Law Disappears from UNOPS as “Furniture, Parked in New Jersey"
14 -- From the time Ban Ki-moon began as UN Secretary
General, the Press
raised questions about promotions given to his
son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, who jumped to being the chief of
staff to Staffan de Mistura in Iraq, then made Middle East
the UN Office of Project Services in Copenhagen.
UN at first
tried to argue that these were not in fact promotions, and then
openly refused to answer questions on the topic from Inner City
UNOPS in Copenhagen and elsewhere say Chatterjee is leaving his UNOPS
position, where he was described as “the furniture” for lack of
Human Resources, run for UNOPS by the UN Development
Program, asked for basic information from Chatterjee for example
about this educational credentials, the information was never given.
to Chatterjee say that the military degree in India
has has listened
is not what it appears to be, and that an earlier
marriage in that
country was ended and largely erased from the record by extraordinary
means. “It's not clear how much the Bans know about it,” says one
source, adding that missive have been sent to Mr. Ban himself.
the UNOPS sources, as Ban seeks a second terms as Secretary General,
Chatterjee has been “parked” out of the way in southern New
Jersey, getting basic math education paid for by the UN system.
“They're trying to keep him out of sight, after his exposure as
'The Furniture' at UNOPS,” says the source.
Ban and spokesman Nesirky, son in law not shown,
questions not answered
would be nice
to have and include Team Ban's response, but his spokesman Martin
Nesirky, like Michele Montas
before him, openly refused to answer
questions about Ban's son in law Chatterjee.
threatened web sites with legal action for writing on these topics,
then had articles removed from the Internet. Previously, the South
Korean mission was deployed to try to provide assurances, then denied
it. Now what? Watch this site.
to reach Chatterjee resulted in this:
till 31 May 2011 on Special Leave. Andy Menz is the OIC for
EMO and can be contacted at his e mail... The new Regional Director
for EMO is expected to be in place in September 2010.
means 2011 when he will be replaced. The “Special Leave”
At the March
14 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman
Farhan Haq to confirm that Ban's son in law is on Special Leave and in
New Jersey. "You have to ask UNOPS," Haq said. After a follow up, Haq
said Chatterjee "ended his involvement with UNOPS several months ago."
City Press, quoting from Chatterjee's e-mail auto responder about
Special Leave, and sources, asked yes or no, is he still being paid. Inner
pointed out that it is also a S-G issue, given the questions
that have been raised -- and not answered -- throughout Ban's first
to answer, insisting that Inner City Press must "ask
UNOPS." Video here,
This is more than a little strange, in that UNOPS'
web site lists Farhan Haq as the contact in New York for media
inquiries - click here.
of March 14 noon briefing:
I wanted to ask you a question about the son-in-law of
the Secretary-General. It’s been, he is no longer, currently he is
on special leave from UNOPS [United Nations Office for Project
Services] and people there say that he has been, they say that it is
unprecedented; that he’s been sent to the United States and having
introductory level classes paid for by UNOPS. Is that, is that the
case? Can you confirm that and what, why would that be?
Haq: I actually think you’d have to ask UNOPS
whether there is any such thing. What I am aware of is that Mr.
[Siddarth] Chatterjee has indeed ended his employment, his
involvement with UNOPS, and I believe he did that several months ago.
Beyond that, you’d have to check with the UN Office for Project
Can I just ask one follow-up? Because his reply e-mails,
because I was seeking comment on this, says that he is on special
leave until 31 May 2011. Could you just confirm, yes or no, that he
is still being paid until that time?
It’s not for me to confirm what UNOPS does. You need to
Given questions that have arisen about, I mean, questions
have arise through his first term concerning this. I think it is a
Haq: No, no, Matthew; that’s not the case. The case is
that with every agency, questions about their employees
would have to go to that agency. So, please, deal with UNOPS on
Update of 2:30 p.m., March 14
-- Inner City Press has now sent a first round a questions to UNOPS in
Copenhagen. Watch this site.
of March 15, 8 pm :
Here is the UN's transcript of the March 15 noon briefing:
Press: I asked a simple question whether the son-in-law of the
Secretary-General was still being paid by UNOPS, [United Nations
Office for Project Services] as well as whether his educational
things may be being paid. Farhan [Haq] said, “Ask UNOPS”. So, I
sent them an e-mail, I don’t have an answer, but I also notice that
Farhan is listed as the New York Spokesman for UNOPS on their web
page. So, I just, I think you may… maybe you have an answer to it
and so then all of this is now moot, but, what is the answer?
It is, Matthew. First of all, UNOPS will probably be sending you the
e-mail saying what I am going to say, which is that Mr. [Siddarth]
Chatterjee left his position as UNOPS Regional Director for Europe
and the Middle East in July 2010 and, after taking accumulated annual
leave, went on special leave without pay until 31 May, of this year,
2011. The end of the special leave without pay coincides with the
end of his period of secondment to UNOPS from UNICEF. And during his
special leave without pay, Mr. Chatterjee does not receive any
payments or funding from UNOPS. And for your information, a new
Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East joined UNOPS on 4
October 2010. That’s what I have for you, okay.
City Press sent there follow up questions to Haq and Martin Nesirky.
“please contact UNOPS. The information provided at the briefing
today came from UNOPS.”
has sent the follow to UNOPS, with no response:
I was told to “ask UNOPS” about the S-G's son in law
and I emailed Copenhagen questions (although Farhan Haq is listed as
New York contact for UNOPS).
yet to receive any e-mail response from UNOPS, so I had to ask
at the noon briefing, and Mr. Nesirky read out a response, saying he
expected I'd get an email from UNOPS. I still haven't, so I emailed
Nesirky and Haq, UNOPS New York contact. Now I get a reply to that
saying “ask UNOPS.” This seems like a run around: I would like an
answer, in writing, today, to the below:
said that Chatterjee is on leave without pay until May 31, 2011,
when his secondment from UNICEF runs out. Will be remain in the UN
system as a staff member after May 31st?
staff rule 5.3(a)(i) says that "Special leave may be granted
at the request of a staff member holding a fixed-term or a continuing
appointment for advanced study or research in the interest of the
United Nations, in cases of extended illness, for child care or for
other important reasons for such period of time." For what
reason did the UN approve leave without pay for Chatterjee?
made the decision to place Chatterjee on leave without pay?
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