|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING BY THE OFFICES OF THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
AND THE SPOKESPERSON FOR THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT
The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, and Jean Victor Nkolo, Spokesperson for the President of the General Assembly.
Briefing by the Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General
Question: If you don’t mind, I also wanted to ask you a question about the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. In a recent argument down there, the case of the “North Korea UNDP whistleblower”, Mr. [Robert] Benson of the Ethics Office had recommended that he be paid back pay for due process violations. The Office for Legal Affairs (OLA)], presumably on behalf of the Secretary-General, opposed Mr. Benson testifying to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, saying that it wasn’t necessary, that there was no jurisdiction, and essentially saying that his recommendation of back pay shouldn’t be done. Has something changed? Because I think in July 2008 from this podium, it was said that the Secretary-General stands behind Benson’s ruling in that case. What’s changed in the interim and what explains OLA’s position in the United Nations Dispute Tribunal?
Associate Spokesperson: I’d have to check that up with the Office for Legal Affairs. As you know, the Secretary-General does stand by the work of Mr. Benson.