Blog For a Cure -Giveaway

I have several friends and a relative who have fought this illness. There is only one more day to help raise money, but any donation will be appreciated. Blog For A Cure is a blog party that will connect new bloggers from all walks of life, while offering up some great prizes, and raising money to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Click on the badge, sign up, and help raise money!!!!!!!

Exclusive: Rep. Ros-Lehtinen Demands UN Reform – Where Does the President Stand?


September 28, 2009

The Editors

There has long been an effort – many efforts, in fact – to reform the United Nations, but apparently to no avail. There has been pressure to reform the UN Security Council, to reform global governance at the UN, to reform the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Development Program and the UN Relief and Works Agency and much, much more. To date, nothing has been reformed.
Things are so bad at the UN that, back in July, member states were even unable to reach consensus during a session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Comprehensive Convention onInternational Terrorism. On what were they trying to agree? The definition of terrorism and “terrorist acts,” “state terrorism” as a form of terrorism, activities of armed forcesof the state during armed conflict, the title of the convention, and the timing of the conference on terrorism.
We kid you not.
An example of such glaring incompetence is the question of the unresolved issues at the UN Human Rights Council. According to Foreign Policy magazine:
The task of reforming the United Nations Human Rights Council is a daunting one. Since the council was set up in 2006 to replace the discredited U.N. Commission on Human Rights, it has achieved little to cheer about. Human rights pariahs such as China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, and Saudi Arabia have been easily elected to the council and have so far achieved great success in making sure it doesn't do its real job. Israel gets pummeled time and again, while countries like Zimbabwe, Belarus, and Uzbekistan escape serious attention. Even the situation in Sudan has received only a weak and mostly ineffective response. A newly released Freedom House ‘Report Card on the Human Rights Council’ gives the council a passing grade in only one of 11 criteria.
With this litany of failures, it is understandable when critics claim that the council is unsalvageable and that no amount of resources can fix its inherent problems. But these critics overlook the fundamental reason why it has failed to date. The council's primary weakness is not that the world's most repressive societies manage to get themselves elected and then run roughshod over the council's other members, but rather that the majority of the world's democracies let them do it. There are more democracies than dictatorships in the world today; yet curiously, it is the despots who focus their diplomatic energies on the council.
The United States is perhaps the only democracy with the clout needed to move the council in the right direction. At a time when Freedom House has tracked three straight years of global backsliding in fundamental political rights and civil liberties, it is all the more urgent to try to shore up the world's only global body dedicated to protecting and advancing human rights.
In spite of pinning virtually all hopes on “the only democracy with the clout needed,” experts say that the Obama administration, evidently lacking both courage and backbone, is unlikely to push such despotic countries as those who sully the Human Rights Council by their membership on it for much-needed UN reforms in any area or at any council at the United Nations.
Luckily, there are others in Washington who disagree with the apparent Obama strategy and bravely say so out loud. One such leader is U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who this past week delivered a special address on the Floor of the House calling for sweeping reform at the United Nations.
The statement by Ros-Lehtinen is as follows:
UN agencies have proven time and again to be corrupt, ineffective, biased, and hijacked by enemies of freedom. Yet, the U.S. continues to send billions to the UN – no strings attached.
The UN Human Rights Council, dominated by human rights abusers like China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia, recently released a report accusing Israel of ‘war crimes’ and ‘possibly, crimes against humanity’ for defending its citizens against rocket and mortar fire from Islamist militants in Gaza.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) still refuses to vet its staff and aid recipients for ties to violent extremist groups.
The UN Development Program (UNDP) is accused of misusing funds in Zimbabwe,Afghanistan, and North Korea, to name a few.
The list goes on and on. It is time to bring real reform to the troubled United Nations, and to put U.S. taxpayer dollars to work for the American people, and not for the UN, where the inmates run the asylum.
It should be noted that Ros-Lehtinen is the author of the United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act (H.R. 557), which conditions U.S. contributions to the UN on sweeping, meaningful reform of the UN system. This measure has the support of nearly 100 co-sponsors.
Let your Congressional representatives know what you think about such an important topic. We can guarantee they will want to hear from you.
- Brought to you by the editors and research staff of

Giving Something Back a Wise Investment

Author: Denice Gierach

Business people generally get a bad rap in the general press and the movies trying to make the business of making money a bad thing. The reality is that many businesses that are successful have a genuine desire to give back to the community, which they do in many ways. There are literally thousands of charities in the Chicago metropolitan area, all of which need help in the form of donations, manpower or active participation. Charities rely principally on volunteers who provide the service directly to that charity’s intended beneficiaries. However, many of them also need business people who can sit on the charity’s board and help to direct the business of the charity.

