Thursday, 14 August 2008

Japan Gets UN Financial Post, Pays for UNDP-Backed Cambodia Court

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee
Inner City Press
UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, August 13 -- What is it about the UN, money and Japan? After months of reports of financial improprieties at the UN-based Cambodia Tribunal, overseen by the UN Development Program, this week it was reported that Japan has stepped in to pay salaries until the scandal passes. At the UN noon briefing on Wednesday, Inner City Press asked Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq about the scandal, and to confirm that Japan will be paying. Haq said to ask UNDP, so Inner City Press did, including asking about the replacement of the court's chief of personnel. UNDP's answer, which arrived at 10 p.m. on Wednesday, was that

"Keo Thyvuth was the Chief of Personnel on the Cambodian side of the Court. We understand from press reports and statements from the national side of the Court that he has been replaced. I would suggest contacting the Cambodian authorities for more details on the circumstances of regarding his replacement. As for the Japanese funding, it is a bilateral issue between Tokyo and the Cambodian government. Again, I would suggest contacting the Japanese and Cambodian missions."

But what are the allegations of impropriety that UNDP has been alluding to but not explaining? Go ask someone else, both UNDP and Haq answered. Haq did however announce that Jun Yamazaki, previously of Japan's Foreign Ministry, is taking over at the UN's Controller. He succeeds Warren Sach, who is being shifted over to head the whittled down Central Support Services. Computer services has been shifted about from CSS, as has Facilities Management, put under Michael Adlerstein's Capital Master Plan. One wag said Sach is now in charge of only the postal administration and the UN cafeteria, and called him Mister Coffee. We shall see.

Not to say, we told you so -- but we told you so.

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