Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It's deja vu all over again!

Another day, another scandal for UN:
A RISING United Nations star who played a key role in organising the Iraqi elections has been accused of running an office in which favouritism, misuse of funds and sexual harassment were rife.

Carina Perelli, the outspoken Uruguayan director of the UN electoral assistance division and the youngest woman at her level in the organisation, had won praise for her work in setting up the Iraqi elections on dangerous trips to Baghdad.
I expect her "setting up of Iraqi elections" was rather like the way the United Nations "organized tsunami relief" - they held the press conferences. But let's get to the juicy stuff. And I do mean juicy:
The report, by the Swiss consulting company Mannett S.A.R.L., found the work environment in Ms Perelli’s unit to be “offensive” and “abusive”.

“Those interviewed indicated that a constant sexual innuendo is part of the ‘fabric’ of the division,” it said. “They referred to a steady stream of sexual jokes, references and behaviours within the division which the director believes are ‘conducive to collegiality’.”
Woohoo! Ole Carina is just friendly, I guess.
Such behaviour included “unwelcome advances/sexually suggestive behaviours”, “unwelcome sharing of sexual behaviours and exploits” and even references to a “dominatrix” in an office exam. Staff also complained of “references to and inquiries into the most intimate details of the sex lives of staff members”, including public humiliation with respect to their responses to those inquiries”.
Party animals fer sure! And then there's the little stuff:
The report accused Ms Perelli and some other officials of using at least one political affairs officer and some secretaries to run personal errands. It also raised concern about the “perceived misuse” of UN funds for travel.

The consultants cite concern about “frequent, unjustifiable mission travel to Latin American destinations in particular”.
Hey, what's a UN gig without expense padding? But not to worry, fun lovers!
Ms Perelli, 48, who holds the high UN rank of D2, allegedly boasted: “There’s nothing they can do to me. I’m the youngest D2, a woman from a developing country.”
"She'll have fun fun fun 'til her daddy takes the T-Bird away."