Whether your background is in general management, accounting, legal or sales, these charities can use your help in guiding them towards fulfilling their mission of helping people. If you serve on the board of directors, besides helping to guide the business of the charity, you will also be expected to help to raise funds to keep the charity in operation. Many boards expect that you with either “give or get” a certain amount of money to contribute to the charity. This may be contributed to various fundraisers for the charity that you will attend and invite your friends and business contacts.

The need has grown so much in DuPage County, for instance, that many of the charities have outgrown their space and are looking to either to lease another space or to buy or build another building. As in any business, there are a myriad of questions that need to be addressed in determining whether to move. Beside the basic one of need, there are many questions as to whether the charity can afford to pay the additional rent or raise the additional capital to build a building, if the new property is in a good location to be accessible to the charity’s constituents, if the building has any possibility for growth of the charity in the future, if the configuration of the building will work for the charity, to name but a few. Many times it is essential for the business owner board of director to give input to the charity, as the leaders of the charity have no real business background. They have to rely upon the board to give the proper direction.

If you do not have the time to devote towards being on the board, it is still a good idea for the business owner to participate in their favorite charity by sponsoring various events and providing manpower to help at the different events which may range from golf outings to galas to Ribfests to house raffles to Soup’s On which benefits local food pantries. The types of fundraisers are endless depending on the type of charity. There are also many ways to leave your legacy behind and benefit your favorite charity either while you are alive or after you have passed away, using techniques such as the donation of a life insurance policy that you continue to pay the premiums, using a gift annuity, setting up a charitable remainder trust or using a charitable lead trust. Sometimes this memory is in the form of your name on a building or your name on a particular office or laboratory or a scholarship fund. While this may seem egotistical at first blush, telling your story and your connection to the charity may be inspirational to others who become connected to that charity and especially to your children, who will find out from you first hand that it is not “always about them.”

While all of this is done in the spirit of giving back to the community, you will find that you get many things back from the charity, as well. Besides having fun at the events, you will find that some of the skills that you do not normally use in your business as that skill has been delegated to another person in your organization are now useful. You may also find that some of the people on the board become your best friends, based upon this one shared interest in helping out the charity. It is certainly true that in giving back you receive.

Article Source:

About the Author:
Denice A. Gierach is a lawyer and owner of The Gierach Law Firm in Naperville. She is a certified public accountant and has a master's degree in management. She may be reached at

Shining a Light On Shine a Light Program

This summer and fall, American Express and NBC Universal is sponsoring a "Shine A Light" competition as part of their program which supports small businesses. They have invited online submissions of stories about small businesses that adopt an innovative approach to surviving tough times, set customer service as a business priority, and give back to their community.

This is their explanation and description of their contest: "What is "Shine A Light"? "Everyday small business are leading our country and their local communities to a new and better way of working and thinking. Through good times and bad, their resilience and entrepreneurial spirit can serve as an inspiration to us all." The small business winner of this competiton will receive marketing support and a grant of $100,000.00 to further their business mission.

I learned of this competition too late to nominate two small businesses in my area that I have written about and that meet the competition criteria: In Her Shoes, in Palo Alto, which donates all of their profits to the Global Fund for Women, and Mission Street Food in San Francisco, which donates all of their profits to weekly designated charities.

My congratulations to the three finalists of the competition: Sacred Wind Communications, Beacon Paint and Hardware, and Happy Baby. I would like to "shine a light' on the particular ways each of them is contributing back to their community.

