Diplomat in FAO 'jobs for sex' affair

FAO headquarters

 ROME – A Latin American diplomat offered to arrange permanent job contracts for young women working in the messenger department at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation in return for sexual favours, a senior U.N. security source has disclosed.

 “The diplomat told the messenger girls he could get them indefinite contracts if they were nice to him,” the source, who worked recently at theUN agency, told the Insider.

 The source was commenting on persistent reports that Director General José Graziano da Silva broke up a prostitution racket at the agency among the messengers that had developed under the reign of the previous director general, Jacques Diouf.

 “There was no prostitution racket as such at FAO,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But the approaches by the Latin American diplomat to the girls at FAO came to our attention and that was the origin of the speculation about an organised racket. There were no Africans involved as reported, just one envoy from Latin America.”

 At one point another senior security official at FAO falsely was accused of running a call girl ring at the agency but the accusations were shown to be groundless, he added.

 The source did not identify the diplomat or say which country he was from.

 Italian prosecutors investigating a 'baby squillo' scandal of underage call girls working in the smart Parioli district of Rome said 'senior functionaries' from FAO and Ifad were among their customers but they were never identified.

 The latest revelations about murky goings on at the Rome-based agency came amid mounting anger among general service staff at the FAO facing job cuts that they have been excluded from applying for new openings at the agency.

The UGSS trade union said it was making representations to management to determine whether applications were being rejected due to a computer error.