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On Ban Ki-moon's Anti-Staff Legacy, UN Has No Comment, Nor on Appeal It Filed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, December 19 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not recuse himself.

UN irregularities under Ban have extended to the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, a confidential UN Office of Internal Oversight Services audit of which Inner City Press exclusively published in full text, here, and embedded below.

Now Ban's relations with UN staff, beyond not paying them their benefits, has been summarized in a list issued  by the Staff Union Ban tried to break. On December 19 Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it and a case, video here, UN Transcript here:

Inner City Press: Last week, there was a statement put out by the, I don't know if it's the old staff union or one of the two staff unions, but it was a pretty -- you may have seen if.  Have you seen it?

Spokesman:  Tell me about it.

ICP Question:  Okay.  It was a litany of what they call negative acts on labour but the Secretary-General.  They fired the first… the first vice president of the staff union.  They attempted to bust the union… he attempted to bust the union.  He voluntarily cut the budget of the organization.  He pushed through mobility and a flawed staff selection process.  He imposed a flexible workspace agreement.  I could go on why they didn't like that one, but he openly and publicly denigrated staff as selfish.  And I do remember that use of word.  So I guess my question is, what's the… there's been a lot of praise, but is there a response to this… it's obviously…

Spokesman:  I think…  The staff…  I think we know what issues exist with the staff unions here.  I think the Secretary-General has only kind words to say for the staff that he has led over the last ten years and the sacrifice they have made and their families have made.  Thank you.

ICP Question:  And can you confirm that he's filed an appeal to the firing of the first vice president, Emad Hassanin?

Spokesman:  I cannot.

  But the appeal WAS filed, "Appeal of UNDT Judgment no. 2016/181  Hassanin submitted by the Appellant on 6 December 2016."

And here's Ban Ki-moon's Legacy to Staff

Refused to meet with the elected President of the Staff Union, flouting the Staff Rules and General Assembly resolutions — the first Secretary-General to ever to do so;

Fired the First Vice-President of the Staff Union, a permanent contract-holder, and did so after his officials advised that this would be unlawful (the United Nations Dispute Tribunal eventually issued a searing indictment; see judgment UNDT/2016/181);

Stripped away the Staff’s ability to engage in any meaningful way on matters of interest to their welfare and working conditions by unilaterally removing the consensus rule from the Staff-Management Committee rules of procedure — which he himself had promulgated;

Attempted to bust the Staff Union by interfering in the internal affairs of the Union and declaring a “dispute”, and persisted with that determination after unanimous affirmations by the Union’s organs that this was not the case, including a resolution adopted by the Staff;

Voluntarily cut the budget of the Organization, at a time of ever-increasing mandates, and then asked the Staff to do more with less, while the budget of his Office grew to be by far the largest of any of his predecessors;

Pushed through a “mobility” scheme and flawed staff-selection system, without the requisite consultation with the Staff and their representatives, despite the enormous potential impact on the welfare of the Staff;

Imposed a “flexible workspace” arrangement, again without proper consultation with the Staff and their representatives, that will cause major disruption to workflow and negatively impact the efficiency of many

Openly and publicly denigrated the Staff as “selfish”; [ICP scoop, before Ban ousted, evicted and now restricts it]

Ignored calls from the Staff Union that the declaration by his senior officials not to engage with the Staff’s legal representatives was creating chaos among the Staff, and looked the other way as his managers selectively “consulted” with their chosen members of the Staff and then called that proper consultation;

Attempted an eleventh-hour self-rehabilitation by hijacking Staff Day, which has always been a Staff Union-organized event, as an effort to manipulate public opinion and paper over his otherwise disastrous attitude and actions towards his Staff."

 The audit show that Ban Ki-moon has failed, unresponsive even to UN staff, leaving them unresponded to even four years after death. The audit states among other things that

"The first action to mitigate the accumulation of outstanding cases, which was the establishment of a task force, was initiated in February 20 I 6, which was six months after the blackouts had caused the accumulation of cases. The delay in taking mitigating actions in turn contributed to delays in processing / payment of benefits to beneficiaries."

"There was no provision for callers to leave voice mails if their calls were not answered. This very low level of response to telephone calls was contrary to the UNJSPF Quality Management Policy which stated that the Fund should respond immediately to telephone calls during working hours."

