Wednesday, February 20

United Nations Shame IV

Here is the latest roundup of various UN misdeeds. You could call this the 'UNDP edition' considering how many times this one organization is mentioned. A summary of UNDP problems can actually be found on their own website's 'For the Record' page where they try to clarify issues, however reading them, they sound pretty hollow. (For the Record - UNDP)

Feel free to email me anything I have missed or add it to the comments.

UNDP - Continued use of Vendor Banned for Bribing a UN Officer

On UNDP’s decision to use a vendor suspended by the UN Secretariat
In early 2006 UNDP purchased tents from a company called Corimec for the victims of Pakistan’s December 2005 earthquake. By the time a second batch of tents was needed in 2007, Corimec had been suspended from the UN Secretariat’s procurement list for bribing a UN Secretariat procurement officer in 1993. UNDP decided to procure the second batch of tents after conducting due diligence on Corimec, and learning in the process that the company had completely changed ownership and management since the illegal activity had occurred. Four months after announcing the suspension, the UN Secretariat decided to reinstate Corimec, subject to the latter implementing an ethics training program. This implementation process is still ongoing. While UNDP did not break any rules in purchasing the tents from Corimec, we are looking into the matter as the decision to use a vendor suspended by the Secretariat does not conform to the spirit of UN coherence in procurement policies. Contrary to some suggestions, UNDP has not engaged in any financial activities with firms banned for terrorism or on the Security Council terrorism list. - UNDP's own website

UNDP - "Massive Irregularities in UN’s North Korea Development Aid"

The North Koreans picked the bank, the currency, and the people who handled all of the money. It kept the records and severely limited the UNDP’s access to them. In some cases, unidentified North Koreans would show up at the UNDP compound, say they represented “development” projects, demand cash, and get it (the UNDP disputes this). The foreign UNDP staff couldn’t even inspect the projects they were funding without advance notice and an escort of government minders. All of this violated UN S.O.P.’s and “best practices.” And when even that level of control wasn’t sufficient, the North Koreans tapped the UNDP workers’ phones and rummaged through their quarters. - One Free Korea

UNDP - Facilitating Illegal Transfer of Technology to North Korea

Of all the evidence turned up by the U.S. concerning irregularities in the United Nations Development Program's operations in North Korea, some of the most disturbing concerns the transfer of dual-use technology.

As reported last month, the U.S. has uncovered documents showing the UNDP procured and delivered to North Korea in May 2006 technology that could be used for military purposes: global positioning system (GPS) equipment, a portable high-end spectrometer and a large quantity of high-specification computer hardware. - North Korea Tech Transfer - Why was the U.N. helping Pyongyang obtain militarily useful computers and GPS systems? - WSJ
UNDP - Fraud in Burma

The same modus operandi was on display in response to U.S. inquiries about the UNDP's operations in another Asian dictatorship -- Burma, where the agency appears to be following the same practices that got it into trouble in North Korea. Inspection of projects is limited by the government and a percentage of U.N. outlays is required to be in foreign currency. Given what we've learned about North Korea, the U.S. is right to worry that UNDP aid -- $107 million from 2002 to 2006 -- may have been diverted to the regime.

The UNDP has responded with its usual transparency. While deigning to release the information that it has conducted two internal audits of the Burma program in the past decade, it won't give the U.S. access to the audits or let it review the line-by-line details of the budgets. This is the equivalent of a CEO refusing to let a member of his board of directors see the company's financials -- and is hardly the way to treat the country that has donated $1.2 billion to the agency over the past decade. In addition, there has been no external audit of the Burma program for more than 10 years. - WSJ

UNDP - Censorship

Rather, Inner City Press was notified by "Google Team," with no further attribution, that it would be de-listed from the Google News service, in which it had been included since 2005. Google's notification referred to "user complaints." Inner City Press immediately asked to be informed of the identity of any institutional complainant, including Google itself. Beyond that, certainly, there are others with complaints about Inner City Press' investigative coverage, at the UN, in Myanmar, UNDP and elsewhere.

