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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:35 PM

UN tribunal finds ethics office failed to protect whistleblower

Source: Guardian

UN tribunal finds ethics office failed to protect whistleblower
James Wasserstrom, an American diplomat, was fired and then detained by UN police after raising suspicions of corruption
Julian Borger
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 27 June 2012 14.15 EDT

A landmark case brought by a former United Nations employee against the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has cast light on what activists describe as a pervasive culture of impunity in an organisation where whistleblowers are given minimal protection from reprisals.

James Wasserstrom, a veteran American diplomat, was fired and then detained by UN police, who ransacked his flat, searched his car and put his picture on a wanted poster after he raised suspicions in 2007 about corruption in the senior ranks of the UN mission in Kosovo (Unmik).

The UN's dispute tribunal has ruled that the organisation's ethics office failed to protect Wasserstrom against such reprisals from his bosses, and that the UN's mechanisms for dealing with whistleblowers were "fundamentally flawed", to the extent that the organisation had failed to protect the basic rights of its own employees.

~snip~

Of the 297 cases in which whistleblowers have complained of retaliation for trying to expose wrongdoing inside the UN, the ethics office has fully sided with the whistleblower just once in six years, according to the Government Accountability Project (GAP), a watchdog organisation in Washington.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/27/un-tribunal-whistleblower-james-wasserstrom

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