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UN's Ban Goes Easy on Yoon, Orr, Kim & Petrova, Stonewalls for Doss & Strong, Speaks on Cronyism

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 13 -- "Firm measures against corruption and cronyism," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for on March 12, during the Security Council debate on the Arab Spring.

  But inside the UN, Ban has favored those he is closest to with the easiest application of his "five year rule" of mobility. Ban spoke of the unfairness of some UN official staying in New York for years, while others suffer in the field.

  But his senior adviser Kim Won-soo, for example, has only been moved from deputy chief of staff to "Change Management."

  His scheduler Yeocheol Yoon, a friendly man also from South Korea who once told Inner City Press "I only deal with his calendar," has been promoted to dealing with the world's calendar, as the UN Chief of Protocol.

   Even Kim Won-soo's associate Simona Petrova of Bulgaria, insiders complain, is quietly being moved laterally, to staff the Chief Executive Board.

  Robert Orr, with well over five years, has been put into a public - private partnership job, while insiders kvetch that his South Korean spouse is big in the corporate world. The complaint is, THIS is mobility? THIS is leading by example? Or is it cronyism?

  Then there is corruption, and the lack of "firm measures" against it. Maurice Strong left the UN during the Oil for Food scandal, having written a nearly $1 million check to himself, and secretly hired his step-daughter in violation of UN rules. But now quietly he is back, as a "Senior Adviser" on Rio + 20.

   Likewise Alan Doss, who left in the midst of a nepotism scandal having asked or told UNDP to break its rules and give a job to his daughter, is back, traveling with new UN envoy Kofi Annan to Syria. But despite three requests now, Ban's spokesman refuses to confirm who went to Syria with Annan, who got paid, and whom they met with, telling Inner City Press "this is not the focus."

   Inner City Press asked again on March 12, "is it possible to get a list of the people that accompanied Kofi Annan on his mission to Syria? Also, there was a reference to him meeting businessmen and businesswomen, is there a way to get who went and who they met with?"

  Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said, "I can certainly try, Matthew." But 23 hours later, no information at all had been provided.

   What was that again, about "firm measures against corruption and cronyism"? Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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