In fact, UNDP sources describe communications from the UN system to Google executives, asking that Inner City Press be de-listed from Google News, and that a well-read blog, UNDP-Watch, be striken from that data base. Recently a whistleblower in UNDP's legal department had his office computer impounded and was told, you have visited multiple times. While the interrogation reflected contempt for the freedom to read and freedom of the press, the issue goes far beyond the corporate culture at UNDP, to that of Google. - Inner City Press

I wonder if this is execution of their discussed plan to ignore or ban bloggers as media.

At least three UN agencies have in the interim adopted policies of not answering questions from bloggers, no matter how widely they're read. - Inner City Press

I guess things like this will get easier once they get control of the internet. There is no reason why Google would do this on their own without some sort of external prodding and the only ones who would have reason to complain would be those inside the UN itself.

UNHCR Commishioner - Tacit Support of Iran

This idiotic UN official decides to sit with the delegation of Iran. When will UN Officials get it through their thick skulls that some countries are not equal to others.

Tehran, Iran, Sep. 03, 2007 - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour attends what was billed as a human rights conference in Tehran. - Eye on the UN
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour (seated right in a scarf), embodies the same level of detachment from reality as the council she heads. Why she would even bother to give any measure of credibility to the anti-human rights conference gathered in Tehran with her beyond me. - Tundra Tabloids
Maybe it was for money?

Like many UN Officials, Louise Arbour has a history:
Rwandan Genocide controversy - A report by French magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière has alleged that Arbour refused to examine certain avenues of investigation concerning the downing of the flight carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994, which sparked the Rwandan Genocide. Allegedly, Arbour in 1997 (then the war crimes prosecutor based in The Hague) ordered investigators to cease examining whether current President of Rwanda Paul Kagame was responsible for the missile launch that downed the plane. - Wikipedia

IAEA - Admits Failure to monitor Iran's Nuclear Program
VIENNA (AFP) — The UN atomic watchdog said Thursday it was in the dark about Iran's disputed nuclear programme, as its 35-member board seemed divided on how to get Tehran to shed more light on its activities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "has so far not been able to verify some important aspects of Iran's nuclear programme," its director general Mohamed ElBaradei told a board meeting here.

He specifically cited key questions related to the scope and nature of Iran's centrifuge enrichment activities, "as well as those relevant to alleged studies and other activities that could have military applications".

As a result, the UN watchdog was "unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities," ElBaradei complained. - AFP (ound at LGF)
This is the same person who has criticized the US and others for demanding action on Iran.

UNAids - Systematically Overestimating the Aids Problem in a number of countries

In 2005 the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/Aids (UNAids) claimed there were 5.7 million people infected with HIV in India - the highest number in the world. But the Indian National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) figures for last year, released yesterday, lowered the number to 2.5 million - and UNAids has had to admit the new estimate is more accurate.
The HIV overestimates made or accepted by UNAids in recent years total about 10 million - so who is the real denialist?

Since 2001, UNAids has been forced to acknowledge drastically reduced HIV prevalence estimates in more than a dozen African, Caribbean and Asian countries as a result of well-designed 'population-based' HIV surveys (randomly selected samples of urban and rural populations).

Kenya's HIV estimate was reduced from 2.3 million to 1.1 million in 2003. Ethiopia's estimate was reduced from nearly two million to about half a million in 2005. And Haiti's estimate of almost 250,000 HIV-infected adults in 2001 was cut to fewer than 100,000 last year.

However, UNAids continued to defend its exaggerations up through last year, as I pointed out earlier this year in my book The Aids Pandemic: The Collision Of Epidemiology With Political Correctness.

UNAids was quick to respond to my charges, with spin rather than substance, referring vaguely to its 'scientific approach' to calculating HIV numbers and the fact that it collaborates with experts and governments. It refused to acknowledge that its approach was wrong or that the figures were bogus until the Indian revision exposed both. UNAids has simply glossed over the new estimates as being the result of better data and improved methods that are constantly evolving. - Critical Opinion

UN Report - Refuses to name Russia as aggressor as Russia is a member of the Security Council(All the more reason to kick them off.)

