Documents Reveal Widespread Corruption and “Ghost Staffing” Within the UN’s Program in Afghanistan

In-depth Report:

UNITED NATIONS — The United States is about to leave Afghanistan, transferring security to an Afghan force trained in part by the United Nations. But how prepared is that force? And how accountable is the UN?

A series of documents, exclusively obtained and published by Inner City Press, reveals widespread corruption within the UN’s program in Afghanistan. The UN Development Program (UNDP) routinely paid “ghost” soldiers and made double payments to existing soldiers.

See sample documents hereherehere and here, exclusively provided to Inner City Press by now-former UNDP staff.

When confronted by Inner City Press, the UN through UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s spokespeople has stonewalled, saying that it will not answer until an internal audit is completed – but they won’t say when that audit will be finished, or whether it will be made public. Meanwhile, an audit released earlier this year found that UNDP had overspent its budget and muddied its financial records.

This comes after UNDP’s Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan scandal on which Inner City Press exclusively reported in 2012, here. Without answering these questions, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark is on the record campaigning to be the successor to Ban Ki-moon as Secretary General.

The Free United Nations Coalition for Access (FUNCA) is calling for open access to the UN and to UN documents. The UN secretariat and its agencies are not bound by any Freedom of Information laws, and have no fear of prosecution, due to legal immunity. This was seen most recently when the UN peacekeeping force introduced cholera to Haiti – and was never prosecuted and did not even apologize.

This has created a culture of unaccountability, which is on display every day at UN Headquarters. On the Afghanistan issue, the Secretary-General’s Office of the Spokesperson has been particularly arrogant, saying it would not accept “artificial deadlines” then reading a canned statement from UNDP that used an internal audit to justify not answering (see video here).

Journalists investigating the UN have little recourse. Nobody supervises the world body. There is no system of checks and balances to hold the UN to account, since powerful member states use the UN for their own purposes. And sadly, most of the in-house media covering the UN depends on friendly relationships with the Secretariat for their coverage.

That’s why FUNCA is asking for more independent journalists to take a look at UN Headquarters and dig into the problems plaguing the UN.

Articles by: Global Research News

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Centre of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post Global Research articles on community internet sites as long the source and copyright are acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original Global Research article. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: [email protected] contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries: [email protected]