Saturday, September 3, 2016

On Ban Ki-moon's Promotion of Son In Law Sid Chatterjee, Dujarric Passes Buck to UNDP, Which Cites DOCO

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow Up on Exclusives
UNITED NATIONS, September 3, 2d belated UN response below -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN jobin Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not recuse himself. 
After Inner City Press asked about this textbook case of nepotism, video here, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric replied that an inter-agency advisory panel had been involved, between Ban signed the letter appointing his own son in law to the post.
  So Inner City Press has asked Dujarric who was on this panel, to assess if they were independent from Ban, and who the other candidates, at least on the short list, were. 
 Dujarric has refused to provide this information, and has refused all other Inner City Press questions about Ban's son in law, including about his activities in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force. 
Dujarric has refused to answer; on September 2, he did not even acknowledge receipt of Inner City Press' questions, including aboutBan's meeting with Sri Lankan President Sirisena.
   As Ban's spokesman knows, Ban is in Sri Lanka; the story can't wait. So today Inner City Press reports that it has been told of Siddarth Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam; this has been described as a war crime.
   Inner City Press twice this week asked Dujarric to describe and comment on Ban Ki-moon's son in law's activities in Sri Lanka; it is all the more pressing given the most recent UN promotion without recusal. Inner City Press also asked what forms and rules apply, a question also ignored by Dujarric with respect to a fundraiser held in the UN with Ban's past envoy to Sri Lanka, Vijay Nambiar. Inner City Press asked Dujarric to comment in this context on this, authored by Ban's son in law Sid Chatterjee: no answers.
   And so in common journalistic practice, to assist reader in deciding whether to believe or not believe these reports of Chatterjee posing with dead and disfigured combatants in violation of the Geneva Conventions, we disclose that one of the sources clearly has an interest: Chatterjee's ex-wife Shirpa Sen. 
She is a medical doctor; she has said Chatterjee threatened her to stop providing any information to Inner City Press and an Indian journalist whose publication Chatterjee got to remove a report about one of his promotions under Ban from the Internet. (Censorship seems to run in the family.)
The allegation is that Chatterjee dropped her and then saw his career path advance under his new father in law, Ban Ki-moon; he made threats to make the issues of the past go away.
   We disclose this because readers have a right to know of the interest or animus of the source of information. Here is another online report; here on a court website is the decision on the divorce appeal. And here is an earlier report of Inner City Press asking Ban's spokespeople about Chatterjee's military record, in Sri Lanka Ban's 2009 visit to which Inner City Press covered in-person (Inner City Press has since been BANned, restricted.)
  A direct comment of any kind from Ban Ki-moon's spokesman, requested all week, would have been preferable. 
 But Ban and his Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Gallach should not be able to censor by throwing the Press into the street, New York Times here, audio here
Likewise Ban's spokesman cannot be allowed to prevent a timely article by simply refusing to even acknowledge questions submitted in writing, especially after he began the week telling Inner City Press (and the Free UN Coalition for Access which asked for in-person briefings) that he would be answering questions all week. 
Ban Ki-moon's Spokesman did not answer these questions, nor on September 2 even acknowledge receipt of them. Whatever comes in, belatedly, we will publish.
Update: late on September 2, from UNDP to which Ban's spokesman Dujarric referred questions then refused to answer any, came this - not naming the panel or other candidates, but immediately published in full: 
From: Anjali Kwatra [at]
Date: Fri, Sep 2, 2016 at 9:36 PM
Subject: RE: Press Qs on Resident Coordinator selection process for SG's son in law in Kenya: who on inter-agency advisory panel, who were the candidates, given nepotism issues raised by lack of recusal, referred by OSSG, thank you in advance, -Matthew
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
Dear Matthew,

Siddharth Chatterjee was chosen, in line with established selection process, by the Inter-Agency Advisory Panel of the United Nations. Mr Chatterjee is highly qualified for this role and was previously the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Kenya. He has also worked in senior roles with the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), UN Peace Keeping, UNICEF and UNOPS.

I would need to come back to you on your other questions.

Anjali Kwatra
Chief, Media and Advocacy
United Nations Development Programme

Wait - was Siddharth Chatterhee ever with UN Peacekeeping? Inner City Press asked: "Thanks for this, but as I asked UN Spox this week, and UNDP earlier today, this is a request, given that the SG signed the letter appointing his son in law Mr. Chatterjee UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, for the disclosure of

who was on the inter-agency advisory panel

and who the other candidates, at least on the short list, were

also - please state when and in what capacity Mr. Chatterjee was, as you say, in a senior role in UN Peace Keeping."

