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On Corrupt DPKO, Ladsous Refuses to Answer, No Update on Whistleblower Review

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 10 -- Yesterday a report on UN Peacekeeping and corruption was released, but what will the follow-up be?

Today in front of the UN Security Council Inner City Press asked UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous, what about the report? He refused to answer. (This pattern has been noted even in the UK, here.)

So at the day's noon briefing Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's associate spokesperson Farhan Haq both for Ladsous' response, if any, to the report, and for an update on the review (of criticism) of UN whistleblower protections Ban assigned to Canadian judge Louise Otis back in May. Video here, from Minute 9:04.

Haq had a prepared statement, that the study is being taken seriously, to reinforce integrity.

When the head of UN Peacekeeping refuses questions about mass rape by his partners -- click here -- and incorrect answers claiming UN Peacekeeping after bringing cholera to Haiti now screens its peacekeepers (it does not), this "reinforcing integrity" phrase is less than clear.

Haq cut Inner City Press off from asking a follow up about Judge Otis, video here at Minute 10:56. This stands in contrast to how daily press briefings are done elsewhere, but seems to be a thing between the UN and its Alliance.

When allowed, Inner City Press asked for an update on the report assigned to Judge Otis on whistleblower protections in May, five months ago. Haq had not update, but rattled off a list from the Ethics Office, see UN Video here from Minute 16:34. If he had this "if-asked" ready, why cut off the follow-up?

High profile whistleblowers and their advocates have slammed the lack of reform at Ban's UN. A fact sheet, and an Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping who refuses to answer questions to the extend that his "farce" has been reported by the UK New Statesman, do not bode well. Watch this site.

Footnote: The report's launch at the ONE UN Hotel was, the Free UN Coalition for Access found, not recorded. And the press conference after that, publicized in advance only to those who paid money to the UN Correspondents Association, members of whose Executive Committee including first vice president Louis Charbonneau of Reuters spied for the UN by handing them internal UNCA anti Press documents three minutes after promising not to, does not bode well either, in terms of follow up. UNreformed? We think so. UNreformable? We'll see.


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Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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