By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive
UNITED NATIONS, May 18 – The UN Department of Safety and Security's top officer Peter Drennan ordered that a security report on UNESCO chief Irina Bokova be “buried” last year due to the personal political implications for Drennan if Bokova instead of Antonio Guterres became UN Secretary General, internal UN document obtained and exclusively published by Inner City Press show. Click here; embedded below. Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, and hours later he emailed all correspondents an attack on "leaks" - "In response to a question asked at the noon briefing about a DSS assessment concerning Irina Bokova, the Spokesman has the following to say: The allegation that security information was 'buried' is strongly denied. The relevant information has been provided to Ms Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO, in the appropriate manner. In addition the substance of the report was prepared in conjunction with the UNESCO security staff and as a result UNESCO security staff, who are responsible for the safety and security of Ms Bokova and UNESCO, were fully aware of the report's contents. The Department is deeply concerned about the leaking to the media of confidential information concerning matters of security. The leaking of confidential security information is irresponsible and may well create additional security risks to the UN." Whistleblowers - different whistleblowers - within the Department of Safety and Security say that the claimed concern about Bokova is a pretext. What has roiled feathers in DSS is the assertion that Under Secretary General Drennan moved to bury the report for his personal political reasons in case Bokova became Secretary General. We'll have more on this.
Fearing retaliation, the UN's Kenneth Rosario two months ago wrote to Drennan to formally notify him of the charge of burying the security report, citing the deadly consequence of such UN burying in the cases of the Canal Hotel in Baghdad and later in Algiers. Rosario noted that even in those cases, no one alleged that the reports were suppressed by a head of Department like Drennan.
The documents cited specific and credible death threats against Bokova, the UN system's top ranking official in France, and the letter bomb attack on the International Monetary Fund / World Bank office, ascribing it to the Greek anarchist group Conspiracy of Fire Cells or SPF.
Exclusive: UN Security's Drennan “Buried” Report on Threats Against Bokova, Documents Indicate by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd
Rosario's fear of retaliation was and is well-founded: for example, the UN fired Swedish official Anders Kompass after he blew the whistle on peacekeepers' sexual abuse of children in the Central African Republic. More recently Francis Gurry of the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization has been accused of retaliation; here is Inner City Press' story on WIPO's North Korea business, including a response from US Ambassador Nikki Haley to Inner City Press' May 16 question on the matter. UN DSS itself was involved in the no due process eviction of Inner City Press and targeting of it since to hinder its investigative reporting in the UN. Audio here. But the reporting will continue: watch this site.