UN Invokes Immunity to Defeat Sex Harassment Case, UN Claims It's in
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 3 -- While the UN this week is full of talk of women's
rights, the UN has repeatedly invoked immunity to fight of the sexual
harassment lawsuit of Cynthia Brzak, most recently in the Second
Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The UN not only said it is
"absolutely immune against such cases, it also gave the impunity
to former UN system employee Ruud Lubbers.
spokesman Martin Nesirky was asked about the widely reported case, he
said that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has "no comment."
Minutes later, when Mr. Ban's Advisor on Woman's Issues Rachel
Mayanja was asked about the case, she claimed that the UN "does
not invoke immunity easily." Video here,
from Minute 11:10.
Inner City Press asked UN Associate Spokesman Farhan Haq about the
UN's failure to invoke immunity when two national staff members were
arrested and allegedly tortured by the government of Sri Lanka last
year, Haq conceded at the UN "normally" invokes immunity,
March 3, Ms.
Mayanja said that UN only invokes immunity "if the interests of
the Organization are at stake."
does the UN
have an "interest" is sexual harassment?
Ruud Lubbers, immunity and Mrs. Annan not shown
was questioned by the Press about the case, he offered to
demonstrate. "Come here," he said on camera to a reporter,
then patted him on the back. Video here,
from Minute 10:30.
he would do that same to Nane Annan, the wife of then Secretary
General Kofi Annan. Video here,
from Minute 15:25. Soon thereafter he
then as the UN
continued to insist that Ruud Lubbers should be immune? And why would
it misspeak about it? We will continue to pursue answers, during and
after the current Commission on the Status of Women meetings at the UN.
Watch this site.
* * *
Sex Abuse by
Peacekeepers UN-Solved Amid CSW Shindigs at UN
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, March 1 -- With the UN teeming with participants in the
Conference on the Status of Women, Inner City Press on Monday asked
the personal representatives of the president of the Congo and of the
prime minister of Morocco about UN peacekeepers charged with sexual
abuse or exploitation.
"In the DRC," the Moroccan
representative said, "there were accusations proven to be
false." Video here,
from Minute 23:30. The Congolese
representative stared at her.
even as to the
Congo, when a UN peacekeeper is accused, the most that is done is to
repatriate the soldier back to his home country. After that, it is
never clear if there is prosecution or punishment. Inner City Press
asked the Moroccan representative about the case of more than 100
Moroccan soldiers repatriated from the UN Mission in Cote d'Ivoire,
UNOCI -- where they ever prosecuted?
am not sure, was
the answer, then a reference to one person being prosecuted. The
representative said that in Morocco the army and gendarmes take this
seriously, the police less so. But where is the showing of what was
done with the repatriated peacekeepers? The UN provide obscurantist
statistics, saying the Troop Contributing Countries don't want to be
representative said that the repatriation is the most that can be
done. Inner City Press asked about charges that Joseph Kabila, whom
she represented, has done too little about rapes committed by his
army, particularly by the units that came in from the CNDP. Video here,
from Minute 19:45. This question was not answered. On this, and
other UN system sleaze in Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this
week. Watch this site.
CSW meeting in UN on March 1, accountability
for UN sex abuse not shown
the CSW as not only filled the UN cafeteria, so recently the site of
an anthrax scare, but at a more elite level has given rise to a
string of receptions. On Monday, the UK's Mark Lyall Grant has
invited heads of CSW delegations to the UK mission, while Egypt's
Maged Abdelaziz makes a similar invite to his country's Art Deco
mission on 44th Street..
Heraldo Munoz invites delegates and Permanent Representatives to his
residence on East 57th Street. This competes with the EU reception on
72nd Street and Madison Avenue. On Wednesday March 3, Ambassador
Susan Rice invites the same crowd to the U.S. Mission. Many parties,
little accountability. Again, on this, and other UN system sleaze in
Kinshasa, we will continue to inquire this week. Watch this site.