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In Ban's UN, Staff Complain of Pressure to Give UN Water Job to S. Korean

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, October 26 -- When whistleblowers in Ban Ki-moon's UN contact Inner City Press, it is usually not about relatively lower level jobs in the so-called "P-3" classification.

  But things have become such that P-3 post in the Department of Economic and Social Affair's Sustainable Development Division, specifically its Rio +20 unit has given rise to allegation of impropriety.

  Multiple sources tell Inner City Press that once the interviews for the post were closed, with three "short listed" candidates having been questioned and graded, a call was made to re-open the process for a fourth candidate, Hyun-Soon Sung of South Korea.

People in the chain of command raised white flags, saying for example that "Ban Ki-moon wants to plant certain people throughout the UN system, outside of the normal competitive process."

  Some even alleged to Inner City Press that Hyun-Sook Sung was a relative of Ban Ki-moon. Inner City Press does not believe this, having contacted Hyun-Soon Sung who said she is not a relative, but confirmed seeking the P-3 post in UN Water.

  She worked in the office of former President of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss, and is now in a post at the UN Environment Program, where she cc-ed her response to Inner City Press' email explicitly labeled "Press Question," asking among other things "could you confirm that you've applied for post in DESA / UN Water? And separately, that interview process was re-opened after it closed?"

  The second of those questions, Hyun-Sook Sung did not address. She said she met Ban Ki-moon at several events and now works at "UNEP New York Office on the Yeosu Expo because Juanita Castano,"Director of UNEP New York Office, "needed someone to support her role as UNEP focal point on the Expo."

  Previously, after it was reported that Ban Ki-moon personally named as "UN commissioner-general for the 2012 Yeosu Expo" one Samuel Koo -- former journalist at the UN who also sought out UN posts -- Ban's spokesperson's office repeatedly refused to answer Inner City Press questions about Ban's role in the appointment, saying "ask UNEP" which refused repeatedly to answer.

  The degree of distrust in UN staff ranks of the Executive Office of the Secretary General and Ban Ki-moon himself is striking and does not bode well.

(c) UN Photo
Ban & entourage at Yeosu in S. Korea, Koo explanations not shown

  Even on Wednesday, after a press conference where Inner City Press asked Humanitarian Coordinator Valerie Amos whether Ban's senior adviser Kim Won-soo's role in their trip to North Korea has any political aspect, Inner City Press was chided not to record the film Ms. Amos showed, and that "the question" about Kim was "raised in Seoul." Why so defensive? 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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