Saturday, December 4, 2010

UNMIL BOSS IN THE CLEAR: UN Debunks Wikileaks Over Frequent Flyer Miles

Monrovia -

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.


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.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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