The World Bank, nepotism and Wolfowitz

Clarice Feldman
The New York Sun's Ben Avni details real nepotism in the World Bank, about which there has been no commotion as compared to the Wolfowitz case which involved the settlement of severance claims against the Bank by an official of long-standing and rank.

Among his examples:

"Until 2005, the wife of the bank's managing director, Shengman Zhang of China, worked directly under him. The bank also employed a brother of its chief economist and senior vice president, Nicholas Stern of Britain, violating its own rule against employing siblings.[snip]

Mr. Melkert [the then-head of the Bank's Ethics Committee which demanded on conlfict grounds that Ms Riza be seconded from the Bank] has since moved on to the UNDP, an agency that habitually hires office employees recommended by local governments. In many cases, the United Nations ends up being represented locally by friends and family of the country's dictator.

During his visit to Syria this week, Secretary-General Ban should be on guard. A local UNDP officer, Khaled Mouallem, might relay internal U.N. communications to his father, Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem, at the dinner table. (The daughter of Walid Mouallem's predecessor, Farouk Shara, also worked for the UNDP during her father's tenure.)

What else should Mr. Ban watch out for? Someday, an Indian national who works for the United Nations Children's Fund in Nairobi, Siddharth Chatterjee, may want to be promoted to a top UNICEF position, known as country resident, in an African country. Such a promotion would require the approval of the U.N. secretary-general, who happens to be his father-in-law. Mr. Chatterjee's wife, Hyun-hee, is Mr. Ban's daughter, and she also works at UNICEF's Nairobi office.
This matter is not and never has been about nepotism, which from Kofi Anan on down has been the hallmark of the international organizations our contributions sustain.
The New York Sun's Ben Avni details real nepotism in the World Bank, about which there has been no commotion as compared to the Wolfowitz case which involved the settlement of severance claims against the Bank by an official of long-standing and rank.

Among his examples:

"Until 2005, the wife of the bank's managing director, Shengman Zhang of China, worked directly under him. The bank also employed a brother of its chief economist and senior vice president, Nicholas Stern of Britain, violating its own rule against employing siblings.[snip]

Mr. Melkert [the then-head of the Bank's Ethics Committee which demanded on conlfict grounds that Ms Riza be seconded from the Bank] has since moved on to the UNDP, an agency that habitually hires office employees recommended by local governments. In many cases, the United Nations ends up being represented locally by friends and family of the country's dictator.

During his visit to Syria this week, Secretary-General Ban should be on guard. A local UNDP officer, Khaled Mouallem, might relay internal U.N. communications to his father, Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem, at the dinner table. (The daughter of Walid Mouallem's predecessor, Farouk Shara, also worked for the UNDP during her father's tenure.)

What else should Mr. Ban watch out for? Someday, an Indian national who works for the United Nations Children's Fund in Nairobi, Siddharth Chatterjee, may want to be promoted to a top UNICEF position, known as country resident, in an African country. Such a promotion would require the approval of the U.N. secretary-general, who happens to be his father-in-law. Mr. Chatterjee's wife, Hyun-hee, is Mr. Ban's daughter, and she also works at UNICEF's Nairobi office.
This matter is not and never has been about nepotism, which from Kofi Anan on down has been the hallmark of the international organizations our contributions sustain.