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Amid Cancellation of Bolsonaro Trip To NY Event Guterres Sells Out UN To Murky China Biz Events Roughing Up Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Interviews, CEFC

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 5 – There are many murky events in New York City - now as one about Brazil was highlighted, and Jair Bolsonaro cancelled his visit, it worth considering the sleazy events the UN rents itself out for routinely, with little media coverage except by the Press the UN has had roughed up and banned for 305 days and counting for asking. First the American Museum of Natural History said it will no longer host an event at the museum by an outside organization that was to have honored Bolsonaro. He "decided to cancel the trip due to "resistance and deliberate attacks by the Mayor of New York and the pressure of interest groups" on organizers, a spokesman said in a statement.  It was moved to the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, where protesters have been gathering every night outside seeking the complete cancellation of the event. On Friday, US airline Delta, British daily Financial Times and consulting firm Bain & Company all confirmed they would not sponsor the dinner as planned." What belated courage. "The event -- which costs $30,000 a plate -- was sold out." The UN has entirely sold out.    While UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres was refusing throughout 2018 to begin any UN audit into China Energy Fund Committee, implicated in the UN bribery prosecution US v Patrick Ho, Guterres had a secret: his role on the board of Gulbenkian Foundation which was trying to sell its Partex Oil affiliate to CEFC. See Inner City Press' first exclusive report here. Guterres' lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who evaded Inner City Press' questions on CEFC then had it roughed up and banned, also had a family connection to Gulbenkian, see here and below.

  Now even with Guterres and Dujarric on mission at the African Union, making polite statements to and read outs of Cameroon and Egypt, Guterres' UN is given away for yet another Saturday to an event on China Intangible Cultural Heritage, photo here. CEFC China Energy's bribes, and offers to Guterres' Gulbenkian, were quite tangible. This event takes place in Guterres' Delegate Dining Room, where the workers are laid off for four months at a time; if they work in the "Cafe de la Paix," cafeterias or UN Coffee Shop, they are prohibited from receiving any tips even if Guterres' customers / suckers want to pay them. This is the ostensibly pro-labor Secretary General who lives alone in a $15 million mansion, driving around in a Mercedes, censoring the Press.

Guterres' predecessor Ban Ki-moon oversaw the first wave of bribery, that of Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kiap Ip Foundation of President of the General Assembly John Ashe and other Secretariat officials never help accountable, still around the even more corrupt Guterres UN. On Saturday January 12 Ban Ki-moon appeared in the otherwise closed UN in a murky "UN Chinese Art" event that Guterre and his spokespeople refused to answer written questions about from Inner City Press which Guterres has had roughed up by UN Security and banned 194 days and counting. But sources inside sent Inner City Press the (blurry) photographic proof the Ban Ki-moon was in the house, along with Steve Forbes, here. Does Ban charge for such appearances? Now Chinese state media, very much inside under the lawless pro-state media accreditation system of Guterres USG Alison Smale, has pushed out an article about the liquor event, quoted Ban that he is "heavily influenced by Chinese arts and philosophy." It makes no mention of Ban's co-headliner Steve Forbes, Capitalist Tool.

  Inner City Press went to cover the event as part of its coverage of the UN's escalating sell out to China under Guterres and Amina J. Mohammed, but it was not Ban who came out, but Steve Forbes. When Inner City Press asked, Do you think the UN is doing a good job? there was laughter. From others, there was the statement, But we got liquor. Another criticized the UN's decor. And there were a few more serious interviews, 13 minutes video here.