"OIOS review of the relevant email folder of Client Services on 24 August 2016 showed that the last 'high priority' email responded to by Client Services was dated 22 June 2016 (i.e., two months since receipt)."

Note: this is similar to Ban Ki-moon's top two spokespeople, who did not even confirm receipt Inner City Press' November 25 questions including about use of funds and restrictions on media; the deputy spokesman later used the December 8 noon briefing to justify, while still not answering.

This too: "On 6 June 2016, another iSeek announcement reported that the Fund Secretariat had cleared 97 per cent of the backlog of 3,436 cases, leaving only 95 cases (3 per cent) to be processed/paid in June 2016. However, OlOS review indicated that 1,368 of these 3,436 cases were yet to be processed/paid as of 31 May 2016."

Then again, OIOS has yet to act on detailed conflict of interest complaints filed in February 2013 and reiterated in November, involving not only Ban but also his head of Communications Cristina Gallach, already named in an OIOS audit, here, in Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b.  Access to Ban will be sold for $1200 on December 16 - is this appropriate?

Ban's service is even worse in Africa, to staff as to such crises as Burundi and South Sudan. From the UNJSPF audit:

"OIOS selected the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) for further analysis of long outstanding cases... OIOS review of ten longest outstanding cases, which had not yet been paid after one year or more, showed that in five cases, the former staff members had died in service. These cases should have been given the highest priority, but the surviving beneficiaries had not been paid for more than 4.5 years since the staff members' death."

  Ban Ki-moon has failed; while he now leaves, so should Gallach. And the UNJSPF must be reigned in. We'll have more on this.

In Ban Ki-moon's UN, Pension Fund's Leaked OIOS Audit Shows Failure, Delay by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd

After Inner City Press asked about the textbook case of nepotism of Ban promoting his own son in law, video here, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied that an inter-agency advisory panel had been involved, before Ban signed the letter appointing his own son in law to the post. But then Dujarric refused to say who was on this panel; he told Inner City Press to "ask UNDP," which in term told Inner City Press to ask something called the "DOCO" which doesn't have a spokesperson.

Dujarric didn't answer any of Inner City Press' questions submitted on Friday September 2 at noon, then deferred another on Burundi until September 6. Meanwhile Ban's son in law Chatterjee's response is to block Inner City Press on Twitter, photo here.

There are more and more irregularities in Ban Ki-moon's UN system - staff say, a fish rots from the head - and among staff this is circulating:
Ms. Jaana Sareva is the chief of the legal office of the Pension Fund in New York. Her spouse lives in Geneva, also working for the United Nations.
How she covers those miles between New York and Geneva? Here you are:

She travels near ten times a year from New York to Geneva, creating unnecessary trips and fabricating bureaucratic unreal reasons;

She is often sick (both uncertified and certified), for adding more days to her trips. She uses the maximum available, abusing the benefits of the United Nations. She gives us a negative example of how a public servant should be;
She is not in office normally, extending her trips and absences. None of us know where she is during office hours;

She stays there with her husband in Geneva (in his house), but at the same time she has DSA in her pocket for comfort, and enjoying life in Europe from where she is;

This expensive game costs more than $50,000 a year;

It has been happening since several years ago, with total impunity;

The CEO of our Pension Fund, Mr. Arvizu, authorizes the travel expenses, which ultimate are paid by all the participants and retirees of the Pension Fund. In the meantime, the Pension Fund is not able to deliver pensions in time and is facing the deepest and biggest crisis of management since creation, even considering the enormous budget that we have.

This is Ban's UN - here's more of Inner City Press' coverage of the Pension Fund.

  As to Siddharth Chatterjee's promotion signed by his father in law, now other sources tell Inner City Press it's worse - between the inter agency panel and Ban, the ultimate conflicted decision maker, there is for countries like Kenya (where the UN has a regional headquarters) a role for Ban's Department of Political Affairs, for which Dujarric also purportedly speaks.

  Inner City Press on September 4 reiterated its September 2 unanswered questions, and two more, to Dujarric, who said he will effort to answer them... on September 6.

