Compact Lets in Private Military Contractor, UN Quiet on
15, updated twice -- Even after the UN's own
Joint Inspection Unit
criticized the UN Global Compact as presenting “reputational risk”
to the Organization, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon through his
spokesman Martin Nesirky had no response much less a plan for reform.
Nesirky directed Inner City Press on Tuesday to an answer
that Compact boss Georg Kell had already given.
asked if Ban Ki-moon has any problem with his Global Compact allowing
a private military company -- read, mercenary firm -- to join,
despite being protested for involvement in Israeli run prisons in the
has signed up to the United Nations Global Compact, an international
standard which promotes socially responsible business behavior in the
areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.”
to a brochure from the company...G4S
has supplied security
technology to seven Israeli prisons and two remand prisons located in
Israel and on the occupied West Bank.”
to say that Ban has confidence in Kell.
Tuesday noon briefing, Inner City Press asked for
the second time if
Ban thinks that Bahrain's use of security personnel from Pakistan and
Yemen is an example of mercenaries. If I have anything on that,
Nesirky said for the second time, I will tell you.
Kell, Nambiar & Ban, answer on G4S in UNGC not shown
what is Ban
Ki-moon's position on mercenaries? It appears to some to involve
double standards: he and his top officials have alleged and
criticized the use of mercenaries by Laurent Gbagbo in Cote d'Ivoire
and to a lesser extend Gadhafi in Libya, but won't answer questions
about presumptive mercenary use by Bahrain's royal family.
Compact, which put a convicted business fraudster from South
Korea on its board, now allowed mercenary firms to join it and drape
themselves in the UN flag, as the JIU has warned. And so it goes in
briefing, the following was sent to Inner City Press, to which follow
up questions were asked:
Matthew, The OSSG informed me that you had a few questions regarding
the JIU report...
is a statement on the JIU report, attributable to Georg Kell,
Executive Director of the UN Global Compact:
On two occasions (July and August 2010), the Global Compact Office
provided comprehensive feedback, including corrections, to draft
of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) report. Regrettably, the authors
ignored nearly all of this information, resulting in a document
riddled with inaccuracies and misrepresentations.
Moreover, the authors failed to take into account any developments of
especially the deliverables and outcomes of the Global Compact Leaders
Summit, which is held every three years and which represents the
most important forum to give strategic direction to the initiative.
As a consequence, the report is based on incorrect or outdated
that does not reflect the Global Compact’s strategic and operational
status quo. Stating that consideration of the Leaders Summit’s
results "fell outside the scope and timeframe of this review"
is as much an admission of the report’s shortcomings as it is an
acknowledgement of the JIU’s fundamentally flawed methodology in this
The report’s conclusions, especially those concerning the Global
mandate, reveal a lack of understanding of the type of public-private
partnership that the initiative has come
to represent and
that has been repeatedly recognized by the UN General Assembly, the
G8 and the African Union, among others. Likewise, much of the report’s
tone suggests that its authors also lack any appreciation for
the critical role business can play in advancing development, peace
and good governance.
In sum, we feel strongly that this report raises serious questions
the JIU’s professional standards
Inner City Press
At the noon briefing I asked
about the Global Compact accepting private military
contractor G4S into the Compact,
despite protests about its
involvement in, for example, prisons in the Occupied Palestinian
Territories. This is what I am requesting a Secretariat response on,
for example this:
Please advise, thank
Compact said it would provide a response later, and subsequently this
Q at noon re Global Compact accepting private military
contractor G4S into the Compact
From: Matthias Stausberg [at]
To: Matthew Lee [at] InnerCityPress.org
Cc: Kristen Coco
[at] un.org, Farhan Haq [at] un.org, Martin Nesirky [at] un.org,
Ursula Wynhoven [at] un.org
here are some answers for you:
you use the
term "mercenary", can you please clarify (and provide
sources) which current G4S activities you believe would qualify
under commonly accepted definitions of the term mercenary (e.g., as
in the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use,
Financing and Training of Mercenaries)?
The provision of private security services is not an
activity. We therefore saw no reason to deny G4S participation in the
UN Global Compact.
Regarding the specific provision of security technology to various
clients in Israel and the Occupied Territories, please note the
recent announcement by G4S that it will cease providing certain
services and technologies through its Israeli subsidiary.
Please note also that G4S is a signatory to the International Code of
Conduct for Private Security Service Providers (ICoC), which was
launched in November 2010 as a voluntary initiative to improve
industry standards and ensuring respect for human rights and
humanitarian law by private security service providers. While the
ICoC is not intended to replace national regulation and state
control, it marks a critical effort to clarify the role of non-state
actors in this arena.
regarding the announcement of getting out of the West Bank, note that
G4S' predecessor Group 4 Falck made a similar claim in 2002 which was
subsequently disproved. But the question raised is not limited to G4S
but to whether the standard applied by and to the UN Global Compact
be whether an activity is “legal”? Manufacturing weapons is
legal, as is the production of pornography. Would the UN Global
Compact allow pornographers and weapons merchants to join? Apparently
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