December 10, 2013 – Inner City Press
The UN decided to pay France for airfield services in northern Mali through a non public, non competitive process, spokesperson Farhan Haq acknowledged to Inner City Press at Tuesday’s noon briefing.
Inner City Press asked Haq how much the non public “letter of assist” is for, and why such letters are not disclosed by the UN, since public money is being spent. Neither question was answered.
So when France Ambassador Gerard Araud emerged from the UN Security Council on Tuesday afternoon, Inner City Press asked him how much France is getting paid by the UN for airfield services in its former colony Mali, and why France didn’t choose to donate those services to the UN.
Araud took the opportunity to accuse Russia of being more opportunistic than France, saying that Russia gets 14% of UN “tenders” compared to France’s 2.5 to 2.6 percent of “tenders.”
Tenders would seem to mean public competitive procurements, and not letters of assist which the UN says are confidential (thereby precluding even France, unless through Herve Ladsous its fourth head of UN Peacekeeping in a row, from accessing information about Russia and others).