco.

Aside from Sevan — who left for Cyprus proclaiming his innocence before he was indicted by U.S. prosecutors for accepting bribes — no U.N. official has ever been held accountable for the debacle.

Oil-for-food happened before Ban's tenure began, but the Fifth Committee noted that the U.N. General Assembly has been waiting ever since for a follow-up on U.N. management reform.

And apparently, the committee is not alone. In its rejection, the Fifth Committee made reference to a wide array of reports by a battery of U. N. oversight organizations — including some that report to Ban himself — that also found the secretary general's report badly wanting. The reports describe the lack of focus of the U.N. bureaucracy in remarkably blunt and urgent terms.

In fact, some of those oversight bodies have already heaped their own helpings of undiplomatic scorn on Ban's reform plan, which has been percolating its way up through the labyrinthine U.N. bureaucracy for more than a year.

Instead of a reform effort, some of the critics have described the project, in language that varies from blunt to bland, as an attempt to weasel out of making the U.N. bureaucracy more accountable, effective and open to scrutiny, and instead make its officials even less accountable for their actions — or inactions.

One of those bodies, the General Assembly's Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), pointedly noted that the Secretary General's report was not even a product of the U.N. Secretariat at all, but had been commissioned from outside consultants at a cost of nearly $1.8 million.

The advisory committee said it was "concerned that expertise available within the United Nations Secretariat was not solicited in the preparation of the report and that there was a striking absence of consultation with the oversight bodies or with other organizations of the United Nations system." It archly adds that it "regrets the lack of recourse to the expertise found in different parts of the United Nations system."

The document Ban is sponsoring that has drawn the attention — and the ire — goes by the numbing title of "Accountability framework, enterprise risk management and internal control framework, and results-based management framework," a 53-page opus with a 21-page addendum on its budgetary implications, first issued under Ban's aegis more than a year ago.

The document claims that if its proposals are followed, "the General Assembly could more readily hold the Secretariat accountable for its activities and results." In the same vein, it argues, the U.N. would "focus on results rather than inputs and outputs of efforts and processes, while emphasizing ethical conduct and compliance with regulations and rules."

What follows, however, is largely a bewildering tangle of managerial techno-speak, in which the "personal accountability" of U.N. staff members is defined as "the duty ... to exercise defined responsibilities appropriately ... and to explain and justify to the official who conferred the authority the results achieved and the manner in which the authority has been exercised." No mention is made of penalties for failing to do so.

Click here to read the Secertary General's report.

The secretary general's "institutional accountability" is described as his responsibility to "explain and justify to the General Assembly ... the performance of the Organization in using resources to achieve results mandated by the Member States in the Assembly ..."

The definitions of accountability are accompanied by a long and convoluted analysis of bureaucratic "risk" at the U.N., defined as "the effect of uncertainty on objectives," and how the bureaucracy can best manage that "risk" through a complicated array of management processes and internal controls.

When it comes to concrete proposals to transform the U.N. bureaucracy into an organization that focuses exclusively on results, Ban offers another new mini-bureaucracy, the Division for Accountability and Results Management, which would replace a previous bureaucratic unit devoted to policy analysis within the U.N.'s current Department of Management.

The new unit would take over evaluation functions currently carried out by other parts of the U.N., but otherwise mainly provide increased training programs and information, as well as support in "establishing and promoting a results-oriented culture in the Secretariat."

Ban's only other major innovation to force managers to change their ways is to propose a new working group, the "Accountability for Results Working Group," a unit of "three or four members drawn from Secretariat departments/offices," which would be attached to the Secretary General's management performance board, a group of senior bureaucrats.

The new working group would "be responsible for monitoring on a regular basis progress toward results, identifying systemic, political or other challenges to success." When necessary, it would have the option of offering suggestions for action to the performance board at its usually quarterly meetings.

For the rest of the organization, Ban suggests a "pilot project to establish and communicate standards and guidelines for risk management" while a broader "consultation process" takes place across the entire U.N. on how to proceed further.

In the accompanying addendum, Ban estimates the cost of his new proposals as around $3 million.

Click here to read the addendum.

In the impermeable language of the document, Ban claims that his proposals take "a systematic and holistic approach to proactively identify, assess, evaluate, prioritize, manage and control risk across the Organization in order to increase the likelihood of achieving objectives."

