Friday, 30 September 2011

Another UN DESA Scandal: Bernardo Kliksberg fired from IADB for corruption

REFORM UN-DESA reported back in 2008 about the beautiful life of a special consultant of DPADM, his name: Bernardo Kliksberg. (Click here for 2008 story)

Now a in another scandal at Inter-American Development Bank, REFORM UN-DESA found out that Mr. Bernardo Kliksberg (auto-nominated the "Economist Jew") has been fired from the Bank, seem for the same very reasons that REFORM UN-DESA exposed back in 2008.

Whistleblowing and Retaliation at the IDB: The Case of Hada Mendoza

"The gathering, which was advertised as a technical-academic exercise, featured Bernardo Kliksberg as an ethics expert, who, like Cubillos, would later be discreetly separated from the IDB for misconduct and corruption revealed by a whistleblower. In both the Cubillos and Kliksberg cases, the whistleblowers who exposed the men were expelled by the Bank under circumstances much less favorable than those arranged for their corrupt managers."Page 4.


Right now Mr. Kliksberg continues to work for United Nations Development Programme as Chief advisor to the Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean and as Director of UNDP's flagship "Spain-UNDP Trust Fund". At UNDP he works with another former colleague from DPADM/DESA, Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong is the UNDP's Ethics Director.

It seems that for the Ethics Director of UNDP, an un-ethical behaviour and termination of Mr. Kliksberg from IADB doesn't warrant her attention, nor it implicates the organization in any shape or form.

While Mr. Kliksberg continues to manage hundreds of millions of dollars at UNDP, Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong seem to be busy trying to find a D1 job back at UN-DESA.

As so the story goes !!!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Would the return of Elia Yi Armstrong create shake-up at DPADM's Organigramme?

The South Korean Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong will be returning to DPADM at the beginning of 2012. This creates a major problem for Ms. Haiyan Qian (Director of DPADM), because while on the DPADM organigramme Ms. Armstrong is a P5, she currently seats on D1 position at UNDP (on-loan) as Director of UNDP's Ethics Office.

The return of Ms. Yi Armstrong, poses some very challenging decisions for Sha Zukang and Ms. Qian, and we are told that the following are the options being discussed:

1. Mr. John Mary Kauzya
Chief of Public administration Capacity Branch (PACB)
Since 2002 (10 years)

**we are told that Ms. Yi Armstrong' desire is to have the post of Mr. Kauzya, since this one has been occupied for more than 10 years from him and is "about time for him to move elsewhere or comply with mobility rules". For this, parallel moves have been offered to Mr. Kauzya, which seem to have not satisfied him so far.

***another voice at 23 floor said that given that Mr. Kauzya is among "the very few Africans" at DESA, he might be the only viable candidate to replace Ms. Haiyan Qian, in which scenario the landing of Ms. Elia Yi Armstrong at DPADM as Chief of PACB would be a smooth one, without causing other "un-necessary collateral damages".

2. Mr. Roberto Villareal
Chief Development Management Branch (DMB)

**we are also told that the other option that Ms Qian is considering could be to remove Mr. Villareal from current job, given some inter-personal problems with its staff, and offer him smth with the Regional Commission of Latin America (ECLAC) or in case he rejects it, move him laterally to another post within DESA, far from DPADM. We are told this option is seen as the most viable one, given some recent confrontation between Ms. Qian and Mr. Villareal who had warrant the attention of USG - Sha Zukang to "solve" the matter.

All the above is being done in a climate of total secrecy, and seem that even this time there will be no need for an "open process of selection".

Only at United Nations...!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sha Zukang on the News: Switzerland - SDC to hold international conference on environmental disasters

Coordinated responses to large-scale disasters and their impact on the environment is the subject of the Wilton Park conference from 12 to 15 September in Glion near Montreux. The conference initiated by Switzerland will prepare the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) next year. In the margins of the Wilton Park conference President of the Confederation Micheline Calmy-Rey met UN Under Secretary General Sha Zukang in Geneva.

Disasters, whether natural or caused by human action, have a serious impact on human beings and on the environment. Crisis arrangements and the response time of emergency organisations as well as the co-ordinated cooperation of humanitarian organisations are crucial in environmental disasters. The better they are, the better the chances of saving lives, improving development and protecting the environment in the long term.

About 60 representatives of humanitarian institutions together with environmental experts and crisis managers from international and non-governmental institutions will take part in the Wilton Park conference on environmental disasters. The conference will be organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Coordination (SDC), the relevant UN organisations and the renowned Wilton Park Institute which specialises in international dialogue. The conference was initiated by ambassador Toni Frisch, who as the government delegate for humanitarian aid and president of the Advisory Group on Environmental Emergencies has politically anchored the issue of disaster Response in UN bodies and humanitarian organisations.

The Wilton Park conference is also preparation for the UN conference on Sustainable Development Rio + 20 in June 2012 in Brazil. UN Under Secretary General Sha Zukang has been appointed Secretary General of this conference. Rio + 20 will therefore be on the agenda of the meeting between President of the Confederation Mrs Calmy-Rey und UN Under Secretary General Sha Zukang in Geneva.

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Michelle Bachelet Has a Mission

The Daily Beastclick here to view this on daily beast

The U.N. tapped Chile’s former president to help women. Will politicians let her succeed?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-mooncalled July 2, 2010, a “watershed day.” That was when the General Assembly approved the creation of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women—known simply as U.N. Women. Intended to give (in Ban’s words) “a much stronger voice for women and for gender equality” around the world, the organization replaced four underfunded and obscure bureaucracies devoted to women with a single entity that would finally give half the world’s population the high-profile platform it deserved.