Sacred Wind Communications (SWC) is a for-profit telecommunications company that employs 40, mostly Navajo people, in New Mexico. Many of their customers have never had a computer or even owned a telephone and now are able to search for jobs and to have access to educational resources. SCW also funds the non-profit Sacred Winds Communications Community Connect program, which provides computer training programs and scholarships to the Navajo community.

Beacon Paint and Hardware, in Brooklyn, NY, is an integral part of their community by sponsoring local paint and cleanup days, supporting the local public schools with paint and materials for events and new school buildings. They also are the primary sponsor for an annual fundraiser for the Xeroderma Pigmentosum Society. XP is an illness where children cannot be exposed to daylight.

HAPPYBABY organic baby food, in addition to being the first baby food company of its kind using organic, sustainable ingredients, and has expanded its product line to include toddler snacks and meals, has created a local Community Marketing Specialist Program which educates parents about the importance of organic, fresh, and healthy foods to the development of a baby's health and well-being. The company supports Project Peanut Butter, that helps feed a starving child in Africa for an entire day for each unit sold by HAPPYBABY.

The Shine A Light business directory also contains a list of all the nominated small businesses. This directory was developed to help customers connect with and support the small businesses in their community. I have read the stories of some of the 432 nominations, all of which are very deserving of their nominations as they have contributed to their communities in so many ways.

In addition to hosting this competition, Shine a Light hosts an online support site with a discussion board for small businesses and an expert advice forum.

I haven't decided which of three nominations I will vote for-it's a tough choice. Certainly all three deserve to receive the economic boost and marketing help to their venture.
You can find more information about each of the finalists and have a chance to vote at:

In Doss Nepotism Scandal, UNDP Denies Whistleblower Status, No Appeal Possible, It Says

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 -- In another showing of the UN system's weak or non-existent protections for whistleblowers, Inner City Press learned Wednesday that the UN Development Program has ruled against Nicolas Baroncini, whose job was given to the daughter of the UN's top envoy to the Congo Alan Doss after Doss asked for "leeway" so she could be hired.

Baroncini, who was aware of Doss' request for leeway from an e-mail Baroncini opened in the course of his work, was told to leave UNDP. When he asked to speak to his consulate, he says, he was tackled and maced, after which Security Officer Peter Kolonias emerged with bite marks requiring medical attention. There is no doubt, however, that Baroncini was asked to leave after he complained and showed evidence about nepotism. That is retaliation, and makes Baroncini a whistleblower.

UNDP, however, seems to have an insurmountably high definition of whistleblowers. Baroncini was informed that there has only been one whistleblower acknowledged in UNDP in the past two years. When UNDP refused even to follow the findings of the UN's Ethics Office with respect to a whistleblower, then UNDP chief Kemal Dervis argued that UNDP was independent from the UN Ethics system. Dervis set up his own ethics system, and Ban Ki-moon and his spokespeople said that those adversely ruled on could appeal to UN Ethics Officer Robert Benson.

But Baroncini has been informed that there is no appeal of UNDP's ruling that he is not a whistleblower. It seems to give an agency like UNDP an incentive to fire before a person files a formal complaint, and then internally deny whistleblower status to avoid any appeal across the street to the UN Ethics Office.

UNDP's Helen Clark and "her" PM, Key of N Zealand, answers to wider press not shown

It is a system in need of near total reform, and we will follow up on this.

Footnote: While Rebecca Doss remains in place in UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, sources speak to Inner City Press about an annual leave, a failure to yet pay, an attempt to find job(s) outside of New York to relieve the pressure, including across the street on the Secretariat. Meanwhile, UNDP's Admininistrator Helen Clark has yet to answer any questions about the scandal, or even to hold any press availability in UN headquarters, despite routinely making herself available to the New Zealand press. Who, some ask, is she working for? Watch this site.

Micro-volunteering, a Big Idea for Small Businesses

Small businesses that find it hard to take time a full day off to volunteer can take advantage of the innovative idea of micro-volunteering. The idea of leveraging "every little bit" of time has been applied to using a computer or cell phone to do something good for the world, through a crowdsourcing technology developed by the company, the Extraordinairies.

