The Rosett Report

How Old Is This Man?

It turns out that for more than two decades a man who is currently the director of a big UN agency in Geneva has been using two different birth dates, with a nine-year spread between. He has signed some official documents, including UN travel papers and U.S. visa applications, saying he was born in 1945. But since last year, he’s been insisting he was born in 1954. Even at the UN, that’s odd behavior. But what’s priceless is that this happened at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), where the main mission is — what else? — to keep accurate track of information. Here’s my story on the amazing changing birth dates of WIPO Director-General Kamil Idris, who is now either 52 or 61. The picture posted here was released by WIPO last year … How old is this man? Even the auditor wasn’t quite sure.

What gets scary is that this is the same UN — run with the same secrecy and immunities — that’s supposed to be keeping track of things like sanctions programs on rogue regimes (shades of Oil-for-Food), and who gets the nuclear bomb.