Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ban Ki-moon Meets UN Staff in Kenya,Promoted Son in Law, UN Says Get Over It

By Matthew Russell Lee, New SeriesVideo

UNITED NATIONS, February 13 – Ban Ki-moon, exposed as corrupt in three short weeks in South Korea, now wants to return to the United States after stopping in Kenya to visit the son in law he promoted to the job UN job there. 

  On February 13, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about Ban's UN-Kenya stop, and any public costs. Haq, who dodged for years on irregularities from Ban promoting his son in law in the UN without recusal to Ban's nephew working at the UN's landlord Colliers, said "get over it." Video here. From the UN's transcript:
Inner City Press: the former Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, is in Kenya, and this has been confirmed to me by staff there.  His quote as he left to go there is he plans to meet and encourage UN staff in Kenya.  And I wanted to know, is that true?  Is there any formal process?  Is there any cost to the UN of this?  And what can you say about this report?

Deputy Spokesman:  I'm not a Spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon anymore.

Inner City Press:  I know but you are a Deputy Spokesman for the UN.

Deputy Spokesman:  When he travels, he travels as a private citizen.  And I wish him well in all of his travels.

Inner City Press:  Given his son-in-law is the UN Resident Coordinator in Kenya, what is his engagement with the UN system in Kenya while he's there?

Deputy Spokesman:  I know that you need to get over this, but he is a private citizen.  He can go wherever he wants without me having any responsibility for reporting on any of that.

Inner City Press:  His son-in-law happens to be the head…  [Inaudible] what is the UN spin on this?  You answer for that.

Deputy Spokesman:  He's not a UN official anymore, and therefore, when he travels, he travels as a private citizen.
  The Pacific Century Institute, with board members from KBS and JoongAng Media Group, says it will give Ban an award in Los Angeles on February 23. Despite his flame-out in South Korea and the indictment of his brother Ban Ki Sang and nephew Dennis Bahn for using his and the UN's name to sell real estate, Ban is still presenting himself as a Giant of Asia. For now long?
 Seeking to strike while the iron is still somewhat hot, Ban's aide now brags to Chosun that Harvard's no-show job offer comes with a car and a house. Even on his way to the airport for his nepotism tour, Ban was accompanied according to Yonhap by " Incheon International Airport with Mrs. Yoo Soon-taek, who is accompanied by Mr. Kim Sook-joo, Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Dae-jung, former ambassador to South Korea Kim Bong-hyun." This last berated Inner City Press to cover Ban more favorably - before Ban had Inner City Press evicted and still restricted. Call it a cult of personality. But why would US universities pay for this?
After being exposed for nepotism and corruption, how is former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon trying to rehabilitate himself? His spokesman Lee Do-woon is telling friendly media that Harvard University, even while Ban was still UNSG, offered him a professorship. 
   The Korea Times reports that  "some say the professorship is a 'lifetime position,' while others say it is a 'visiting professorship' that would need to be renewed every year." Are the geniuses at Harvard following the prosecutionof Ban's brother Ban Ki Sang and nephew Dennis Bahn and what's coming out of it? NYU paid attention. Not Harvard?
 The Times has a quote that Ban "received the offer from Harvard Kennedy School toward the end of his term as U.N. chief." Should job offers be made to people still ostensibly working for the UN? Does Harvard routinely do this?
  The Korea Herald quotes Lee Do-woon directly on this timing, and that Ban "has not yet made up his mind, but the school suggested that he may join whenever he pleases." 
   But why would Harvard makes such an offer, other than to collect former public figures who were put in big jobs, regardless of how they did in them, and the corruption and censorshipexposed? Could it be Ban's gripping, off the cuff speeches? The impeccable morals that led him to promote his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee to the top UN job in Kenya, as Resident Coordinator working for UNDP?
  The Korea Herald puts the most pro-Ban spin possible on the reason he dropped out of running for president, and says Ban "left for Kenya on Thursday to visit his second daughter, Hyun-hee, an employee at UNICEF, and son-in-law Siddharth Chatterjee, head of the United Nations Population Fund in Kenya."
  This last is simply inaccurate, since at least August 2016. "Sid" was moved from UNFPA to UNDP and given, by Ban, the resident coordinator position.
  Ban Ki-moon's nepotism, uncovered first by Inner City Press then by parts of South Korea's press corps, triggered him dropping out of the campaign for presidency on February 1.

