Tags: Exclusive Interviews | MidPoint | united nations | criminal | immunity | africa | france

Whistleblower: Time to Strip UN Workers of Criminal Immunity

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:52 PM

A former internal investigator for the United Nations tells Newsmax TV that the organization would rather cover up misconduct than punish it, and says one glaring example is the UN sitting on allegations of child rape by French peacekeeping troops in Africa.

"My experience, I would say that there's certainly a desire not to report misconduct where it's identified," Peter Gallo, who is suing his former UN boss for defamation, told "MidPoint" host Ed Berliner Thursday.

The UN "benefits greatly from reports that go nowhere, reports that find that the allegations were unsubstantiated," he said. "And if there's an excuse to close an investigation, it will be taken."

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Gallo investigated fraud and money laundering for 20 years for the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). He left the agency after he filed his lawsuit, which charges that he was defamed and retaliated against for accusing his supervisor of misconduct.

The UN is under fire for its handling of the child sex abuse allegations against French troops serving as peacekeepers in the Central African Republic, and at the same time, the organization is investigating an employee who leaked internal UN findings to France's government.

"The only interest that the UN had was in taking action against the official … who actually provided the information to the French authorities," said Gallo.

He said the accused leaker has little recourse because under UN rules "there is no right to whistleblower protection — it is optional."

He also said that while all staff have an affirmative duty under UN rules to report misconduct, they have little incentive to do so because internal whistleblower protections are so weak and speaking out is potentially career suicide.

"The question you have to ask is why would any staff member willingly expose himself and expose his career to that kind of risk?" he said.

Fueled in part by the uproar over the misconduct alleged in Africa, activists on Wednesday launched a campaign called Code Blue to strip UN personnel of their immunity from prosecution for sex crimes and set up outside investigations of sexual misconduct, Newsweek reports.

Gallo said he supports Code Blue "wholeheartedly" but wants the immunity shield lifted even further.

"It has to be waived in terms of all criminal offenses, particularly in fraud, financial crime, corruption, embezzlement, and any other crimes that are being perpetrated by UN staff members which the UN system is failing to investigate," he said.

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A former internal investigator for the United Nations tells Newsmax TV that the organization would rather cover up misconduct than punish it, and says one glaring example is the UN sitting on allegations of child rape by French peacekeeping troops in Africa.
united nations, criminal, immunity, africa, france
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2015-52-14
Thursday, 14 May 2015 10:52 PM
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