An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Friday, April 08, 2005


Women can do it too

It is not only male UN bureaucrats such as the UN Refugee Chief Ruud Lubbers (the rude lover's favourite line was 'I would love to have you sit on my staff') and top UN Auditor Dileep Nair that are pressurising their subordinates for sex. The ladies need some action too! Viz, the top UN elections official:

Adding to the U.N.'s credibility woes, an internal review of its electoral assistance division accuses the director, Carina Perelli, with sexual and workplace harassment, misuse of funds and favoritism.

The confidential management review, which was obtained by The Times, described the electoral unit as an "unhealthy family" and the work environment as abusive. Working for Perelli has been "nothing short of a devastating experience," a subordinate is quoted as saying.
The review, conducted by an outside consultant that has often worked with the U.N., was commissioned in December by the head of political affairs, Kieran Prendergast, to explore staff complaints that came to light during a previous assessment by the firm, the report said.

Its findings were "much more serious" than expected, it said. Besides extensive recommendations for improving organization and practices, the report urged an official investigation of the sexual and professional harassment allegations and reports of unjustified use of electoral funds, often for travel.

Staff members said Perelli had created a work environment in which sexual innuendo was constant, something she considered "conducive to collegiality." Some, however, found it offensive and were led by the situation to leave the division. The report cites unwelcome sexual advances, inquiries into staff members' intimate lives and public derision of their responses, as well as unwelcome information about sexual exploits.

Employees complained that her management style was abusive and derogatory and that her assignments were unreasonably challenging. They said she favored an inner circle of staffers who received preferential treatment and were sent on special trips, while others were exiled on extended missions abroad to keep them out of the office.

Perelli, a 48-year-old Uruguayan political scientist, has headed the electoral division for nine years and directed elections in hot spots around the world, among them Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Afghanistan, East Timor, Colombia, Liberia and Haiti.
"Many aspects of her personal and managerial behavior suggest that she does not, in fact, feel bound by the rules," the report said.

Rules are for the little people.


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