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
January 3 -- When Ban Ki-moon took
over as UN Secretary-General two years ago, he said that transparent
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
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
July and that 18 of these cases warranted preliminary review." But what
protection against retaliation has been offered?
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
budget session to limit the protections against retaliation that staff
until now had.
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
own Internet and information technology overhaul has been stalled.
While it was
said that the new Chief Information Technology Officer Mr. Choi would
of Ban's office, a recent vacancy posting for his special assistance
located the CITO office in the Department of Management, run by Angela
about hiring fairness now extend right up to Ms. Kane's office, from
sources tell Inner City Press that Kane's previous team from the
General Assembly and Conference Management including Renu Bhatia have
in and put in line for fast-track promotions. Next in line is Neeta
sources say, it is good to be a friend of Angela "Candy" Kane.
about similar hiring
irregularities in the Office of Internal Oversight
Services raised to Ban by whistleblowers and the
General Assembly have gone
UN's Ban, Nambiar and staff: looking
at how to charge rent to the Press? Candy Kane not shown
whistleblower letter was ignored because it was, understandably, unsigned.
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.
of the above, Ban remains a man of the people in some ways. On January
a photo op in the second sub basement of the UN, Ban dined in the UN's
cafeteria, with the skeleton staff who had come to work on the day
Years. His instincts, it seems, are right. But his team, openness to
execution leave much to be improved on.
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