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Ban Ki-moon Leaves UNanswered Qs on Burundi, S Sudan & (His) UN Nepotism

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives

UNITED NATIONS, August 31 -- Under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 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.

On August 31, with Ban Ki-moon amid a junket that will take him to Sri Lanka, and with Ban's spokesman Dujarric having canceled the noon briefing at which questions could be asked, Inner City Press submitted these questions, not one of which was answered or even acknowledged by 5 pm.

"Aug 31 - 1: Please confirm or deny that (1) the Secretariat has sent a note verbale to Burundi seeking to send a mission to deploy the 228 police provided for in the resolution and separately (2) that the Burundian government has sent note(s) verbale to the Secretariat saying “No” (or “Non”);

Aug 31 - 2: Given the issues raised by the Secretary General signing the letter appointing his son in law as UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, and given your response on August 26 the day after Inner City Press inquired into this, this is a formal request that you today (pre-lid) provide

a) the names and/or other identifiers of the members of the interagency advisory panel which you say selected the SG's son in law (to assess whether they can be considered independent of the SG) and the names of the other candidates (to assess whether the SG's son in law was arguably the most qualified) --

or provide an explanation of WHY such information in this situation will not be disclosed.

Aug 31 - 3: On the already-begun Sri Lanka visit by the SG, you replied yesterday evening that his itinerary was in the highlights, but I did not see it there and have waited to see today's highlight to send this -- please respond to the issues (effective exclusion of Northern Provincial Council, with which USG Feltman previously met)...

Aug 31 - 4: Speaking of Mr. Feltman, please provide a readout of his trip to Turkey which Turkey has made public, and explain why the UN / DPA didn't announce Feltman's trip.

Aug 31 - 5: On South Sudan, please state the UN's knowledge of the killing of 13 civilians near Renk and, again, please explain not UNMISS' but the wider DPKO's (HQ's) policy on the use of tear gas, as well as explaining the July 11 “accidental teargas explosion.”

Aug 31 - 6: Relatedly on South Sudan, amid reports (by South Sudan) that the UNSC will visit there, as soon as later this week, please state whether your office will be informing (which) journalists of the trip and the chance if any to go.

Aug 31 - 7: Please state the relation of this to the UN system and any ruling by the UN Ethics Office (as well as, at long last, stating who decided to stop listing those official who refuse public financial disclosure, and why)."


On August 30 at 6:18 pm, Dujarric provided a few answers, inserted below and immediately published, in fairness:

Aug 30 - 1: On Western Sahara, please confirm UN receipt of, and provide your public explanation of, the August 28 letter from Frente Polisario's Minister of Defense which took issue, in Paragraph 4, of the UN Deputy Spokesperson's August 18 answer (to Inner City Press' question), saying that only civilian vehicles were observed, the basis for that statement and any update, including but not limited to confirming a DPKO finding that Morocco sent in armed security personnel and equipment.

This was the primary one(of 8)  responded to, here; follow up here.

Aug 30 - 2: Related to the DR Congo question not responded to yesterday on Erengeti, please confirm that UN (MONUSCO) spokesperson Felix Prosper Basse has been publicly dismissive of the DRC Sanctions Group of Experts report that FARDC Brigadier General Muhindo Akili Mundos, charged with the offensive against the ADF, helped finance ADF activities - and state whether MONUSCO works with or support the unit(s) of  Brigadier General Muhindo Akili Mundos and if so why, in light of the UN Experts' report.

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: "Nothing from here. Check with MONUSCO."

Inner City Press: Billion dollar peacekeeping mission, and UN Headquarters has nothing when it fails?

Aug 30 - 3: Related to the South Sudan question not responded to yesterday, please confirm the UN / UNMISS spokesperson Elizabeth Chester said “'an accidental tear-gas explosion' was reported in the U.N. compound at 9:11 a.m. July 12 — exactly the moment that the camp’s inhabitants claim they were being forced back into the PoC” -- and again, please explain what is meant by an accidental tear gas explosion, in what circumstances Peacekeepers are to use tear gas and how often they have used it, and in what circumstances, in 2016.

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: "I have no reports on UNMISS today. Please check with the Mission.”

Inner City Press: The request is for UN Peacekeeping-wide POLICY. The UNMISS Mission's spokesperson has already claimed an “accidental tear-gas accident” -- that's what Inner City Press is asking Ban Ki-moon's spokesman about, as would be possible if he did cancel noon briefings.

Aug 30 - 4: Inner City Press has twice asked what the UN rules are for “fundraisers” inside the UN, using an event advertised for October 2 as the example; it has been told the (online) flier would be looked at and a response provided. Hearing none, I am attaching the flier to this email. Please respond today: is this within UN rules? Why did UN official Vijay Nambiar attended a fundraiser in the UN by this same organization?

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: “Now that I have the flier. I will look into what type of event category this falls into.”
Inner City Press: The flier has been online, by the sponsor and Inner City Press published it as well. Nambiar, mentioned when Inner City Press asked the question, was present. Now he's in Myanmar - and seeingly, Sri Lanka, see below.

Aug 30 - 5: Speaking of Mr. Nambiar, is he on the Secretary General's current visit to Myanmar? During this visit, any meeting by SG with Ms. Lok-Dessallien, and please provide an update on any UN inquiry into the anti-Rights Up Front activities by Ms Lok-Dessallien Inner City Press asked about at the May 23, 2016 noon briefing.

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: “Mr. Nambiar is in the delegation. The RC, Ms. Lok-Dessalien, is also part of the delegation and participates in most of the SG's meetings. As for details of the Country Team's activities, please get in touch directly with her office....”

Inner City Press: The question was, what was done after the VICE expose on Lok-Dessalien. Nothing, it seems. Will Nambiar go to Sri Lanka, as in 2009?

Aug 30 - 6:  While reiterating yesterday's request for updated details of the Secretary General's meetings in Sri Lanka, please state (as the US has) whether the Secretary General is scheduled to meet in Laos with Philippines President Duterte, and if so, what the Secretary General intends to raise.

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: “Details of the SG's activities in SL were posted on the highlights. Bilaterals in Laos are still being worked out.”

Inner City Press: So, no Northern Provincial Council? And no Duterte?

Aug 30 - 7: This is a request for the Secretary General's comment, as he has given on similar laws in other countries, on the going into effect in South Korea on Sunday of the “North Korean Human Rights Act.”

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: “I will look into it.”

Inner City Press: We'll be waiting.

Aug 30 - 8: Again, on the simple question of who decided to stop including in the online list of Public Financial Disclosures those officials who choose to maintain confidentiality, is there someone in the Ethics Office I'm supposed to put this question to? Given what this Secretary General said about public financial disclosure, asking your Office.

Ban Ki-moon's Spox Dujarric: “Will revert.”

Inner City Press: This simple question, about decreasing transparency under Ban Ki-moon, has been asked four times now...

And now, just as Ban's son in law Chatterjee previously sought outright censorship of press coverage of his rise in the UN, now a fight-back starts, under the headline "Ban's Son-in-law Pledges to Uphold Human Dignity in New Job," with this: "critics question the process of selection and maintain that Ban, whose second term as UN Chief ends on December 31, 2016, should have reclused himself from any role in his son-in-law's promotion. For them the process smacks of 'nepotism'."

 This same planted article says, "Chatterjee began his early career as an officer in a Special Forces unit of the Indian Army." That was in Sri Lanka, to which Ban goes this week - we'll have more on this.

  How is this nepotism 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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