Wednesday Apr 10, 201306:02 AM GMT
U-N takes no action to protect whistle-blowers
Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:0AM
Hank Flynn, Press TV, New York
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Critics say the United Nations has a lackluster approach to ethics-- specifically in its lack of action in standing up for whistle-blowers.

The UN has a black-and-white -- by-the-book system for protecting whistle-blowers from retaliation.


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman detailed some of that system on Tuesday.

The trouble is -- that rarely happens -- and it didn't in the case of James Wasserstrom.

Wasserstrom is a former investigator with the UN's office in Kosovo.
Years ago -- he blew the whistle on corrupt dealings involving cash kickbacks surrounding the building of a power plant.
Instead of protecting him -- the UN turned his life upside down -- snatching his credentials and searching his home and office.

Though Wasserstrom eventually won his case with the UN -- the paltry settlement he received doesn't cover his legal bills -- let alone the damages suffered.
Wasserstrom took the next step on Monday -- calling for the US to withhold fifteen percent of its funding to the UN -- which is US law according to the 2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
In a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry -- Wasserstrom wrote that succeeding in the UN Justice System made him come "away with compensation that left me far worse off than if I had not come forward at all,"
We asked Del Buey about Ban's track record concerning whistle-blowers.

The UN Ethics Office does -- though.
In more than 350 complaints from 2006 to 2012 -- the UN documented one case of retaliation -- one -- rejecting more than ninety-nine percent of submitted retaliation claims.

Shelly Walden of the Government Accountability Project said in a statement that "...the United Nations is not serious about protecting whistleblowers or holding itself accountable.

Instead, the organization is sending a loud and clear message to its staff: Keep quiet."
Del Buey wouldn't comment on the Wasserman case -- citing the UN's policy of not commenting on cases in progress.

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