UN, Guehenno's No-Work USG Post Ends as French Influence Is
Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, August 29 -- This month after
France ousted its
Ambassador to the UN Jean Maurice Ripert, he was quickly named to a
UN Under Secretary General post, as a humanitarian envoy to Pakistan.
The UN's fast accommodation of Ripert led Inner City Press to ask, on
26, how many French USGs the UN system has, and
Four days later, French Foreign Ministry
was quoted in ISRIA.com that "we perceive no bad intentions
towards our country through the questions that were asked. These
questions fall within the free exercise by journalists of their
ISRA went on to chide Inner City Press
for describing "French diplomat Jean-Marie Guehenno... as a
'do-nothing USG' despite Mr. Guehenno's major achievements in
peacekeeping operations from 2000 to 2008."
Yes, Inner City Press used the phrase
"do-nothing USG" for Guehenno, quite
literally. After heading DPKO, Guehenno was quietly named USG for
Regional Cooperation, a new post, like Ripert's. The UN never
announced it, but confirmed it when Inner City Press discovered it.
Later, in the Spring of 2009, Inner City
Press interviewed Mr.
Guehenno across the street from the UN, and asked what tasks he had
done for the UN since his appointment. None, he answered candidly.
The UN had not assigned him a single job. That is why we called him
literally a do-nothing USG, and mused, as we had in print back in the
spring, if such no show jobs might not constitute immigration fraud.
Since the publication of Inner City Press' August 24
26 articles, the Spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon Michele Montas has
written Inner City Press that "One update on yesterday’s
question : Mr. Guehenno's appointment had expired effective close of
business 31 July 2009. He is no longer a staff member."
So sometimes the UN does the right thing,
even if only
UN's Ban and France's Kouchner, Guehenno in rear
For the record, during Guehenno's time at
DPKO, Inner City
Press often cover him favorably, and respected his requests, as in
the case of Congolese warlord Peter Karim. But afterwards, still
unexplained is the UN's rationale for giving Guehenno a USG post,
with attendant immigration, tax and travel privileges, without
expecting him to do any work?
Similarly, why was the French chief the the
Meteorological Organization for example not included in the UN's
presentation of French USG's in the UN system? The list that Ms.
Montas read from on August 26 from the briefing room podium,
apparently intended to downplay the number of posts given to France
in the UN -- who prepared it, and why? Watch this site.
Footnote: the ouster of Ripert
is viewed by
insiders as a long expected move by Sarkozy adviser Jean David
Levitte against his rival Bernard Kouchner, of whom Ripert is a
follower. So in essence, due to French infighting, the losing flotsam
washed up on the UN's shores and a USG post was created. This
happened, though less embarrassingly, with Guehenno as well. Is this
done for other countries? Do other countries even ask for it?
UN Claims 10 American USGs, French at WMO and IMF
Ignored, Egeland's Gone
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 26, updated
-- France has four Under Secretary Generals in the
UN Secretariat, while China has only one. Inner City Press asked
about and reported
this on August 24, after UN Spokesperson Michele
Montas announced the hiring of outgoing French ambassador
Jean-Maurice Ripert as a USG special envoy to Pakistan. On August 26,
Ms. Montas unilaterally updated her response, emphasizing that the
United States has ten USGs and France has only four.
Press, which noted U.S.
dominance in its August 24 story,
nevertheless asked why if Ms. Montas included the heads of UNICEF and
the World Food Program among the American USGs, she didn't include
the French chiefs of the World Meteorological Organization and the
International Monetary Fund:
Montas:I was asked on Monday about the number of French
Under-Secretaries-General (USGs). The United Nations system presently
has four French Under-Secretaries-General. Two of them are $1-a-year
How many American USGs (Under-Secretaries-General)?
Yes, I have the number for that also: we presently have in the
system 10 American USGs, and 4 of them are $1-a-year appointments. And
this number includes the heads of WFP [World Food Program], of
UNICEF and of UNRWA [UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine
Refugees in the Near East].
City Press: And for France, why didn’t you include the World
Meteorological Organization, World Trade Organization, not World
Trade Organization -- there are a number of UN, there are other UN…
I have a list of the 82 USGs, 82 of them; from France, I have what I
gave you; I don’t have more. I don’t know what the nationality
is of some other…
City Press: Le Roy, Guehenno…
Guehenno is one-dollar-a-year contract. Now, you have the recent
appointment that we had of the Ambassador (Jean-Maurice Ripert of
France as Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan). And, let me see
whether I have more, a larger list on that. There are four French
Under-Secretaries-General. Philippe Douste-Blazy, who is a
dollar-a-year man, Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for
Development; Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who is a dollar-a-year man, as
Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Regional Cooperation; and
we have Alain Le Roy, who has a fixed term as Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations.
