Lubbers has no regrets over harassment case
7 September 2004 , AMSTERDAM — UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers has no regrets about the way he treated a woman who later lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him and does not intend to change his ways.
7 September 2004
AMSTERDAM — UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers has no regrets about the way he treated a woman who later lodged a sexual harassment complaint against him and does not intend to change his ways.
In an interview with newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, the former Dutch prime minister dismissed on Tuesday the American woman's claims that he had squeezed her buttocks at the end of 2003, an alleged incident that led her to lodge an official complaint.
"We had a meeting with seven people in my office. At the end of the meeting, I let her out and placed my arm on her back. Two people saw that. Later, one of the two started making jokes: 'The High Commissioner apparently likes you'. But the only thing that I did was to show her some courteousness," he said.
And despite the complaint the 51-year-old woman lodged against Lubbers after the December 2003 meeting in Geneva, the UNCHR chief said he has no regrets and adamantly refused to change his ways.
"I would absolutely do that again. I shall not change my life," he said.
Based on an investigative report's findings that the complaint could not be substantiated, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan declared in July the complaint against the 65-year-old Lubbers to be unfounded.
Despite this, Lubbers was also reprimanded by Annan for urging the woman to withdraw her complaint and the 51-year-old American is now considering appealing against the Annan's decision.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news