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UN Peacekeeping Plans To Abolish More Posts Despite Mali Build-Up

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, May 3 -- In the spirit of the May Day protest by UN staff against working conditions and "forced relocations," Inner City Press has obtained and is exclusively publishing a UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations / DFS memo bragging about "abolishing" posts "in line with the reduction of peacekeeping activities in the field."

  This line from the February 12, 2013 DPKO memo rings false, as its chief Herve Ladsous pushing for a mission in former French colony Mali, and for a build up in the Eastern Congo.

  But still DPKO wants to cut jobs, perhaps to replace them with drones like Ladsous proposes with the peacekeepers in Cote d'Ivoire .

  In the memo, DPKO / DFS eschews any review of how it makes the cuts, writing that "since most of the posts were unique in functions and levels it was impossible to use a Comparative Review exercise."

  Of 2012, DPKO / DFS writes of "23 posts abolished in New York and established in UNGSC. 16 staff members affected, six professionals and 10 General Service staff." And still more cuts are slated for July 2013 -- even as Ladsous moves to staff up in Mali.

  As we reported, also exclusively ("obsessively," Ladsous or his spokesman might allege) earlier today, the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management under "Next Steps" urged to "be prepared for any possible UNDT cases (assemble good records)." DPKO / DFS says to "be prepared for any possible UNDT cases."

  UNDT is the UN Dispute Tribunal. Did DPKO / DFS "assemble good records" to defend its abolition of posts?

  Of most concern to DGACM, according to its memo, was and is "staff being intimidated by a small (?) group of outspoken staff."

  That would be the staff members who proposed the "no confidence" resolution as to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's leadership, which passed overwhelmingly.

  Rather than learn any lesson from that vote -- for example, don't in response to a Press question call those who work for you "selfish," as Ban characterized those staff in New York who oppose his mobility proposal -- management blames it on a "small (?) group of outspoken staff."

  And you know, on World Press Freedom Day, the UN doesn't like those who are "outspoken." At the WPFD event, Ladsous' spokesman Kieran Dwyer justified Ladsous' refusal to answer any questions from Inner City Press, here. But we will continue reporting - persistently. Watch this site.

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