Answer on Pay to Khatib, Nor Q of Chile Housing for
March 24, updated -- The UN's lack of transparency, particularly
about outside payments to its highest officials appointed this year
by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, has hit a new low.
Abdul Ilah Al-Khatib as his envoy to Libya, while he did not disclose
is a director of Jordan Ahli Bank which is a co top 20
owner of Union des Banques Arabes et Francaise with the Libya Foreign
Bank, a 100% subsidiary of Gaddafi's Libya Central Bank, Ban did say
that Khatib is a Senator in Jordan.
banking connection, Inner City Press has now repeatedly asked for
confirmation that Khatib is
getting paid by the government of Jordan,
and how that even possibly complies with the UN Charter which says UN
officials must answer only to the UN.
Martin Nesirky told Inner City Press to “ask Jordan,” and on
March 23 refused to even confirm if Khatib is an Under Secretary
General. Nesirky and his deputy Farhan Haq have said that Khatib will
file a financial disclosure with the UN. But this will not occur
until March 2012. “Ask Jordan” indeed.
profile appointment has been of former Chilean president Michelle
Bachelet to head UN Women. Ban took Bachelet on his recent trip, and
she was also chased by protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
neither Ms. Bachelet, her agency or top spokespeople have been willing
answer a simple question that Inner City Press has for days
submitted, to the agency, spokespeople and Ms. Bachelet herself:
confirm or deny that Ms. Bachelet receiving assistance or payment for
housing or anything else from the government of Chile?”
have informed Inner City Press that the same type of outside
housing subsidy issues that Inner City Press uncovered with regard to
the UN's last top lawyer Nicolas Michel, who received a housing
subsidy from the Swiss government for a huge Park Avenue apartment,
and that obtains to some other top Ban officials, applies to Ms.
it seemed it
should be easy to enough, to get a denial -- which the whistleblowing
sources would then peruse -- or a confirmation and explanation. But a
submission through the UN Women website resulted in no response at
all, nor did an e-mail to Ms. Bachelet.
Ban & al-Khatib, Jordan pay not shown, Q of
Chile housing not answered
March 23, the
day Ban's spokesman Nesirky refused again to even say if Ban's Libya
envoy Khatib is a UN Under Secretary General, much less paid by
Jordan's government, Inner City Press redirected its question, now
“on or over deadline,” to the spokesperson for UN Women
constituent agency UNIFEM:
I am re-sending to you this Press question I sent through UN
Women's web site, and to [Ms. Bachelet's e-mail address] -- I'm now
at (or over) deadline so need an answer -- please note that the
request includes but is not limited to any housing assistance. Thanks
in advance, -Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
question on deadline regarding any payments or assistance from
Date: Mon, Mar 21, 2011 at 11:30 AM
R. Lee [at] InnerCityPress.com
To: [UN Women, Michelle Bachelet
a reporter here at UN HQ, I have a simple factual question. Can't
find identify or e-mail address of a UN Women spokesperson on the UN
Women web site so I send this directly to you, before today's noon
confirm or deny that you receiving assistance or payment for
housing or anything else from the government of Chile?
other questions about how UN charged with sexual abuse are
disciplined by the UN system, which I've asked you before, but those
questions can wait. The one above is on deadline. Thanks in advance,
Matthew Russell Lee, Inner City Press
a response that “Ms. Bachelet is best placed to answer your
question, but she is... expected to return to NY in a few weeks
time.” Here in fairness was the complete response:
Press question on deadline regarding any payments or assistance
from Chilean gov't to Ms Bachelet, thank you
oisika.chakrabarti [at] unwomen.org
Date: Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at
To: Matthew R. Lee [at] innercitypress.com, scaddan [at]
un.org, Nanette Braun [at] unwomen.org
Thanks for your e-mail. Ms. Bachelet is best placed to
answer your question, but she is currently travelling abroad on work.
She is expected to return to NY in a few weeks time. Thanks,
the head of UN
Women does not have e-mail? And Ban's spokesperson's office cannot
find out what UN staff Ban conferred on Khatib? Some transparency,
this. To be continued: watch this site.
City Press has most recently asked about this at the noon
briefings of March 23 and March 24. On March 23:
Press: on Mr. [Abdul Ilah] Khatib, the last thing on this. Have
you yet figured out whether he’s an Under-Secretary-General, is he
a staff member? And is he being paid by the Government of Jordan?
We’ve addressed this…
Press: Is he an Under-Secretary-General or is he a staff member?
