UN, Complaint of Hiring of Mistress at WTO, Tricks in UNCTAD
Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press at the UN: Exclusive
NATIONS, June 22 -- The seamy underbelly of UN system politicking is
laid bare in a filing
to the UN's top investigator Inga-Britt
Ahlenius from the Officer in Charge of the UN Conference on Trade
Development Division on Management Khaililur Rahman.
campaign by UNCTAD's senior advisor against a Ivory Coast diplomat
competing to head UNCTAD or to beat out Patrick Lamy for the next
term at the World Trade Organization, Rahman quotes that Lamy "has
campaign funds from the French" and hired the Ivorian diplomat's
"mistress at the WTO."
Inner City Press has obtained a copy
of the UN document, and places it online here.
June 4, Rahman asked Ahlenius' Office of Internal Oversight Services
to take action. But UN Spokesperson Michele Montas on June 19 told
Inner City Press she and the UN are unaware of the complaint.
memo, Rahman recounts how pressure was brought to bear on UN
staff to lobby for the incumbent at UNCTAD Supachai Panitchpakdi to
get a second term. Mr. Supachai's special advisor Kobsak Chutikul
wrote a "Game Plan e-mail" which identified the Permanent
Representatives to the UN of Sudan, Cuba, Libya and Nicaragua as
"undermining the practice / tradition of two consecutive terms"
for the top job at UNCTAD.
Rahman recounts to the Office of Internal
Oversight Services that "Mr. Chutikul also mentioned he would
'continue to press the Executive Office of Secretary General' [Ban
Ki-moon] while noting that 'we can't just wait for them to act.'"
Group was pushing as a candidate Ambassador Gauze of Cote d'Ivoire to
replace Mr. Supachai. That campaign appears to have ended. On June
19, Inner City Press was shown by one of the above-mentioned
Permanent Representatives a message from Ban Ki-moon's senior
advisor, leading to the dropping of the competing African candidacy.
Ban and his advisor previously moved to cut the Office of the Special
Advisor on Africa, a decision the General Assembly has ordered Ban to
seamy side is contained in Paragraph 6 of
Rahman's memo to OIOS, in
which he writes -- in a UN document about which Inner City Press
asked the UN spokesperson on June 19 -- that
email from Mr. Chutikul dated 29 May 2009... made a number of
allegations against Mr. Gauze, a former Minister of Trade of Cote
d'Ivoire and currently Permanent Representative of Cote d'Ivoire in
Geneva as a contender for the post of SG of UNCTAD along with Mr.
Supachai, as well as against Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director General of the
World Trade Organization. Mr. Chutikul alleged in this email that Mr.
Gauze 'in fact last year offered to be on Lamy's campaign team.' Mr
Chutukul also alleged that Mr. Lamy 'had campaign funds from the
French' and got Mr. Gauze's 'mistress in the mission hired by WTO.'
alleged further that Mr. Gauze 'is now facing a paternity suit for
child born to another Ivorian mistress. The woman is married to a
white man but the baby was born completely black.' He adds: 'Seems
Gauze in desperate need of source of income to settle the suit and
Rahman's memo refers all of the above -- beyond the UN's total denial,
let us take item by item denials for granted and at face value -- "to
OIOS for appropriate
action." But is OIOS the right venue?
Copies of the complaint
were alsosent to Department of Management chief Angela Kane and her
Human Resources Assistant Catherine Pollard, as well as UN Ethics
Officer Robert Benson, Jan Beagle in Geneva, Ms. A. Djermakoye and
Mr. I Koulov.
all this, the UN in New York, through its spokesperson Michele
Montas, purports to know nothing about this formal complaint. Inner
City Press asked at the June 19 noon briefing:
City Press: there’s this controversy about UNCTAD, about
reappointing or not reappointing Mr. Supachai. And it said that the
G-77 there has written in support of him, but the African Group
within that has said they didn’t support the recommendation, that
they have other candidates from the Ivory Coast and Kenya, and
finally, it’s been written to miscellaneous of OIOS that there’s
been pressure put on staff to support the current head to be
reappointed. One -- has the Secretary-General gotten this letter
from G-77, and does he acknowledge it as the position of the full
group, or does he know of this African Group counter-position?
Montas: He has received the different letters and the different
positions and, as you know, he still supports his reappointment.
City Press: And what about this claim that staff are being pressured as
condition of keeping their jobs?
Pressured by whom?
City Press: Pressured by senior members within UNCTAD.
I’m not aware of that. I’m
not aware of that at all.
that the "miscellaneous" in the transcript is Ms. Ahlenius. And that no
update has been provided by the Office of the
Spokesperson for Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, including his view on
Supachai's future and special advisor's campaigning as reflected in the
must-credit exclusive above. Watch
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