Roger L. Simon

While millions suffer in Dafur....

… the United Nations proposes to spend 1.9 billion on renovations:

Detractors in the city, state, and federal governments allege that the project – a complete renovation of the U.N.’s Turtle Bay headquarters, initially projected to cost $1.2 billion before its estimated price tag soared to $1.9 billion in November – is exorbitant and lacks transparency and accountability, especially in light of recent U.N. scandals, particularly the oil-for-food fiasco.

The $100.5 million request for “design and preconstruction phases” of the Capital Master Plan, as the U.N. calls the project, comes on top of $33.1 million already spent and $51.3 million already appropriated for preconstruction work between 2001 and 2005, according to a November U.N. document.

It also comes before any signal that the United Nations has officially decided on one of the four strategies for refurbishment proposed in November by Secretary-General Annan.

What should be done about the continued boondoggles at the UN? This blog long ago called for total online transparency for the international organization. As citizens of the world – the taxpayers who support it – we should demand no less.