UN Staff Demonstrate against WIPO Director General

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Yesterday, a number of United Nations staff members that are part of FICSA carried out a protest in Geneva to demand the ousting of the current Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Francis Gurry. FICSA is a federated group of 27 staff associations/unions from organizations belonging to the United Nations common system.

The Director General has faced controversy ever since he fired the previous head of WIPO’s staff council, Moncef Kateb, after Kateb blew the whistle. Gurry is accused of instructing security personnel to steal the personal effects of WIPO staff members in order to extract their DNA. Allegedly, Gurry suspected the staff members of writing anonymous letters critical of him, and used the stolen DNA to determine whether they had in fact done so. When one of the staff members discovered the theft and protested, Gurry transferred her to Singapore and then forced her into retirement. He is also accused of transferring computer equipment to Iran and North Korea.

Check out the video below:

FICSA states on its website that ‘based on photos and videos, FICSA hopes to compile a documentary to tell the story of the outrageous things unfolding at WIPO.”

“As you will see from the above video, Ed Flaherty referred to the outrage we need to feel about what is happening. During the coming months, we need to transform this outrage into effective collective action to finally oust the WIPO DG and bring back the atmosphere of trust, civility, and respect within the organization — an atmosphere where international civil servants, decent human beings, can thrive and flourish”, the website reads.

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