Alessandro Caldarone
Senior Officer of External Relations
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Country of Origin:
Interview Date:
November 3, 2008
Arusha, Tanzania
Lisa P. Nathan
Donald J Horowitz
Nell Carden Grey
54:49 - 64:30


Donald J Horowitz: You had your own experience of stress in the kind of job you had, and, and not just the kind of job but the areas that you’re dealing with. You’re dealing with areas like genocide . . .
Oh yeah.
DJH: . . . and enormous information, and, and you had personally experienced much of that in, in Rwanda.
DJH: You’ve been asked to be involved with concerns about staff and what’s the pressures on staff, and the hu-, the humane treatment of staff.
DJH: And why don’t you give us some of your views on, first of all, the pressures that are on the staff in this, in the UN, I mea-, in the ICTR. And what has been done about it, and what perhaps should have been done about it earlier or should have been done about it at all?
Yeah. You see, for me, ICTR as such doesn’t mean anything. What it means to me is the people behind ICTR – because behind any organization, you have the people pushing to achieve some goals. You have people with morality. You have people, really they want to help the other people.
We have people, they do injustice. They don’t react even when see injustice. And we have, we have people in ICTR playing like Machiavelli or The Prince or Sun Tzu of the, the you know, the Art of War, as they are the only one who have been reading those books. All of us, we know. But, and it’s very unfortunate. So we have this situation here as everywhere in the world.
And what I try to do is, and I am very happy that the Registrar asked me to do with my friend Jorge Sierralta who is a (_____) staff member, is to look into the mobility. So as to assist colleagues’ internal mobility, so as to assist colleague, when we are going to close the tribunal, to move from one department, one section to another section or within the same section.
But this is not done, this is not done – neither here in ICTR nor in New York because Ki-moon, the Secretary General has been very clear, very recently he made a speech. So, I’m not saying that ICTR is behind the UN. I’m just saying that ICTR, it’s just a fact, ICTR is not doing. And on top, there are colleagues playing this double game. They say something and they do something else.
So my role is just to take out the, where the hid, where they hide and let them to, to, to talk, “Why are, are you doing this kind of things?” That is my, as I perceive my, my job in this internal committee. So now, we are looking the technicality in order that everything is legal, everything is like that. But, my real purpose is just to discover the lies and to eliminate such behavior.
Because we have people changing. We don’t give promotion. A lot of things are – we receive a lot of complaints. And this is the Chief Administration herself who wrote to us saying, “We received a lot of complaints.” So people are not crazy. If you complain, you have to look into the, into the complaint.
DJH: Let me see if I understand. The idea of mobility is as, as people change jobs, people leave or whatever, and as you’re shutting down, people are looking for opportunities elsewhere. So the idea is that people who are staying who are within this sy-, the current system who’ve worked here for some time, get an opportunity to move ahead . . .
DJH: . . . to change jobs and improve their situation.
DJH: That’s the mobility.
You see . . .
DJH: And while that is the stated intent of the Registrar in a speech that he gave in April . . .
Yes. Mm-hmm.
DJH: . . . of this year, it’s not happening. It’s what you’re saying. You and Mr. Sierralta, who is the psychologist here . . .
Yes. Yes.
DJH: . . . are heading this effort to make it happen.
DJH: Okay.
So this – I think is the, the UN recruitment system which is 2002; it’s not April 2008. It’s 2002; gave a certain numbers of rules concerning mobility, concerning promotions. You cannot be promoted from a certain category – P4 to P5 for example – if you don’t have a certain type of movement because the goal of the UN is to have people, multi-skills people.
The majority of my colleagues here have been in that position forever, since 12 years. This is against the idea of the UN. They don’t move. They become, and you know it, it’s very n-, also as a matter of – when you stay in, in a position for long time, you become a sort of king, a sort of emperor there, a sort of somebody who can produce bad instead of help, instead of good.
So, they, they, in the rules since 2002, we talk about mobility. In our particular instance, as we are closing down the tribunal, we should look the, the skills of our colleagues, what they can do and how they can be moved. I, I start the lawyers in detention without any experience. I did it. The program is still there.
Do you think I cannot do work in the administration? I cannot learn personal matter? I’m a lawyer. What, with law, you can go everywhere. So what it is the problem? Why, why not move? I want to move and I like to move. And I, I like new challenges.
For example, I would love to work in, in Human Resources because you are in contact with people, with colleagues and so on. Is it a problem is I don’t know how many kilos you are allowed to go when you go on mission that I cannot be moved? I cannot learn that?
So you have a lot of positions that our colleagues can, can move internally because the tribunal is closing down also. But what they are doing here and elsewhere, they are recruiting from outside. So now, we are working, I pr-, produce the Term of Reference and so on. But you know, these rules are 2002.
So I clap the hands to the Secretary General, to the Registrar and so on but they did nothing since 2002. I don’t like now to, to say that, you know, Alessandro or Jorge is responsible because in 2008, they didn’t do in two months what, all the organization did not do during six years.
DJH: Mm-hmm.
I’m looking at this. I prepare the Term of Reference but the problem, I mean the issue is Jorge is very, is always outside. He's always on mission so we delay.
However, I have requested some documents to ICTR and the response was negative. So, on one side, you ask to do a job but on the other side you take back your hands; not the Registrar. It’s not the Registrar who wrote back to me. It’s another person, the Chief of Administration saying, “Why do you ask those documents?”
Because I want to do the work, that is why I have the document – because in my mind, you can prepare the Term of Reference and in the meantime you can collect the factual information in order to build a knowledge afterwards. But at, at least get the databank. The, I mean, even not databank, get the information, the factual information.
So as when the committee is in place, you can call a meeting with already the, the documents available. No, they were, they didn’t give us the documents. So you see, I would like to avoid that, these kinds of situation is a sort of legality again. I follow the rules. I consult people. I put a committee and so on. It’s not done. I’m not responsible.
You know? So I would like really to avoid this kind of – wi-, with me, cannot work because if I don’t have what I have, once the committee’s done, while I will wait . . . you know you have to ask – act with moderation. I will wait for Jorge come back from mission. I will send the Term of Reference. I will do everything they want me to do.
But once it’s ready, there we, we will talk.
DJH: ‘Kay. You mentioned that Mr. Sierralta, Dr. Sie-, Sierralta is on a mission. What, what is it?
Yeah, he’s outside. He, I we-, I think he went on training. I don’t know exactly. I don’t know exactly . . .
DJH: Okay. Something related to his job (____) a psychologist . . . okay.
He’s coming back on Wednesday, yes. He’s coming back so in two days’ time.
DJH: Yeah, yeah.