Son-in-Law Leaving UNOPS, Now Said in Line to Lobby UN for IFRC
Son In Law Set to Lobby Ban for IFRC, Stonewalling on Nepotism by UN
June 16 -- When Ban
Ki-moon's spokesman Martin Nesirky was
asked to confirm that Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee has
hired as the chief diplomatic officer for the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and if so to
state if any safeguards are in place for his lobbying of the UN
Secretary General, Nesirky told Inner City Press to “ask IFRC.”
Press called IFRC's Mission to the UN, which said to ask IFRC's media
chief in Geneva, Paul Conneally. On June 14 Conneally e-mailed Inner
City Press that he had received the questions and would “revert
with Ban's requested second five year term as Secretary General about
to be voted on by the UN Security Council in a private meeting,
Conneally had still not “reverted” or provided any answer at all.
an international non-governmental organization like IFRC and its
media department would provide at least some answer to questions
about how they lobby the UN, having just hired the UN Secretary
General's son in law to oversee this work. In the absence of the
promised “reversion,” the question was reiterated via Twitter:
for the follow, but where is answer re Ban Ki-moon's son in law
lobbying UN for IFRC & if any safeguards vs nepotism are in
place? [UN said to ask you]”
spokesperson's office didn't answer this question -- rather, Nesirky
asked Inner City Press to state who thinks this is a problem -- is
unclear. The goal seems to be to avoid controversy at all costs,
while seeking a second term. But even in a one candidate election,
shouldn't a question about safeguards against nepotism be answered?
Ban and spokesman, son in law not shown, questions not answered
the UN's June 14 noon briefing transcript:
Press: could you confirm that the Secretary-General’s
son-in-law, Siddarth Chatterjee, has been named the Chief Diplomatic
Officer of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
(IFRC), and state whether that will in any way have to do with
dealing with the UN or lobbying the UN in any way on that
I that’s something that you could ask the International,
the IFRC. Ask them.
Press: But I guess, in terms of UN protocol, if a family member
of the Secretary-General was in a position of lobbying the
Organization, would the UN take any, whatever, precautions? Would
there be any mechanism to address what some would see as a problem?
Who might see that as a problem?
Press: I guess a family member lobbying for an outside
organization — I think many people would see it as a problem. It
is a structural problem.
I think, well, first of all, as I say, you ought to check
with the IFRC. That would be the first course of action. The second
is that in all matters, there are clear ethical rules and procedures,
and I am sure that in any such case that they would be strictly
Press: Do they apply here? Are there any rules?
I just said they would be strictly adhered to.
rules is Ban's spokesman claiming he's complying with? Why would it
be up to IFRC to answer this? And if two days after Ban's spokesman
said “ask IFRC” this INGO has not answered, shouldn't the UN
belatedly answer? Watch this site.
* * *
Ki-moon's Son In Law Set to Lobby UN for IFRC, UN Won't Answer on
Safeguards, Says "Ask IFRC"
June 14 -- Amid questions of nepotism,
last month Inner City
Press exclusively reportedreported
that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's son-in-law
Siddharth Chatterjee, given promotions in the UN system
during Ban's tenure, was in line to lobby the UN as chief diplomatic
officer of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Martin Nesirky for
confirmation and to state what safeguards if any the UN had in place
in connection with an immediate relative being involved in lobbying
the Secretary General.
wouldn't state if Ban's son in law can lobby him. Rather, Nesirky
asked, “Who might see that as a problem?” Who, indeed.
said “ask the IFRC,” Inner City Press did, first calling IFRC's
Mission to the UN on Lexington Avenue in New York. There the liaison,
already aware of Inner City Press' questions about Ban's son in law,
provided the name of a spokesperson at IFRC's Geneva headquarters,
asked Mr. Conneally to
that Ban's son in law has been selected by IFRC.
state what role his relation to Mr. Ban played in his
selection. Was IFRC aware? Are there are safeguards in place?
describe the position of chief diplomatic officer, including
all ways it may intersect with the UN system.
other questions about IFRC's substantive work, but the above is
was that Conneally was traveling, and to direct questions to two
other IFRC staff members, including the acting manager of the media
and public communications team. Neither responded, but Mr. Conneally
replied, “Am just landing in Heathrow. Will revert asap.”
there had been no reversion.
