Thursday, February 16, 2017

Helen Clark Lost Out on UNDP, Reappears as Global Fund Finalist, Houngbo Gets IFAD

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, February 16 – With the UN system facing 40% budget cuts from the US, on January 25 UN Development Program (UNDP) chief Helen Clark in January confirmed she will leave on April 19.

  In a fast turn-around, she is already a finalist to take over the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. So when did she start applying?  
  Meanwhile, after Inner City Press asked, on February 15 it emerged that there is an application process, running through March 20, to replace Clark at UNDP. But will the applications, at least of the "short list," be made public?
  Meanwhile, UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq on February 15 announced that "Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, the former Prime Minister of Togo, has been appointed as the sixth President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, or IFAD." Haq did not mention that Houngbo was previously at UNDP. It's a small world -- too small. Watch this site.
 Back on January 26, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric what the process will be, and about (UN) transparency. Video here, from the UN transcript
Inner City Press: now that Helen Clark has said that she'll be leaving by 19 April, can you describe what the process will be that António Guterres will use to choose a new administrator of UNDP (United Nations Development Program)?  Has he received nominations, for example… [Inner City Press said Miliband and Segelone Royal, the UN did not transcribe.]

Spokesman:  No, we was… he was…  He was informed by Helen Clark of her desire to step down at the end of her… of her term.  There is a well-determined process of consultations between the Secretary-General and the Executive Board of UNDP on finding a successor, and that process will be followed.

Inner City Press:  Yesterday, he met with the French Minister of Development and Francophonie.  I was kind of expecting some kind of a readout.  Did I miss one?  Was one put out?

Spokesman:  No, there was no readout that I know of.

Inner City Press:  And I wanted to ask, I guess, related to that, there are some in the South Korean media asking to know where it's available to find the daily schedules that are put up every day.  Are they just thrown out, or is there some repository of who met with the Secretary-General…?

Spokesman:  Well, I'm glad you're… you've asserted a role as the Spokesman for the South Korean media but they can look on the website, and everything should be archived. 
 On January 26 Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft, video here, UK transcript:
Inner City Press: Does the UK support David Miliband to head UNDP?

Amb Rycroft: We look forward to working with Helen Clark in her final months in office and with her successor, and no further comment. [end]
  Some UN sources have told Inner City Press this post, "like UNICEF and WFP, may go to an American." We'll see.
  Of the candidates to replace the increasingly discredited Ban Ki-moon as UN Secretary General, Clark was the most active on social media. 
She also, as Inner City Press exposed, had UNDP go after a UNDP staff who dared tweet criticism of her. 
She was once getting a tobacco award but when exposed by Inner City Press, turned it down. There's more to be said but the news of the day is the impending budget cuts. 

 And why WAS France minister for development meeting with and lobbying Antonio Guterres on January 25? We'll have more on this.