Thursday, November 10, 2016

Inner City Press Shows UN & S Korean Mission Ban Ki-moon's Brother Ki-ho Mines in Myanmar, Now What?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, November 10 -- 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. 
Likewise, Inner City Press' requests for a copy of Ban Ki-moon's October 14, 2016 speech to the Council on Korean Americans, for which $100,000 sponsorships were sought, and its questions about a UN Ethics Office opinion on that and on Ban's mentor Han Seung-soo being a UN official and on the boards of directors of Standard Chartered Bank and South Korea's Doosan have gone unanswered, even as reiterated at the November 4 UN noon briefing. Video here.
On September 24, Inner City Press put these conflict of interest questions to Han Seung-soo, who left after the briefest of answers, here. 
Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is involved with KD Power in mining projects in Myanmar's eastern Shan State, see below -- and in greenwashing "renewal energy" projects in Myanmar, here, consonant with Ban and his spokesman's silence on Morocco using corporate wind power projects to greenwash a land- (and map-) grab of Western Sahara for COP 22, here.
On November 9, Inner City Press since Ban's spokesman had refused to answer asked again, then provided the UN links and to the South Korean Mission to the UN at their request. From the November 9 transcript: 
Inner City Press: I'd asked about the brother of the Secretary-General, and two articles, both of which remain online… they have not been taken down, one of which says that he's involved in magnesium mining in Myanmar, and the other one links him by name to a UN delegation which toured Myanmar.  So you said you can't verify it.  And I wanted to know, is that can't or won't?  Because it seems like if there's an article describing a UN delegation touring for financial reasons a controversial conflict zone, it should be able to be… are you willing to at least look into what the delegation may have been and whether…

Spokesman:  You know, send me the article.  I haven't seen the article.  And, again, please try not to get the… my double chin with your periscope.  It's very annoying.

Inner City Press:  Okay.  Maybe we can lower the podium....
After the briefing Inner City Press sent Dujarric and others this, of which Dujarric in the hallway confirmed receipt:

Hello. I am sending three links regarding Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-ho (through Bosung and KD Power) doing mining in Myanmar and touring with a UN delegation. 

"Memorandum of Understanding with KD Power of South Korea, which is managed by Mr. Ban Ki-Ho, brother of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for the exploration of Magnesium as well as cooperation in power sector in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar.  "

2) " Bosung Power Technology Co., a power supply material manufacturer where Ban’s younger brother Ki-ho is a vice president" 


"Bo Sung Powertec Co., Ltd, BUYANG INDUSTRIAL Co., Ltd, Germany Recycle Engineering Co., Ltd and visiting delegations from the United Nations"

Who was on the UN delegation?

Was any UN Ethics office opinion sought for Ban Ki-ho's role in a UN delegation in a war-torn country in which he does / gets business? 

Why / how is this appropriate?

Also for Ban's brother's business engagement in the UAE with Han Seung-soo, UN official who gives speeches in that capacity in the UAE while being on the board of Doosan, which also does business there.

On CAR / Bambari, here is one of the articles I asked about :

Inner City Press is still requesting a copy of the Secretary General's Oct 14 speech to the Council of Korean American (for which they sought $100,000 sponsorships), his Saudi water speech, and list of carbon off-sets bought that he cited in his SIPA speech.

There is more to ask; never received any response to the below.
  Later, Inner City Press received this from the South Korean mission to the UN:
"Korean mission... I'm writing to ask your help. At the UN noon briefing you mentioned Mr. Ban ki ho had tour with UN delegayions and there is a published article about Mr. Ban's tour with UN delegation. Could you please send the article or provide the link you mentioned?"
  Inner City Press provided the links and more - but again wonders what is the relation between South Korea's Mission to the UN and Ban Ki-moon, now that he wants to run for President of South Korea. We'll have more on this.
Back on November 7, Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric not only about Western Sahara - even as it was again threatened for this - but also about Ban's brother, video here
Inner City Press: I’d asked you last week about the Ethics Office, and you’d said there were too many connections in terms of Han Seung-soo and Ban Ki-ho, but I have one specific question.  I see you waiting, so I’m going to…

Spokesman:  Go ahead.

ICP Question:  Okay.  And the question is as follows:  There’s a published article, whose link I can provide you, which says that Ban Ki-ho’s… the company Bosung is involved in magnesium mining in Eastern Shan State in Myanmar, which is a highly controversial human rights state.  And the article states that Bosung went on a tour with, quote, a visiting delegation of the United Nations.  So I think… you may or may not say this is a legitimate question, but if the brother of the Secretary-General is on a business delegation in Myanmar that’s described by a publication there as being with a delegation of the United Nations, I’d like to ask you, who was on that delegation?

Spokesman:  I have… this is the first I’ve heard of it.  I have absolutely no way to verify the information you’ve shared. 
  Okay there: Ban's brother Ki-ho is vice president of electric equipment firm Bosung (a/k/a Bo Sung), which has been on Myanmar tours with (unnamed) UN officials. See (and translate) this government web page, here:
"Industry, Republic of Korea Minister U Maung Myint Bo Sung Powertec Co., Ltd, BUYANG INDUSTRIAL Co., Ltd, Germany Recycle Engineering Co., Ltd and visiting delegations from the United Nations"
Ban's former chief of staff and vanity press book editor Vijay Nambiar is Ban's envoy on Myanmar. Did he go on this trip? 
In terms of mining, see this: "Bright Time has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with KD Power of South Korea, which is managed by Mr. Ban Ki-Ho, brother of UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, for the exploration of Magnesium as well as cooperation in power sector in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar."
 Is the UN's Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee aware of this mining project in east Shan State, with the brother of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon? Is the UN Ethics Office?

