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At UN Security, Prefixed Promotions, Whistleblowers' Dog Days

Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis

UNITED NATIONS, February 6 -- Unanswered questions swirl around UN Security, from accountability for lapses in Algeria, Niger, Pakistan and Somalia, to irregularities in hiring and promotions and even discpline. On February 4, Inner City Press formally asked two members of the Office of the UN Spokesperson a series of questions about UN Security, including what is the status of the much-promised disciplinary action against UN officials for their inattention to duties in the run-up to the Algiers Bombing, as documented by the Zacklin Report?   Does the Secretary-General think that a Zacklin-style accountability panel should be set up to examine the security failures that have taken place in recent months, including the lack of security clearance and security protection of Mr. Robert Fowler, the abduction of the UNHCR official in Quetta, Pakistan, and the killings of UNDP staff in Somalia? 

  Two days later, not a single answer has been provided. Nor has the UN said anything about replacing Sir David Veness, who months ago announced he was resigning as the sole case of accountability following the Algiers bombing. He is still in charge of DSS.

   On a seemingly more mundane but not unrelated level, whistleblowers have provided Inner City Press with a list of UN Security "Possible Transfers and Assignments / Reassignments." These sources say that this list undermines the credibility of interviews that are being conducted, implying that some decisions have already been made. They say as a matter of belated transparency, the list should be released. They allege something of a Caribbean "mafia," and favoritism in promotion, false resumes and misuse of UN vehicles, retaliation against those who complain, even of physical abuse.

David Veness takes the reigns, Feb. 2005 -- now what?

  Sometimes the public news about UN Security is negative, but the exoneration is much more quiet. Take the case of Gamal Ibrahim, exposed on Fox News and elsewhere for alleged abuse of a dog in the UN's Canine Unit. Last month, the UN Headquarters Joint Disciplinary Committee recommended that the charges be dropped, as the evidence was not conclusive.

  As recited in Confidential Report 216 in Case Number 2008-14, Numbered Copy 1 attached,

"On July 3, 2007, DSS Management was informed of allegations of improper conduct... It was alleged that Mr. Ibrahim had physically abused his canine partner Buddy... On 21 January 2008, the case was referred to the JDC.... Mr. Ibrahim responded to the charges...  The redness on Buddy's skin has always existed and is part of his skin and hair complexion...

 The [2 July 2007] incident at the Security Council appears to have been misinterpreted... Buddy was playful and rest his two front legs affectionately on my shoulders on that occasion. To calm him I gave hand and verbal commands, which had nothing threatening for him... SS/O Mascioli has a reputation for harassment, fabrication and extrapolation, besides taking occasionally a free lunch from vendors... the rationale for their false allegations was essentially triggered by a spirit of retribution against me, as a result of my whistleblower role."

   Since the allegations were found to be without corroboration, is this the case the UN Security whistleblower whose dog didn't bark? To be continued.

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

Click here for Inner City Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo

Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on UN, bailout, MDGs

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

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