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After Staff Union “No Confidence” in Ban, Walk-Out of Meeting with Graisse

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 5 -- Is it any wonder that the UN can't mediate in the Middle East, Congo or Koreas, if it can't even speak to its own staff?

  After the UN Staff Union voted “no confidence” in Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, his outgoing head of the Department of General Assembly and Conference Management Jean-Jacques Graisse has been trying to meet with the Publishing Section.

  From the third sub-basement they had complained, with evidence, that the UN intended to eliminate their jobs. Then when Hurricane Sandy hit, the UN took advantage. Now this.

  After that Unit, Unit 5, said again, “no confidence,” Graisse on April 4 sent this out:

Date: 04/04/2013 04:18PM

Subject: On behalf of Acting Head of DGACM Mr Graisse - to all staff of the Publishing Section

Dear Colleagues:

Earlier this week, I invited the DGACM staff representatives and the President of the New York Staff Union to meet with DGACM management tomorrow, Friday, 5 April to discuss the matters related to the Publishing Section. Regrettably, the representatives of Unit 5 (Publishing Section), declined my invitation, and, as a consequence, so did the other DGACM staff representatives.

Therefore, I invite you to a general staff meeting tomorrow at 3 p.m. in room NLB-7. All DGACM staff representatives, President of the New York Staff Union as well as officials of the Department of Management are hereby also invited.

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Jean-Jacques Graisse

  Inner City Press went and staked-out the meeting. Some from Unit 5 went in, but there was tension in the air.

  While they were inside, Inner City Press covered the beginning of a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions with a European-heavy group of big wigs in from the UN's mission in Cote d'Ivoire. We hope to have more on that.

Suddenly the Unit 5 crew came out. We walked out, they told Inner City Press. “No confidence.” And so it goes at the UN.

Footnote: If Ban's spokesperson's office hadn't hit the new low of refusing to even take questions, perhaps this interim report could have had more.

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