At UN, Echoes of Printing Plant Death, Security
Hiring Flap and New Irregularities
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
March 18 -- Two weeks after UN
staff member Jesmel Navoa died of a stroke in the UN's third
waiting, his colleagues say, an hour for an ambulance, more
concerns are being
expressed, while silence is being sought. The UN Staff Union recounts
before the current Department of Safety and Security regime was
agreement was reached in which workers in the third basement printing
would be allowed to call 911 directly, and ambulances would be allowed
was not, however, in place two weeks ago when Mr. Navoa had his stroke.
word is that the UN is seeking the silence of Mr. Navoa's widow by
a job. The UN claims immunity from lawsuits, even in cases of gross
This may explain why there is a lack of accountability after such
and a failure to improve procedures after them.
not even responses when they are promised. On March 9, after publishing
its exclusive story on the
City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Marie Okabe
Inner City Press: Thursday of
last week...there was a death that took place in the building in the
subbasement and they have expressed concern that the ambulance wasn’t
in for an hour. I am wondering if you’re
aware of that and what is the protocol for that?
Deputy Spokesperson: I am not
aware of that, but I will look into
that and we will get you something.
still haven't. Meanwhile rank and file
members of DSS continue to seek accountability for the promotion
they say they've found in the internal DSS e-mail published earlier
by Inner City Press. The Staff Union asked for an independent, external
investigation. But acting DSS chief David Veness, who ostensibly
months ago in the wake of the deadly bombing of UN premises in Algiers,
offered only a review by DDS' own in-house unit. Now the rank and file
will meet with Deputy Secretary General Migiro, seeking accountability.
hard to find sometimes in the UN.
UN's Veness, with chief of staff, DSS dissatisfaction not shown
sources tell Inner City Press of two further incidents on March 17: a
evacuation at 10:30 a.m. off the same third floor printing plant where
Navoa had his stroke, and an ambulance visit to a high floor of the UN.
for that floor,
earlier this week the UN Spokesperson's Office said that only
four UN staff remain abducted, three from Niger and one from Pakistan.
March 18 Inner City Press asked
Inner City Press: it was said
over the squawk here that there had been a total of eight United
abducted and now there are only four.
And then I was reading this Secretary-General’s
report on Somalia dated
9 March and it has a line in it saying one United Nations staff member
in captivity after having been taken in captivity in June 2008. So, unless this person has been released
since 9 March, who is this person and what’s being done about their
Spokesperson Montas: Well, we
cannot always get that
information. As you know, there are
cases when we cannot reveal neither names nor conditions, circumstances
the security and the safety of the person being held are at stake. This has been the case, as you know, with the
abduction that took place in Niger.
However, we have been much more forward about what
happened with John
Solecki, as I just read a statement, not a statement, something from
on that account. So it varies. It varies with the circumstances, it varies
with, whether or not revealing a name or revealing more information can
person’s safety at stake.
All these stories
come together, and will be
updated. Watch this site.
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
12 debate on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
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
Office: S-453A, UN, NY 10017
earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available
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