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Is United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon trying to squelch a branch of the world organization whose string of recent reports have drawn member nations' attention to dramatic U.N. failings?
At a closed-door meeting of U.N. diplomats earlier this week, the Geneva-based U.N. investigative group known as the Joint Inspection Unit, whose job is to assess and improve the efficiency and coordination of the U.N. worldwide, issued a highly charged annual report that raised the question.
Buried in the middle of the 52-page document came a remarkably blunt accusation from the JIU's inspectors that Ban had abruptly and secretively changed 40 years of accepted procedure for selecting the JIU's executive secretary — a post, the report sharply noted, that has been vacant for 14 months.
The report added that a Ban-appointed panel had taken the "illegal action" of demanding a bigger hand in the selection of candidates for the job who had already been approved by JIU — a demand in violation, the inspectors said, of U.N. rules and regulations. The report urged the U.N. General Assembly to support the inspection unit and make Ban back down