Business School Graduates Enter White-Hot Job Market as Employers Signal Growth, Confidence in Their Credentials

RESTON, Va., June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global association of leading graduate business schools, today released its annual hiring report, the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey "" 2022 Summary Report. The report explores the state of employer demand for graduate business school talent (MBA and business master's degree recipients) in the context of the COVID–19 pandemic and includes responses from nearly 1,000 corporate recruiters and staffing firms around the world. While rising inflation and the war in Ukraine were just at the onset during the time when the survey was conducted in February and March 2022, hiring projections of graduate management education (GME) graduates remain bullish this year, with 92 percent of corporate recruiters expecting to hire newly minted MBAs. Promisingly, 2 in 3 responding corporate recruiters describe the current direction of their organization as expanding or growing (67%) and a similar proportion plan to increase their overall headcount (65%). Also, most recruiters (63%) project that demand for new business school talent will increase in the next five years, with business master's hiring intention the highest among recruiters for East and Southeast Asia and Middle East companies.

"The latest GMAC findings of the Corporate Recruiters Survey show that nearly 9 out of 10 corporate recruiters feel confident or highly confident in the ability of business schools to prepare students to be successful in their organizations," said Sangeet Chowfla, president and CEO of GMAC. "That's an extraordinary figure. It shows that despite the pandemic and the limitations it brought on student mobility, public and mental health, and remote learning, business schools managed to find ways to build an impressive cohort whom corporate recruiters and staffing agencies worldwide continue to bank on as prime sources for talent."

Other Key Findings

MBA starting salaries continue to provide a premium and Business master's median starting salaries are on the rise

Recruiter responses suggest companies in the United States plan to offer increased starting salaries to business master's graduates in 2022 compared to last year. In addition, median MBA starting salary levels eclipse those being offered to bachelor's graduates by 22 percent to 40 percent across the world regions for which there is sufficient sample to report. Median starting salaries are largest in the United States, where the median starting salary offered to new MBA hires this year " US$115,000 "" has remained unchanged for the past three survey years. In the current inflationary environment, the relative stability of median MBA salaries suggested by the survey findings means the real value of MBA salaries is declining.

In a likely response to combat the effect of inflation, corporate recruiters look to benefits packages""including educational assistance""to meet the changing needs of new graduates. Educational assistance like tuition reimbursement and scholarships has become an increasingly common benefit, with 54 percent offering it in 2022""up from 35 percent last year.

U.S. international hiring bounced back to pre–pandemic levels with potential of continued growth for 2022

The world regions with the highest percentage of recruiters affirming that they plan to hire international candidates in 2022 are the Middle East (52%) and Western Europe (40%). In the United States, this year's survey results suggest an improving situation for international MBA and business master's graduates. Looking back at last year's actual hiring, 43 percent of U.S. recruiters confirmed they hired international talent in 2021""a bounce back from 35 percent in 2020 and 41 percent in 2019. In this year's survey, 56 percent of U.S. recruiters say that they either plan to make international hires in 2022 (35%) or are willing to (21%), up from 48 percent that said the same in the 2021 survey. Furthermore, 83 percent of U.S. tech companies say they either plan to make international hires in 2022 (62%) or are willing to (21%)""the most of any U.S. industry.

"As travel restrictions ease around the world and student mobility continues to bounce back, we are thrilled to have more international students back on campuses across the country. Our mission is to help our students find success and our graduates reap the benefits of the strong job market in the U.S.," said incoming GMAC Board Member and Dean of Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business Isabelle Bajeux–Besnainou.

Global corporate recruiters appear to be becoming more accepting of online degrees""with the noteworthy exception of the United States

The percentage of global recruiters who view graduates of online and in–person GME programs equally increased from 34 percent in 2021 to 60 percent in 2022, suggesting a significant growth in the acceptance of online programs. However, the notable outlier is corporate recruiters in the United States""where the lion's share of the world's online MBA enrollments are. Among responding U.S. corporate recruiters, just 29 percent agree that they view graduates of online and in–person GME programs equally, the lowest of any world region and down from 33 percent of respondents from the 2021 sample.