For its part, however, the General Assembly's ACABQ saw a fog of unhelpful abstractions, starting with "lack of clarity in the definition of accountability."

Among other things, the committee noted acidly that "the Secretary-General's report identifies nine areas for improving accountability in the Secretariat ... but ... no specific measures are identified that would bring about the intended improvements. Nor are any measures proposed to improve institutional accountability, such as by providing better information to Member States on results achieved and resources used."

It also suggested that Ban take up a suggestion, apparently of long standing, that "a specific set of sanctions (up to and including termination of employment) should be put in place to deal with failure to perform or poor performance on the part of senior managers." (At the same time, the committee noted the extraordinary fact that the U.N. apparently does not have a definition for the term "performance measures" in its rules and regulations about planning and evaluation.)

When it came to Ban's proposed changes in the U.N.'s organizational structure, the committee says only that they should be "further discussed." But while it is on the subject of discussion, the report further digs at Ban for what the committee clearly considers a weak effort.

"The Committee believes that closer interaction between the management and oversight bodies would have resulted in a better presentation of the issues under consideration," the document snips. "The Committee regrets the lack of recourse to the expertise found in different parts of the United Nations system."

Click here to read the ACABQ report.

The advisory committee's skeptical view of Ban's proposals is further amplified by another U.N. watchdog body, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), which is part of Ban's own Secretariat, and which has reported that the U.N.'s current definitions of "results" in its work are little more than a chimera.

In a 23-page analysis of results-based management as currently practiced at the U.N., based on a year-long study and published at roughly the same time the General Assembly advisory committee was formulating its conclusions, OIOS headlined that "Results-based management at the United Nations has been an administrative chore of little value to accountability and decision-making."

Within the U.N. Secretariat, OIOS reports, statements of results are "vague," "expressed in a self-serving manner," and "lack credible methods for verification." Rather than specific objectives, "aspirational results" are used to justify budgets for approval, but "the actual attainment or non-attainment of results is of no discernable consequence to subsequent resource allocation or other decision-making."

Most "expected accomplishments" at the U.N. are set at the departmental level, and do not "seek to capture longer-term objectives of the United Nations as a whole." Indeed, the report asserts, "expected accomplishments are not necessarily the highest priority of the Organization." Moreover, OIOS notes, "financial and programmatic records do not compare."

Translation: what the U.N. spends, and what it claims to be spending the money on, are never reconciled.

Rather than measuring concrete results, the report says, the U.N. mainly measures its accomplishments in terms of "activities and outputs." These typically include "the number of meetings organized or website visitors, the volume of documents disseminated, the number of Member States attending meetings or participating in projects and citations of the work of a particular section."

Sometimes, the report states, "measurement boils down to the number of participants in events for which the United Nations provides travel costs and per diem. In other cases, the performance measures speak to manpower resources or volume of funding that has been raised by the division or section in question."

In other words, "what gets measured is all that gets done." (Ironically, OIOS notes, the same problem can be found in its own work. Its effectiveness is judged on the basis of the number of suggested improvements to parts of the U.N. that are subsequently adopted; this leads to a "perverse underlying incentive" to suggest improvements that are easily adopted.)

But often, OIOS reports, the U.N. does not even bother to measure anything. In a study it did of 974 specified "indicators" for achievement during the Secretariat's 2004-2005 budget cycle, OIOS discovered that for a quarter of the guideposts, "no observations were ever recorded."

That may be because they ultimately do not seem to matter, even when they are the only records of accomplishment available. The OIOS reports that "the achievement or non-achievement of program objectives ultimately has few consequences for resource allocation, work planning or assessment of managerial performance."

(The same thing was discovered, the watchdogs note, in a "recent" evaluation of management at the United Nations Development Program, the U.N.'s flagship anti-poverty agency. "Adjusting work in response to results is the cornerstone of an effective results-based management system," OIOS declared. "This study has failed to find any convincing evidence that suggests that results are influencing management.")

In fairness to Secretary General Ban, the OIOS analysis notes that he "appreciates many of the shortcomings raised" in the watchdog report. But Ban told the OIOS analysts that his own proposals would solve many of the problems, and there the watchdogs disagree.

