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Ban Handed Out Rights Job to Gilmour With No Notice to States, In Denial

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 18 -- Entering the last six months of Ban Ki-moon's second term as UN Secretary General, not only Ban has his eye on future jobs (South Korea presidency) and paydays.

On the Andrew Gilmour move of June 24, Inner City Press on July 25 asked more questions. From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: I asked you before about the ASG (Assistant Secretary-General) of Human Rights position for Andrew Gilmour, and I asked about whether there had been… the type of recruitment that is usually done, and I think you said, yes.  But since now having heard from a number of people, including in Geneva, that would have wanted to run for the post and from some countries, in the case of the ASG post of Kyung-wha Kang, they post on Delegate a notice to Member States and there is an ASG post open and people can apply for it.  I wanted to know, just "Yes" or "No", was that done for the ASG of Human Rights Post and if not, why not?

Deputy Spokesman:  Different announcements are posted in different ways; but the policy, yes, this was filled through the regular policy for staffing posts.

ICP Question:  Right but why would the ASG for OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) be posted and the ASG of Human Rights not be posted, unless you come back and say that it was posted?

Deputy Spokesman:   here are different times when different things are posted.  Sometimes ads are placed in Economist and sometimes not.  That is different; but, yes, the procedure was followed.

ICP Question:  But the rights of nations seem different, Economist, and maybe it's up to you where to advertise, but the countries themselves say they never saw a notice and it was filled kind of quickly.  I guess was Prince Zeid conferred with on this appointment?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't comment on how the procedure was followed; but, yes, the proper procedure was followed.  Have a good afternoon, everyone.

On October 18, Ban's outgoing lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric returned with a fulsome denial - but no other answers. Dujarric used the top of the briefing to say: “And in response to a question that I think you Matthew had asked on Friday, after checking with our colleagues in Geneva, I can confirm that the allegation of a letter from D-2s of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights protesting about the appointment of Andrew Gilmour as the new Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on the grounds that the post wasn’t advertised is completely false.  I can also confirm, as I said, that Kate Gilmore, and that’s G-i-l-m-o-r-e, has only one nationality and it is the proud passport of Australia.”

  Later in the briefing, Inner City Press asked:

Inner City Press: on what you said at the top, I wanted to ask you the following and just if you can explain this.  The ASG [Assistant Secretary-General] post that went to Mr. Andrew Gilmour and without any rancour of his record or anything else, you may not believe it, but a number of ambassadors through G-77 and elsewhere said they never got a letter.  And so they look at the ASG of OCHA, for example, Kyung-wha Kang, and they did get a letter saying put forward… how is it decided?  They thought… so, I'm asking you… that when ASG posts become open that the Member States are told they can put in candidates.  Even if you have somebody in mind, you go through the motions.  Why was that not done in the case of ASG for Human Rights?

Spokesman:  I don't know that it was… that Member States were not informed.  The Secretary-General… the Secretary-General has the authority to appoint ASGs or USGs [Under-Secretaries-General] without posting… posting the post as it is being done for OCHA.  That is his prerogative.  It is within the well-established rules and regulations of the Organization.  The procedure for the hiring of Andrew Gilmour was clearly within the established rules and regulations of how these posts are named.  The Secretary-General has various options and uses those various options for various posts.

ICP Question:  So, now that Kyung-wha Kang is part of the transition team for António Guterres, what's the status of that post and of the recruitment part?  It would seem to make more sense to do that one fast, given the…?

Spokesman:  I appreciate your HR [human resources] advice.  I think…

ICP Question:  Sure.  Well, where does it stand?  It's not really advice.  It's a question.

Spokesman:  She had indicated and announced her departure months ago.  That continues.  She's no longer on that post, so that recruitment continues. 

Despite the intentional opacity of Ban's outgoing spokesperson, Inner City Press reports that Andrew Gilmour states that he was not present in any intra-Ban Ki-moon meeting on Guterres' denied request for extension, only a P5 lunch at which the topic arose. We believe him. He seemed unaware both of Dujarric's refusal to answer basic questions, and of Team Ban's / Gallach's at least eight months of harassment of Inner City Press. We hope to have more on this.


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