The Extraordinaries partners with nonprofit organizations and cause-oriented groups and creates a set of micro-actions on their platform that links to the non-profit's needs. This allows individuals to sign up for on-the-spot volunteering using the software application on their computer or cell phone.

As an entrepreneur or small business owner you are often working around the clock fulfilling all the roles in the company. By capturing those seemingly wasted moments of time like waiting in line at the post office, bank, or for a doctor's appointment you can still use your time, energy and skills towards some social good.

Micro-volunteers can participate in all kinds of worthwhile projects: exotic projects like transcribing ancient texts, or tagging images for the Smithsonian; fun projects like mapping playspaces for Kaboom or taking photographs for police investigations; community projects like mapping waste-water use or local potholes. Tying these causes to the values, core strengths and the purpose of the company will give you the satisfaction of contributing to the benefit of society in a way that is meaningful to you and your business.

How does micro-volunteering help? An example of one of the volunteer jobs, translating documents or websites could save a non-profit about $.14 a word for Spanish, or as much as $1.50 a word for Swahili in translating services.

If your business has employees that are interested in becoming involved, they too can micro-volunteer during some of their down time, using the computer or their smart phones at the office. This gives employees the opportunity to be engaged in the values and the greater purpose of the business which helps build employee morale and commitment.

But be careful, they might have so much fun they won't get back to work!

CleanSweep with the Environmental Law Society

New England's Environmental Law Society will be assisting with COASTSWEEP 2009 from 2 to 4 pm on Friday, October 9 on the Esplanade. Those interested will be meeting in front of the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade. Click here to learn more about COASTSWEEP.

If you need any additional information, please contact Susan Anamier at

Restaurants' Cause Marketing Programs to Help Meals on Wheels Charity

Restaurants in New York, San Francisco and South Florida Team up for the Perfect Pairings Menu Campaign to Support Local Meals-on-Wheels Programs, PRWeb, Sept.15
"Throughout October, restaurants in New York City, San Francisco and South Florida team up for the Perfect Pairings (SM) Menu Campaign, a first-of-its kind cause marketing campaign benefiting local Meals-on-Wheels programs. Participating restaurants will feature deliciously paired food and beverage items on their menus designated by the Perfect Pairings fork+bottle logo. When diners order these items, $1 of each pairing is directly donated to the corresponding local beneficiary: Citymeals-on-Wheels in New York City; Meals on Wheels of San Francisco; and Florida's Cooperative Feeding Program. Featured pairings include both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, savory and sweet dishes alike.

Diners and avid foodies can browse a complete list of participating restaurants, learn more about the beneficiaries, and discover new ways to pair food and drink starting October 1st at the official website:"

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Expose UNDP Corruption !

UNDP's Parking lot for Labour around the world - from Herfkens to Mike Williams


Salute to a 'fairly good bastard'

Labour's ex-President Mike Williams had some of the best lines at the Labour Party conference in Rotorua.

He drove down there on Saturday to receive a gold badge for his service - the second longest serving president after Big Jim Roberts who held the post from 1937 to 1950.

In his brief acceptance speech, Mike said he had a weird feeling driving down from Auckland that something was strangely different.

He finally worked out at about Tirau what it was . "I had written a speech to give to the conference and I haven't got Heather Simpson trying to get it out of me in advance."

That got a big laugh from the audience - in the safety of knowing that Simpson was not in the room. The scary former chief of staff for Helen Clark is now working for her in New York at the UN Development Programme.

Mike also thanked the media -"you gave me a fair go,'' he said simply.

I assume that by that he meant that when he got bad press, he thought he deserved it. He got plenty of good press too, especially in the first two terms, including this profile I did of him in 2004 where he talked about an out-of-body experience in 1977 after almost being electrocuted.

I like the Matt McCarten quote, too, where he said of Williams: "He'll hold your hand while Helen cuts your throat and you don't blame Mike. If you are going to get shafted, you don't feel so bad getting shafted by Mike."

McCarten recalled in his Herald on Sunday column yesterday meeting Williams for the first time: "He was dressed completely in black, seated in the back of a cafe, chain-smoking over black coffee while wheeling and dealing on a cellphone attached to his ear.''

