Wednesday, October 5, 2016

While Ban Ki-moon Stonewalls on Promoting Son in Law, He's Set to Be Praised in Photo Contest: Only at the UN

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, October 4 -- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late August awarded the top UN job in Kenya to his own son in law, Siddharth Chatterjee, and did not even recuse himself.
  On September 27, Inner City Press directly asked Chatterjee about it, on Periscope. here. Vine here. Chatterjee hardly answered the long-standing questions; nor did Ban's spokesman. Neither set up the requested interview. Questions about letting the Saudi led Coalition off the Children and Armed Conflict annex for Yemen remain unanswered, along with others.
On October 3, Inner City Press which since May 2015 asked about Ban's nephew's use of Ban's name in real estate deals, prior to Ban's eviction of Inner City Press, now asked about the nephew's conviction, below.
  Amid all this - and while refusing to answer basic questions - Ban Ki-moon has found a group to praise and flatter him, with photographs no less. This was sent to Inner City Press this afternoon by an amazed recipient, we publish it here:
"Dear colleagues, UNCA is pleased to inform you that a Photo Exhibition presenting the 10 years of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, will take place at the end of November. Submissions are now open to all UN photographers to send their photos of Ban Ki-moon in action during his tenure. There will be a total of 25 photos selected to be exhibited at the opening of the event with the attendance of the Secretary-General.

Cia Pak, Scannews, will coordinate the submissions. Please see the instructions below on how to submit your work.

Best regards,

Giampaolo Pioli
UNCA President"
We'll have more on this.
Meanwhile, "court has ruled a nephew of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pay $590,000 in damages to a South Korean construction firm that was at the center of a major lobbying scandal last year. The Seoul Northern District Court recently handed down the sentence to Ban Joo-hyun, son of the U.N. chief's younger brother Ban Ki-sang, on charges of fabricating documents that allegedly expressed the Qatari government's intention to buy a high-rise building belonging to the firm, Keangnam Enterprises Inc.

"Ban Joo-hyun, who was an executive of a U.S. real estate investment company at the time, is accused of receiving the money from Keangnam Enterprises in 2014 in exchange for arranging the sale of the skyscraper in Vietnam to the Qatari government. In the process, he reportedly told Keangnam that he could use the influence of his uncle to directly contact the Qatari king."
  Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on October 3, when Inner City Press asked, declined comment except to say that Ban has "no contact" with his nephew. His brother's son? We'll have more on this.
 Inner City Press was informed by whistleblowing UN staff that Ban is now attempting, contrary even to a new feather-bedding rule his issued to place his staff wherever they want in the UN system, to place his longtime personal / appointments secretary Eun Ha (Isabelle) Kim as a P-3 Professional in the UN Office of Protocol. 
  Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric on September 29 said he has "no idea" about such a position, while accusing Inner City Press of dragging people -- Kim? Or Mr Ban?" - through the mud. Video here.

On September 28 Inner City Press published more, from even more complaining staff. They tell Inner City Press that Ban ALREADY broke the rules, promoting Isabelle Kim from General Service to a P-2 professional position, and now ordering the Office of Protocol to create a P-3 post for Ms. Kim. Staff are angry that the rules Ban applies to them do not apply to those close to Ban.
  On September 28, Dujarric told Inner City Press vaguely that there are many many to move from G to P, General to Professional. (Inner City Press previously asked Ban's deputy about UN Staff Rule 4.16 (ii) which states the following:

"Recruitment to the Professional category of staff from the General Service and related categories in the United Nations Secretariat: recruitment to the Professional category at the United Nations Secretariat of staff from the General Service and related categories having successfully passed the appropriate competitive examinations shall be made within the limits established by the General Assembly. Such recruitment shall be made exclusively through competitive examination."
  So did Ms. Kim take and pass this required competitive exam? Dujarric didn't answer, in fact ran off the podium to avoid Inner City Press' follow up question, to confirm or deny Ms. Kim is Mrs Ban's niece.Video here. From the UN transcript:
 Inner City Press:  I've asked Farhan [Haq] about this kind of indirectly, but I wanted to ask you directly to get a confirmation or denial.  We've received sort of complaints from a variety of staff members that a longtime aide of the Secretary-General Eun-ha Kim, or Isabelle Kim, may be in line for a P3 position in Protocol.  The reason I'm asking you this is because it's not… it's more than one person that said this would be wrong.  Their question is, how does a person go from general staff to professional staff?  Is it through a competitive exam, and if it's not, what is the loophole…?