"The growth of online MBA programs has been so strong in the United States that for the first time, the total number of enrollments in online programs exceeded that of full–time, in–person MBA enrollments in the 2020–21 academic year, according to data from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)," said Sabrina White, vice president of school and industry engagement at GMAC. "Business schools are presented a unique opportunity to align expectations and outcomes for graduates and employers as online delivery emerges from the pandemic as an important part of the graduate management education industry."

About the Report
First launched more than two decades ago, the Corporate Recruiters Survey of 2022 was conducted by GMAC, together with survey partners EFMD and the MBA Career Services and Employer Alliance (MBA CSEA), in association with the career services offices at participating graduate business schools worldwide. In a change from previous years, GMAC Research worked with a market research firm to recruit additional participants to make the overall sample more globally representative. In total, 941 respondents from 38 countries completed this survey, including 539 corporate recruiters and 402 from staffing firms. Recognizing that nearly all responses in previous years came from corporate recruiters, only 2022 responses from corporate recruiters were leveraged to create multi–year comparisons. However, the robust sample of corporate recruiters and staffing firms allowed us to develop geographical snapshots in 2022 that were less apparent in previous years.

About GMAC

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a mission–driven association of leading graduate business schools worldwide. Founded in 1953, GMAC provides world–class research, industry conferences, recruiting tools, and assessments for the graduate management education industry, as well as resources, events, and services that help guide candidates through their higher education journey. Owned and administered by GMAC, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) exam is the most widely used graduate business school assessment.

More than 12 million prospective students a year trust GMAC's websites, including mba.com, to learn about MBA and business master's programs, connect with schools around the world, prepare and register for exams and get advice on successfully applying to MBA and business master's programs. BusinessBecause and The MBA Tour are subsidiaries of GMAC, a global organization with offices in China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

To learn more about our work, please visit www.gmac.com

Media Contact:

Teresa Hsu
Sr. Manager, Media Relations
202–390–4180 (mobile)
thsu@gmac.com

A PDF accompanying this announcement is available at http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/3388f75b–1d4e–4329–be0c–ca4a494b76ce


Asante Gold to Commence Trading on the Ghana Stock Exchange

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Asante Gold Corporation (CSE:ASE | GSE:ASG | FRANKFURT:1A9 | U.S.OTC:ASGOF) ("Asante" or the "Company") is pleased to announce that further to its application for a secondary listing by introduction on the Main Market of the Ghana Stock Exchange (the "GSE"), the Company has received final approval from the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ghana Stock Exchange to commence trading.

Trading will commence under the symbol "ASG' at the opening on June 29, 2022.

A copy of the *Prospectus "SECONDARY LISTING BY INTRODUCTION ON THE GHANA STOCK EXCHANGE OF EXISTING 315,007,462 COMMON SHARES OF ASANTE GOLD CORPORATION" is available on the Company's website indicated below.

Listing Statistics

Price on CSE(as at date on day of Listing) CAD$1.58
Initial Listing Price on GSE1 GHS 8.87
Number of Ordinary Shares listed by Introduction2 315,007,462
Market capitalization at Listing Price (CAD$) 497,711,780
Market capitalization at Listing Price (GHS) 2,793,158,565

Notes:
1. Based on exchange rate of price on CSE at CAD$ 1.00 = GHS 5.6120 as at June 28, 2022 (Bank of Ghana)
2. Number of shares outstanding as at May 31, 2022, the date of the prospectus.

Douglas MacQuarrie, Non–Executive Chairman stated, "It is with a great sense of "having arrived' that Asante is now listed on Ghana's premier stock exchange, one of the best performing stock exchanges in Africa in 2021. This listing complements our listings in Canada and in Germany and provides our Ghanaian shareholders, and potential new investors, the opportunity to invest and trade their shares locally in Ghana."