"He really was a working-class party boss right out of central casting. He's always great fun, a consummate story teller and a political spinner from way back. It's an end of an era."

Mike got plenty of bad press over his presidency from 2000 to 2008.

Sometimes he stuffed up, but often it was because he said what he thought when he shouldn't have said it or thought it. Either way, he has always been a popular figure with the media.

Most of the bad press was in the last term - pledge card, paying it back, the Electoral Finance Act, that trip to Melbourne.

Pete Hodgson delivered the tribute to Mike. He said that after last year's loss, Mike was inconsolable and went into a deep funk for months.

I am not surprised. Williams became a scapegoat for Labour's defeat because the trip to Melbourne to search historic records he had been led to believe directly linked John Key to the unlawful H-Fee deals of the 1980s.

It turned out to be a dud lead and it was ill-judged of Williams to have buried himself in such business, especially in the closing weeks of the election.

But the search by someone was justified given that Labour had reason to believe it had a genuine tip-off - as opposed to just trawling for dirt. You would have thought, however, that someone further down the food chain could have been dispatched for the purpose.

The mea culpa exercise being undertaken by Goff is putting some perspective on Williams' role in the defeat. But Phil Goff is trying to distance himself from the failure of 2008 and maybe that is why he confined himself to pinning the gold badge on Mike rather than paying tribute himself.

"We think you are a fairly good bastard,'' Hodgson said in suitably fitting way that Goff could not have.

Much of the good heart that the party finds itself in despite defeat - not to mention three previous election wins - is because of the organizational strength it developed under Williams. Goff has a lot to be grateful for.

In such good heart is the party that it accepted in a very generous spirit in which it was given the offer by the sole Progressive MP Jim Anderton to help Labour with future campaigns. While it is true he has held his own seat since 1984, parties he has led have netted the following number of MPs:

1990 - 1

1993 - 2

1996 - 13

1999 -10

2002 - 2

2005 - 1

2008 - 1

Anderton was interview by Paul Holmes yesterday on Q and A, and David Farrar on Kiwiblog takes issue with some of Anderton's claims of campaigning prowess.

"I probably hold the Guinness Book of Records for representing the largest number of parties in the same electorate, increasing my majorities most of the time. The people of Sydenham have the right to say that and that's what they've been saying,'' Anderton said.

Farrar points out the actual majorities:

1996: 10,039
1999: 9,885
2002: 3,176
2005: 8,548
2008: 4,767

- Audrey Young

Photo: Former Labour Party president Mike Williams. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey

How Charities Can Help Small Business

Charities that are tired of the endless solicitation for donations and sponsorships from local businesses can try a new creative approach , a cause marketing partnership. Non-profits can propose a plan to their business supporters that can bring mutual benefits to both parties. The non-profit can bring more customers to the business, advertise the business on their own sites, and share in some of the advertising and promotion costs.

Success stories such as the RED campaign or the Susan G Komen for the Cure, show that when charities approach businesses with a cause marketing proposal that works for both sides it can become as a successful fundraising avenue for the charity and a great marketing approach for the business.

But as in any new approach it needs consideration and planning.

Michael and Shirley Tomberlin's blog site: causemarketing101, has great posts about non-profits using cause marketing relationships for their fundraising. In their latest post: "How Does Cause Marketing Work" defines cause marketing and lists the basic steps non-profits need to take to set up a cause marketing partnership. They are:

1. Find a company and a program that fits your goals and form a partnership.
2. Publicize the partnership to your members and the community. Make them aware of how they can support your ‘cause’. (The company can help with this)
3. Provide your members and the community at large a way to purchase the products. (A good company will do this part)
4. Go about your daily activities of supporting your cause and let the company handle all the money and inventory and delivery problems.
5. Use the funds generated to do the ‘good’ your non-profit was set up to do.

Business donations to charity have taken a tumble, but cause marketing has had a big surge. This has created some wonderful opportunities for innovative approaches in business philanthropy using cause marketing that even small businesses can take advantage of.