Spokesman:  I'm not going to… I mean, you know, you may want to drag…

Inner City Press:  It's not dragging.

Spokesman:  …drag people through the mud.

Inner City Press:  So you say.

Spokesman:  And I'm not going to go into the details of individual staff members' cases, because I don't think it's fair for anyone who works in this organization.  But all the rules are being followed, and this case does not involve the Secretary-General.

ICP Question:  You say dragging through the mud, but my question is, I'm saying staff members at var… a variety of levels have said, since this G to P wall, which they think is wrong, applies to them and you have people with PhDs that can't do it, they're extremely interested to know how somebody close to the Secretary-General could do it?

Spokesman:  There are various ways of people to go from G to P in this organization.

ICP Question:  I read Farhan a rule that…

Spokesman:  And I've seen it, and I'm telling that you all the rules are being followed.

ICP Question:  Is there currently a P-3 post in protocol that exists?

Spokesman:  I have no clue.  Thank you
   Ms. Kim, we note, was with Ban (and Han Seung-soo and others) up to fifteen years ago, when Han was President of the General Assembly and Ban, his chief of staff. 
Also on that dream team: current South Korean ambassador to the UN and Ban promoted Oh Joon, former Ban promotee Yoon Yeocheol, Kim Bong-hyun who previously told Inner City Press to cover Ban more positively, and others - click here for the list, still online for now.
 Inner City Press also asked Ban Ki-moon's in law if he had been present at and played a role in the Jaffna Hospital massacre in Sri Lanka. He did not deny this -- rather, he said it was not "pertinent." He said he would answer at an "opportune time."
On September 28, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, Beyond the Vine video here, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press:  the Secretary-General's son-in-law, Siddharth Chatterjee.  I know I'd asked you in writing, maybe ten days ago to be able to ask him the questions that your office hadn't answered.  And I did find him in the lobby yesterday, and he said to me, "Oh, we'll find an opportune time."  So it wasn't clear to me… and he also said, as to some of the questions, "They're not pertinent."  I don't know if that referred to whether who the selection panel was or who the other candidates were.  But it led me to want to ask you, did your office, in fact, ask him ten days when I asked you whether he would answer the questions?  Because it seemed like he was unaware of the request.  That's how he came off.

Spokesman:  I think everyone is aware of your interest in speaking to Mr. Chatterjee, and it's not… you're welcome to contact whomever you want and request an interview.  Whether or not they grant you one is really up to them.

ICP Question:relatedly, because there's now… I've seen this controversy around the resident coordinator for Syria.  And some people are saying it's Mr. Ali Al-Za’tari to replace Mr. [TYacoub El] Hillo.  And I just wanted to know, was the same process used?  Can you say a little bit more about the inter-agency panel, DOCO…?

Spokesman:  The inter-agency panel… every resident coordinator goes through the same process with the inter-agency panel.  A recommendation is then sent to the Secretary-General, whether it's Mr. Za’tari or any of the other ones.  I told you many-a-times on his… on Mr. Chatterjee that the Secretary-General stayed away from that process.  We do expect the new humanitarian coordinator, resident coordinator, to arrive in Damascus very early next month and to take up his position.  There is an acting… somebody acting in that stead until his arrival.

ICP Question:  But in the same way that I asked you whether UNDPA (Department of Political Affairs) and the Secretariat was… played a role in the Kenya resident coordinator, because it seems that it's clear that they did in Syria… so did they in Kenya?

