UN Security Brass Let Off Hook on
Fowler, On Promotions, Investigation Called For
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
NATIONS, February 19 --
The lack of accountability of those in charge of UN Security continues,
the field and in New York, where the UN Staff Union has passed a
calling for an independent investigation of promotion and placement
uncovered two weeks ago by Inner City Press.
The UN's envoy to Niger,
Fowler, who was abducted while traveling to Canadian-owned gold
mine in the country in December 2008, has now appeared as a hostage
in a video,
for which Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims credit. Still the UN
answered what Fowler was doing, nor why he was allowed by the UN to
without security, while in a UN Development Program vehicle, the driver
which has disappeared entirely.
At the February
18 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy
Spokesperson Marie Okabe, "it’s been reported that the Al-Qaida in
Maghreb has said that they are holding Mr. Fowler and Mr. Guay. Is the UN aware of that? They
have also said that they’re asking for a
prisoner exchange. What’s the UN’s
position in response to this?" Ms. Okabe replied, "We’re aware of the
reports but we have nothing further to comment on it."
The UN has had very little to say about Mr. Fowler's
disappearance, leading some to conclude they simple want the story to
The UN's silence on Fowler stands in contrast to the fast UN press
recent kidnapping, in Pakistan. Inner City Press asked, "just
recently, in Pakistan, when a group said that they had a UNHCR
local office put out a press release saying speak with us directly. Is that decision made by the local office in
each case or by Headquarters?"
Ms. Okabe answered that, "both cases are
very different, as in all cases involving a hostage situation. So, I really could not go into further
details on that."
Two weeks ago, the UN's refusal to answer questions
including what accountability steps have been taken about the December
deadly bombing of the UN in Algiers, was a introduction to Inner City
reporting on promotion irregularities within the UN Department of
UN DSS in 2004, at right now with dog days to CMP?
that report, the official who e-mailed out the
inappropriately pre-decided promotions and placements has written a
saying he was defamed by other DSS personnel at special meetings held
February 11 about Inner City Press' report. It seems that if a person's
document defames them, their only option to sue is to sue themselves.
On February 18, the Staff Union unanimous adopted a
the DSS staff's "vote of no confidence in the management of the SSS of
DSS." This management, Inner City Press is told, is trying to shift to
UN Capital Master Plan. The resolution notes "that information revealed
recent [P]ress reports appears to cast doubt on the integrity of the
selection process" and "decides to call on the Secretary-General to
establish an independent external investigation to review recent
actions within the SSS." The resolution, by its terms, will be conveyed
the Secretary-General, the heads of the Budget Committee and Advisory
on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and the President of the
Assembly. Watch this site.
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and this October 17 debate, on
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