At UN, Lame Duck Labor Moves by US, Georgian War on
Budget, Chinese ID Follies
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 4 -- The United States,
the UN's host country and its largest donor, is even as it holds
election preparing unprecedented proposal to change staff contrasts and
arrangements throughout the UN. In a series of secret meetings with
General Ban Ki-moon's management and human resources officials, the US
to the UN has outlined a radical reduction both in the type of UN
contracts, and in the benefits the remaining contracts would offer.
meetings, the proposal documents have been handed out, each one numbers
then collected again at the end of the session, to prevent leaks. In
days, the US Mission has begun lobbying the European Union and regional
to try to find support for its proposal.
tell Inner City Press that the Under Secretary General for Management,
Kane, has attended these meetings, and is not adverse to the U.S.
Kane has met on the topic, for example, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN
Khalilzad. One level below Ms. Kane, Assistant Secretary General of the
Office of Human Resources Management Catherine Pollard is less
the U.S. proposal. The Staff Union, meanwhile, notes that it has not
consulted, and as of Tuesday afternoon did not have a copy.
Ban Ki-moon to (some) UN staff, US contract changing proposal not shown
day's presidential elections will impact this eleventh hour "reform"
proposal by the Bush administration Department of State is not known.
talk of the U.S. trying to bypass consideration by the UN's Fifth
Committee and taking the proposal directly to the General Assembly for
a vote. Nor is it yet known how the US proposal relates to Ban
Ki-moon's recent rift about harmonizing contracts, given in response to
Inner City Press' questions about UN reform. Click here for that
place in the context of a UN employment system that ignores the most
protections provided by U.S. labor law. There is no ability to use the
any outside court to challenge employment practices or even
most recent example is the case of a former (and want-to-be) UN staffer
having been rebuffed and he says discriminated against in applying for
recently wrote to Deputy Secretary General Asha Rose Migiro complaining
system of "red flag" blocks against hiring certain people, including
response he has
received comes not from Ms. Migiro but rather from one Ms. Hafida Fatma
of France, from within the Administrative Law Unit under Ms. Pollard
Kane. Ms. Lahiouel writes that since the complainant is not currently a
staff member, the UN internal justice system is not available to him.
to mean that a person applying for employment in the UN, even if
rejected on explicitly racist or other invidious grounds, has no
all. How the U.S. Mission to the UN feels about this is not yet know.
Meanwhile, in a
so-far little noticed contested race
for a seat on the UN's Advisory Committee on Administrative and
Questions, Russia's Vladimir Alekseevitch Iosifov is being opposed by
Alexander Petriashvili. A Georgian representative told Inner City
"Russia thinks it owns that seat on ACABQ. We're running. We don't know
we will win, but we are running."
Russia did more investigative
work in the Fifth (Budget) Committee on the UN's controversial $250
no-bid contract with U.S.-based Lockheed Martin for super-camps in
almost any other delegation. But the Russia -
Georgia fight, from the hot war
of August, has continued in nearly every UN General Assembly committee,
visibly in the Third.
Third, the Chinese delegation's able former spokeswoman Yan Jiarong is
speaking out most recently in favor of the "sacred political right"
of a people to fight for sovereignty. While how that applies to South
is not yet known, Yan Jiarong on Monday fought for her right to her old
identification card, which was confiscated in the UN Pass office along
with the admonition that "it is UN property" when she went
in to ask a question. At the same time, it emerged that one Babacar
been given an incorrect i.d. - "the pass," it was said, "does
not match the man." Only at the UN...
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
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