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As Menkerios Adds Addis Job to His Sudans Post, Where Will Cost Save Go?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 -- While the UN continues to waste money, for example by having its purported Sahel envoy Romano Prodi based in Italy, last week some potential savings emerged, if only temporary.

Haile Menkerios was named UN envoy to the African Union in Addis Ababa; the announcement said he will remain as envoy on Sudan and South Sudan. This is called, in UN-ese, double hatting. The AU post used to be at the Assistant Secretary General level but it being bumped up to Menkerios' current pay scale as an Under Secretary General level, like Prodi. It seems unlikely the Addis post will ever be shifted back down.

But even in the UN system, it seems unlikely he will get both the USG and the Assistant Secretary General ASG salaries. So the latter will be "saved."

But how will the savings be used? A knowledgeable UN budget source tells Inner City Press that it could be used for budget lines which are over-spent, or for so-called "vacancy management" -- short term, unfunded jobs, "uncontrolled."

Recently Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office for Ban's response to criticism of Sahel envoy Prodi being based in Rome. They said they would look into it: but so far nothing. Watch this site.

Footnote: meanwhile Ban Ki-moon on May 14 filed an appeal to the case of whistleblower James Wasserstrom. Ban had gotten rare, and in this instance unwarranted we think, praise for merely announcing he would hire a consultant on the protection of whistleblowers. Is this appeal the result of that consultation? We hope to have more on this.

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