This gave rise to this curt answer: "All your questions need to be directed to DOCO. "

So Ban's Dujarric referred the questions about Ban's son in law to UNDP, which refers then on to DOCO. When one Googles DOCO, one gets "DOCO The Donut & Coffee Company."

Amid these UN scandals, corruption and nepotism, Ban Ki-moon is now on a two week tour seemingly meant to preview how he could be as South Korean president, visiting Singapore, Myanmar, now Sri Lanka, China and Laos. 
For Ban Ki-moon's visit to Sri Lanka, which is seen as one of the (many) major failures of his UN tenure, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, "On the SG's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee, please describe in activities in Sri Lanka including with the IPKF -- locations, and if available confirmed kills -- including in light ofthis piece he authored."
Ban Ki-moon's Dujarric replied, six hours later: "It's not for me to comment on a staff member's writings on an activity that preceded employment with the UN."
This seems a strange position for an Organization ostensibly concerned with human rights. Could Shavendra Silva work for the UN? Well, he WAS an adviser to Ban. 
In fact, some UN officials are required to sign pledges regarding their human rights records. So on September 2 at noon, Inner City Press asked Dujarric:
"On the Secretary General's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee's activities in Sri Lanka, you have not answered on what he DID, stating only that “It's not for me to comment on a staff members writings on an activity that preceded employment with the UN.”

In this light, please confirm or deny that there is a place a policy under which UN officials including USGs and ASGs (please specify what level the Secretary General's son in law is at, as Resident Coordinator in Kenya) must certify compliance with human rights, and state whether this covers time before UN employment." Inner City Press has also asked Dujarric:
"This is a request that your Office confirm or deny that the Secretary General did not specifically mention the UNHRC resolution during his meeting with Sri Lanka President Sirisena, in light of a public report that “The President told us that Ban did not mention the UNHRC resolution even in the 10 minute one-to-one meeting he had with him. In fact Ban expressed satisfaction about the way the Sri Lankan government is handling the issue of reconciliation,” a reliable source in the President’s Office" said.
Five hours later, no answer. This is Ban Ki-moon's UN.
Including in light of the recent non-recusal, we linked to and quote this Sri Lanka piece by Ban's son in law Siddarth Chatterjee:
“The Sri Lankan Army deserves all our respect, gratitude and admiration. These are men who have proved worthy of their calling, and I pray that their fortunes reverse and they are able to inflict on the Tamil Terrorists(not Tigers, as tigers have honour too), a final decisive blow, that puts the LTTE in the dust bin of history. It is a period that calls for strong nerves, single-mindedness (of purpose) and intuitive convictions that success can still be yours after these reverses. They are men of sterling character, and I hope they overcome and demolish the LTTE, this organization of pathological tyrants and killers.”
  Among these Sri Lankan Army heroes are several who would be put on trial for war crimes by any legitimate / international investigation, an issue which Ban is skirting. We'll have more on this.
  In advance of Ban's latest junket, he or his propaganda team granted selected interviews to prepare the ground -- “interview” conducted in writing, without disclosure of who wrote the answers. Pro-Ban editorials by out of date diplomats were arranged (for example here, see comments). But how can blatant nepotism be explained away?
   Inner City Press on August 26 asked Ban's spokesman which of Ban's aides it was who spun the Korea Times on Ban's chances to become South Korea's president in 2017, video here. 
While Ban's Office of the Spokesperson took daily questions at noon during Ban's six-day sojourn in South Korea in May, for this trip his spokesman will not be holding briefings (he has already, on Burundi at least, proved unwilling to answer Press questions in writing). As set out below, this is Ban's censorship.
  We will be covering Ban's trip - watch this site.
Under Ban the UN has become so lawless that Ban's son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee was just named UN Resident Representative in Kenya without Ban recusing himself.  Inner City Press reported and asked about this on August 25. On August 26, Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the letter giving his own son in law the job, see below.
It was repeatedly reported that Ban would be in Kenya today for the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development Summit, TICADIV or TICAD6. Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Dujarric if Ban would go there and was told to wait with bated anticipation. Now Ban is NOT there - right after his promotion of his own son in law there was exposed.
 How is this acceptable in an international organization? Or this: Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo is a UN official allowed to be on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered, which has UN banking contracts, and Doosan which makes sales to countries Han gives “UN” speeches to.
   On August 25, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric if Ban had recused himself from any role in his son-in-law's promotion, video here.
Inner City Press: Mr. Chatterjee was named the UN representative in Kenya.  So I wanted to know, what’s the process for the naming of a resident representative?  And given this he’s the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, was there any recusal made?  I’m not saying he’s not qualified.  I’m not saying he’s not a long-time official.  I’m just wondering what is the process…[inaudible]… for someone being named…
Spokesman:  The regular process was used.  The fact that he is, indeed, the son-in-law of the Secretary-General, I think, does not take away anything from his very strong service over the years…
Inner City Press: I’m asking about the process.
Spokesman:  Thank you.
Dujarric's only response is that Chatterjee is qualified. That was not the question. After Inner City Press highlighted this, Ban's spokesman Dujarric returned on August 26 with a "supplemental" statement, which still confirmed that Ban had not recused himself, had in fact signed the approval of his own son in law for the promotion. Video here. From the UN Transcript: 
Spokesman Dujarric: I also just wanted to give you a little bit more details on the issue you had raised yesterday with Mr. Chatterjee and expand on what I'd said.  Mr. Chatterjee was chosen through the regular process which is basically that the candidates are chosen by an interagency advisory panel which… which does not… and especially in this case… did not involve the Secretary-General.  I think he has been fully aware of the situation and has kept well away from the selection process.  For RCs, the candidates are chosen and recommended by the interagency panel.  The name of the recommended candidate is then given to the Secretary-General to sign off on.  He does not involve himself… and as I said, especially in this case… involve himself in the selection… in the selection process.  And I would just, again, reiterate Mr. Chatterjee's, I think, very strong qualifications in his career with ICRC and the UN over the years.