City Press: How about Dominique Strauss-Kahn of IMF [International
Monetary Fund], Michele Jarraud of the WMO, if you’re counting….
UN's Ban and Michel Jarraud of WMO: he's not
counted, but Veneman is
IMF is not counted as being part of the UN system. As you know, the
Bretton Woods organizations have a different status
City Press: How about the Global Fund to Fight AIDS; is that a UN
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, yes.
City Press: And, Michel Kazatchkine?
Do we have to go through all this, Matthew? I told you who the
people are who have French nationality, and that’s all I have.
Montas argued that WMO is not included because it has its own
governing board. But so do UNICEF and WFP. To some it appeared that
the list prepared for Ms. Montas, which she later provided as
background, not to be put online, was skewed to understate French
list also does not mention Jan Egeland as a Norwegian USG,*
but shows that the UK's Ian Martin has a USG post with the Department
of Political Affairs. Inner City Press asked if Joaquim Chissano, who
has suspended his mandate to the Lord's Resistance Army impacted
areas, is still a USG -- among other things, does he still have a UN
laissez passer passport? That are more questions to be analyzed from
the list -- watch this site.
* - shortly after
publication of the above, Norwegian sources contacted Inner City Press
to say that it's known there, where Ban Ki-moon is now slated to visit,
that Egeland quietly ended his post-OCHA mediating USG post. But that
was never announced by the UN, just as the doling out of a no-work USG
post to Jean-Marie Guehenno was never announced, only quietly confirmed
when Inner City Press by chance discovered it. What's wrong with the UN?
* * *
UN, Ripert's USG Post is France's Fourth, US has Six USGs, the UK Four
or Five While Russia Two and
China Only One
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 24 -- As France on Monday was given yet another Under
Secretary General job at the UN, bringing its total to four, China's
main USG is Sha Zukang of the Department of Social and Economic
Affairs, and Russia's two are Sergei Ordzhonikidze, head of the UN in
Geneva and Genady Tarasov on Iraq - Kuwait. By contrast, the United
States has six USGs, the United Kingdom has four or five. It's
surprising that these disparities among the Permanent Five members of
the Security Council are so little talked about, at least publicly.
the UN Security Council's monthly closed door luncheon Monday with
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UK Ambassador John Sawers joked that a
final toast to outgoing French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert wasn't
possible, as Jean Maurice had already had to run off on his new job
for the UN. Earlier on Monday it was UN made up and dole out a job
for Ripert, pushed out as Ambassador by Quai D'Orsai: Ripert will be
Special Representative in Pakistan. Inner City Press asked if
Ripert's post would be at the Under Secretary General level. Yes,
Ban's Spokesperson Michele Montas said. Video here,
City Press asked if that now made three French USGs, with current
peacekeeping USG Alain Le Roy and his predecessor Jean-Marie
Guehenno, now a USG for Regional Cooperation although he had admitted
that he has been assigned no work. I'll look into that, Ms. Montas
a French journalist approached Inner City Press to argue that "you
Americans" have more USGs. So Inner City Press decided to check.
French have at least four USGs, including Philippe Douste-Blazy,
"Special Advisor on Innovative Financing for Development."
There's also Jean Arnault, already in Pakistan, who appears to be an
Assistant Secretary General.
But it is true
that the United States,
including their own share of do-nothing USGs like Guehenno, has fully
six USGs. There's B. Lynn Pascoe at the Department of Political
Affairs. There's new Department of Safety and Security chief Gregory Starr,
who Inner City Press recently wrote about in connection with
Starr having extended the US State Department contracts of private
military contractor Blackwater.
US' other USGs include Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph
Reed -- recently feted
as a "good friend of the Chinese people" -- Ray
malaria and Matthew Nimetz on the intractable "name issue"
involving Greece and what's called the Former Yugoslav Republic of
Macedonia or FYROM.
UK clocks in with four or five USGs, depending on whether Ian Martin,
still seen buzzing around the UN long after his Nepal stint and Gaza
report roles are over -- is still a USG.
Two way street: Ripert gives credentials
(2007), UN's Ban gives job (2009)
There's OCHA's John Holmes,
Michael Williams on the Middle East, and in the Congo, Alan Doss,
embroiled in a nepotism scandal on which Ms. Montas on Montas said
Ban has still not received the expected report, despite being back in
New York for five days.