Leading the new organization and charged with boosting its profile would be one of the world’s most powerful and inspiring women, Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile. Bachelet’s accomplishments are rooted in the traumatic experiences of her early adulthood. When Chile’s government was overthrown in a coup led by Augusto Pinochet in 1973, Bachelet’s father (an Air Force general who backed the deposed Salvador Allende) was arrested and tortured in prison. He came home briefly under house arrest before being thrown back in detention, where he died of a heart attack under suspicious circumstances in 1974 at the age of 51.

In January 1975, state security forces arrested Bachelet herself, then a 23-year-old medical student, and her mother, taped their eyes shut, and jailed them in Villa Grimaldi, a mansion turned into a house of terror where prisoners were routinely beaten, shocked with electricity, raped, and killed. Despite the ordeal, Bachelet refused to break, reportedly singing with other prisoners to keep sane and helping to treat women raped by the guards. Bachelet has never spoken in detail about the period, other than acknowledging that she was beaten, noting instead that she was one of the “lucky ones” who survived before being sent into exile in Australia following the intervention of family members.


Michelle Bachelet accompanied by children as she arrives at La Moneda presidential palace in Chile., Roberto Candia / AP

Bachelet later studied defense policy and, after Pinochet relinquished power, became Latin America’s first female defense minister. An agnostic, divorced, single mother of three in a Catholic country, her overwhelming personal popularity propelled her to Chile’s presidency in 2006. Plagued early on by student protests and a scandal surrounding the implementation of a public-transportation system, she eventually righted her administration and reached Chile’s highest-ever approval rating, thanks in large part to her deft handling of the country’s economy.

Chilean women’s rights advocates first approached Bachelet to gauge her interest in the U.N. job while she was still president, and later chanted “Bachelet, U.N. Women!” at a meeting in Brazil shortly after she left office in 2010. (She was constitutionally prevented from running for a second consecutive four-year term.) Though loath to leave the political scene and her family, including grandsons for whom she records Hallmark storybooks, she threw her name into the selection process.

“At the beginning, my feeling was, ‘No, I should not go to this. I should stay in my country,’?” Bachelet says. “But at the end what happened is that the majority of my family thought that I should go, I should come here, and that it was a marvelous task.’?”

Both Ban and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are said to have worked hard to persuade Bachelet to accept the new post, pledging their support, convincing her that U.N. Women would be more than the sum of its predecessors, and appealing to her sense of duty to help women.

And yet from the beginning of Bachelet’s tenure there have been problems. To begin with, U.N. Women was not accorded the power of a full agency, a distinction that matters at the United Nations. It is the product of four years of negotiations that nearly ended in gridlock after member states split on the organization’s mission. What emerged was an entity with an operational responsibility to run programs on the ground when countries want them, and a policymaking arm to ensure women sit at the center of the U.N.’s work.

All that costs real money, which points to the more fundamental problem: the financial resources critical to U.N. Women’s success have failed to materialize. While countless U.N. speeches have eloquently emphasized the importance of improving the lot of women and girls, contributions to the fledgling organization haven’t lived up to the rhetoric.

So far, U.N. Women has received roughly $200 million in funds, which falls drastically short of the $1 billion women’s groups hoped would be available, and short even of the $500 million Ban outlined in January 2010 as the “total funding requirements for the startup phase.”

The United States has come in for particular criticism after giving a mere $6 million in 2011. The State Department, whose budget covers U.N. funds, asked Congress for $8 million for U.N. Women for fiscal year 2012, quite a bit less than what many observers had expected, given the key role America played in lobbying for U.N. Women. Women’s activists have called the amount “shameful,” but State Department officials say they are doing the best they can given the fiscal crunch and congressional realities.

The shortfall is especially frustrating with the challenges confronting women around the world at the present moment. The Arab Spring and its impact on women has been an early focus for Bachelet. She has directed U.N. Women to work quietly and closely with women in Egypt, supporting at their request a group of organizations that is fighting for women’s presence in the government they helped create.

Bachelet insists she is not discouraged, though she admits to underestimating the time required for fundraising. “I am not disappointed. I am not frustrated,” she says. “I would just love to be able to progress much faster than we can.”

Fortunately, Bachelet’s background prepared her for struggle and endurance. Her experience with torture and imprisonment as a young woman “was a personal earthquake,” she says, leading her to be moved by and called to “noble causes.” “You have to be doing things that matter—responsibility, but also responsibility with epic and beautiful and noble tasks.”

Right now the task before Bachelet is building U.N. Women with the limited resources she has and scoring results impressive enough to win more backers. Her term lasts four years, but Chilean observers predict she will return home sooner, in time for the 2013 presidential election (in which she is legally permitted to compete).

Bachelet insists she has made no decisions and says she is focused on the “urgency” of improving the lives of women around the world. As she faces a fall filled with travel—including to Brazil, Canada, Uruguay, Italy, and the Nordic countries—she says that meeting women’s expectations will be impossible given the size of the challenge, but that doesn’t mean she won’t try. If anyone can overcome the obstacles, Bachelet can.

Lemmon, a NEWSWEEK/Daily Beast Contributing Editor at Large, is the author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.

September 12, 2011 1:0am