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After Prodi Ran For Italy President, UN Stonewalls on Rules, Says It's Moot

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 24, updated -- While Romano Prodi was campaigning for the Italian presidency while the full time UN envoy on the Sahel, Inner City Press on April 18 asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson if this was against the rules, a conflict of interest.

  Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said he wasn't aware of it.

  But now it's clear and admitted that Prodi was running. He issued a statement, after a vote, that “the result of the vote and the way that it came about lead me to believe there are no longer the necessary conditions to continue.”

  If he could no longer “continue,” he has admitted that he was running. (We note this because some say that in Italy all he could do, but didn't, was to say not to include his name for votes. But he ran.)

So on April 24, Inner City Press asked again: what rules applied?

Ban's spokesman Nesirky now said it's now moot, and that Prodi is back at work on the Sahel.

But that's not the point - what rules prohibit a UN official, in this case an Under Secretary General, from actively seeking a political post in his or her country?

That Prodi failed does not answer the question. Can any USG run for office? What is the UN becoming?

Update: Article 100 of the UN Charter provides that all UN staff must "refrain from any action which might reflect on their position as international officials responsible only to the Organization."

  Can or will Prodi remain as Sahel envoy? (There is another exclusive Inner City Press published on April 3 that is not unrelated to this - click here.)Watch this site.

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