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UN Budget Cuts Lead Staff to Invite Ban Nov 27, He'll Be In Vienna (But Back?)

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, November 26 -- Budget cutting proposed by UN Security General Ban Ki-moon, including "outsourcing and off-shoring," has given rise to a staff emergency meeting scheduled to November 27, to which Ban himself has been invited.

  Inner City Press has obtained and puts online the invitation letter, here, and the flier for the meeting, here.

  Back in October, Inner City Press covered the proposed budget cuts, also exclusively.

  On November 23, Inner City Press asked Ban's three top spokesmen, "What is the Secretariat's response to the 44th Staff Council's November 14 letter to the Secretary General raising concerns about staff welfare and working conditions and inviting the SG and senior managers to attend their Emergency General Meeting on November 27?"

  A day later on November 24, Ban's Spokesperson's Office told Inner City Press:

"The Under-Secretary-General for Management has replied to the letter on behalf of the Secretary-General. The letter makes clear the Secretary-General plans a town hall meeting with staff in early January. Before that, the Chef de Cabinet plans to meet staff unions in the Secretariat on 27 November and to hold a global town hall meeting with staff on 3 December. The Secretary-General is traveling on 27 November."

We note that on November 23, Ban's office told correspondents that Ban would

"attend the inauguration ceremony of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. He will be back in New York on Tuesday, 27 November."

Watch this site.

Footnote: At least Ban's spokespeople provided an answer to the question. By contrast, Ban's chief of Peacekeeping Herve Ladsous openly refuses to answer Press questions. His spokesman Kieran Dwyer on November 23 purported to respond to simple DRC questions which Ban's office forwarded to him by saying "I am looking into this."

  Sixty hours later, those questions have not been answered, including questions about threats and injury to UN staff in the DRC, occasioned by inaction by peacekeepers under Ladsous' command.

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