Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ICP Asked UNSG Guterres Of Grab of RCs, Skeptics in G77 Say Steiner Was Strong-Armed, June

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 – The UN Secretariat of Antonio Guterres and his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed are headed to the UN Chief Executives Board meeting in Montreux, while moving to take over the UN Development Program's "Resident Coordinator" system and the funding that goes with it. While their holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric has twice refused Inner City Press' request for a mere summary of the proposal, sources in the Group of 77's meeting with Amina Mohammed told Inner City Press on April 24, even as it was ghoulishly confined to UN minders, that there is no written proposal until June and that it will be opposed. "Boutros [Boutros Ghali] tried this move and got rejected, didn't you know?" one attendee asked Inner City Press. Another surmised that Achim Steiner was made to give his sign off on this ceding of UNDP power in order to get the Administrator post. "But that's not the end of it," the source continued. "The Group won't go with it." We'll have more on this. Inner City Press asked about it again on April 13, and here on April 19, from the UN transcript: Inner City Press: the Deputy Secretary-General and the chief of Chef de Cabinet presented to the G77 (Group of 77) yesterday on the two reforms I’ve been asking you about, one having to do with resident coordinators, the other one, I believe, having to do with the gender policy.  I’m wondering, now that there obviously is a text that’s being presented in that way, can you give some summary of what the Secretary-General’s policy is?

Spokesman:  I’ll see what I can do.
  Hours later, no answer, Spokesperson's Office locked, DSG left at 7:47 pm after no answer on Cameroon Internet cut, or censorship. But Guterres' spokespeople refuse to confirm, deny or explain it, in continued lack of transparency. Whereas for now, until April 19, outgoing UNDP Administrator Helen Clark chairs the UN Development Group, Amina Mohammed would take it over before the new Administrator Achim Steiner is installed. On April 13, Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: on the Resident Coordinator proposal, the proposal, as I understand it, for the Resident Coordinator system to be moved from UNDP [United Nations Development Programme] to the Secretariat, I wanted to know, Farhan, I think, in one of your absences said, when it's decided and approved, we'll justify it.  It seems like, if it's… there are many even Member States concerned about it, but also, there's people impacted by UNDP that would like to know, what's the rationale for the proposal?  And has Achim Steiner, the nominee for UNDP, signed off on this loss of power by UNDP?

Spokesman:  First of all, again, I think I will refer you to the last analogy I gave you.  There is, as the Secretary-General said he would do, a review of the UN Development System that is ongoing and that is being consulted, being led by the Deputy Secretary-General.  Once we have something to announce, we will.  But, obviously, everyone who's needed to be consulted is being consulted.

As for who the next head of UNDP will be, that is something that will be announced in due course when all the "Ts" have been crossed and all the "Is" have been dotted.

Inner City Press: If the commitment to gender is, as you said in answer to the question about the stated policy, how would that be consistent with the head of peacekeeping being a male and the head of UNDP being a male?  How would that be consistent?

Spokesman:  I think one has to look holistically at the system. 
Back on March 24, Inner City Press again asked Guterres' holdover deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: two things about UNDP [United Nations Development Programme].  One is Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Environment, has now said publicly that she is a candidate to head UNDP.  So I wanted to know, is there going to be any kind of, like, short list announced?  I know, under some previous Administrations, there were for such top jobs.  Do you anticipate announcing… given that one candidate has said publicly… there are other names I would like you to confirm.  Mr. [Bert] Koenders is running, Mr. [David] Miliband, Ms. [Sigrid] Kaag.  Do you anticipate there being a public process so that people know who the candidates are?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't anticipate us providing a short list.  That process was discontinued almost a decade ago.
Inner City Press: Okay.  Then my other question is this.  In terms of candidates knowing what the job entails, because it remains open until 27 March to apply for it, I'd like… I tried to ask you yesterday about the Secretariat trying to get funding for the Resident Coordinator system, but I want to ask you more directly.  Is it the intention of the Secretary-General and his Deputy Secretary-General to have Amina Mohammed become the chair of the UN Development Group, a position previously belonging to the administrator of UNDP, and essentially bring the Resident Coordinator system under the Secretariat?  And, in part, I think you should disclose it, but certainly, if people are applying, does the UNDP job they're applying for include heading the Resident Coordinator system?

Deputy Spokesman:  Any reforms to the way the UN Development Group is organized is something we'll announce if that change is made.  Right now, there hasn't been, and there's nothing to announce about the Resident Coordinator system.

Inner City Press: But when a reform is being proposed, usually, like, most… in most systems, the proponent of the reform discusses it publicly, argues for it.  Are you saying it's a totally secret process of reform?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, no, but if there's any need… there's some things that go to lower levels of discussion that never get to become policy discussions.  If there's any real major change of policy that we're planning, of course, we'll announce that.  But we don't have… we're not at that stage. 
   Inner City Press on March 23 asked or tried to ask Guterres himself, as he left the UN Security Council along with Katrin Hett: "Is the Secretariat tryig to take over the Resident Coordinator system?" Guterres as is his way for now did not answer. Vine video here and here. Ongoing YouTube here. Guterres heads out on a trip from March 24 to April 3. We'll have more on this. From the UN's March 23 noon briefing transcript
Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you, overall, I've heard that there's a proposal by the Secretary-General to begin getting funding currently that goes to UNDP for the resident coordinator system to get some of it devoted to the Secretariat itself given its… the work it expands, in any case, to take an income stream that currently goes through UNDP and bring it to the Secretariat… to the Secretariat.  And I'd like you… maybe you know or don't know.  Can you get an answer and… and… I guess you might wait until tomorrow, but it seems like it's a major proposal.  You're talking about, you know, he's thinking of reforms.  If he's trying to get in money by changing the way the resident coordinator system works, can you confirm that that is the plan?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, I cannot confirm that.

Inner City Press:  Meaning it's not happening or you refuse to confirm or deny this reform…?

Deputy Spokesman:  No I don't have any details to share on that.  There's any number of different proposals that may or may not be considered.  But I don't have any confirmation of whether that's… that's…

Inner City Press:  It's in the QCPR… [Quarterly Comprehensive Periodic Review]

Deputy Spokesman:  Yes, but different things may be up for discussion.  Whether they advance or not, it's too early to tell.  I don't have any confirmation of that.  It's certainly not policy right now.

Inner City Press:  But wouldn't you want to say why you would want to do it?  I mean, that's what I'm asking… I'm sort of asking you, if that's the proposal, why does he want to do it?

Deputy Spokesman:  When these discussions take place, they take place among different Member States.  I wouldn't have anything to say at this stage about them.  Ultimately, it… ultimately, what I get to announce is what's resolved.  Have a good afternoon, everyone.
  Good? While there are good Resident Coordinators, Inner City Press has also written about Ban Ki-moon son in law Siddarth Chatterjee, given the top Kenya post by his own father in law without recusal, and now Najat Rochdi, who covered up Cameroon's abuse of the Anglophone western part of the country. Both of them block Inner City Press on Twitter. This is today's UN.

How transparent, or intentionally opaque, is today's UN? After Inner City Press exclusively reported that staff on the UN's 38th floor were paid through the UN Office of Project Services and not the regular budget, the UN admitted it but refused to answer Inner City Press' follow up questions.