We’ve addressed this already. If we have anything
further I’ll let you know.
Press: You didn’t answer what he is.
If I have anything further I’ll let you know. Matthew, I said if
I had anything further, I would let you know. Okay?
March 24, Inner
City Press read out UN Staff Regulation 1.2 (j) “No staff member
shall accept any honour, decoration, favour, gift or remuneration
from any Government,” and asked how it applies, to Khatib and the
questions asked to UN Women. Nesirky this time said he would try to
give a answer, then declared a question about antiquities as the last
question, taking no more. Watch this site.
* * *
to Libya Al-Khatib's Pay from Jordan Raises Press Questions at
UN, Stonewalling Continues
20 -- When UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon settled on Abdel-Elah
Al-Khatib as his envoy to Libya, questions were raised by Inner
City Press about
Khatib's business dealings including as a director of
Bank, which is a co top 20 owner of Union des Banques Arabes et
Francaise along with the Libyan Foreign Bank, a 100% owned subsidiary
of Gaddafi's Central Bank of Libya.
UN has yet to
address these conflict of interest, instead telling Inner City Press
file a financial disclosure at some later date.
problem that the UN should have foreseen and acted on has arisen. Inner
City Press is told that Khatib still
receives a salary from Jordan as a Senator. A person cannot work for
the UN and receive money from a government at the same time. But
Khatib insists he can, and Ban is in too deep, the sources say, to
even try to enforce the UN rules.
Al-Khatib as his envoy, Ban did not mention or take questions on
Al-Khatib's outside business, but did say that “he is now serving
as a senator of Jordan.” That set off red flags, as the UN charter
says that anyone working for the UN should not appear to be
affiliated with a government.
their citizens with Ban and previous Secretaries General to get
UN posts is one thing. But to be concurrently “serving as a senator
in Jordan,” which is being protests, and be ostensibly representing
the UN in Libya?
was turned down by Lakhdar Brahimi and Kemal Dervis, neither of whom
work for and receive pay from a government, before Ban settled on
has become a lawless place of opaque conflicts of interest, where
topics on these questions are not answered, are even retaliated
of the March 16 noon briefing:
Can I ask you, on Mr. Khatib, I just… I saw yesterday a
clip in which they said he has a spokesman, Bahaa el-Kousy. Is it…
is there a UN spokesman, UN staff member assigned to be his spokesman
on this trip? Did he bring somebody in from… that he knows, do you
know who this individual is?
I believe this is someone from within the UN system. I can let
you know. But this was simply to help to coordinate the
Special Envoy’s media work while in the region.
And is he a USG [Under Secretary General]? What is his
position and compensation for this role?
Envoy; I’d need to check precisely what the rank
spokesman's office has yet to provide any answers on Al-Khatib's post
or pay or vetting. Without any answer from Ban's spokesperson's office,
it's been learned that Bahaa Elkoussy is "UNIC Beirut
Director" - we'll have more about UN system in Beirut soon.
its March 11 noon briefing:
Mr. Al-Khatib, earlier this week I had asked whether
his outside business interests in a Jordanian cement company, and in
the bank, that actually he is co-owner of another bank with the
Libyan Central Bank controlled by [Muammar al-] Qadhafi, whether
these will be suspended during his service for the UN as an envoy to
Libya. Is there an answer to that, given that he is [inaudible]…?
No, not specifically to that. Just that he
is a senior official, and just as with other officials of that rank,
he would be required to fill out the standard financial disclosure. So,
he will go through the same financial disclosure process as
what time frame? Has he filled it out yet? Has OIOS
[Office of Internal Oversight Services]…?
He was only just appointed, Matthew!
understand, but it seems to raise possible conflicts
of interest even as his service begins.
don’t file a financial disclosure the
minute you get appointed.
only the UN, that’s an official has to file a
form after the person is already named?
there is any particular conflict regarding
Mr. Khatib, it would be incumbent on him to remove any particular
conflicts before he begins work. However, in any case, any conflicts
would be determined once he goes through the financial disclosure
process, which he has to do, just as with any other senior
on that, follow up? There will be conflict of interest
here. Someone going to Libya to mediate or work on the human rights
issues and then he has interests in the regime, within the regime, if
That’s not proven; that’s just based on
something that, a report that he is saying. No, no, like I said, if
there is anything that poses a conflict of interest, it would be
incumbent on him to remove that before he begins his work. He is
going through the same sort of vetting process as anyone else, which
includes of course, the financial disclosures. Yes?
Watch this site