Swiss Grab Rector Post, It's Konrad Osterwalder, To Sell UNU Press, $1 a Year in
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN
UNITED NATIONS, May
9, 11 am (confirmed by UN at noon) -- Even when it comes to learning, the UN is
all about jobs. High jobs for major donors, this is the decree. Even before
taking office on January 1, Ban Ki-moon started with the game. He or his office
faxed out a number of letters, Inner City Press is told, including one to Tokyo,
the seat of UN University, whose Rector,
Hans van Ginkel,
had a contract long ago expired. "Stay on," the fax commanded. Because the
vacant seat was meat with which to placate donors.
it is complete. In mid-May, soon that is, the new Rector of UNU will be named.
Inner City Press is told by sources that the post goes to Switzerland -- which
already has Nicholas Michel as head legal officer -- and that the person is
Konrad Osterwalder, currently the head of ETH Zurich, click
previously in Japan
pitch, it is reported, was made to Ban Ki-moon and chief of staff Vijay Nambiar
by the Swiss undersecretary of state for education and research, Charles Kleiber
(and not, as previously literally auto-translated, "Nuthatch" -- oops!).
this year, Inner City Press asked Swiss Ambassador Maurer about Switzerland's
post at the UN. "There is really only Michel," Amb. Maurer answered, adding that
keeping him in the legal office post was one of Switzerland's priorities during
the transition from Annan to Ban. Maurer's statement ignored a number of high
places Swiss in the agencies, UNDP and UNICEF, the World Food Program and the
like. But the head of UNU, that's something.
City Press previously reported, there's much to be cleaned up at UNU. A
seemingly small example, but telling because nothing has been done or even said
about it, is the moonlighting in broad daylight of UNU-NY's technology
procurement officer Ramon Ray, who teaches $99 seminars cross-town in Times
for that story.
can report that UNU grants "Dollar a Year" status, office space and G-4 visas to
former staffers, including since 1992 former NY office head Nathan
there are financial problems, leading now to a proposal to sell-off the UNU
Press. UNU's satellite campuses have proliferated, most recently by taking a
grant from Malaysia to open a center in, yes, Malaysia, and to move some jobs
over there. Tokyo and Japan have been losing, and stand to lose yet more.
afternoon -- the above, published at 11 a.m. Wednesday, was confirmed by the UN
an hour later...].
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