It has been revealed that a senior United Nations official was cleared of sexual harassment earlier this year after the Secretary General rejected the verdict of an internal UN inquiry.

Secretary General Kofi Annan dismissed a complaint of sexual harassment against the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers.

The office that investigates fraud and mismanagement in the UN supported the allegations of a 51-year-old woman who claimed that Mr Lubbers, a former Dutch Prime Minister, had groped her during a meeting.

However, Mr Annan dismissed the complaint saying the allegations were 'not sustainable'.