As noted, Ban's brother Ban Ki-ho is VP of a Korean electric equipment company, Bosung.  The CEO of Bosung, Lim Jae-Hwang, is a former executive with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).   Bosung Power Technology supplies its products primarily to KEPCO, which recently signed a deal with the UAE to build a nuclear plant.  
Doosan is providing the nuclear reactor. Ban's friend and mentor Han Seung-soo, whom Ban appointed to a senior UN position (which conveys diplomatic immunity) is on the board of directors of Doosan and has engaged closely with UAE on issues of Korean trade promotion and business.  Han has most recently served on the jury of the UAE Energy Prize.  Meanwhile, Ban's other brother Ban ki-sang served as an advisor to Keangnam, which developed properties in UAE for South Korean expatriates and businesses.
We'll have more on this.
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 fraud conviction,below. 
On October 6, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Farhan Haq again about Ban's nephew's fraud conviction, and a surreal email Ban sent to UN staff about... fraud. Many staff called it hypocrisy.Beyond the Vine video here, second half.  From the UN transcript: 
Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you about an email that the Secretary-General sent, I think, to all staff about fraud yesterday.  It was a blast e-mail, a UNHQ (United Nations Headquarters) broadcast.  And it was sort of instructed staff to… that fraud is a serious matter.  There's something called the 2017 Leadership Dialogue.  And I guess, what triggered the e-mail.  In having read it and published it, it's not clear.  Is this something that's being newly announced?  Why was this anti-fraud e-mail sent yesterday?
Deputy Spokesman:  There are a number of internal e-mails that go out from time to time.  This is simply another one of those, and it's on a topic that the Secretary-General feels is important.
ICP Question:  And I guess… because I'd asked you this before, and I keep… I go… you had said that… to somehow to ask Colliers if the individual who's listed in the newspaper as the nephew of the Secretary-General as working for them at the time that the fraud that he was just convicted of occurred.  But I'm asking you… I want to, I guess, just reiterate.  As the UN, doesn't the UN have a duty, if it has existing contractors… and I just went by 45th Street today.  The sign is still up, so the UN is doing business with Colliers.  If a newspaper, widely circulated, says an employee of their company was convicted of fraud, isn't there some follow up totally outside of the familial relationship of the Secretary-General?
Deputy Spokesman:  We do not determine the staffing of Colliers.  You would have to ask them that.  Have a good afternoon.
On October 5, just hours after Ban's replacement was selected and his deputy spokesman told Inner City Press Ban will no longer hand out top posts (as he did, for example, to his own son in law on August 26), Ban sent his first post-Guterres email to UN staff, shamelessly about... fraud:
Date: 5 October 2016 at 2:01:33 PM GMT-4
Subject: Message from the Secretary-General to Staff on Fraud and Corruption

Dear colleagues,

Anyone who works for the United Nations has a fundamental responsibility to act with honesty and integrity at all times.  The vast majority of staff take pride in honouring this responsibility. But we operate in uniquely high-risk environments that expose our activities to significant risks. Fraud and corruption not only betray the trust placed in us by Member States; they damage our operations, our authority and our credibility, making it more difficult for all of us to do our work.

The comprehensive Anti-Fraud and Anti-Corruption Framework, issued through Information Circular ST/IC/2016/25 on 9 September 2016, is designed to help staff promote and maintain a culture of integrity and honesty across the range of our operations and activities.  It details how our Organization acts to prevent, detect, deter, respond to and report on fraud and
corruption.   The United Nations has a zero-tolerance approach to fraud and corruption. This means that the administration will actively pursue all allegations, and will take all necessary disciplinary and contractual measures when wrongdoing is established.

The 2017 Leadership Dialogue – the discussion that all managers should have every year with staff who report to them – will focus on this Framework. I hope it will stimulate discussions between staff and managers at all levels on how the Framework can be applied.

Together, we must make every effort to promote the highest ethical
standards for our United Nations, as we serve the world’s people.

Warm regards,

The Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon"
   On October 2, Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq replied that Ban has had "no contact" with his own nephew.
 So on October 4, Inner City Press asked about Ban's nephew's connection with UNDP's property manager, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: I understand that you'd said the Secretary-General has had no contact with his nephew Bahn Joo-hyun, but given that the article says that the acts that he engaged in were while he was an employee of Colliers International, which, if you remember this, there was back-and-forth.  Their plaque is still up on the FF Building on 45th Street.  I wanted to know, this is a UN question as opposed to a Secretary-General, if he doesn't speak to him.  Is this individual, a nephew of the Secretary-General, still employed by Colliers?  If so, does this finding by a court trigger any review of the UN's contracts with Colliers?

Deputy Spokesman:  You would have to check with Colliers whether he's an employee.  I wouldn't comment on someone who is not UN personnel. 
  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.