The special arrangements of one of the internationals who’s been getting fat off of Kosovo has gained the attention of a local news outfit in the Bronx, called Inner City Press. You heard correctly: Even the Bronx has now noticed this little thought-of province in little thought-of Serbia in the little thought-of Former Yugoslavia, somewhere in the little thought-of Balkans:

UN’s Borg-Olivier, Warned for Pro-Kosovo Quotes, Is Paid Through UNDP to Advise Kosovo

UNITED NATIONS, September 3 — In Kosovo, the just-retired chief legal officer of the UN Mission, Alexander Borg-Olivier, is now being paid through the UN Development Program to be an advisor to the Kosovo government. This despite the UN’s admission Wednesday to Inner City Press that Borg-Olivier was previously warned by UNMIK for publicly bragging about his position in favor of Kosovo independence. His new position not only directly calls into question the impartiality or so-called status neutrality of the UN in Kosovo, it also appears to violate applicable UN post-employment rules.

…[A] written response provided Wednesday to Inner City Press by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General acknowledged [said] that “on 30 June Mr. Borg-Olivier retired from the UN and it is our understanding that he is currently assisting the Kosovo government on legal matters. He is no longer employed by the UN so there is no conflict of interest.”

But the UN Secretary General’s Bulletin on “post employment restrictions” provides

2.2 For a period of two years following separation from service, former staff members who have participated in the procurement process for the Organization before separation from service are prohibited from knowingly communicating with, or appearing before, any staff member or unit of the Organization on behalf of any third party on any particular matters that were under their official responsibility relating to the procurement process during the last three years of their service with the Organization.

As UNMIK’s chief legal official, Borg Olivier participated in the procurement process. Under his watch, funds from the privatization of state-owned enterprises were transferred to the Kosovo government…It seems clear that Borg Olivier was preparing to go work for and with the Kosovo government while still in the employ of UNMIK. This would violate Rule 2.3, which provides

2.3 While in service, staff members participating in the procurement process shall refrain from soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any promise or offer of future employment from any contractor or vendor of goods or services, regardless of location, which conducts business with the Organization or seeks to do so and with whom such staff members have been personally involved in the procurement process during the previous three years of service with the Organization. Should a staff member participating in the procurement process receive a promise or offer, the staff member shall immediately report the incident to the head of office and to the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services and recuse himself or herself from any further dealing with such contractor or vendor until instructed to do so by the head of office.

Later on Wednesday, the plot further thickened, when UNDP Spokesman Stephane Dujarric chimed in that

“Mr. Borg-Olivier has been contracted as a short-term consultant on an European Commission funded project called ‘Capacity Building for European Integration.’…The request was then approved by the EC as the EC approves or vetoes all funding decisions…UNDP’s role was [to] process the paper work according to the decisions of the host government and the donor, the EC.”

Inner City Press has asked UNDP how much it got or gets paid to “process the paper work” for the EC to pay Kosovo’s chosen consultant. Why, one wonders, is UNDP always in the middleman role? But more fundamentally, do Serbia and, for example, Russia know that the UN, which claims to be status neutral, is paying consultants to the Kosovo government?…We will continue to pursue this, since the UN at least initially did not. […]