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At UN, Before Staff Walkout, Audio Shows Ban's War on Labor, No Confidence

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 -- How dysfunctional the UN's relations with its staff have become under Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was shown Friday by staff's walkout of a meeting with Ban's departing chief of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management, Jean-Jacques Graisse.

  Inner City Press staked out the meeting, held in Conference Room 7 in the UN's North Lawn building, and published a story about it as the meeting broke up.

In the three hours since, Inner City Press has been provided with an audio recording of the meeting, and runs the 16 minutes question and answer session, here.

  As if in a dark comedy about layoffs and austerity, an official of the Office of Human Resources Management tells a 21 year UN veteran, I understand you are upset, but you need to market yourself.

Another participant reminds Graisse and his Assistant Secretary General Franz Baumann of the UN Staff Union wide vote of “no confidence” in Ban Ki-moon, and says it extends to those officials present.

They are mocked for earning $200,000 but still claiming they need housing subsidies, while 59 or 100 jobs are slated to be cut.

  Graisse is accused of mis-stating a UN dispute tribunal ruling on 19 posts. Graisse said only nine were in the Inspira computer system, 10 were “in the pipeline.”

The name of Ban's chief of staff Susana Malcorra, who many say got her former colleague Graisse the job as she has moved in so many others, is cited.

Who is running the show at the UN, while for example it conducted a raid on Inner City Press' office on March 18, as the president of its UN Censorship Alliance, Pamela Falk of CBS, took photographs?

  Immediately after Ban's spokesperson was contacted by an outside journalist about the raid, photographs of Inner City Press' desk and bookshelf were leaked to by an anonymous e-mail account “Concerned UN Reporter.” Who is behind this?

  Ban Ki-moon, typically, has been away all week, in San Marino, Andorra and Monaco. Now with a flourish he's confirmed he will stay away to meet President Barack Obama on April 11.

  Could an elected politician act this way, leaving chaos at home, no confidence? No. But this is the UN. Watch this site.

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