Carina Perelli, the Director of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division, received a letter this morning informing her of the Secretary-General's decision to summarily dismiss her for misconduct, a spokesman for the world body announced today.
The decision took immediate effect, Stephane Dujarric told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York.
Asked about the charges against Ms. Perelli, he confirmed that the complaints included allegations of harassment, including sexual harassment, and abuse of authority.
The charge letter was sent to Ms. Perelli on 4 August. The standard extension is two weeks, but in this case, following a number of extensions, she responded on 17 November, Mr. Dujarric said.
Asked how the dismissal would affect UN support for the Iraqi elections, the spokesman said it should not affect the UN's electoral work in Iraq or anywhere else.
He noted that Craig Jenness of Canada serves as International Commissioner on the Independent Electoral Commission for Iraq and leads the UN effort on the Iraqi elections. Mr. Jenness leads a team of 24 international electoral staff currently in Baghdad.
Asked about the UN's zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment, the spokesman said that each case is analyzed and assessed on its own merits. The UN has a duty to act when these matters arise, he said.