Kieran Prendergast, still listed
on the Cameroon - Nigeria Mixed Commission.
to Russia and China, Norway even after
Mona Juul's anti-Ban memo has
four USGs: Kai Eide in Afghanistan, Juul's husband Terje Roed Larsen
in New York, Jan Egeland in Oslo and everywhere, at least sometimes,
and Gro Harlem Brundtland, a special envoy on climate change. India
has three USGs, Messrs. Atul Khare, Nitin Desai and Vijay Nambiar
(whose job, like Lynn Pascoe's, the UK's John Holmes is said to
covet, in the
Mona Juul memo). Italy as two USGs, Zannier in Kosovo
and Costa on drugs in Vienna.
noted above the contrast, China's main USG is Sha Zukang of DESA, and
Russia's two are Sergei Ordzhonikidze, head of the UN in Geneva and
Gennady Tarasov on Iraq - Kuwait. It's surprising that these
disparities among the Permanent Five members of the Security Council
are so little talked about, at least publicly. Russia
is known to want more posts. How can they feel about France's Ripert
getting one so quickly? Watch this site.
Update -- it's been
pointed out that if one expands the scope to include UN system funds,
programs and specialized agencies, the U.S. dispararity grows even
larger, sending the USG tally to eight with the World Food Program's
Josette Sheeran and UNICEF's Ann Veneman. China rises to two, with the
World Health Organization's Margaret Chan...
One could go
further and include American Bob Zoellick at the World Bank-- but
consider Inner City Press' exclusive
piece on the poker game in which in 2012 the U.S. would renounce the
World Bank to China (and, some say, UNICEF
before that), and
the European Union would give up the IMF in order to gain the post of
UN Secretary General - click here for
* * *
of Nepotism for UN's Ban Ki-moon Removed From Internet After Legal
Ban's Son in Law
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, August 22 -- The son in law of UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon, Siddarth Chatterjee, had used threats of legal action to
force the removal from the Internet of comments that he may have
gotten his promotion with the UN Office of Project Services in
Copenhagen due to nepotism, Inner City Press has learned.
preparing its exclusive
August 14 article on nepotism at the UN and
Ban's position on and in it, Inner City Press ran across an article
in the Indian Star online, which cited Inner City Press' previous
piece on Chatterjee's promotion with the UN in Iraq. Recently, that
Indian Star article and comments were taken off the Internet --
following a threat from
Chatterjee and then by his India-based lawyer. Click here for
Free press advocates express concern at the threats,
noting that in such matters "the cover-up is always worse that
the crime," and demanding that Ban Ki-moon rebuke and renounce
them. But will it happen?
record, and as requested by free press advocates in several
continents, are comments which were on the Indian Star page which
Ban's son in law, not stopped and presumably encouraged by Ban, got
removed from the Internet by legal intimidation:
Saturday, May 02, 2009, 06:05 am EST)
indeed. Some of us have, until very recently, had the misfortune of
being exposed to this man, in a professional sense, in Iraq.
Spineless is a very appropriate term to use in describing this
individual. There are more, but few are fit for publication. He is,
indeed, a discredit to India, the Indian Army, and now the UN (where,
incidentally, he has recently moved on significant promotion -
despite already being totally over-promoted in the opinion of all
that know, and have to work with, him). The recent recruitment of
this man to the United Nations Office of Project Services in
Copenhagen is yet another example of the ineptitude, nepotism and
corruption which is so prevalent within the UN system, even at the
highest levels (in this case, within UNOPS). But those in Baghdad are
delighted that UNOPS has taken him away from Iraq all the same.
is a shame. And it would appear people are still being fooled.
Saturday, February 28, 2009, 06:34 am EST
Chatterjee is a spineless man .He could not even pass the staff exams
in Indian Army ... IT IS A SHAME THAT
United Nations... GET FOOLED
Star article and its comments went offline, they still remained
available in the cache of Google and other search engines.
Ban's son in law's lawyers made more legal threats -- "this is
round two of the Bans and Google," said one observer of plans by
the UN to get Inner City Press removed from Google News, click here
for the most recent -- to get it out of cache.
Now even that censorship of questions of
nepotism within Ban's UN has been
accomplished -- click here
for the now empty cache page.
