Accused of Sexual Harassment, UN High Commish For Refugees, Resigns

ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RUUD LUBBERS, UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR
REFUGEES, SENDS IN HIS RESIGNATION

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 21. ARMINFO. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud
Lubbers has resigned, says the statement of Official Representative of
UN Secretary general Kofi Annan, yesterday. According to the official
web- page of the UN, 65-year-old former prime minister of the
Netherlands occurred in the center of a scandal aroused by accusations
of sexual harassment by one of the employees of the UN headquarters in
Geneva. The Secretary-General has accepted the resignation of Ruud
Lubbers as High Commissioner for Refugees. He wants to take this
opportunity to thank the High Commissioner for the devotion and the
commitment he has shown to refugees and the office of the High
Commissioner over the past four years. However, the Secretary-General
is convinced that it is in the best interest of UNHCR, its staff and
the refugees it serves that the page be turned and a new chapter be
started. While the Secretary-General had accepted legal advice that
the original allegations made against Mr. Lubbers could not be
substantiated, the continuing controversy has made the High
Commissioner’s position impossible. He is therefore pleased that
Mr. Lubbers has made this decision in the wider interest of UNHCR. It
should be noted that Commissioner was in Yerevan during his official
regional visit in November 2004. During his visit, an agreement of
cooperation between the Armenian Government and the UNHCR Office was
signed. According to the source, Ruud Lubbers took the post of UNHCR
in Jan 2001.

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