Spokesman:  I will not go into any further detail than I already have.
Further? Ban's spokesman  Dujarric has refused to provide basic information about the promotion, and about Chatterjee's military activities in Sri Lanka. Nor has he responded to Inner City Press' written request for information or to interview Chatterjee, a UN official who blocks Inner City Press on Twitter.
But Ban Ki-moon's son in law has hung around New York for more than a week, meeting with bankers and set on September 27 to meet Ban's deputy Eliasson. Ban didn't recuse himself from promoting his son in law, but does this side-step. Inner City Press at noon on September 27 asked Ban's deputy spokesman if Chatterjee, as resident coordinator, will answer questions on the way up or down. “We'll certainly convey your request.” Vine here.
   While less than an hour before Chatterjee's visit to his father in law's 38th floor there was no answer, Chatterjee appeared in a staged Facebook Live, where he said “the Secretary General” without disclosing that Ban is his father in law. Vine here. 
So Inner City Press went to ask Chatterjee about it. First, it told the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU), to avoid any pretextual action as in February of this year by Ban's head of communications Cristina Gallach. Then it set up in the lobby. After getting other quotes or responses from Ambassadors and a foreign minister, Chatterjee and other man came down.
  Inner City Press asked, Who were the other candidates? Who was on the panel? No answer. Inner City Press asked about the Jaffna Hospital. Chatterjee turned back and said he would set up a time to talk - strange, Inner City Press has been requesting that for some time - but to “turn that off,” meaning the authorized PeriscopeVine here.

   Inner City Press remained to ask more questions. At a certain point the minder(s), officers and elevator man left - and then the cars left. It was over.
  But Ban's increasing lawlessness is not limited to his son in law, nor to his mentor Han Seung-soo, who despite MOONlighting as a UN official and board member of Standard Chartered Bank and Doosan, this week dodged Inner City Press' questions unlike Jacob Zuma and Sheikh Hasina, here.
  Exposing or even inquiring into the ever increase irregularities in the Ban Ki-moon administration give rise, as Inner City Press found earlier this year and during this General Assembly debate week, to retaliation. 
Inner City Press was ordered to leave the UN on February 19 on two hours notice by Ban's chief of "public information," Cristina Gallach - for seeking to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room which was nowhere listed as Closed.
Ban and Gallach are giving Inner City Press' long time work space to an Egyptian state media, Akhbar Al Yom, whose representative Sanaa Youssef rarely comes to the UN -- contrary to the stated requirement for resident correspondent accreditation, which has been stripped from Inner City Press -- and never asks any questions. 
During UNGA debate week, Inner City Press could only cover a meeting on Yemen if accompanied by a minder  (Gallach was asked about this, on camera) who asked who Inner City Press wanted to interview; it was locked out of the media "bullpen" then urged, mid-edit, to leave the small "focus booth" it's been reduced to using. Team Ban has been informed of all of this, responding that "time" will somehow solve it. How?
 On September 23 Ban's and France's head of peacekeeping Herve Ladsous said openly, "I never answer your questions, Mister" when asked about rapes; Ladsous' UN spokesman got Ban's UNTV to keep the microphone away from Inner City Press. Video here. 
After being told that Ban's son in law is in New York, Inner City Press has asked Ban's spokespeople, fully four of them:
"This is a request to interview the UN's Resident Coordinator in Kenya Siddarth Chatterjee, appointed to the job by his father in law Ban Ki-moon, in light of [him saying / Tweeting to another of his father in law's officials,] “Look forward to seeing you at UNGA." It seems he has appeared at the Princeton Club in NY.
"Since the OSSG has declined to answer several questions about Resident Coordinator Chatterjee, this is a request for the interview. Please advise asap."
 So far, nothing. Chatterjee, as we've noted, blocks Inner City Press on Twitter - strange, for a UN Resident Coordinator. 
Instead of answering the earlier questions, Team Ban arranged for Chatterjee's military commander Dalvir Singh to slam in Huffington Post Inner City Press' “accusations of human rights violations against Chatterjee. Major Chatterjee was a star member of my battalion, the 10th Para Special Forces, and at no time was my battalion or any member of my unit ever involved in any form of human rights violation.” 
 Really? What about the Jaffna Hospital Massacre?  Inner City Press exposing Ban's nepotism has been covered in Sri Lanka, here - and nowin South Korea, here (translated) where Ban hopes to run for president. Here's a machine translation: 
"Ban last month, his son-in-law sit da-Kenya resident coordinator of the United Nations whether the chatter in the decision to appoint. The United Nations Office of the resident coordinator as the national diplomatic missions to individual countries hit greets. Chapman, Mr. ban's youngest daughter, popping Hyun-Hee's husband. Hyun-hee and Chae was elected Secretary General of the UN ban popping were married in 2006. Hyun-Hee Mr. currently UNICEF Kenya Office is known to be being worked on. 
 This has never been a textbook case of ' human resources ' Office, saying the issue would be raised by the professional journalist Matthew Lee of inner city press, the media. Lee shunned the press ban this personnel (recusal) not to apply points to criticize. He said, "would call into question the qualities of chatter, nor at the UN for a long time, one of those who deny that. But he is considering ban evasion law that might have the application lies, "he said.
 India is a special forces work on the chatter when the matter was a Huffington Post Moon vir Singh retired warden contributed from popping "always was a priority public than himself," and Office personnel are raised allegations of the accused journalists. He was working as a journalist for the "qualification (credential)-RI, suspicious and ethics awareness as the UN's bloggers" and not "evil?" is appealed
 Not on the basis of the human rights abuses of false attacks ".  Lee, the reporter himself the last few years, a series of critical reports about the ban were taken with them, and because of this, the UN resident journalists deprived of his or her eligibility status.”
On September 17, as Inner City Press covered the UN Security Council meeting on Syria, under Ban's eviction order it was first locked out of the UNSC stakeout, then told to leave the UN by a UN Security officer. This is Ban's UN. We'll have more on this.
On September 15, Inner City Press again asked Ban's spokesman about Chatterjee's record in Sri Lanka -- no answer - and the panel that "recommended" him to Ban. Vine here, UN transcript here, with the UN using many more "inaudibles" than on other questions: 
Inner City Press: the last you answered about promotion of the Secretary-General’s son-in-law into the top post in Kenya was that you hoped that at least the agencies or some information about this inter-agency panel could be provided, and I think it should be.  So I wanted to know do you have now any information on that…?  [inaudible]

