Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Corruption and influence peddling continues in DESA (ESCD/Nikhil Seth)

 Mr. Andrei AbramovThe most recent scandal involves the selection of the Chief of NGO Section, a D-1 level position under Mr. Nikhil Seth, Director for Ecosoc Support and Coordination in DESA. Four exceptionally well qualified women were pushed aside to select a Russian male with little qualification for the position. Talk about gender sensitivity, and in a department which is also responsible for the Advancement of Women! 

Mr. Andrei Abramov had been pre-selected to replace another Russian, Mr. Sergie Kambalov, who retired last year (not only are Russians over represented in the secretariat, there are already quite few at relatively senior positions in DESA) though in a different section but within Mr. Seth's growing empire. 

Candidates who seem to be most suitable for the position were excluded from serious consideration through unethical and devious means to ensure that Mr. Abramov had no competition on paper. 

These included four highly qualified female candidates from Liberia, Somalia, US and Turkey, all of whom had extensive experience in working with NGO's.  Mr. Abramov has no experience worth mentioning of dealing with NGOs, has difficulties with the language and posses no communication skills. But he had the backing of the right people who could manipulated the selection process to his advantage. 

Is there anyone who can keep DESA honest? 


Anonymous said...

In this connection, two other issues can be raised as well:
(i) where is the "checks and balances" in the UN for appointments and promotions? Shouldn't someone in OHRM have caught and stopped what was going on? Afterall, OHRM is supposed to look after the rules and procedures for competency based appointments and to ensure decisions are made within the set principles. If accountability is not demanded and excercised what is the reason for DESA or any other part of the UN to hesitate before they go for nepotism or favoritism?

(ii) This selection could also signal an internal DESA desire to make sure that the NGO section remains weak as that will keep the NGOs away from ECOSOC. Thoughout its history the NGO Section was never headed by someone competent in civil society matters and has had a horrible reputation among the NGOs most of whom would like to avoid it if they can. With a weak NGO Section, ECOSOC sessions need not be bothered with a strong NGO presence, asking too many questions, influencing decisions through their lobbying and advocacy and just making the session way too "difficult".

Anonymous said...

Instead of making unsubstantiated assertions about who is qualified and who is not, publish the candidates cv and let the readers judge for themselves.

Anonymous said...

I agree that for sake of transparency the CVs of those who run for the job should be made available. But the burden cannot be of the blog - instead should be Catherine Pelluso and Nikhil Seth who should publish the CVs with appropriate scores/motivation during the interview process.

Anonymous said...

Nikhil will never make public his dirty deals. That's how he run this place