The missile incident disturbingly resembles a March incident in which a missile was fired at a government building in Abkhazia, a Georgian territory that is home to pro-Russian rebels. Then, too, the evidence pointed to Russian aggression, but a United Nations report stopped short of blaming Russia -- probably because the Russians had to sign off on the document. - Publius Pundit

UN Aid Program in Dafur - Not much more that a Profit-making business:

I recently listened with great interest to an account of the situation in Darfur from a Russian politician who had traveled there as a tourist. In addition to showing me some extremely interesting photos, he confirmed that the whole system of humanitarian aid distribution in Darfur was nothing but a highly profitable business run by companies with tribal connections to the nobility. - La Russophobe

World Bank - "Graft inquiry condemns World Bank"
The World Bank has not taken corruption seriously enough and has resisted the efforts of anti-graft investigators, an official inquiry has found. Paul Volcker, former head of the US Federal Reserve Bank, said his inquiry into the bank had revealed a "siege mentality" at the troubled institution.

He spoke of "ambivalence" in the way it viewed anti-corruption work. - BBC
Note: the World Bank is not part of the UN. I just threw it in here to make the comment that they are completely unaffiliated generators of fraud and corruption.

UN Mission in Liberia - Payment of local staff with much reduced salary in violation of its own rules
UNITED NATIONS, January 25 -- The UN Mission in Liberia pays workers eight dollars a day, then outsources the jobs to non-Liberian companies when faced with complaints, according to the UNMIL National Staff Association. In a letter sent to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on January 21, the Staff Association asks for action on what it contends is a pattern of racist hiring, corrupt outsourcing, retaliation against whistleblowers and, in their words, "neo-colonialism." - Inner City Press

UN - Hundreds of active fraud investigations
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - The United Nation's internal auditing agency said on Thursday it was investigating some 250 corruption cases including alleged sexual abuse by peacekeepers and financial irregularities, and it has found the extent of misbehavior surprising.

"Our caseload has been very steady over the last three months, around 250 cases," Inga-Britt Ahlenius, head of the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), told reporters. "We can say that we found mismanagement and fraud and corruption to an extent we didn't really expect."

Ahlenius said two-thirds of the cases under investigation related to peacekeeping missions. Of those, around 80 were allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in countries including Haiti and Liberia. - Reuters
As a result of member-state nationals being charged with fraud and corruption, member-states demand closure of the UN internal fraud investigators"
The team, set up two years ago in the wake of the scandal over the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq, identified more than 10 cases of significant fraud involving contracts worth $610m. The loss to the UN through corruption was at least $25m.

Some UN members – including Singapore, which cited the force’s alleged high-handed treatment of one of its citizens serving at the UN – balked at renewing the mandate. The US, which has been most active in prosecuting cases that emerged from the inquiries, argued for an extension. - Financial Times
UN Financial Disclosure - Requires no disclosure at all

There’s just one catch, or two, or three, or — hey, who’s counting, anyway? There’s almost no information in all this “disclosure.” Senior UN officials are now supposed to file a financial statement in-house, but there is no requirement that any information therein be disclosed to the public. Among officials who have volunteered to disclose, there is an option on the public disclosure form which consists of (stay with me, this gets good) choosing “to maintain the confidentiality of the information disclosed by me in order to comply with the Financial Disclosure Program.” Translation: public disclosure at the UN can consist of signing a statement in which the only information imparted to the public is that you refuse to disclose anything except… your refusal to disclose. - The Rosett Report

UN Peacekeepers - Destruction of historic artifacts

UN Peacekeepers are accused of trashing prehistoric rock engravings in Western Sahara with spray paint. - Gateway Pundit

UN Headquarters - A person in the UN made this edit in Wikipedia:

"Wikipedia EditGate: United Nations Edits Fallaci: 'Racist Whore'" - Little Green Footballs

I guess things like this will get easier once they get control of the internet.

Previous Editions:

-- Don't worry. There is more coming in future updates. --

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