Awarded $166,000 from UNDP, Exposed N.Korea
Russell Lee, Exclusive
August 31 -- The whistleblower who exposed irregularities in
the UN Development Program's programs in North Korea,
only to be
fired and barred from UN premises, today won a $166,000 judgment from
the UN Dispute Tribunal.
whose story Inner City Press exclusively
covered from his first
blowing of the whistle after UNDP ignored his complaints to then
Administrator Kemal Dervis and
Spokesman David Morrison's use of mainstream media to smear
Shkurtaj's character and educational background, has doggedly pursued
his rights as a whistleblower, first through the UN's seemingly
powerless Ethics Office and now through the UN Dispute Tribunal.
August 31, in a decision Inner City Press has obtained and is putting
Judge Ebrahim-Carstens ruled:
finds that not only was the applicant not given an
opportunity to respond to these adverse findings, he was not even
made aware of the EIIRP’s concerns regarding his credibility at any
point prior to the issuance of the report. The Tribunal is persuaded
by the applicant’s argument that the report of the EIIRP contained
adverse findings against him and that, in the particular
circumstances of this case, he should have been made aware of them
prior to the issuance of the report and provided with the opportunity
to comment on them and provide his explanations. Therefore, the
Ethics Office’s finding that there was a violation of the
applicant’s procedural right to be made aware of—and to have the
opportunity to respond to—the adverse findings concerning his
credibility and trustworthiness was reasonable and justified. This is
particularly so considering the report was made public, following
which there was no further process made available to the applicant to
contest these findings. This failure resulted in a violation of the
applicant’s due process rights, damaged his career prospects and
professional reputation, and caused him emotional distress, for all
of which he should be compensated. I find that the recommendation of
the Director of the Ethics Office that the applicant be paid fourteen
months’ salary was reasonable in light of all the circumstances of
this case". (14 months x $11,500 = 161,000)
UNDP's Clark and Team Ban, whistleblower protections not shown
of the report to the Ethics Office for recommendations was
part of UNDP’s effort to carry out a fair and objective
fact-finding exercise and this referral was meant to be meaningful,
particularly considering the history of this case. The undertaking by
UNDP was to share EIIRP’s findings with the Director of the Ethics
Office, who “could then provide an opinion and formulate
recommendations, as may be appropriate, on the retaliation
allegations in light of these findings”. This meant that, having
submitted to the process, UNDP was required to give serious and
timeous consideration to the Ethics Office’s comments and
recommendations, make a decision on them and provide this decision,
along with the reasons, to the applicant. There is no evidence before
me that UNDP afforded such timeous and serious consideration to the
Ethics Office’s recommendation. This failure and the resultant
procedural delay shall be recompensed. In light of the circumstances
of this case, I find that the lump sum amount of USD5,000 is
appropriate to compensate the applicant." (+$5,000).”
refused to abide by the UN Ethics Office ruling that Shkurtaj's due
process rights were violated. Now the new UN justice system, that
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has bragged so much about, has
vindicated Shkurtaj's rights. Will Ban allow UNDP under Helen Clark
to continue to thumb its nose at whistleblower's rights? Watch this
earlier this month, UNDP dodged questions on fraud by its highest
representative to the Palestinian people, exposed by Inner City Press,
here. Until now, Ban Ki-moon has done nothing to reign in UNDP's
Helen Clark, whose advice has gotten Ban into more and more trouble.
What will happen here?
* * *
Clark Blames Poverty on Politics, UK Defends Sanctions,
UNDP Conflict of Interest in N.Korea?
17 -- Building the capacity of governments, even
dictatorships and military regimes, is the approach taken the UN
Development Program. Thursday Inner City Press asked UNDP
to explain what she meant that because
"'political factors' restrict what the UNDP can do in Myanmar..
'it's not so easy to make progress there at this time' on the
Millennium Development Goals.
backtracked, saying that it's not UNDP's restricted action in Myanmar
that's to blame, its the politics of aid donors-- apparently meaning,
sanctions. Clark emphasized that Myanmar gets the least development
aid per capita of any country, including North Korea. "Politics,"
she said, "has been a complicating factor." Video here,
government of General Than Shwe has dissolved the NLD party of Aung
San Suu Kyi, and has stacked the upcoming election for military
connected candidates. Is this the government whose capacity UNDP
seeks to build?
UK's Lyall Grant at right hand of Helen Clark, regimes not shown
Lyall Grant jumped in to say that the sanctions only "target the
regime" in what he called Burma.
and Armed Conflict envoy Radhika Coomaraswamy has said that Myanmar
entirely stopped working toward an action plan on child soldiers, in
the run up to the election. Inner City Press stopped Myanmar's
Ambassador to the UN outside the Security Council on June 16 and
asked why the country has stopped. The Ambassador insisted that his
government works closely with Ms. Coomaraswamy, and wants to be take
off her list of recruiters. Perhaps UNDP would support this?
also asked Ms. Clark about UNDP's role in the security sector in
Somalia, where the government has been exposed as using 20% child
soldiers. "We do not train soldiers," Clark answered. "We
are nowhere near that one." Not so fast. UNDP has provided funds
for training TFG security; the dispute has been how much they spend.
We aim to have more on this.
re-opened its North Korea program and website, it listed
Mr. Vijay Thapa as International Finance Officer. A whistleblower
asks, isn't this a conflict of interest since Mr. Thapa has been
Finance Officer in DPR Korea since 2003, therefore four years before
the discovery of counterfeit? Mr Thapa is among those UNDP Staff of
DPR Korea whom declined to talk to US Southern District Attorney on
counterfeit and he is part of the "old cast" of UNDP DPRK
management responsible for the wrong doings. One wonders, was the
appointment of Mr. Thapa a request from DPR Korean Government ? Is
this more capacity building?