On misuse of financial resources by the staff of the UN Office in Belarus


On misuse by the staff of the UN Office in Belarus of financial resources intended to provide legal assistance to people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence

In accordance with UN Human Rights Council resolution 12/2, a report “Cooperation with the United Nations, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights” is issued annually on behalf of the UN Secretary General. The report (A/HRC/48/28), prepared for the 48th session of the HRC (13 September – 8 October 2021), includes false information about S.Drozdovsky, who headed the Belarusian non-governmental organization “Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ”, which the UN Secretariat was informed of at the stage of preparation of the draft report.

Long before the preparation of report A/HRC/48/28 started, the UN had detailed information provided by the Republic of Belarus with the reasons for the initiation of the criminal investigation against S.Drozdovsky and was well aware that S.Drozdovsky had become a “victim” of unacceptable, unprofessional and politically motivated activities of the employees of the UN Office in the Republic of Belarus.

The Senior Human Rights Adviser appointed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Belarus initiated the misuse of OHCHR funds that were intended to provide legal assistance to persons with disabilities or victims of domestic violence.

In August 2020, after externally incited riots took place in Belarus following the announcement of the election campaign results, on the initiative and with further support of the UN official, two employees of the UN Office in Belarus, with full awareness of the illegality of their actions, developed and implemented an illegal scheme to cover the services of lawyers to Belarusian citizens who were neither persons with disabilities nor victims of domestic violence. These citizens participated in illegal protests aimed at undermining statehood and overthrowing the current government. As a result, lawyers were illegally financed to service 23 citizens.

The execution of payment documents was carried out secretly, bypassing official procedures, through S.Drozdovsky, director of the “Office for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ”, who was involved in such illegal activities, with his full knowledge and understanding, and with the direct participation of a lawyer of this institution.

Thus, the Belarusian citizens S.Drozdovsky and the lawyer of the institution headed by him, at suggestion and with participation of several employees of the UN Office in Belarus, carried out a financial fraud with the UN funds allocated to provide assistance to people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence, which constitutes a criminal offense.

S.Drozdovsky and his employee were charged with committing a crime under part 2 of Article 209 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (fraud committed repeatedly or by a group of persons). A measure related to restriction of freedom was applied to them. At the same time, S.Drozdovsky, taking into account his disability, was under house arrest. From 30 July 2021 the preventive measure has been changed in relation to these citizens, they were released. Consequently, the allegations of ill-treatment against S.Drozdovsky are just as outright lie as any other information presented in report A/HRC/48/28.

The Republic of Belarus, as an honest partner, did not publicly disclose the fact of financial abuse by the UN employees, despite the fact that the revealed facts caused serious damage to the trustful and previously stable relations between Belarus and the UN.

Only the desire to please Western donors who have launched an aggressive anti-Belarusian campaign in the UN can explain the inclusion in the report A/HRC/48/28 of information about S.Drozdovsky as a person persecuted for his cooperation with the UN.

Deciding to earn career points on the “Belarusian theme”, some UN employees distort the facts and mislead the international community, likely hoping that the unpleasant and unacceptable facts defaming the UN will not come out.

At the same time, the facts speak for themselves: an international UN official, who served as a senior human rights adviser at the UN Office in Belarus, expressed political bias, provoked a violation of national legislation by Belarus citizens, thereby grossly violated the principles of conduct of UN personnel which are enshrined in the UN Staff Regulations. However, this did not affect his career in any way. Subsequently, he was employed in the OHCHR system.

Paragraphs 1.4, 1.5 and 1.8 of the United Nations Staff Regulations, approved by UNGA Resolution 590 (VI) of 2 February 1952, provide that UN personnel cannot engage in activities incompatible with the proper discharge of their duties, and shall avoid any actions, which may adversely reflect on their status, must exercise the utmost discretion in regard to all matters of official business. However, the immunities and privileges attached to the United Nations by virtue of Article 105 of the Charter cannot be used as an excuse for those staff members who enjoy them for non-performance of their private obligations or failure to observe laws and police regulations of the host State.

Unfortunately, today the UN Secretariat is churning out reports that fully meet the political goals of the West, regardless of the position of other states, to the detriment of real facts and even its own image. Thus, the UN Secretariat is becoming an agent of biased, one-sided and divisive agenda.

A split in the UN must not be allowed. The division of states at the suggestion of the collective West into “good” and “bad” can lead to the destruction of the Organization and to the complete dismantling of multilateral diplomacy.

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