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UN Budget Cuts Lead to 2d Staff Session & Draft to Deplore the Changes

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, December 4 -- Budget cutting proposed by UN Security General Ban Ki-moon, including "outsourcing and off-shoring," first gave rise to a staff emergency meeting on November 27, to which Ban himself was invited.

  Inner City Press obtained and put 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.
  Now, that meeting has given rise to another emergency meeting on December 5, at which a draft resolution expressing dismay "that the 'business model' proposed by the Secretary-General will, in particular, Erode the international character of the United Nations and weaken the status of its international civil servant; Result in further deterioration of staff working conditions and overall conditions of employment, further lower staff morale and motivation, and severely undermine the quality of program delivery."

  Inner City Press has obtained the draft resolution, and exclusively puts it online here.

  Back 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."

  But the resolution has staff "Gravely dismayed that, even though the Chef de Cabinet assured staff representatives, at the briefing of 27 November 2012, that the budgets were not yet finalized and that no final decisions had been made, the Organization is making plans to implement proposals through transitional measures."

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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