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Ban Son in Law, Seeking UN Job, Writes on Syria & SC, UNCA Asked to Stop ICP

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 7 -- It could have passed as simple good intentions when an opinion piece appeared on Forbes.com yesterday asking "why has the well-being of the children of Syria fallen into the periphery of the United Nations (UN) Security Council's consciousness?"

  But the author is the son in law of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is not in the business of criticizing the Security Council, particularly its Permanent Five members.

  And the son in law, Siddarth Chatterjee is as Inner City Press got confirmed last week (and see below) re-entering employment in the UN system, as the nominated country representative to Kenya of the UN Population Fund, UNFPA. Is this appropriate?

  Inner City Press previously dug into Chatterjee being hired by UN official Staffan de Mistura then by the UN Office of Project Services in Denmark, questioning whether these promotions created the perception of nepotism and were, on balance, good or bad for the UN.

  When Inner City Press' reporting was picked up in the media of Chatterjee's native India, Chatterjee demanded and obtained the take-down of that story, and asked the Indian reporter to urge Inner City Press to take its reporting off the Internet. Inner City Press refused.

  After that, Inner City Press reported on war crimes by Sri Lanka's government, then the conflict of interest of the United Nations Correspondents Association screening inside the UN the government's denial after UNCA's president rented one of his Manhattan apartments to Sri Lanka's ambassador.

 Sri Lanka wrote to UNCA complaining about Inner City Press. UNCA "leaders" demanded that the article be taken off the Internet. Inner City Press refused, offering to publish any response (none was submitted).

Jump cut to today: a supporter of Chatterjee has written to none other than what has become, under Ban, the UN's Censorship Alliance, UNCA, its president Pamela Falk of CBS and first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters, attaching Chatterjee's Forbes article, criticizing Inner City Press' reporting on nepotism, criticizing the new Free UN Coalition for Access and asking them to "stop" it.

  Make it stop how? Previously, UNCA "leaders" met with UN accreditation officials asking them to throw Inner City Press out. Charbonneau did this directly, to the personal non-UN email address of the UN's top accreditation official, saying if he didn't throw Inner City Press out of the UN, Charbonneau -- who already spied for the UN -- might himself leave the UN.

  After that threat, Charbonneau and Reuters were linked by MediaBistro with counterfeit social media accounts impersonating Inner City Press, the type of trolling previously raised to Pam Falk as UNCA president back in February 2013 without any action being taken. On the record audio here, here and here.

  The UNCA-link trolling continued even on November 27, 2013, the day before this Thanksgiving.

Falk now stands without any competition to continue "leading" this UNCA. She has defended accepting for UNCA a television from Samsung -- heck, the UN itself told her there's no conflict of interest.

  Chatterjee's own Forbes bio cites his service in the Indian Army's Special Forces. Did this involve Sri Lanka, and killings of Tamils in the north? Yes it did - but that's another story.

  For now: when there is reporting about nepotism concerning Ban Ki-moon and his son in law Chatterjee, the supporters of Chatterjee (or Ban) run to the UN Correspondents Association asking them to "stop" Inner City Press. That's why it's now called the UN's Censorship Alliance. Watch this site.

Here are the questions Inner City Press has put to the two top spokespeople at UNFPA:

This is a request for UNFPA to confirm or deny that Siddhartha Chatterjee has been selected "as the new head of the United Nations Population Fund in Kenya."

If so, please confirm or deny that the government of Kenya has "delayed accept[ing] the appointment" and describe how that acceptance process works, what has happened so far and where it stands.

Also, please describe in detail the recruitment and selection process for the position and how the son in law of the UN Secretary General was selected, and please comment on those who see the potential for nepotism or favoritism.

The response, published in fairness in full:

Subject: Re: Press questions about UNFPA, Siddhartha Chatterjee and Kenya, on deadline, thanks
From: Omar Gharzeddine [at] unfpa.org
Date: Wed, Dec 4, 2013
To: Matthew.Lee [at] InnerCityPress.com
Cc: kibel [at] unfpa.org, FUNCA [at[ funca.info

Dear Mr. Lee,

Thank you for your message.

Mr. Siddhart Chatterjee was indeed selected to be the UNFPAs incoming Kenya Representative.

This selection was conducted following established recruitment policies and procedures. Mr. Chatterjee was the candidate who emerged as the most suitable for the position, based on his qualifications and vast experience in his own country, within the United Nations -- which he first joined in 1997 -- and with other reputable international organizations.

UNFPA has completed its recruitment. Acceptance of such appointments is the preserve of the Kenyan Government, which is working on the clearance process.

As mentioned above, the recruitment followed established policies and procedures. That included advertising the post online and in international publications, such as the Economist. Working with an independent external head-hunting agency, several candidates were then interviewed by a panel, which recommended the most suitable candidate for the job.

Best regards.

Omar Gharzeddine

UNFPA


 

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