Asante's CEO, Dave Anthony, added, "Asante has significant ownership by both private Ghanaian investors and Ghanaian institutions, and the Company is excited to be able to offer Ghana's investment community and all interested investors the opportunity to participate in our growth as we work to achieve our vision of becoming a Tier–1 gold producer in West Africa."

Black Star Advisors Limited and Black Star Brokerage Limited acted as Arranger and Sponsoring Broker respectively to Asante in respect of the Listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

About Asante Gold Corporation

Asante is a gold exploration, development, and operating company with a high–quality portfolio of projects in Ghana. Asante is currently focused on closing the acquisition of the Chirano Gold Mine from Kinross Gold Corporation and developing to production its Bibiani and Kubi Gold mines located on the prolific Bibiani and Ashanti Gold Belts. Asante has an experienced and skilled team of mine finders, builders and operators, with extensive experience in Ghana.

Asante is listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Ghana Stock Exchange and quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Asante is also exploring its Keyhole, Fahiakoba and Betenase projects for new discoveries, all adjoining or along strike of major gold mines near the centre of Ghana's Golden Triangle. Additional information is available on the Company's website at www.asantegold.com.

About the Bibiani Gold Mine

The Bibiani Gold Mine is a historically significant Ghanaian gold mine situated in the Western North region of Ghana. Bibiani has previous production of +4Moz, is fully permitted with available mining and processing infrastructure on site consisting of a 3 million tonne per annum mill and processing plant.

The Current Mineral Resource Estimate for Bibiani, effective as of November 7, 2021, as set out in the Technical Report titled "Technical Report on the Bibiani Gold Mine, Ghana", prepared by Ian M. Glacken (FAusIMM (CP), FAIG, CEng) of Optiro Pty Limited and assisted by Dan Bansah (MSc, MAusIMM (CP), FWAIMM, MGIG) of Minecon Resources and Services Ltd. as Qualified Person and filed on SEDAR, is Measured and Indicated for the Bibiani main pit and the Satellite pits at 20.8 million tonnes at 2.71 grams of gold per tonne for 1.81 Moz of gold; and Inferred 8.41 million tonnes at 2.78 grams of gold per tonne for 0.753 Moz of gold. The Mineral Resource has been reported above a 0.65 g/t gold cut–off and has been depleted for both historical open pit and underground development as of August 31, 2017. The Technical Report was prepared using accepted industry practices in accordance with the JORC Code (JORC, 2012). There are no material differences between the definitions of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources under the CIM Definition Standards and the equivalent definitions in the JORC Code. The Satellite pit resource is an update completed in 2018 by Resolute Mining Limited, the former owner of the Bibiani Gold Mine. The Satellite pit resource is also reported above a cut–off grade of 0.65 g/t gold inside a pit shell defined at a gold price of US$1,950. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.

About the Chirano Gold Mine

Chirano is an operating open–pit and underground mining operation located in southwestern Ghana, immediately south of the Company's Bibiani Gold Mine. Chirano was first explored and developed in 1996 and began production in October 2005. The mine comprises the Akwaaba, Suraw, Akoti South, Akoti North, Akoti Extended, Paboase, Tano, Obra South, Obra, Sariehu and Mamnao open pits and the Akwaaba and Paboase underground mines. Gold Equivalent Production in 2021 was 154,668 oz on a 100% basis (source Kinross Gold Corporation).