On January 9, with Inner City Press banned for the 189th day in a row and Dujarric refusing to answer a single one of its written questions on the day, including about corruption in Guterres' UN, this invitation arrived, we emphasized even before the below ghoulish legal threat not from a UN email address, we tweeted the photo here: "Subject: UNITED NATIONS CHINESE ARTS GALA / SPEECHES BY STEVE FORBES & BAN KI MOON Date: Wed, Jan 9, 2019 at 7:32 PM  To: Matthew Lee [at] Inner City Press  Hi!  How are you? Hope you're well!  On behalf of Ban Ki Moon, Steve Forbes, and Jian Nan Chun, we cordially invite you to the Chinese Arts Global Tour Gala at the UN Delegates Dining Room.  There will be live performances of Chinese paper cutting, sniff box painting, sugar painting, and Sichuan opera during the gala.  Chinese folk art will also be on display for guests. Keynote Speeches by: Ban Ki Moon & Steve Forbes. Cocktails will be followed by a sat dinner, details are below.  Are you able to attend?" Inner City Press replies yes, and was sent this: "All set -- please note this is black tie attire." This was noted. Then this arrived: "Hi Matthew, Hope you're well!  I noticed that part of my email was published on -- can I get that removed?    This is not a UN associated event but rather an event focused on Chinese arts and culture."  Of course, that's what Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip said (story here, Ban Ki-moon begrudgingly ordered audit here), and Patrick Ho's and Ye Jianming's China Energy Fund Committee - there is no Guterres audit. In fact, a pro-Guterres group in December praised a Chinese expensive liquor event in the UN Delegates Dining Room, on which we'll have more. But triggering this follow up is a voice mail demanding that Inner City Press take the story down, claiming it said Inner City Press was invited by the UN - hardly - and stating (audio here, with phone number voluntarily edited out by Inner City Press)

"I was made aware of a Tweet and as well as an article that you put together which is factually incorrect. You're saying that the UN invited you to a party which is  not in fact what was written  on the invitations. What was written was that a third party invited you to the event. Since that invitation we have been told that you hare not welcome at the UN. So I would appreciate you taking down that factually incorrect information." 

Well, no. Now the censorship demand has been followed up by a legal threat to sue for unspecified damages - in essence, a Strategic Ligitation Against Public Participation or SLAPP suit. Here it is, still with some identifying information voluntarily redatact by Inner City Press: "From: Amanda Carter [at PR firm for murky Chinese Art event] Date: Thu, Jan 10, 2019 at 5:21 PM Subject: Fwd: UNITED NATIONS CHINESE ARTS GALA / SPEECHES BY STEVE FORBES & BAN KI MOON To: Inner City Press  Dear Matthew,  I have been contacted regarding your unauthorized posting of email from my employee Lindsey Solomon on twitter and in an article on your website. I demand you take both of these posts down tonight by11:59 p.m. Failure to do will result in out seeking to hold you, personally, and Inner City Press liable for any and all direct and indirect damages that result from such deceptive and intentionally misleading information that you have disseminated. We did not state that the UN invited you to anything, and your post is intentionally inaccurate. We intend to pursue full legal action against you based on this intentional deception. 

  Furthermore, consider your invite to the event completely revoked.  Amanda."

   Inner City Press has been put on a non public barred from UN list by Guterres for reporting on his links to UN bribery by CEFC China Energy. UN corruption continues and we will not allow Guterres' publicly funded violence and censorship to stop our reporting. On January 11 Inner City Press in writing asked Guterres, his Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed, USG Alison Smale and Spokesman Stephane Dujarric: "January 11-2: Please immediately state all UN connections to an event in the UN Delegates Dining Room tomorrow involving Ban Ki-moon and described as " UNITED NATIONS CHINESE ARTS GALA / SPEECHES BY STEVE FORBES & BAN KI MOON." Is UN Security charging money? How much is being charged? Does UN Security enforce a dress code? Was the UN contacted by the organizers? Did the UN tell them Inner City Press is "not welcome" in the UN? What is the basis of that, without any hearing or appeal? What is the SG's comment and action on - and role in, if any - threat of litigation against Inner City Press for reporting on this and other events in the UN? On deadline." More than 24 hours later, despite promises of answers by Alison Smale to UNSR David Kaye and by Dujarric on camera, there has been no response at all. Inner City Press has received a number of phone calls about the murky event, and photographs including this. We'll have more - what this site.

   Inner City Press is continuing its exclusive series on some of the CEFC connections in and through the UN that should have been identified in the audit that Guterres corruptly refused to begin, with his conflict of interest. (Even his predecessor Ban Ki-moon ordered an audit after Ng Lap Seng was indicted - Guterres still hasn't after Patrick Ho was convicted.)