Meanwhile, an ally of Ban's son in law Chatterjee, Dalvir Singh, has called this series of articles, despite Ban's spokesman's stonewalling and refusal to answer, unfair -- "scurrilous, unfounded and mendacious accusations" by a "blogger."

This is Team Ban's response to questions and stories about the John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng case, DPI Gallach's failure to do due diligence, all leading to ouster and eviction.

 Turns out Chatterjee, to get previous stories buried, has offered goodies only his father in law can dole out - we'll have more on this.

  So Inner City Press has asked Dujarric who was on this panel, to assess if they were independent from Ban, and who the other candidates, at least on the short list, were.

 Dujarric has refused to provide this information, and has refused all other Inner City Press questions about Ban's son in law, including about his activities in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Dujarric has refused to answer; on September 2, he did not even acknowledge receipt of Inner City Press' questions, including about Ban's meeting with Sri Lankan President Sirisena.

   As Ban's spokesman knows, Ban was in Sri Lanka; the story can't wait. So today Inner City Press reports that it has been told of Siddarth Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; this has been described as a war crime.

   Inner City Press twice this week asked Dujarric to describe and comment on Ban Ki-moon's son in law's activities in Sri Lanka; it is all the more pressing given the most recent UN promotion without recusal. Inner City Press also asked what forms and rules apply, a question also ignored by Dujarric with respect to a fundraiser held in the UN with Ban's past envoy to Sri Lanka, Vijay Nambiar. Inner City Press asked Dujarric to comment in this context on this, authored by Ban's son in law Sid Chatterjee: no answers.

   And so in common journalistic practice, to assist reader in deciding whether to believe or not believe these reports of Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured combatants in violation of the Geneva Conventions, we disclose that one of the sources clearly has an interest: Chatterjee's ex-wife Shirpa Sen.

She is a medical doctor; she has said Chatterjee threatened her to stop providing any information to Inner City Press and an Indian journalist whose publication Chatterjee managed to get to remove a report about one of his promotions under Ban from the Internet. (Censorship seems to run in the family.)

The allegation is that Chatterjee dropped her and then saw his career path advance under his new father in law, Ban Ki-moon; he made threats to make the issues of the past go away.

   We disclose this because readers have a right to know of the interest or animus of the source of information. Here is another online report; here on a court website is the decision on the divorce appeal. And here is an earlier report of Inner City Press asking Ban's spokespeople about Chatterjee's military record, in Sri Lanka Ban's 2009 visit to which Inner City Press covered in-person (Inner City Press has since been BANned, restricted.)

  A direct comment of any kind from Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, requested all week, would have been preferable.

 But Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach should not be able to censor by throwing the Press into the street, New York Times here, audio here.

Likewise Ban's spokesman cannot be allowed to prevent a timely article by simply refusing to even acknowledge questions submitted in writing, especially after he began the week telling Inner City Press (and the Free UN Coalition for Access which asked for in-person briefings) that he would be answering questions all week.

Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman did not answer these questions, nor on September 2 even acknowledge receipt of them. Whatever comes in, belatedly, we will publish.

Update: late on September 2, from UNDP to which Ban's spokesman Dujarric referred questions then refused to answer any, came this - not naming the panel or other candidates, but immediately published in full:

From: Anjali Kwatra [at]
Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 9:36 PM
Subject: RE: Press Qs on Resident Coordinator selection process for SG's son in law in Kenya: who on inter-agency advisory panel, who were the candidates, given nepotism issues raised by lack of recusal, referred by OSSG, thank you in advance, -Matthew
To: Matthew.Lee [at]

Dear Matthew,
Siddharth Chatterjee was chosen, in line with established selection process, by the Inter-Agency Advisory Panel of the United Nations. Mr Chatterjee is highly qualified for this role and was previously the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Kenya. He has also worked in senior roles with the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UN Peace Keeping, UNICEF and UNOPS.
I would need to come back to you on your other questions.
Anjali Kwatra
Chief, Media and Advocacy
United Nations Development Programme

Wait - was Siddharth Chatterhee ever with UN Peacekeeping? Inner City Press asked: "Thanks for this, but as I asked UN Spox this week, and UNDP earlier today, this is a request, given that the SG signed the letter appointing his son in law Mr. Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, for the disclosure of

who was on the inter-agency advisory panel

and who the other candidates, at least on the short list, were

also - please state when and in what capacity Mr. Chatterjee was, as you say, in a senior role in UN Peace Keeping."