For further information please contact:

Dave Anthony, President & CEO: dave@asantegold.com
Malik Easah, Executive Director: malik@asantegold.com
Frederick Attakumah, Executive Vice President: frederick@asantegold.com
Alec Rowlands, Capital Markets Consultant, alec@asantegold.com
Valentina Gvozdeva, Manager IR, valentina@asantegold.com
Kirsti Mattson, Media Relations, kirsti.mattson@gmail.com

Cautionary Statement on Forward–Looking Statements

This news release contains forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results, performance, prospects, and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward–looking statements, including statements regarding the structure and terms of the Chirano Acquisition, timing for completion of the Chirano Acquisition, the ability of the Company to complete the Chirano Acquisition on the terms announced, the ability of the parties to satisfy all administrative matters required in order to consummate the Chirano Acquisition, anticipated synergies, the resources, reserves, exploration results, and development program at Chirano, Bibiani and Kubi, including timing of future mine development and the start of production. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward–looking statements include, but are not limited to, the inability to satisfy any condition required to complete the Chirano Acquisition, termination of the share purchase agreement, variations in the nature, quality and quantity of any mineral deposits that may be located, the Company's inability to obtain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for its planned activities, and the Company's inability to raise the necessary capital or to be fully able to implement its business strategies. The reader is referred to the Company's public disclosure record which is available on SEDAR (www.sedar.com). Although the Company believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing the forward–looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed time frames or at all. Except as required by securities laws and the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward–looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

LEI Number: 529900F9PV1G9S5YD446. Neither IIROC nor any stock exchange or other securities regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.


Jax.Network has released Layer-2 stablecoins on BscScan, Polygonscan, Etherscan, Avalanche C-Chain

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Jax.Network, a blockchain project focused on building an energy–standard monetary system, has minted WJAX, JAXUD, and JAXRE on its DeFi platform. The Layer–2 stablecoins are available on Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, Polygon and Avalanche C–Chain now.

WJAX (Wrapped JAX), JAXUD (JAX Dollar), and JAXRE (JAX Rupee) are stablecoins, minted by the smart contract on Jax.Money. This DeFi platform can be used to issue localized derivatives soft–pegged to an energy token JAX, which retains its stable value thanks to a unique reward function. At the moment, tokens can be tracked at BscScan, Etherscan, Polygonscan, and Snowtrace (Avalanche C–Chain).

Token

Network
BSC Ethereum Polygon Avalanche C–Chain
WJAX 0xf07352E8e3b88e8500D24301f5FC05A916d708cc 0x2Df380cD3eeB7F1Ee5deB087Fe9FbCF8959095Ee 0x1d60AA1D6137Dcb1306C8A901EBd215Ca661d0cb 0xdd32f4dba92b04f2d4ade25dfad7a127027c379d
JAXUD 0xeff49aED7baaBa69DCBdA577b34850c41e8F5226 0x935b0bF173552cd55E53AD651a783430a5700cD4 0x9e79696a4c1163d35f01d71dcbbc5c139691c6d3 0x1d60aa1d6137dcb1306c8a901ebd215ca661d0cb
JAXRE 0x86ECE7D9cdA927B3Ec4044Df67B082FA55A1c198 0x88d7FE32284f1dBD398D58222DE8DFd87dD75460 0xd85a8b4964850ae85121d5652e6f0696512feb10 0x9E79696a4C1163D35f01d71DcbBc5C139691C6D3

"The current debt–facilitating monetary system manipulates people into working for currencies that are subject to inflation. We took several years to come up with a currency backed by energy, reflecting efforts put into its mining and launched a whole new energy–standard monetary system to serve people's needs all around the world," Vinod Manoharan, the Founder of Jax.Network, revealed in a comment.

Apart from their transactional use, localized stablecoins such as JAXRE and JAXUD offer an excellent arbitrage opportunity with their fiat representations, as Jax.Money provides better exchange rates. Feel free to try out energy tokens fully backed by on–chain reserves at Jax.Money now!

About Jax.Network

Jax.Network provides the technological infrastructure for a decentralized energy–standard monetary system. The Jax.Network blockchain is anchored to the Bitcoin network and issues two digital currencies JAX and JXN. JAX is a stablecoin pegged to the energy spent on mining, while JXN is an asset coin representing the value of the whole network. The Jax.Network team aims at making these coins a universal standard for the quantification of economic value.