"OIOS notes that the Secretary-General proposes measures that merit consideration," the report says, "but observes that these lack specificity, prioritization and order of sequencing." Moreover, they "are not clearly tied to the underlying incentive, sanctions and rewards that guide decision-making at different levels of the Organization."

Translation: Ban's measures don't do much to change the U.N.'s fundamental culture.

Especially since, as OIOS notes, echoing a criticism from the General Assembly's budget advisory committee, "Currently there are no individual-level sanctions available for the non-achievement of outcome-level results."

In other words, no one is penalized for failure to accomplish anything.

Click here to read the OIOS report.

But one of the important barriers to changing that state of affairs, OIOS asserts, is not that Ban's proposals are ineffective — although the watchdogs clearly deem that they are — but that the U.N. General Assembly itself stands in the way.

The General Assembly, OIOS notes, has barred in its resolutions on budgeting "the use of indicators of achievement for adjustment of resources," and restricted the Secretary General's ability to move resources where they are needed. Thus, the organization concludes, "results-based management is ultimately not within the powers of the Secretary-General to implement within his restricted administrative authority."

Whether that is ultimately true or not may remain debatable, but the U.N. management culture's disinterest in results seems to be unanimously agreed upon by every part of the organization that examines the issue.

A further damaging summary mentioned by the Fifth Committee is a 45-page report published by yet another U.N. watchdog, the Joint Inspection Unit, on "results-based management in the United Nations in the context of the reform process."

The JIU is a small cadre of independent experts that reports to the General Assembly, and is charged with improving the efficiency of the U.N. across the entire sprawling federation of U.N. organizations, of which Ban's Secretariat is only part. Recently, the JIU has also been butting heads with Ban over issues of bureaucratic power, charging that the Secretary General has abruptly changed the rules regarding appointment of its executive secretary and allowing a review panel to "illegally" demand a new review of candidates for the job.

The JIU's report, published in March 2007, is no more optimistic than the rest about the challenge that Ban is supposed to overcome. Among other things, it declares that to fix the organization's problems, "the Secretariat needs to increase the level of authority delegated to management, in particular for managing human resources. But it should first address the issue of the lack of managerial skills."

"Management systems at all levels of the Secretariat remain weak," the report declares, in a section that notes that recent demands for improvement in management capabilities date back to at least 2002. But it also warns that without more effective accountability, "further empowerment of managers could result in arbitrary decision-making and possibly even the misuse of power."

The JIU laid out a series of 18 wide-ranging recommendations that it believed Ban should follow, including a review of how the U.N. recruits staff (currently, the report says, it takes 174 days to hire a replacement), a pay-for-performance scheme for staffers, tougher performance evaluations and a new system of delegating authority in the top-down organization to achieve better results.

Click here to read the JIU report.

They also throw the ball back to Ban to make things happen. "The Inspectors are of the view that the Secretary-General possesses a clear perception about the role of accountability as the backbone of an efficient and robust management system," they write. "They nonetheless invite him to move forward from theory to concrete action to achieve his proclaimed accountability objectives."

So far, the verdict seems to be that Ban has failed to do that job.

UPDATE: After this story was published, the United Nations apparently cut off access to its public Web site via the links referenced in the article. Accordingly, FOX News has replaced those links with PDF copies of the documents mentioned.

George Russell is executive editor of FOX News.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Ban discuss DESA "reform" with Stelzer in Paris

Please Thomas do smth about DESA's corruption ...!!

@ CEB meeting in Paris 04 April 2009

Saturday, 4 April 2009

SCANDAL: UN's Public Administration Expert is phony !

the scandal surrounding the phony Public Administration Expert who represented :
  • Mexico at the UN's highest Expert Group on Public Administration for 8 years;
  • United Nations in Mexico as UN Public Administration Advisor for 4 years;
is a PHONY - FAKE expert.

Questions are arising as how can a person without:
  • PHD in any related Public Administration areas;
  • Publications in any related Public Administration areas;
  • Leadership or High Level Managerial expertise in Public posts;
can become a United Nations High Expert in Public Administration and deserve a post within the Highest recognized body, mandated from the UN's General Assembly to formulate World Policies on Public Administration and assist UN Member States in reforming their Administration?????

