– FPA STAFF/NEWS SERVICE REPORTSource: Frontpage Africa
The United Nations have debunked reports unearthed in the controversial Wikileaks suggesting that the Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon inadvertently converted and misused unused frequent flyer miles.
Responding to a report in the U.S.-based Inner City Press this week, Farhan Haq, Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said the U.N. has no policy on frequent flyer miles program because only individuals can accrue them and since they are not transferable. “They cannot be recovered or converted by the Organization for official travel. Therefore, using mileage accrued as a result of official travel is not a violation of the Organization’s rules,” Hag, declared in a statement responding to the controversy this week.
UN ON WIKILEAKS ON LOJ
The UN has no policy on frequent flyer miles program because only individuals can accrue them and since they are not transferable, they cannot be recovered or converted by the Organization for official travel. Therefore, using mileage accrued as a result of official travel is not a violation of the Organization’s rules.
Farhan Haq, Acting Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
The City Press, quoting sources in Monrovia described the SRSG in Liberia Ellen Loj as screaming at UNMIL’s Travel Unit for mishandling “her” frequent flyer miles.
The City Press report was in connection with its confirmed reporting on the conditions for peacekeepers in Liberia and SRSG Loj’s UN-managed living quarters on the UNMIL base.
In Wikileaks release of U.S. Secretary General Hillary Clinton’s directive to collect computer passwords, credit card account numbers and biometric data, Clinton ncluded a request for “frequent flyer account numbers.”
The City Press report claims the US has become even less responsive, refusing for example to confirm public reports that the US is providing at least back up security to the UN’s SRSG in Iraq, Ad Melkert. US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, who Haq said spoke to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon just before Wikileaks put online the US memo asking that Ban’s passwords and frequent flyer miles accounts be collected, was asked
Earlier, in the week, the UN said it was not in a position to comment on the authenticity of the document disclosed by the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks on information-gathering activities on UN officials and activities.
“The UN is by its very nature a transparent organization that makes a great deal of information about its activities available to the public and Member States. UN officials regularly meet representatives of Member States to brief them on UN activities,” Farhan Haq, spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, told reporters in New York.
The documents allege that senior United States officials encouraged US diplomats to collect information on UN officials and their activities.
Mr. Haq said that the UN “relies on the adherence by Member States” to the various undertakings contained in the UN Charter, the Headquarters Agreement and the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN.