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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

GAP Urges UN Secretary General to Respond to Staff Associations Appeal on Behalf of WIPO Staff Members

Bea Edwards, April 24, 2017

This letter to the Secretary General and General Assembly of the United Nations from the Presidents of the UN Staff Associations speaks for itself.

In brief, the Staff Associations protest the conduct of Francis Gurry, the Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), who, among other things, fired the President of the WIPO Staff Association (Moncef Kateb) after he objected to Gurry’s improper actions.

For the past four years, GAP and attorney Edward Flaherty in Geneva have tried to protect WIPO whistleblowers from the retaliation visited upon them by the Director General. After an internal investigation found that Gurry had manipulated a procurement exercise for the benefit of an acquaintance, those who gave testimony to investigators suffered reprisal. For the past two years, the US Congress has withheld 15 percent of the United States’ annual contribution to WIPO because the agency failed to implement best-practice whistleblower protections.

Now, Gurry has taken on the WIPO Staff Council, and elected officials are asking the Secretary General and Member State Delegations to intervene in order to preserve the legitimate representation of WIPO staff members.

GAP urges Secretary General Guterres and the Delegates to the General Assembly to respond positively to the attached appeal on behalf of WIPO staff members.