Ban Ki-moon is
re-appointment for a second five year term as Secretary General June
16 in the Security Council, and June 21 in the General Assembly.
Watch this site.
* * *
18 -- When the UN Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon's son in law
Siddharth Chatterjee in
the top Middle East job for the UN
Office of Project Services in Copenhagen, issues of nepotism were
raised by the Press and angrily denied by Ban's spokesmen at the UN.
March of this year
when Inner City Press asked
about Chatterjee leaving UNOPS, where
sources described him as ineffective and called “the furniture,”
the UN first tried not to answer, then said
his position as UNOPS Regional Director for Europe and the
Middle East in July 2010 and, after taking accumulated annual leave,
went on special leave without pay until 31 May, of this year, 2011.
The end of the special leave without pay coincides with the end of
his period of secondment to UNOPS from UNICEF.”
this leave from the UN system meant an end to nepotism, an end to
Chatterjee trading off his connection to the top man in the UN
sources tell Chatterjee is lining up to be given the job of “chief
diplomatic officer” for the International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies, overseeing a “New York Delegation to
the UN” based at 420 Lexington Avenue.
is, IFCR is
reportedly hiring Ban Ki-moon's son in law to lobby (or engage in
“diplomacy” with)... Ban Ki-moon.
the UN's transcript of the March 15 noon briefing:
asked a simple question whether the son-in-law of the
Secretary-General was still being paid by UNOPS, [United Nations
Office for Project Services] as well as whether his educational
things may be being paid. Farhan [Haq] said, “Ask UNOPS”. So, I
sent them an e-mail, I don’t have an answer, but I also notice that
Farhan is listed as the New York Spokesman for UNOPS on their web
page. So, I just, I think you may… maybe you have an answer to it
and so then all of this is now moot, but, what is the answer?
Matthew. First of all, UNOPS will probably be sending you the
e-mail saying what I am going to say, which is that Mr. [Siddarth]
Chatterjee left his position as UNOPS Regional Director for Europe
and the Middle East in July 2010 and, after taking accumulated annual
leave, went on special leave without pay until 31 May, of this year,
2011. The end of the special leave without pay coincides with the
end of his period of secondment to UNOPS from UNICEF. And during his
special leave without pay, Mr. Chatterjee does not receive any
payments or funding from UNOPS. And for your information, a new
Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East joined UNOPS on 4
October 2010. That’s what I have for you, okay.
City Press sent these follow up questions to Haq and Martin Nesirky.
contact UNOPS. The information provided at the briefing
today came from UNOPS.”
Press then sent the follow to UNOPS, still with no response:
told to “ask UNOPS” about the S-G's son in law
and I emailed Copenhagen questions (although Farhan Haq is listed as
New York contact for UNOPS).
receive any e-mail response from UNOPS, so I had to ask
at the noon briefing, and Mr. Nesirky read out a response, saying he
expected I'd get an email from UNOPS. I still haven't, so I emailed
Nesirky and Haq, UNOPS New York contact. Now I get a reply to that
saying “ask UNOPS.” This seems like a run around: I would like an
answer, in writing, today, to the below:
Chatterjee is on leave without pay until May 31, 2011,
when his secondment from UNICEF runs out. Will be remain in the UN
system as a staff member after May 31st?
5.3(a)(i) says that "Special leave may be granted
at the request of a staff member holding a fixed-term or a continuing
appointment for advanced study or research in the interest of the
United Nations, in cases of extended illness, for child care or for
other important reasons for such period of time." For what
reason did the UN approve leave without pay for Chatterjee?
decision to place Chatterjee on leave without pay?
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb .26 UN debate
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.