Siddarth Chatterjee a public figure,
and thus his legal threats are spurious, even an abuse of process. He
is the son in law of the UN Secretary General, he was awarded a job
at the UN's D-2 level (see below. Now, after refusing to answer Inner
Press' repeated questions referred by Ban's Spokesperson's Office if
Chatterjee is a D-2 or a D-1, UNOPS tells other journalists
that he is a D-1, in order to forestall other media coverage. Will it
UN's top lawyer O'Brien and Ban Ki-moon,
legal threats of son in law not shown
UNOPS in Copenhagen has told a Nordic newspaper what Chatterjee is a
D-1, without explaining that the post was described by UNOPS' deputy
director, in writing, as a D-2 post:
03 March 2009 11:09
UNOPS - EMO
Welcome to the new mailgroup
you know, yesterday EUO and MEO formally merged into a new regional
office called EMO (Europe and the Middle East) based in
Copenhagen...I will be acting Regional Director of EMO until we have
recruited a “permanent” replacement. In response to our
advertisement for the D-2 regional
director job, we received some 130
applications. Five candidates were short-listed for interviews: four
were interviewed last Friday and the last interview is scheduled for
Thursday this week. We’d like to make a decision by mid-March.
that, as in Iraq, the UN decided even if only belatedly to keep Mr.
Chatterjee a level below the grade of the post they awarded him, that
is only being done to discourage press coverage of nepotism.
this raises questions of whether Ban, who came into the UN system
promising reform and to run things cleanly, is due to his relatives'
promotions so paranoia and angry about questions of nepotism that he
has a conflict of interest in dealing with charges of nepotism
against others in the UN, for example his own envoy to the Congo Alan
Doss -- click here
broke the story about Alan Doss asking the UN Development Program for
"leeway," to bend hiring rules and give his daughter
Rebecca Doss a job in UNDP's Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific
leading to a "man bite
man" incident which was the focus of
other media's follow up coverage. After Inner City Press' story about
Ban and nepotism early on August 14, Ban's Deputy Spokesperson wrote
to Inner City Press that:
8/14/2009 7:57:02 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
your latest entry
I said was that queries on the biting incident should be directed to
the NY County DA Office.
the allegations, we take the matter very seriously.
Secretary-General is aware of the situation. He has been assured that
a thorough independent investigation is underway, He takes this
matter very seriously, and expects to see a report upon his return to
returned to New York from his South Korea vacation and delivered
prepared remarks at a World Humanitarian Day event in the UN's
visitors' lobby on August 19. He took no questions. On August 21,
after waiting two days, Inner City Press asked Ms. Okabe if Ban had
as he expected now received the report on nepotism, and what would he
do about it?
that although Ban had returned to New York, he had gone on leave
again. So finally, what will he do?
in the course of legally threatening the Indian newspaper -- but not
U.S. based Inner City Press -- it was argued that the Indian Star
report which triggered the two comments Chatterjee and Ban did not
like was "based only on a blog." The response was that
Inner City Press is better read, at least online, than the Indian
newspaper they threatened.
On that, Reuters
of August 21 reported
that "U.N. officials also complain bitterly about the
indefatigable blogger Matthew Lee, whose website Inner City Press
regularly accuses Ban and other U.N. officials of hypocrisy and
failing to keep their promises to reform the United Nations and root
out corruption." Later, a telling second phrase was added:
"(Some U.N. officials accuse Lee of not always getting his facts
right, but his blog
has become unofficial required reading for U.N.
staffers around the world.)"
August 20 a UN under secretary general approached Inner City Press
about the anti-Ban
memo by Norwegian deputy permanent representative
Mona Juul, having "just read it on your blog." For all of Ms.
criticism of Ban, from Myanmar to Sri Lanka to climate change, Juul
missed the nepotism and family connection angle. Her husband Terje
Roed Larsen works for Ban, as another of his Under Secretaries
General who has refused to make any disclosure of his finance or to
answer Inner City Press' questions about them.
is run for the
proposition that as well as being a nepotism cover up scandal, this
is a story about new media. Ban and his son in law have lawyers
threaten ill-read newspapers for daring to carry a report based on
what they call the "blog" Inner City Press and two
resulting comments. They urge what they view as "real" or
mainstream media not to cover stories which are broken by Inner City
Press -- which, for example, had the world
exclusive, acknowledged on Associated Press and in
Japan media amog others, of the final draft of the Security Council's
North Korea sanctions.
City Press, which writes more about
Myanmar than other UN based correspondents, was never
even told of
the opportunity, given to others, to accompany and report on Ban's
ultimately failed trip there. Some say that in all this, Ban is
being ill-advised by those around him. The question remains: is this
anachronistic media strategy of cover up, deployed by Team Ban,
working? Watch this site.
* * *