About Jax.Money

Jax.Money is a stablecoin payments system with 100% on–chain reserves backed by energy spent or Proof–of–Work. Its primary function is issuing localized derivatives soft–pegged to an energy–underwritten stablecoin (Wrapped JAX). Such a solution helps to maintain the stable value of a localized derivative and to simplify the payment process itself.

CONTACT Viktoriya Nechyporuk, Marketing Communications Lead
COMPANY Jax.Network
PHONE +380 67 657 0029
EMAIL viktoriya@jax.net
WEB https://jax.network


Reimagining Ageing: Older Persons as Agents of Development

By Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana
BANGKOK, Thailand, Jun 29 2022 – Older persons are highly visible across Asia and the Pacific: they work in agricultural fields producing our food supplies, peddle their wares as street vendors, drive tuk-tuks and buses, exercise in our parks, lead some of the region’s most successful companies and form an integral part of our families.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana

Indeed, population ageing is one of the megatrends greatly affecting sustainable development. People now live longer than ever and remain active because of improved health. We must broaden the narrow view of older persons as requiring our care to recognize that they are also agents of development. With many parts of the Asia-Pacific region rapidly ageing, we can take concrete steps to provide environments in which our elders live safely, securely and in dignity and contribute to societies.

To start with, we must invest in social protection and access to universal healthcare throughout the life-course. Currently, it is estimated that 14.3 per cent of the population in Asia and the Pacific are 60 years or older; that figure is projected to rise to 17.7 per cent by 2030 and to one-quarter in 2050. Moreover, 53.1 per cent of all older persons are women, a share that increases with age. Therefore, financial security is needed so older persons can stay active and healthy for longer periods. In many countries of the region, less than one-third of the working-age population is covered by mandatory pensions, and a large proportion still lacks access to affordable, good quality health care.

Such protection is crucial because older persons continue to bolster the labour force, especially in informal sectors. In Thailand, for example, a third of people aged 65 years or over participate in the labour force; 87 per cent of working women aged 65 or over work in the informal sector, compared to 81 per cent of working men in the same cohort. This general trend is seen in other countries of the region.

Older persons, especially older women, also make important contributions as caregivers to both children and other older persons. This unpaid care enables younger people in their families to take paid work, often in metropolitan areas of their own country or abroad.

Older persons should also have lifelong learning opportunities. Enhanced digital literacy, for example, can close the grey digital divide. Older women and men need to stay abreast of technological developments to access services, maintain connections with family and friends and remain competitive in the labour market. Through inter-generational initiatives, younger people can train older people in the use of technology.

We must also invest in quality long-term care systems to ensure that older persons who need it can receive affordable quality care. With the increase in dementia and other mental health conditions, care needs are becoming more complex. Many countries in the region still rely on family members to provide such care, but there may be less unpaid care in the future, and care by family members is not always quality care.

Finally, addressing age-based discrimination and barriers will be crucial to allow the full participation of older persons in economies and societies. Older women and men actively volunteer in older persons associations or other organizations. They help distribute food and medicine in emergency situations, including during the COVID-19 pandemic, monitor the health of neighbours and friends, or teach each other how to use digital devices. Older persons also play an active role in combatting climate change by sharing knowledge and techniques of mitigation and adaptation. Ageism intersects and exacerbates other disadvantages, including those related to sex, race, and disability, and combatting it will contribute to the health and well-being of all.

This week, countries in Asia and the Pacific will convene to review and appraise the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. MIPAA provides policy directions for building societies for all ages with a focus on older persons and development; health and well-being in old age; and creating enabling environments. The meeting will provide an opportunity for member States to discuss progress on the action plan and identify remaining challenges, gaps and new priorities.

While several countries in the region already have some form of policy on ageing, the topic must be mainstreamed into all policies and action plans, and they must be translated into coherent, cross-sectoral national strategies that reach all older persons in our region, including those who inhabit remote islands, deserts or mountain ranges.

