Inner City Press

Inner City Press -- Investigative Reporting From the Inner City to Wall Street to the United Nations

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

  Search Search WWW (censored?)

In Other Media-eg AJE, FP, Georgia, NYT Azerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us   .


Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


Follow us on TWITTER

March 1, 2011: Libya

Video (new)

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

UN Job Reductions Target Lower Levels, Kane Memo Says Can Cut Permanent

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 17, updated Oct 18 -- As the UN reacts to calls to cut its budget, its "post reductions" are disproportionately directed as lower level staff, who accuse Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his administration of a lack of transparency and even honesty.

  Inner City Press has obtained a copy of a member from Ban's top Management official Angela Kane which tells Departments to start preparing for cuts, even before the UN General Assembly considers them, and provides for the termination of staff with "permanent" contracts. Click here to view.

  But in an October 17 response to questions Inner City Press asked back on October 7 about 41 planned post eliminations in the UN's Publishing Section, the UN states that

"The post reductions in the New York Printing Section are contained in the Secretary General’s proposed programme budget for the biennium 2012-2013. They are expected to be achieved through attrition and other management measures, i.e. without involuntary redundancies."

  Contrast this with Kane's internal memo, stating that

"I am writing regarding the abolition of posts proposed in your department/office for the biennium 2012-2013. As you know, the final decision on any abolition of post(s) rests with the General Assembly. In the event that the General Assembly does approve the Secretary-General's proposals, certain preparatory work should be undertaken by each department/office with regard to the staff that will be affected by the abolition of their respective posts... staff members who hold permanent appointments must be given three (3) months written notice of termination of their appointment."

The UN's response-after-ten-day is also inconsistent with even the UN's pro-management write up of the underlying meeting, which states that

"The Secretary-General's final budget proposal assumes that 37 TC posts and 4 GS posts will be abolished in the PS... processing of publications currently processed on offset machines will be outsourced... The 2012-2013 model implies that 81 posts need to be abolished."

  One of the addressees, Narendra Nandoe, is said to be "sabotaging" the Publishing unit by refusing to order supplies or allow small errors to be fixed. So it goes at this UN.

Kane, SG & DSG, requested (c) UN Photo but caption analysis not shown. For now

  The UN's response-after-ten-day begins with the UN's officially garbled transcription of Press questions, followed by a differently prepared transcription of the UN spokesman, with all "uhs" removed. (Some within the chain of command say that UN staff have been ordered to make it so.) So here is a "clean up" of the transcript of the October 7 noon briefing:

Inner City Press: yesterday, people working in UN publishing were told that 41 of those cuts will come from their department — 37 posts and 4 trades and crafts. I wanted you to confirm if that’s true, and they wonder, and I also in turn wonder, whether this idea of totally phasing out publication and laying those people off is something that’s been checked with Member States in terms of them using things like the Journal, and the various things that are printed by the UN, including reports. Is it true that 30 per cent of the cuts are in one division and why is that the case?

Spokesperson: I’d have to check on the details of what is a budget submission and a budget submission that goes to the Member States and is approved by Member States. If I have anything else further, then obviously we can let you know, but I think that’s an important factor here.

Inner City Press: I don’t know whether they are called lay-offs or post eliminations, will these, before they’re implemented, require the approval of the Fifth Committee?

Spokesperson: I need to check. But if it’s a budget submission, then a budget submission needs the approval of Member States.

Inner City Press: they were told, I don’t think it was said in either in the Fifth or ACABQ, I think it was said by the UN Secretariat to publishing people.

Spokesperson: As I say, I need to check.

Then for ten days, the UN did not provide a response. But documents came in. Watch this site.

Footnote: meanwhile the rest of "Kane's reign" bears marks of decline, down to the smallest and most simple things. Monday delegates groused that they couldn't even print, with the computer printer on the North Lawn's second floor left again without paper.

  When the hours of the UN cafeteria were cut, they put potato chip and soda machines in the lobby for the other hours. Now these machines have been moved inside the cafeteria: locked up in the off-hours the machines were supposed to serve.

 Likewise the small bar purportedly filling in for the closed-down Delegates' Lounge is rarely open. "Ban Ki-moon and Angela Kane have sucked," a well placed commadic UN staff source said, "the life out of the UN."

Update of Oct 18: while UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said he wouldn't comment on a "leaked memo" -- even if it contradicted the public answer he alluded to -- one of the problems reported above was acted on the UN the next day: the potato chip machine

(c) MRLee
Post publication, UN on Oct 18 moved soda and chips back to lobby. Thanks

Share |

Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

* * *

These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

Feedback: Editorial [at]

UN Office: S-253, UN, NY 10017 USA Tel: 212-963-1439

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

  Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

            Copyright 2006-2001 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at]