United Nations, Mar 5: The United Nations is aware of the allegations against former chair of the UN's panel on climate change Rajendra Pachauri and a new head will be elected later this year, a top UN official has said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Stephane Dujarric ruled out a United Nations inquiry into the allegations against Pachauri and said it is not up to the Secretary General to appoint his replacement.
"We're aware of the allegations, which refer to incidents that may have occurred related to Mr Pachauri's organisation, own think-tank which is not linked to the United Nations, which is not a United Nations entity," Dujarric told reporters here yesterday when asked if a probe will be conducted.
Pachauri resigned from his position as Chair of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on February 24 after a woman employee of his think-tank TERI in New Delhi accused him of sexual harassment. Dujarric said the "allegations are being, from my understanding, thoroughly investigated by the Indian authorities."
On whether the Secretary-General has taken any decision on appointing a new climate chief, Dujarric said it is not up to the UN Chief to appoint the chair of the IPCC.
"As you will have seen, an interim chair was appointed by the panel itself, and a new chair will be elected by the panel later this fall. But, it is not the Secretary-General's authority to appoint the chair of the IPCC, who is not the 'climate chief'," the UN spokesperson added.
Pachauri had conveyed in a letter to the UN Secretary General his decision to step down from his post some months before the completion of his term.
He had served as IPCC chair for 13 years and had shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US Vice President Al Gore for work on climate issues.
The UN Panel on climate change had also said that it cannot ignore the allegations against Pachauri but stressed that the organisation is in good hands and well prepared for the future as it seeks to focus on involving developing countries more closely in its work.
At a review meeting of IPCC's work held in Nairobi last week, IPCC Secretary Renate Christ said the allegations against Pachuari "do not relate to the IPCC" but concern only his work in Delhi.
"We cannot ignore the allegations against Dr Pachauri but the allegations are part of an ongoing case and do not relate to the IPCC," she had said. Christ said the panel had raised the issue of workplace respect at the meeting in light of the allegations.