Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

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

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg Nigeria, Zim, Georgia, Nepal, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Gambia Click here to contact us     .

Home -

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


Subscribe to RSS feed

Video (new)

Reuters AlertNet 8/17/07

Reuters AlertNet 7/14/07

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UNder Ban, Ethics Fiefdoms, Moves to Charge Press Rent, Favoritism and Photo Ops

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, January 3 -- When Ban Ki-moon took over as UN Secretary-General two years ago, he said that transparent management and UN reform would be top priorities. So far the record is decidedly mixed. While Ban's own Ethics Officer Robert Benson has said that it would be better for his office to have jurisdiction over all parts of the UN System, Ban has allowed the UN Development Program to ignore Benson's recommendations about UNDP's violation of a whistleblower's due process rights. UNDP is it own fiefdom; there are others in Geneva.

  Now the UN says that "45 people similarly complained of retaliation [to Benson's Ethics Office] over the 12 month period up to this July and that 18 of these cases warranted preliminary review." But what protection against retaliation has been offered?

  In fact, as Ban prepares to give a "Town Hall" speech to his staff on January 5, the first question he will be asked, unless he dodges it, concerns his move in the just-concluded UN budget session to limit the protections against retaliation that staff have until now had.

  Meanwhile Ban's head of Management Angela Kane, as Inner City Press exclusively reported in July, is suggesting that going forward the press which tries to cover the UN should be charged money, in a way that threatens to drive out smaller, Internet-based and more critical media, particularly but not only from the developing world.

  The UN's own Internet and information technology overhaul has been stalled. While it was said that the new Chief Information Technology Officer Mr. Choi would be part of Ban's office, a recent vacancy posting for his special assistance again located the CITO office in the Department of Management, run by Angela Kane.

  Questions about hiring fairness now extend right up to Ms. Kane's office, from where sources tell Inner City Press that Kane's previous team from the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management including Renu Bhatia have been brought in and put in line for fast-track promotions. Next in line is Neeta Tolani, sources say, it is good to be a friend of Angela "Candy" Kane. Questions about similar hiring irregularities in the Office of Internal Oversight Services raised to Ban by whistleblowers and the General Assembly have gone unaddressed.

UN's Ban, Nambiar and staff: looking at how to charge rent to the Press? Candy Kane not shown

  The whistleblower letter was ignored because it was, understandably, unsigned. And Ban's Deputy Spokesperson has still refused to comment on the General Assembly's December 24 resolution criticizing how OIOS is run, which Inner City Press formally asked about at that day's noon briefing.

  Despite all of the above, Ban remains a man of the people in some ways. On January 2, after a photo op in the second sub basement of the UN, Ban dined in the UN's own cafeteria, with the skeleton staff who had come to work on the day after New Years. His instincts, it seems, are right. But his team, openness to press and execution leave much to be improved on.

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

* * *

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

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-08 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] -