The Thomson situation has revealed, yet again, the degree of mismanagement and incompetence that dominates senior levels of the U.N. hierarchy. Damage Control at the U.N.

The United Nations has reversed its decision to fire Dr. Andrew Thomson, co-author of the revealing book Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures, according to the Associated Press.

Thomson’s dismissal, however, came on the heels of the publication of his controversial book which exposed corruption, mismanagement and failure in many of the U.N.’s missions. According to published reports, senior U.N. officials were most irritated by Thomson’s disclosures. For example, Thomson wrote, "If blue-helmeted U.N. peacekeepers show up in your town or village and offer to protect you, run. Or else get weapons. Your lives are worth so much less than theirs."

After news of Thomson’s dismissal became public, the Government Accountability Project, a Washington-based whistle-blower advocacy group, took his case, appealing to U.N. authorities and bringing political and public relations pressure to bear.

As a result, U.N. sources have informed his lawyers that Thomson will be asked to continue his work for the world body.

While we are pleased that the U.N. has reversed itself and will allow Dr. Thomson to retain his job, we reiterate the point we made when the news first broke: the U.N.’s response to the revelations from Dr. Thomson and his co-authors has been totally unacceptable. It has revealed, yet again, the degree of mismanagement and incompetence that dominates senior levels of the U.N. hierarchy. And it underscores the kind of treatment that other U.N. whistleblowers can continue to expect in the future.

January 6, 2005
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