This gave rise to this curt answer: "All your questions need to be directed to DOCO. "

So Ban's Dujarric referred the questions about Ban's son in law to UNDP, which refers then on to DOCO. When one Googles DOCO, one gets "DOCO The Donut & Coffee Company."

Amid these UN scandals, corruption and nepotism, Ban Ki-moon is now on a two week tour seemingly meant to preview how he could be as South Korean president, visiting Singapore, Myanmar, now Sri Lanka, China and Laos.

For Ban Ki-moon's visit to Sri Lanka, which is seen as one of the (many) major failures of his UN tenure, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "On the SG's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, please describe in activities in Sri Lanka including with the IPKF -- locations, and if available confirmed kills -- including in light of this piece he authored."

Ban Ki-moon's Dujarric replied, six hours later: "It's not for me to comment on a staff member's writings on an activity that preceded employment with the UN."

This seems a strange position for an Organization ostensibly concerned with human rights. Could Shavendra Silva work for the UN? Well, he WAS an adviser to Ban.

In fact, some UN officials are required to sign pledges regarding their human rights records. So on September 2 at noon, Inner City Press asked Dujarric:

"On the Secretary General's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee's activities in Sri Lanka, you have not answered on what he DID, stating only that “It's not for me to comment on a staff members writings on an activity that preceded employment with the UN.”

In this light, please confirm or deny that there is a place a policy under which UN officials including USGs and ASGs (please specify what level the Secretary General's son in law is at, as Resident Coordinator in Kenya) must certify compliance with human rights, and state whether this covers time before UN employment." Inner City Press has also asked Dujarric:

"This is a request that your Office confirm or deny that the Secretary General did not specifically mention the UNHRC resolution during his meeting with Sri Lanka President Sirisena, in light of a public report that “The President told us that Ban did not mention the UNHRC resolution even in the 10 minute one-to-one meeting he had with him. In fact Ban expressed satisfaction about the way the Sri Lankan government is handling the issue of reconciliation,” a reliable source in the President’s Office" said.

Five hours later, no answer. This is Ban Ki-moon's UN.

Including in light of the recent non-recusal, we linked to and quote this Sri Lanka piece by Ban's son in law Siddarth Chatterjee:

“The Sri Lankan Army deserves all our respect, gratitude and admiration. These are men who have proved worthy of their calling, and I pray that their fortunes reverse and they are able to inflict on the Tamil Terrorists(not Tigers, as tigers have honour too), a final decisive blow, that puts the LTTE in the dust bin of history. It is a period that calls for strong nerves, single-mindedness (of purpose) and intuitive convictions that success can still be yours after these reverses. They are men of sterling character, and I hope they overcome and demolish the LTTE, this organization of pathological tyrants and killers.”

  Among these Sri Lankan Army heroes are several who would be put on trial for war crimes by any legitimate / international investigation, an issue which Ban is skirting. We'll have more on this.

  In advance of Ban's latest junket, he or his propaganda team granted selected interviews to prepare the ground -- “interview” conducted in writing, without disclosure of who wrote the answers. Pro-Ban editorials by out of date diplomats were arranged (for example here, see comments). But how can blatant nepotism be explained away?

   Inner City Press on August 26 asked Ban's spokesman which of Ban's aides it was who spun the Korea Times on Ban's chances to become South Korea's president in 2017, video here.

While Ban's Office of the Spokesperson took daily questions at noon during Ban's six-day sojourn in South Korea in May, for this trip his spokesman will not be holding briefings (he has already, on Burundi at least, proved unwilling to answer Press questions in writing). As set out below, this is Ban's censorship.

  We will be covering Ban's trip - watch this site.

Under Ban the UN has become so lawless that Ban's son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee was just named UN Resident Representative in Kenya without Ban recusing himself.  Inner City Press reported and asked about this on August 25. On August 26, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the letter giving his own son in law the job, see below.