Older persons are valuable members of our societies, but too often they are overlooked. Let us ensure that they can fully contribute to our sustainable future.

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana is an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

IPS UN Bureau

 


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International Criminal Court at 20: Renewing the Promise of Justice for the Gravest Crimes

The gavel of the judges at the International Criminal Court. Cedit: ICC-CPI

By Peter Lewis
The HAGUE, Netherlands, Jun 29 2022 – On 1 July 2022, the International Criminal Court (ICC) turns 20. The entry into force on 1 July 2002 of the ICC’s founding treaty, the Rome Statute, officially created the Court and marked the start of its work towards building a more just world.

The Court was created with the “millions of children, women and men” in mind who “have been victims of unimaginable atrocities that deeply shock the conscience of humanity”. 1

The ICC is the world’s first permanent, treaty-based, international criminal court to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and the crime of aggression.

https://www.icc-cpi.int/

Today, as we look to the future, one can ask: Can the Court fulfil the promises made in the Rome Statute? Promises of justice for the gravest crimes. Promises of fair proceedings. And promises of inclusion for the victims.

With the support of 123 States Parties, from all continents, the ICC has established itself as a permanent, impartial and independent judicial institution. The Court has 17 ongoing investigations into some of the world’s most violent conflicts such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Georgia, or Ukraine.

Peter Lewis

During its first twenty years, the Court has tried and resolved cases of significance for international justice, shedding light on the crimes of using child soldiers, the destruction of cultural heritage, sexual violence or attacks of innocent civilians. 31 cases have been opened. Its judges have delivered 10 convictions and 4 acquittals.

The Court has ensured trials respecting both the rights of the defence and those of the victims. More than 10,000 victims of atrocities have participated in ICC proceedings. The ICC Trust Fund for Victims is currently implementing the Court’s first orders on reparations to victims of grave crimes. The Fund has also provided physical and psychological rehabilitation as well as socio-economic support to more than 450,000 victims through its assistance programs.

The Court has faced incredible challenges, not only due to the nature of the crimes or working in conflict or post-conflict situations, but also due to the need for further support, for example, in making arrests.

Despite the challenges, the Court has responded with resilience and flexibility. Even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it continued to deal with trials, arrests, investigations, reparations and other activities.

Even as the Court is making progress in carrying out its mission, serious violence is rapidly intensifying. The ICC can only deal with a small number of cases simultaneously and its resources remain limited.

Unlike national tribunals, the Court does not have its own police. It depends on the cooperation of States to investigate cases and to implement its arrest warrants or summonses to appear. Nor does it have territory to relocate witnesses who are at risk due to their interaction with the Court. The ICC thus depends, to a great extent, on the support and cooperation of States.

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the ICC, States around the world should renew their support for the Court in concrete ways. By providing political and financial support. By arresting suspects and freezing their assets. By adopting legislation implementing key Rome Statute provisions in national law.

By signing voluntary cooperation agreements including agreements to relocate ICC witnesses. Only the joint commitment of the international community can help make the promises of the Rome Statute a tangible reality.

1 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Preamble.

IPS UN Bureau

 


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Excerpt:

The writer has been the Registrar of the International Criminal Court since April 2018.

UN’s “No-Fly List” on Sexual Harassment Falls Short, Complains Rights Group

The UN Secretariat building in New York City. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elías

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jun 29 2022 – The United Nations has continued to crackdown on sexual harassment system-wide since 2017 while its “whistle blower protection policy” has provided “protective status” for nearly 68 UN staffers who reported wrong doing.

But Equality Now, an international human rights organization, is accusing the UN of faltering on its longstanding “zero-tolerance” policy.

Antonia Kirkland, Global Lead on Legal Equality and Access to Justice at Equality Now told IPS her organization was “shocked and concerned to discover that Kingston Rhodes, a former UN Under-Secretary-General, has been allowed to return to the corridors of the United Nations despite previously resigning from a senior position following multiple accusations of sexual harassment against him that were found to be “credible” in an internal investigation conducted by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)”.