UNDP Zimbabwe report said to be missing

by The Insider

The report on a special investigation of the operations of the Harare office of the United Nations Development Programme carried out last year is alleged to have disappeared.

UNDP Director of Communications Stephane Dujarric, however, brushed off the claim but insisted that the report could not be released to the public.

The UNDP headquarters in New York ordered the special investigation into the operations of the Harare office from July to December last year following allegations that UNDP registered vehicles had been used to smuggle diamonds from River Ranch Mine near Beitbridge.

The investigation is believed to have been much wider focussing on the operations of the UNDP because of the alleged closeness of the resident representative Agostinho Zacarias to ZANU-PF.

The investigation was carried out by Frank Dutton, a former South African police officer. Dutton uncovered the Third Force and hit squads in apartheid South Africa and exposed apartheid's military destabilisation machinery.

He was head of the investigations unit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and set up South Africa's crack police unit, the Scorpions, before retiring. He worked for the International Court in The Hague where he headed the investigation unit in Sarajevo and was commander of field operations in Kosovo.

Dutton completed his report at the end of January but the UNDP has refused to release it saying it does not share investigation reports, regardless of the outcome.

"We do not share investigation reports, regardless of their outcome," the UNDP said in response to queries fromThe Insider.

"This is - among other things - to preserve the due process rights and the reputation of a staff member who may have been accused of wrongdoing. Disclosure of investigators' reports could result in irreparable harm to a person accused, but against whom no subsequent disciplinary action may be warranted."

The investigation, however, established that UNDP registered vehicles were used by River Ranch but these vehicles were "fraudulently registered". The UNDP declined to say who had fraudulently registered the vehicles adding that any action that needed to be taken had to be taken by the government of Zimbabwe.

A letter from the then Secretary of Transport, George Mlilo, which The Insider believes was part of the evidence given to Dutton, blamed the error in the registration to two junior officers at the Central Vehicle Registry.

The letter, however, leaves even more questions unanswered. It does not say, for example, how the name of the UNDP came up because it must have appeared in some of the papers for the vehicles for the junior officers to believe that the organisation was the owner of the civilian registered vehicles because they could not just dream this up.

The UNDP was involved at River Ranch through a company called African Management Services Company (AMSCO) which it owns jointly with the International Finance Corporation, the commercial arm of the World Bank.

AMSO is registered in the Netherlands but its operations head office is in Johannesburg. It is supposed to help small to medium sized African companies.

River Ranch is owned by Saudi Arabian billionaire Adel Aujan with former army commander Solomon Mujuru as a junior partner.

The investigation into the operations of the UNDP office in Harare was ordered after complaints from Bubye Minerals, which claims to own River Ranch Mine, that the mine was smuggling diamonds to South Africa using UNDP registered vehicles because there was no way the mine could be operating without selling its product.

River Ranch was barred from selling its diamonds on the open market because of the ownership dispute with Bubye Minerals.

Bubye argued that there was no way the mine, which said it employed more than 300 people and was engaged in various community projects, could survive unless it was smuggling diamonds.

A Kimberley Process Review team that visited the country in May 2007 cleared River Ranch and the UNDP but said in its report, Bubye Minerals lawyer Terrence Hussein had "denied having said that a UNDP vehicle was ever involved".

Hussein was incensed because the KP team had refused to interview his clients and other people they had lined up when the team visited the country. He wrote then KP chairman Karel Kovanda demanding that the report be corrected to indicate that he had never withdrawn the allegations arguing that only his clients could withdraw them.

Kovanda said Hussein's letter of protest would be attached to the report but Hussein was forced to take the matter up with the UNDP headquarters in New York in January 2008 when River Ranch sued him for US$1 million for defamation.

News about the disappearance of the Dutton report was broken to The Insider when it started probing into what would happen to River Ranch and Murowa diamond mines if Zimbabwe was banned from selling its diamonds as demanded by various human rights organisations.

The civic organisations and representatives of diamond trading organisations have called for Zimbabwe to be banned from selling its diamonds because of its handling of illegal diggers at Chiadzwa in Marange.

