Justice In Disarray as USG Shaaban Refuses to Appear, Ban Ki-moon Will
Order Urging Review
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 23 -- The UN's new justice system is already frayed
and exposed, as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reflexively appeals
from orders urging him to review the actions of his Under Secretary
General Shaaban Shaaban.
Inner City Press reported
on and asked about a UN Dispute Tribunal
decision which slammed Shaaban Shaaban and questioned whether he
should be ordered to pay $20,000 damages personally. When asked, Mr.
Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky said that Ban would appeal. When
Inner City Press asked "appeal what" and "appeal on
what basis," Nesirky said that needn't be answered.
has issued a second order,
after Shaaban Shaaban refused to appear at
his February 3 hearing. Adams writes that "the interests of the
Secretary-General as chief executive officer of the Organization
plainly conflicted with those of Mr Shaaban. It seems to me
self-evident that it was inappropriate for a lawyer from the Office
of Legal Affairs to advise Mr Shaaban about what he ought to do in
order to avoid the step that triggered the Secretary-General's duty."
UN's Ban and his USGs (Shaaban 2d from left),
conflicts of interests not shown
so at the
February 23 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Mr. Nesirky:
City Press: in this case it is the Shaaban Shaaban case, Abboud v.
Secretary-General. I understand yesterday, earlier you’d said an
earlier ruling was going to be appealed. Maybe you could say if it’s
been appealed, but yesterday Judge Adams ruled saying that the
respondent, i.e. the Secretary-General, is to appoint an official of
at least the rank of Under-Secretary-General other than Mr. Shaaban
to consider afresh the complaints of the applicant. And what I am
wondering is that, is this something that the Secretary-General is
going to do, even pending appeal of I guess the findings against Mr.
Shaaban. This seems like… This is the judge yesterday has asked
and he talked about “as a matter of courtesy”. Is this also
going to be appealed, so that no one other than Mr. Shaaban will
consider the applicant’s case?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I am sure I can find out. All
right, other questions? No?
Spokesperson later reiterated that the Organization has determined
that an appeal of the Abboud judgment would be appropriate and would
Adams' second decision, which Inner City Press is putting online here,
it is difficult not to conclude that Ban Ki-moon is undermining the
justice system he claimed was an improvement. We will contineu to
follow this case.
Footnote: at a
recent UNDP hearing, counsel joked that Adams may in fact stay on past
June, given the backlog of cases. There is talk of building a new UN
court room in the so called Teachers' (TIA-CREF) building on Third
Avenue, where the UNDP will rent space. But as set forth above, the
"new" system appears broken.
* * *
Court Rules Egyptian Official "Not Concerned With Truth,"
May Pay $20,000
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 2 -- In a little noticed proceeding in the basement
of the UN's near empty headquarters building, the Under Secretary
General in charge of General Assembly and Conference Management,
Egypt's Shaaban Shaaban, is being lambasted by a UN Dispute Tribunal
a hearing last
week at which Inner City Press was the only media present, UN Judge
Adams demanded to know which UN lawyer was communicating with Shaaban
Shaaban. A new hearing was set for this coming week.
Later in the
hallway, Inner City Press asked Shaaban Shaaban about the case. He
smiled and said, as his chief of staff earlier had, that it is still
in the UN court, still "sub judice."
and statements in Judge Adams written decision -- which Inner City
Press is putting
online here -- are scathing,
including for example that
“I do not go so
far, I should say in fairness, as to conclude that he [USG Shaaban]
was actively dishonest...I am left with the powerful impression that
he was not concerned to tell the the truth…”, “…the proper
performance by Mr. Shaaban of his duties was adversely affected by
affronted self-importance”, or “Incompetence is an alternative
explanation, but I saw no evidence of this”
which should have been but was not as of late January put on the UN's
website, contemplates a referral to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for
UN's Ban and Shaaban Shaaban, accountability not yet
It orders a
review on whether Shaaban should be held
personally accountable for the financial damages: whether Shaaban's
paycheck gets docked for the $20,000 being awarded. Shaaban Shaaban
is the highest ranking Egyptian in the UN system. A cynic asked Inner
City Press, how will they make this one go away? Watch this site.