Although the Secretary-General acknowledged that the allegations of sexual harassment and mistreatment were “credible”, she pointed out, Mr. Rhodes, the former Chair of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), was able to resign quietly without being held to account for his behavior and, alarmingly, has now been allowed to become affiliated with the UN in an influential voluntary position.

The protest has been triggered by his new position in a staff Pension Committee.

“The new appointment of Mr. Rhodes in light of his past unacceptable behavior is an affront to the women he victimized. It also discourages others who have experienced sexual harassment from reporting cases because it sends a toxic message that, yet again, powerful men at the UN can harass female colleagues with impunity,” she argued.

Equality Now sent a letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres voicing its concern about Mr. Rhodes being allowed to take this position, and saying he should be “disqualified from serving on the AFICS/NY Pension Committee and asked to resign this position immediately.”

On June 10, Equality Now received what it calls “an unsatisfactory response” from Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary-General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance.

The response from Pollard read: “Having taken note of your concerns, I must bring to your attention that, as Mr. Rhodes is a retired former staff member, the Secretary-General has no jurisdiction regarding his membership of an AFICS Committee.”
.
Kirkland told IPS the UN claims to have “no-fly list” of 564 names of those who have left the UN following allegations of sexual abuse or harassment.

“Mr. Rhodes’ name should be included on that list. He should in no way be allowed to “represent the interests” of sexual harassment victims or any other former UN staff members”.

“Nor should they be subjected to further interaction with him or be in a position to have to ensure personal financial data and other information are not shared with him through the auspices of the UN,” said Kirkland.

She said the UN is the foremost international defender of human rights and must enforce its zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment of its staff members, and apply it to all, without exception and irrespective of what position the offender holds.

“Anyone who has been found to have perpetrated sexual harassment should be held fully to account and victims and whistleblowers protected from future interaction with them.”

“Present and past employees are continuing to raise the alarm about the widescale under-reporting of sexual harassment and abuse across UN institutions. There is an urgent need for strong leadership to ensure clear, effective policies are enforced, complaints are dealt with in a timely manner, and both victims and whistle-blowers receive protection and support,” declared Kirkland.

Shihana Mohamed, who worked under Rhodes in the office of the International Civil Service Commission as Human Resources Policies Officer, told IPS “the recent news about naming Rhodes, the former ICSC Chair who had been confirmed as being a sexual harasser, to the Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS)/NY Pension Committee to represent the interests of former staff is shocking, deeply disturbing and unacceptable.”

“It is all the more shocking because this is happening after a series of initiatives taken by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Taskforce on Sexual Harassment, as well as the numerous efforts by UN organizations, NGOs and Civil Society.”

Zero tolerance for sexual harassment and not allowing sexual perpetrators to creep back into the UN system, formally or informally, should be fundamental to safeguarding the dignity of all staff members and ensuring the integrity of the UN policies and mechanisms towards creating an enabling environment in the UN system, said Mohamed, who has more than 20 years of experience in the UN system, having previously worked at UNESCAP, UNDESA, UNOHRM and UNDPKO.

All UN affiliated formal and informal organizations, including AFICS should Stop Enabling Sexual Harassment and Rewarding Sexual Harassers. Instead, they should make every effort to uphold the values of the UN Charter,” declared Mohamed who is also a founding member and one of the coordinators of United Nations Asia Network for Diversity and Inclusion (UN-ANDI).

Meanwhile, asked about the recent BBC documentary on sexual abuse and corruption in the UN system– and complaints by whistle blowers– UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters ““When it comes to people who feel they have suffered sexual harassment or abuse within the UN system, our heart goes out to them.”

He also said that Guterres remains “focused on strengthening whistleblowers’ protection” and since 2017 “about 68 people have been given some sort of protective status because they reported wrongdoing.”

IPS UN Bureau Report

 


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