Inner City Press: I looked into it, too.  It seemed like they sent it to the UNDG Chair and the Secretary-General.  That's why I was asking yesterday.

Spokesman:  No, I understand.  The Secretary-General… the Secretary-General is very aware of the sensitivities of this case and has stayed well away from it.  The final signature… because the way this works is the Resident Coordinator represents the UN, and it needs the agreement of the host country.  So, the letter of appointment, in a sense, has to be signed by the Secretary-General.  But, his name is given to him by the interagency panel.

ICP Question:  Can I ask you one other?

Spokesman:  I’ll come back to you.  Video here.
Nor have the questions about Han Seung-soo, who refuses Ban's supposed call for public financial disclosure, been answered.
  Instead, Inner City Press which has asked about each of Chatterjee's promotions though the UN system under Ban (for example to and from UNOPS including censorship by the son in law, like Ban) and in the past ten months about Ban's and his head of communications Cristina Gallach's links with the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN bribery scandal, was ousted from the UN in February 2016 (audio here) and had its investigative files evicted onto First Avenue in April (video here)NYT here.
   Since then Inner City Press has been BANned from covering UN events on the second floor unless it has a minder which stays with it all the time; sometime Inner City Press is told there are not enough minders, and coverage is entirely prohibited. This is censorship under Ban Ki-moon.
The UN has been asked why it evicted Inner City Press by, among others, the Government Accountability Project, the UN Special Rapporteurs of Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders(to whom Gallach provided a false statement two months later about an altercation that never occurred), the SFRC (the UN's response quotes Dujarric) and by Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta (to whom Gallach falsely claimed that Inner City Press is not not being restricted), and in this petition to Ban
But the censorship continues.
.@UN Sec Gen Mr Ban Ki Moon & his wife Ms Ban meeting with the UN Country Teams,  &  + UN Agencies
Gallach's DPI is giving Inner City Press' long time shared office to an Egypt state media, Akhbar Al Yom, whose UN representative Sanaa Youssef rarely comes to the UN, and never asks questions - Dujarric refused to confirm this obvious fact, saying he "does not take attendance" -- but who is a former president of the Ban-friendly UN Correspondents Association. 

Inner City Press put the question of recusal to Ban's spokesman Dujarric entirely civilly, without (there) calling into question Chatterjee's qualification or history (including in Sri Lanka, to which Ban Ki-moon is ironically headed for a visit). Watch this site.