It was repeatedly reported that Ban would be in Kenya today for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit, TICADIV or TICAD6. Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Dujarric if Ban would go there and was told to wait with bated anticipation. Now Ban is NOT there - right after his promotion of his own son in law there was exposed.

 How is this acceptable in an international organization? Or this: Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo is a UN official allowed to be on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered, which has UN banking contracts, and Doosan which makes sales to countries Han gives “UN” speeches to.

   On August 25, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric if Ban had recused himself from any role in his son-in-law's promotion, video here.

From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: Mr. Chatterjee was named the UN representative in Kenya.  So I wanted to know, what’s the process for the naming of a resident representative?  And given this he’s the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, was there any recusal made?  I’m not saying he’s not qualified.  I’m not saying he’s not a long-time official.  I’m just wondering what is the process…[inaudible]… for someone being named…

Spokesman:  The regular process was used.  The fact that he is, indeed, the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, I think, does not take away anything from his very strong service over the years…

Inner City Press: I’m asking about the process.

Spokesman:  Thank you.

Dujarric's only response is that Chatterjee is qualified. That was not the question. After Inner City Press highlighted this, Ban's spokesman Dujarric returned on August 26 with a "supplemental" statement, which still confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the approval of his own son in law for the promotion. Video here. From the UN Transcript:

Spokesman Dujarric: I also just wanted to give you a little bit more details on the issue you had raised yesterday with Mr. Chatterjee and expand on what I'd said.  Mr. Chatterjee was chosen through the regular process which is basically that the candidates are chosen by an interagency advisory panel which… which does not… and especially in this case… did not involve the Secretary-General.  I think he has been fully aware of the situation and has kept well away from the selection process.  For RCs, the candidates are chosen and recommended by the interagency panel.  The name of the recommended candidate is then given to the Secretary-General to sign off on.  He does not involve himself… and as I said, especially in this case… involve himself in the selection… in the selection process.  And I would just, again, reiterate Mr. Chatterjee's, I think, very strong qualifications in his career with ICRC and the UN over the years.

Inner City Press: I looked into it, too.  It seemed like they sent it to the UNDG Chair and the Secretary-General.  That's why I was asking yesterday.

Spokesman:  No, I understand.  The Secretary-General… the Secretary-General is very aware of the sensitivities of this case and has stayed well away from it.  The final signature… because the way this works is the Resident Coordinator represents the UN, and it needs the agreement of the host country.  So, the letter of appointment, in a sense, has to be signed by the Secretary-General.  But, his name is given to him by the interagency panel.

ICP Question:  Can I ask you one other?

Spokesman:  I’ll come back to you.  Video here.

Nor have the questions about Han Seung-soo, who refuses Ban's supposed call for public financial disclosure, been answered.

  Instead, Inner City Press which has asked about each of Chatterjee's promotions though the UN system under Ban (for example to and from UNOPS including censorship by the son in law, like Ban) and in the past ten months about Ban's and his head of communications Cristina Gallach's links with the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN bribery scandal, was ousted from the UN in February 2016 (audio here) and had its investigative files evicted onto First Avenue in April (video here). NYT here.

   Since then Inner City Press has been BANned from covering UN events on the second floor unless it has a minder which stays with it all the time; sometime Inner City Press is told there are not enough minders, and coverage is entirely prohibited. This is censorship under Ban Ki-moon.

The UN has been asked why it evicted Inner City Press by, among others, the Government Accountability Project, the UN Special Rapporteurs of Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders (to whom Gallach provided a false statement two months later about an altercation that never occurred), the SFRC (the UN's response quotes Dujarric) and by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta (to whom Gallach falsely claimed that Inner City Press is not not being restricted), and in this petition to Ban.

But the censorship continues.

Gallach's DPI is giving Inner City Press' long time shared office to an Egypt state media, Akhbar Al Yom, whose UN representative Sanaa Youssef rarely comes to the UN, and never asks questions - Dujarric refused to confirm this obvious fact, saying he "does not take attendance" -- but who is a former president of the Ban-friendly UN Correspondents Association.

Inner City Press put the question of recusal to Ban's spokesman Dujarric entirely civilly, without (there) calling into question Chatterjee's qualification or history (including in Sri Lanka, to which Ban Ki-moon is ironically headed for a visit). Watch this site.


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