Spokesman:  I don’t have an update, but if I have something, I will share it with you.

ICP Question:  And I’d asked you in writing about… it goes back some time but about the son-in-law’s activities in Sri Lanka as part of the Indian peacekeeping force.  And since he’s gotten his commander to write an op-ed saying that questions about this are unreasonable… [inaudible]

Spokesman:  Whatever words I’ve had to say about… on this issue, I have used.  I really have nothing else to add… [inaudible]

ICP Question:  Right, but you said… the last thing you said was you would look into the inter-agency panel… [inaudible]

Spokesman:  I have nothing… [inaudible]  Yes, that I said.  On the rest, I have nothing else to add. 
 Meanwhile Ban's son in law is using the first place his military commander dumped his piece to run propaganda interviews linking himself to the SDGs.
Singh's / Team Ban's piece from its first version to its second picked up links to Team Ban's raid on Inner City Press' office, and material from the UN Censorship Alliance. These suggestions came from within Ban's UNHQ.
  Dalvir Singh wrote “To attack the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who happens to be Chatterjee’s father-in-law, using his service in Sri Lanka is not only absurd but deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.” And then the threats began. This is a new low.
Ban's promotion of his son in law is contrary to the ICSC Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service on "Familial dealings" --
In Ban's cases, these "familial dealing" include not only the son in law promoted without recusal or transparency, now lashing out at the Press by proxy, but also the nephew, "Dennis Bahn," with a company managing UN real estate, during the name of the UN and his uncle to drum up more business, see below. 
Now there is a scandal and conviction in South Korea with Ban's - and his nephew Bahn's -- fingerprints all over it. "South Gyeongsang Governor Hong Joon-pyo was found guilty Thursday of taking money from the late businessman and politician Sung Wan-jong and sentenced to 18 months in prison, ending his presidential ambitions. Hong, 62, stood trial on charges that he accepted 100 million won ($91,601) from the late Sung, former chairman of the Keangnam Enterprises."
  Ban's brother Ban Ki-sang was a consultant to Keangnam for seven years; Ban's nephew Dennis "Bahn Joo-hyun said to a contact at Keangnam that he would invite his high-profile uncle to a social gathering, where members of the Qatar Investment Authority would be present." 
Ban's UN scandals also include others close to Ban such as Han Seung-soo, allowed by UN to be a UN official and on the board of directors of South Korea's Doosan, and of UN bank Standard Chartered.
For alleged violation of of the ICSC Standards, UN system whistleblowers such as Moncef Kateb of WIPO have been fired. But Ban does it openly: something about a fish and from the head, see also below.
The response to Inner City Press' questioning has been, as happened in 2012, threats. To this has the UN descended under Ban.