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U.N. Staff: 'No Confidence' in Top Leaders

A union representing United Nations (search) staff has voted "no confidence" in the world body's senior management.

It is the first time in the labor organization's history that it has cast such a vote, which is largely symbolic and has no effect over any U.N. officials' jobs. The vote was tallied behind closed doors Friday afternoon at U.N. headquarters in New York.

The move was in response to a series of scandals plaguing the United Nations.

Union members said the vote wasn't directed at Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search), but at the management of several top officials. In fact, the head of the labor organization said members actually did have confidence in Annan himself.

"We not only have confidence in him, we support him fully," said U.N. Staff Union President Rosemarie Waters on Friday after the no-confidence vote passed. "He is in a very difficult job under very difficult circumstances, but we continue to have hope that he is doing his best. We only want his senior managers to exhibit the transparency and accountability that he has prescribed for the organization."

The resolution, a copy of which has been obtained by FOX News, accuses top officials of several instances of mismanagement.

Union officials said the final straw was the decision this week to clear a senior U.N. official on charges of favoritism and sexual harassment.

The U.N. pardoned the official, Dileep Nair, was announced even though employees accused Nair of harassing staff and practicing favoritism in his hiring and promotion methods.

It was the second time in two weeks that U.N. management has refused to take action against a senior official accused of harassment.

The vote was also in response to management's failure to accept the “honorable action” of the deputy secretary-general who tried to resign as a result of the bombing of the 2003 United Nations building in Baghdad that killed 22 staff members.

Additionally, U.N. workers are unhappy with leaders for failing to hold accountable the chef de cabinet, whose son was hired to work there in violation of staff rules.

Another concern is the ongoing internal investigation into the Oil-for-Food scandal. At issue is whether a senior U.N. official accepted bribes in exchange for diverting the Oil-for-Food program funds meant as aid for impoverished Iraqis directly to former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein (search).

A U.N. spokesman said he hopes the body can work out its problems so it doesn't have to pass resolutions like this one.

"The idea is to keep dialogue going and see if we can’t sort out our differences so it isn't necessary to adopt resolutions saying we don’t have confidence in senior management,” said the spokesman, Fred Eckhart.

FOX News' Todd Conner and Catherine Donaldson-Evans contributed to this report.