Zimbabwe deployed soldiers to clear the area which had been flooded by as many as 40 000 diggers. The soldiers are reported to have indiscriminately killed scores of illegal diggers during the clean-up which was dubbed Operation Hakudzokwe (There is no coming back).

According to a former UNDP employee with connections at the UNDP head office, Dutton's report, which is wanted by several organisations, was nowhere to be found. His "back-to-office" report was also missing.

The back-to-office report is a brief summary of the consultant or investigator's activities and observations. According to the former UNDP employee the back-to-office report "is usually fairly informal and a good place to mention things too controversial or unsubstantiated to put in a formal report".

"BtO (back-to-office) reports are often more informative than official reports," the former employee said.

Contacted for comment about this, Dujarric said: "The assertion that Mr. Dutton's report has disappeared from our offices together with his "back to office" report is completely false."

He did not elaborate.

The alleged disappearance of the report has raised questions as to what is so sensitive in the report that it should not be available even to head office staff.

A UNDP source said it was naïve for The Insider to expect Dujarric to say otherwise. He said even if the report was not available to the public it had to be available on the intranet for staff, but it was not there.

"Dutton's report/s (both with his back-to-office-report) are totally buried and what's most interesting, all parties involved have either been promoted or seconded in other positions away from the 'crime scene'," the source said.

Zacarias has been transferred to South Africa and bade farewell last month.

Though this is a bigger office, the former UNDP employee said he could not say whether this was a promotion or not.

"It is difficult to say if the transfer is a promotion or demotion. Theoretically SA is bigger and is the regional office so it may be a promotion, but internal politics are such that it is difficult to say. Generally in the UN people get promoted out of the way rather than demoted," the former employee said.

This view is supported by UNDP Watch is fighting for accountability within the organisation.

"Our problem is that UN has become a real anti-democratic institution in a sense that you have to have lost an election or be "unpopular" or "under investigation" in your own country to get appointed to a high level UN job," a writer said recently and named several people that fit this criteria who have been given top jobs in the UN.

Zacarias has been in Zimbabwe since 2005 and was at one time accused of being too close to the ruling ZANU-PF.

A member of Britain's House of Lords, Baroness Park of Monmouth, told the house in April last year after Morgan Tsvangirai's parliamentary victory: "Unless the present head of the UNDP is withdrawn, there will not be very much confidence in the UN's role in the future of Zimbabwe. Two successive UNDP leaders have been far too close to Mugabe and indeed, in one case, have taken land from him."

Zacarias took over from Victor da Silva Angelo who was resident representative from 2000 to 2004.

Posted- 12 September 2009

To comment on this story or to send us tip-offs, write to The Insider

Community As Partnership of Individuals, Businesses, and Organizations

Let me get on my business philanthropy soapbox for just a minute.

I just came from an annual awards breakfast for a community organization, CSA in Mountain View, CA that provides services to the homeless, the poor, seniors and the sick in our area. The statistics about the rise in need for services were shocking.

What was heartwarming to see were not only the individuals that were mentioned for their support, faith-based organizations, local organic farms, and food markets. Especially honored was a for-profit hospital, El Camino Hospital, that contributed $100,000.00 dollars towards the organization's Senior Health Services and Dr Mary Lou De Natale, who works with the volunteer nurses.

Best of all, was the guest speech given by Jose Antonio Vargas, a young Pulitzer prize winning reporter formerly of the Washington Post and now with the Huffington Post, who graduated from our local high school. He began his speech with a definition of community from Webster's as: a unified body of individuals. What struck him was that a community could be made of individuals with differences that came together for a common purpose. He recounted how the community supported him even though he was different and how he sought to focus on the subject of differences throughout his career in journalism.

A community that can support the needs of individuals involves partnerships between the various constituents of that community. This community partnership was evident for the most part. But, what was notable to me was the lack of presence of business at this event. Now, in all fairness, CSA has a wonderful partnership with and support from local restaurants in a program, Chefs Who Care, where one restaurant a month hosts a fundraiser for the organization. And when the organization put out an SOS that the food pantry was bare, the local paper, the Los Altos Town Crier, ran a front page story, which caused many businesses to put out food collection bins, and created a flood of donations from the community in general.

