Home Dutch News Lubbers rejects harassment inquiry finding

Lubbers rejects harassment inquiry finding

Published on 07/06/2004

7 June 2004

AMSTERDAM — The UN team investigating sexual harassment allegations against UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers has written a negative assessment about the Dutchman’s actions, newspaper NRC has reported.

The newspaper based its Friday report on anonymous sources, who also claim that besides the official complaint lodged by a female UNCHR worker, another two and possibly three incidents within the UN refugee organisation are included in the investigative report.

News agency ANP reported that a woman outside of the refugee commission is also reportedly involved in the cases against Lubbers, a former Dutch prime minister.

Lubbers admitted later on Friday that the commission had identified an incident that is unacceptable, but he rejected the investigative team’s findings and refused to provide exact details. Nonetheless, he said a gesture of friendliness had apparently been taken the wrong way.

“I am a little too friendly and too physical. But I have said sorry,” he said on current affairs television programme Netwerk.

He also slammed Dutch reporting on the matter as gossip and defamation and claimed that media reports did not match the contents of the UN assessment.

Lubbers has been allowed time to review the report before responding to UN Secretary-General Kofi-Annan. He is refusing to resign as UN High Commissioner for Refugees and will serve out his contract until 2005.

The case against Lubbers came to light after it was recently reported that an American woman aged in her 40s had lodged an official complaint against Lubbers accusing him of grabbing her bottom after a meeting in Geneva in December 2003.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news