Saturday, 24 January 2009

DESA's Seoul Center plunged into scandals

During a recent visit of Ban Ki-Moon in Seoul, South Korea (July 3, 2008) he stated that his purpose of visit to Korea was to encourage Korean government to contribute more to international community, and underlined importance of further active roles of UN Family in Korea will get essential. 

At the end of his meeting in Seoul, little Ban would know that he was about to take a happy family photo with a rather disturbing and scandal embroiled branch of his own organization - called : United Nations Governance Centre (UNGC -

Click in the picture for larger image

To be fair to Ban Ki-moon, UNGC was established on June 23, 2006, almost six months before Ban Ki-moon was appointed Secretary General. Eventhough the timing and selection of Seoul as the center of good governance for Asia would have left many in the region skeptical and think that it was just a move of South Korean government to strengthen their "candidacy" for the post of Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon was running for SG job at time of announcement).

In the agreement reached between DESA and GoSK (Government of South Korea), the goal of the United Nations Governance Centre (UNGC) is to act as an international and regional focal point for research, training and advocacy in government reinvention, and its functions will be oriented towards addressing information requirements of public officials, civil society, and the private sector. In the initial stages, UNGC would focus on e-government, government innovation, citizen participation, and public ethics in terms of research, capacity development, consulting and support activities.

on the opening day

All the above looked "very promising" if DESA ought to entrust the centre to anyone else other than Guido Bertucci, John Mary Kauzya and Elia Armstrong, who as usual would corrupt anything they would touch and manage on their way.

A very recent secret report from DESA's Executive Office details a massive abuse of power, UN immunities - including abuse with tax-deduction and other UN perks for SK Government officials as well as corrupt procurement practices and commitment of funds without any procedural approval from HQs.

While many at 23rd floor are "committed to secrecy on Seoul center" due to "sensitivity" it bears from Ban Ki-Moon being a south korean, the scandal has now become a heavy one, that even ASG Jomo has admitted that the center should be "shut down, or if it should continue it should not under DESA's flag".

With UNGC being the second scandal of DESA's centers in the world (UNTC - Thessaloniki Centre was the first one) now we wonder what would be the status of other centers of DESA ?

No comments: