Haiti, National UN Staff in Limbo, Despite Some Good News in Ruins
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 14 -- At the UN on July 14 it became even less clear
UN Mission in Haiti is doing for it national staff,
including how it is counting them. In the casualty figures released
by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the morning, no national Haitian
staff were included.
the UN's noon
briefing by video link from near the Port au Prince airport, figures
were provided for injured national staff, but not deceased or
missing. Inner City Press, which first raised the question on July
13, asked why. Because they went to their homes, was the answer.
Because they are focused on survival.
City Press is informed that a MINUSTAH staffer, close with Hedy
Annabi, has been found alive. A reliable source told Inner City Press
that "Patrick Hein, working closely with Annabi was rescued...
brought up from the mess of concrete. According
to his dad Philippe Hein ( who has visited him at one point in Haiti
and used to work at WTO ) his office is next to Annabi. Father was a
bit piss off at Kouchner for saying that everyone has perished."
true, this is
good news. But what about national Haitian UN staff? When Pressed,
the UN's humanitarian coordinator for Haiti, the tri-lingual Kim
Bolduk, said that UNDP had sent out three missions to check on its
national staff in their homes.
Press tried to follow up this answer to MINUSTAH's director of
communications, UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky cut in to disallow this
Hotel Christopher, rented by UN for $94,000 a
month, in ruins - MOSS compliant?
He proceeded to allow some others two and three follow
ups, whenever they wanted. The UN is full of open double standards.
We will continue. Watch this site.
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Doesn't Count Haitian Staff - But Treats Them Equally, Ban Says
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, January 14 -- A day after the UN's death
count of its
personnel in Port au Prince at first included a single Haitian staff
member, and then dropped the reference, on Thursday morning
General Ban Ki-moon dropped all reference to nationalities in his
count of the dead.
asked if the UN's national Haitian staff have been included in the
figures the UN has been giving out, not only of casualties but even
of how many people work for the UN.
that national staff are treated "equally," the figure
thrown around - that 11,000 people work for the UN's MINUSTAH mission
-- does not include the UN's national staff.
response to the
question, Ban referred to notes and said that the UN has 1200
national staff in Haiti. This compares to 490 international civilian
Ban left the
stakeout, Inner City Press asked his spokesman Martin Nesirky to
explain the UN's reporting of casualties. Nesirky said that the focus
has been on reporting to those with international interest.
UN's Ban at stakeout, national Haitian staff not in figures
He also said
that national staff who worked in the UN
headquarters in Port of Prince were somehow more likely to have
already have left the building for the day when the earthquake
struck. Video here.
he said, the
UN is going out to the listed home addresses of its national staff to
check on them. But will they now begin reporting the Haitians,
equally, in their public statements? Watch this site.
after Ban and his spokesman left the stakeout, another journalist --
not this one -- marveled that the UN would focus on internationals
and not Haitians, who are the people most impacted, and of most
interest to her as a journalist.
From the UN's January 14 transcript:
City Press: I understand that now you are saying that the nationality
of those killed will be given by the Spokesman. Yesterday it was
mentioned that a Haitian national was among those who were deceased,
and then in what you said yesterday evening, it wasn’t mentioned. Some
questions have arisen whether the numbers the UN is given
actually include the Haitians that are hired, the national staff.
What is the figure, or what are the procedures for checking how the
actual Haitian nationals employed in various functions for the UN are
Ban Ki-moon: In saving lives, there is no difference, no distinction
between international and national staff. We have 1,200 national
staff employed by the United Nations [in Haiti]. There seems to be
very much a difficulty in communicating with all the national staff.
Some of their houses have been affected. It is very difficult to
account for all the national staff. We are doing, on the same
principal: that we will try to save all the lives, without any