U.N. fires technology envoy after harassment inquiry concludes

The United Nations has dismissed a veteran official, a U.N. spokesman said on Wednesday, a year after he was put on paid leave during an internal investigation into accusations of abuse of authority and harassment. Just days before he was placed on administrative leave in January 2021, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had named Fabrizio Hochschild, of Chile, as his technology envoy to enlist global support for digital cooperation.


Reuters | Updated: 27-01-2022 03:06 IST | Created: 27-01-2022 03:06 IST
U.N. fires technology envoy after harassment inquiry concludes

The United Nations has dismissed a veteran official, a U.N. spokesman said on Wednesday, a year after he was put on paid leave during an internal investigation into accusations of abuse of authority and harassment.

Just days before he was placed on administrative leave in January 2021, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had named Fabrizio Hochschild, of Chile, as his technology envoy to enlist global support for digital cooperation. In the two months prior to Hochschild's appointment, three women had filed complaints https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/un-chief-puts-technology-envoy-leave-over-harassment-inquiry-2021-01-28 with the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services accusing Hochschild of abuse of authority and harassment in 2019 and 2020, three sources told Reuters.

"The U.N.'s own internal accountability process concerning Mr. Hochschild has been completed. He has been informed of the outcome," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters on Wednesday. "He is no longer employed by the U.N." "The accountability process, internal process is confidential," Dujarric said.

In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, Hochschild said he is considering seeking an independent review at the U.N. Dispute Tribunal because "multiple factors undermined my most basic due process rights." He also said: "My eagnerness to deliver led some to see me as an overbearing and overdemanding superviser, for which i apoogize."

The complaints against Hochschild accused him of creating a toxic work environment through bullying, aggressive outbursts, inappropriate remarks and phone calls and messages at all hours, the three sources told Reuters last year. From April 2019, Hochschild was Guterres' special adviser on preparations for the 75th U.N. anniversary. Prior to that he spent two years as Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Coordination in Guterres' Executive Office.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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