Yesterday Haiyan Qian met Mr. Aponte in her office for 45 minutes. While we don't know what was discussed, we presume and wish that Ms. Qian had the guts to tell this charlatan, to stay away from the United Nations, and return all the money he illegally received in past years for services never performed/accomplished.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

The United Nations: worse than useless

My Telegraph blogs

Whom to back: the United Nations or the BBC? It's one of those Iran/Iraq pity-they-can't-both-lose dilemmas but, on balance, I'm with the Beeb. 

The UN has strenuously denied covering up an investigation into the sale of illicit arms by its officials to Congolese rebels. And you can see why its functionaries are so sensitive. I mean, it's one thing to be called useless: sitting around in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami holding press conferences while the Australian and US navies were on site distributing aid that's useless. Running oil-for-fraud boondoggles in Iraq that's useless.

But selling weapons to murderous militiamen: that's in the worse than useless category. Not for the first time, the UN is actively bringing evil into the world. To be sure, it has done more outrageous things in the past, as when it herded Muslim men into Sarajevo, methodically disarmed them and then handed them over to Serb militiamen to be shot, or when it ordered its commanding officer in Rwanda not to seize the arms caches that were about to be used for the genocide. Still, even by UN standards, these are serious allegations.

It's extraordinary how we keep ignoring the actual UN in favour of some theoretical one. However much its bureaucrats engage in fraud, however often its officials are found running smuggling rackets or child prostitution rings, we still maintain that the UN embodies a lofty ideal. And that, of course, is the problem. The automatic benefit of the doubt will, over time, destroy even the most robust institutions.

for more on Daniel Hannan's blog click here

G20 conclusions will make the dowturn worse

My Telegraph blogs

Posted By: Daniel Hannan at Apr 2, 2009 at 18:58:51 [General]

A trillion here, a trillion there: pretty soon you're talking real money. To see what a trillion dollars looks like, click">here

The BBC is exulting in $1.1 trillion being "pumped into the world economy". But where the dickens do they suppose it is being taken from in the first place, if not "the world economy"? And where is it all going? Partly, in development aid: an expensive way of transferring money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries. Mainly, though, to international bureaucracies: you know, the ones on whose watch all this happened.

At the same time, we will spend a lot more on national regulation. So, let's get this straight: the organisations that screwed up last year, such as the FSA in Britain, are to be rewarded with more moolah and greater powers. Finally, as Nicolas Sarkozy put it, we have "turned the page on Anglo-Saxon capitalism". Under the guise of cracking down on tax-havens, we have realised the long-standing Continental ambition to have a global financial regime, so as to prevent pesky English-speaking states being unreasonably competitive.

Just what we need to stimulate growth then, eh? More dirigisme, more red tape, more state control, more centralisation. And the markets have risen. Will you never learn, boys?

for more on Daniel Hannan's blog click here

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Claudio Aponte - the career of a Trust Slaughter into a International Public Administration Advisor

well is not fiction -> Is the truth. 

While Haiyan Qian, Guido Bertucci, Marie Oveissi, Furio De Tomassi, Jose Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni - have hired in the past 9 1/2 years this gentleman as a :

  1. Representative of Mexican Government at DPADM's CEPA;
  2. Representative of Universitad Autonoma de Mexico;
  3. Representative of DPADM/DESA in Mexico;
Now the confirmation is here. Mr. Claudio Aponte is not a :
But Mr. Claudio Aponte is instead the FIDEICOMISO CENTRAL DE ABASTO DE LA CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (for those whose spanish is not their mother tongue CENTRAL TRUST OF SLAUGHTER OF MEXICO CITY)

You can see better what Mr Claudio Aponte's role in this prestigious agency is. 
So the questions for Mr. Sha Zukang and its ignorant, incompetent and totally corrupt staff are:
1. How can a Director of Finance of a Slaughter Center of Mexico City qualifies for the most prestigious body of the United Nations on Public administration?
2. How can a man who's career is Slaughter Center, provide top-class advice to Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers and law-makers around the world on public administration?
3. How much money did Guido Bertucci, Jose Manuel Sucre-Ciffoni, Marie Oveissi and Furio De Tomassi throw to this FAKE Public Administration Advisor? 
足够的 / 足够 /