   On February 9 it was reported that Ban Ki-moon is headed to a "family reunion." The article only mentions Kenya, where in August 2016 Ban promoted his own son in law Siddharth Chatterjee to the job UN job, resident coordinator. 
  But some ask, will Ban's brother Ban Ki Sang who has still not be extradited to the United States be there? Or Ban's other brother Ban Ki Ho, who has mined in war zones in Myanmarafter appearing on a "UN delegation" there, according to a Myanmar government website? That Inner City Press exclusive, picked up by the South Korean press, has yet to be answered.
  Tellingly, and triggering this story, the Korean article says "Ban plans to meet and encourage U.N. staff in Kenya as a former U.N. Secretary-General." Encourage them in what? That if you have a high enough position you can have impunity for nepotism and corruption, just don't try to run for public office afterward?
   As Inner City Press also exclusively reported before Ban's chief of communications Cristina Gallach, still at the UN, evicted and still restricts it, Ban's son in law Siddharth Chatterjee was part of an Indian military unit which during his time with them engaged in what are described as war crimes in Sri Lanka. 
  Under Ban and his holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, Chatterjee was allowed to never answer these questions, and to tell "his" UN staff that if they ever talked to Inner City Press he would have them fired. It's time for answers: watch this site.
  Ban Ki-moon left the UN on December 31, after dodging Press questions about corruption and, in fact, evicting and restricting Inner City  Press. (Even 38 days later, Ban's photo is still the one on the wall of the UN's Uganda office, here. Cult of personality?)
  Tellingly Ban's first move in early January was to take legal action against the press. Before he left, he named his own son in law Siddarth Chatterjee to the top UN top in Kenya.
  In South Korea, Ban Ki-moon's campaign to run for president failed on February 1, as his long decade of corruption and censorship were quickly exposed (see Sisa Journal, and this in English from Hankyoreh, including Inner City Press' reporting on Ban's brother Ban Ki Ho mining in Myanmar, listed by the government as part of a "UN delegation"). 
   Now this, from the Korea Herald, echoing what Inner City Press found and reported about Ban Ki-moon at the UN, leading it its eviction one year ago and restriction still:
"Young, working-level diplomats were aghast at some of their retired and even incumbent seniors rallying behind the former foreign minister. Some senior officials rushed to New York to 'help Ban return home,' while others churned out videos, photos and memos via Facebook and Kakao Talk in an overwhelming, worshipping-like fashion, extolling the secretary-general’s legacy and personal character." (Yes, failed cult of personality.)
"One official, who worked with Ban and is now nearing retirement, had initially given up an ambassadorial position due to his daughter’s US citizenship, which disqualifies him for the job. With Ban’s ratings soaring, together with his own chances to serve the next administration, he recently changed his mind and persuaded his daughter, who is married and lives in New York, to abandon her citizenship. Rather disenchanted with the 'Ban syndrome,' meanwhile, a group of working-level diplomats had initiated a signature-collecting campaign against his presidential run."
  Then on February 1, barely three weeks after Ban Ki-moon returned to South Korea, amid mounting corruption charges Ban Ki-moon dropped out of the race he long used the UN for.
   He said, apparently without irony, "I have decided to fold my pure-hearted plan."
   His claims to have known nothing about the charges against his nephew Dennis Bahn and brother Ban Ki Sang make no sense, given that Inner City Press asked Ban's spokesperson about them, for example at the May 15, 2015 noon briefing on UNTV. It won't be the Blue House (South Korea's presidential mansion) - could it be the jail house?
  On January 30, Inner City Press staked out the annual meeting of the United Nations Correspondents Association, a group which had made Ban Ki-moon their guest of honor at a $1200 a plate dinner on Wall Street on December 16, 2016. Inner City Press asked if the honor should be revoked. One correspondent said yes.
  It was the previous year, on January 29, 2016, that Inner City Press went to cover and live-stream the UN Correspondents Association's annual meeting held in the UN Press Briefing Room. Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric, still somehow at the UN, at the request of UNCA big wigs asked Inner City Press to leave, without showing any paperwork that the event was "closed."
  Inner City Press asked for the basis, but said if a single UN security officer asked it to leave, it would. An officer arrived and said, The spokesman wants you out. Inner City Press left, and wrote the story and uploaded the video.
  Three weeks later Ban's head of communications Cristina Gallach, still promoting herself at the UN even for an event in March 2017, ordered Inner City Press out of the UN after ten years, with no hearing, no appeal. At her (and Ban's) direction Inner City Press' files were thrown in the street, and its office is being given to an Egyptian state media Akhbar al Yom whose correspondent Sanaa Youssef rarely comes to the UN and never asks questions (but is a past president of UNCA). This is disgusting and must be reversed.
  Ban's spokesman Dujarric canceled the February 1 noon briefing, ostensibly in exchange for an 11 am stakeout by Ban's successor Antonio Guterres. We'll have more on this.
  In 2016 Ban's UN spokespeople repeatedly told Inner City Press that Ban was "all UN" until January 1. But now Ban has said he decided in December. On January 25, Inner City Press asked Ban's lead UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here and below.
  And on January 26, when Inner City Press asked about efforts to ascertain with whom Ban met, using the UN, spokesman Dujarric claimed that daily schedules which are taken offline are in fact online. Video here. From the UN transcript: 

Inner City Press:  there are some in the South Korean media asking to know where it's available to find the daily schedules that are put up every day.  Are they just thrown out, or is there some repository of who met with the Secretary-General…?

Spokesman:  Well, I'm glad you're… you've asserted a role as the Spokesman for the South Korean media but they can look on the website, and everything should be archived.

Meanwhile, Dujarric threatened Sisa Journal in South Korea for its reporting (he said it wasn't a threat.)