But the tables at this event were composed of wonderful individual supporters and other community organizations, no businesses that I could see.

"We need to inspire individuals in the community to step up to the plate," said  one of the speakers. My comment to the head of the CSA: "We need to inspire businesses as members of the community to step up to the plate." He smiled, I think with hope.

Now I can step off my soapbox.

Student Opportunities at the Maryland Department of the Environment

Roberta R. James, Assistant Attorney General of the Maryland Department of the Environment, and New England alumna of the Class of '95, has shared the following information about appling for their Summer Law Clerk Program as well as their Spring and Fall Internship Program:




Program Overview:
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) provides complete legal support for all aspects of the MDE’s work, including pollution control in the areas of air, water, waste, sediment and storm water control. Work in the OAG includes initiating enforcement actions and other litigation, providing advice and counsel, drafting legislation, and reviewing new and revised regulations. Law clerks/interns engage in legal and policy research, litigation and pre-litigation support, developing case strategies, and other projects. Law clerks/interns may attend meetings with state and federal agencies, legislators and citizen groups and are encouraged to assume a significant level of responsibility commensurate with their interests and abilities. Law clerks are also invited to attend OAG in-house work practice group meetings and other educational seminars held throughout the year. Summer law clerks enjoy a series of special tours and programs.

Summer Law Clerk Program:
The OAG's summer law clerk program runs from 8 – 12 weeks, depending on student schedules, with a minimum hourly requirement of 40 hours per week. Summer law clerks receive an hourly wage, which is set each year according to available funding through MDE.

Spring and Fall Legal Internship Program:
The OAG's spring and fall legal internship program runs for 10 - 16 weeks, in accordance with individual school curriculum. The hourly requirement for the internship is 20 hours per week, with limited flexibility. Spring and/or fall legal interns do not receive monetary compensation, but may receive law school credit in accordance with the requirements of individual schools.

The OAG at MDE generally hires two law clerks for the summer program and up to two legal internships are available during the fall and spring semesters. Effective legal research and writing is a fundamental aspect of the summer law clerk and semester internship positions offered by the OAG. Preference is given to students who have successfully completed either an environmental law or administrative law course. Students in good standing who are completing their second year, or students who are completing their first year and who have capable legal research and writing skills as demonstrated by the student’s legal research and writing grade, references, or legal writing sample, are eligible to apply for positions at the OAG. All students applying for these positions should send the below documentation to: Roberta James, Office of the Attorney General, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 6048, Baltimore, MD 21230 or

· Resume and cover letter
· References
· Unofficial law school transcript
· Short writing sample


Legal Research and Advice
Through one of the attorneys within the OAG, the law clerk/intern will be required to apply their research and analytical skills to provide timely advice on matters related to State and federal environmental laws and policies and other areas of the law about which the client agency routinely seeks advice, including administrative, personnel and procurement law.

The law clerk/intern will assist attorneys within the OAG to prepare and litigate civil and administrative cases on behalf of MDE to enforce State environmental laws and regulations and to defend the State and the State’s interests in State and federal courts and administrative tribunals. Litigation may include preparation of witnesses and other evidence, conducting and responding to discovery, hearings, motions practice, negotiation, participation in the trial or other adjudicatory proceeding, post trial procedures and appeals.
Business Transactions
The law clerk/intern may assist attorneys within the OAG in representing client agency in commercial or regulatory transactions to insure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The law clerk/intern may also be required to draft, review and/or revise appropriate documentation.

Communications/Client Relations
The law clerk/intern will communicate daily with attorneys within the OAG and, as appropriate, the client agency and other branches and units of government in a way that ensures the timely, thorough, and accurate flow of information and responses to inquiries, using procedures that comply with the law and policies of the client and the Attorney General.

Under the supervision of an attorney at the OAG, the law clerk/intern will write letters, memoranda, pleadings and other legal documents, to the client, courts, the Office of Administrative Hearings, and others within OAG to inform or advise others of policies and positions in a format appropriate to the task.