UN, Rebellion and Retaliation in Political Affairs Unit, Pascoe's
Transfer Questioned, Faces French - Obama Switch?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, October 8, updated Oct. 9
-- The UN Department of Political Affairs, charged
with working internationally for peace, has devolved into some
internal warfare. On October 8, DPA chief B.
Lynn Pascoe wrote an
angry "note to file" about two of his directors, who
rebelled against what many of Inner City Press' sources in DPA call a
flawed and even corrupt hiring process. The note to file, after DPA's
response, is being published by Inner City Press here.
Note to File about "Unacceptable Conduct by Messrs. Martinovic
and Heitmann" has it, "a P5 level staff member in my office
volunteered for the internal mobility exercise. I reviewed the
Vacancy Announcement that was posted for the P5 in the Subsidiary
Organs [of the Security Council] Branch, and I deemed that she was
qualified for the post."
was only one
problem: public notice of this P5 post has already been published,
and three candidates from outside the UN had already applied. They
were told that a test would be administered to make the process
competitive and merit-based. Then they were told that the examination
was canceled "for technical reasons."
of the suddenly
disqualified finalists, from Germany, came to New York and demanded
of Mr. Aleksandar Martinovic to know what these "technical
reasons" were. Another internal candidate, already expert on
sanctions, was also sidelined by Mr. Pascoe's unilateral decision to
place his colleague Michelle Griffin into the vacant P5 post,
effective October 20, 2009.
Pascoe's disciplinary version, after he "issued a note to all
DPA staff announcing the move, plus one other transfer, on 2 October,
2009" suddenly Mr. Martinovic and Horst Heitmann, the head of
the Security Council Division, informed Mr. Pascoe's Special
Assistant Karin Ann Gerlach that "they no longer required the
post, did not need the staff member I had laterally re-assigned."
was a protest
of Mr. Pascoe's circumvention of an already begun recruitment
process, sources tell Inner City Press. But rather than reconsider
his actions, challenged by two respected directors in DPA, Pascoe
fired off a note to their personnel files, calling it a "direct
contravention of... the instructions I issued as head of the
Department... unacceptable conduct for senior managers."
the head of
the UN Secretariat's main diplomatic unit to resort to managing his
directors by vituperative notes to personnel files strikes some as a
documented than the above but not entirely unrelated, well placed
sources in the
UN say that the United States is mulling taking over the Department
of Peacekeeping Affairs, thereby displacing its current chief Alain
Le Roy, but in exchange giving DPA to Le Roy's native France. They
noted, however, that India too is making a claim to the Peacekeeping
post. Watch this site.
UN's Pascoe and a retributed director who
protested Pascoe's autocratic rule
there is no
mechanism, it appears, for a "note to the personnel file"
of Mr. Pascoe, his circumvention of an already begun recruitment
exercise, disregard for the protests of two long time directors, and
notes to their files do not reflect well on him. Pascoe concludes, "I
have asked Mr. [Haile] Menkerios to duly note this incident on both
e-PAS' for the 2009/10 cycle."
known as Pascoe's "go-to" guy for African issues, totally
sidelining Pascoe's predecessor as DPA chief Ibrahim Gambari. But
with Menkerios reportedly up to replace Rodolphe Adada in Darfur,
will he continue as the e-PAS hatchet man against two of his
month ago, Inner
City Press posed a simple question to DPA and its spokesman, about a
hiring process. It took more than three weeks to get it answered, and
even then, only partially. While that story is finally in
preparation, the report above, supported by two documents with Mr.
Pascoe's signature, does not require any three week wait. Pascoe's
note to file says "they will have an opportunity to respond in
writing should they wish." So, on that or Pascoe's response, we
have have more. Watch this site.
On October 8, the day Pascoe signed the above quoted note to file,
Inner City Press asked him questions on the record about both Somalia
and Guinea. On the former, both on and off camera, Pascoe presented
himself as unaware of the specifics of the United States' curtailment
of aid to the UN World Food Program due to questions about the
applicability of anti-terrorism laws to aid in the Al Shabaab
controlled portions of Somalia. Video here
from Minute 7:47.
On the latter, Pascoe
expressed outrage about the rapes in Guinea, and said he hoped for an
election, to which the UN would provide help. Video here,
from Minute 11:29.
Hopefully clearer than
Press obtained a copy of Pascoe's note to file, which seems an
equally or more accurate reflection of current DPA diplomacy.
of October 9, 2009: rather than the more that three weeks it took to
answer a simple question about an office overseen by the Department
of Political Affairs, this time DPA sent a response the next day:
in response to your blog posting of today
Jared Kotler [at] un.org
Inner City Press
10/9/2009 12:03:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
USG Pascoe’s leadership, DPA is undergoing a process of
strengthening and renewal which includes a mobility exercise intended
to broaden the experiences of staff members, consistent with broader
efforts to create a more mobile and well rounded Secretariat. The
staff transfer you refer to on your blog today was taken in that
context. Incidentally, you may be unaware that, as established in
ST/AI/2006/3, it is entirely within the authority of a Department
head to transfer staff laterally within a department. The reasons for
the note to the file you refer to on you blog are well summarized
of the Under-Secretary General
Department of Political Affairs
so, we publish
the note to file, here
and above. The protest / refusal to go along of two long
standing and respected directors in DPA remains noteworthy. Ban
Ki-moon's spokesperson, who Inner City Press asked about this on
October 9, said that Ban would have not comments on the specifics.
The question was and is, does UN "mobility" allow for a
hiring process so irregular that long time and respected directors
protest it? And is the answer to fire off vituperative notes to file?
Watch this site.
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