  Today we consider that Guterres' - and Ban's - lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric has family links to Gulbenkian. Inner City Press asked Dujarric in writing to disclose these (no answer, and Stephane Dujarric blocks @InnerCityPress on Twitter), just as it asked him in person why CEFC wasn't being audited in March 2018, before Dujarric and Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up and banned, 190 days now. In March 2018 Gulbenkian Foundation was actively trying to sell its Partex Oil and Gas affiliate to CEFC China Energy. And here's Stephane Dujarric's Tokyo- and Temple-based brother Robert Dujarric praising and appearing at Gulbenkian - audio here, program here. We'll have more on this.

  One of the people identified in the Ban Ki-moon audit of Ng Lap Seng and South South News was Ion Botnaru. He was allowed to retire, after changing a UN General Assembly document along with then President of the General Assembly John Ashe, who died under indictment ostensibly crushed by his own barbell, to benefit Ng's Sun Kian Ip group. Botnaru reappears again with CEFC, here. And, crying out for audit, the President of the General Assembly who swore in Guterres, Peter Thomson of Fiji, traveled like Ashe and Vuk Jeremic and Sam Kutesa to meet CEFC's Ye Jianming in Hong Kong.

  Inner City Press has asked Guterres and his spokespeople, among many other questions, "Beyond the 37 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer last week, still set forth below for promised answer, this is a request, given that Peter Thomson is the SG's rep on Oceans that you describe in detail Thomson's 2017 meeting with now disappeared Ye Jianming of CEFC, name which UN DSS officials were with him and what reports they filed, what their duties were; what was seen by those accompanying Thomson, at least two of whom are still in the UN (one is with China)."

  Typically, Guterres and his spokespeople did not answer. So here, pending listing those from UN Department of Safety and Security the group which roughs up the Press without accountability and maintains a retaliatory "lifetime" banned from the UN list, are the names: "During his two-day visit, the President of the UN General Assembly was accompanied by his senior advisors Abdelghani Merabet, and Zhang Yi, as well as by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs’s Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, Zhu Juwang." Now, Thomson staffer or embed Zhang Yi has gone (back, or more openly) to working for the Chinese government: "On August 14 [2018], Deputy Director-General of China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges Zhang Yi was invited to attend the FOCAC - Africa-China Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, an important sub-forum under the FOCAC hosted by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and co-organized by the International Poverty Reduction Center in China and the China Belt and Road Institute for Agricultural Cooperation of China Agriculture University. Attending were more than 300 participants including government officials, international organizations’ representatives, non-governmental organizations’ officials, business leaders, experts and scholars from China, United States, Japan, Denmark and 40 African countries like Angola, Botswana and Mauritius."

  What did they see during Thomson's meeting with now-known briber Ye Jianming? Zhu Juwang  is still with UN DESA; Abdelghani Merabet  is with the current PGA. We'll have more on this: the UN should be answering these questions, now.

  In 2017, the year in which CEFC's Patrick Ho was indicted and arrested for UN bribery, CEFC in the UN engaged at least twice with Lenni Montiel, including for example on 6 July 2017, and also with DESA official Pingfan Hong. Some photos here. Inner City Press before Guterres had it roughed up and banned now 176 days for its inquiries into Guterres' corruption has politely questioned both Montiel and Hong - but Guterres has made that impossible and his Spokesmen refused to answer any written questions, for more than a week now. There are more connections.

  Guterres got favors from Peter Thomson when Thomson was President of the General Assembly. Rudimentary open source research - including on the UN's own website here - finds that Thomson, like implicated Sam Kutesa and John Ashe and Vuk Jeremic, visited CEFC's Ye Jianming in Hong Kong. What was discussed? Inner City Press previously covered, critically but civilly, Thomson. Now corrupt Guterres has had Inner City Press roughed up and banned 175 days, with his Spokesman Stephane Dujarric refusing to answer any questions despite the promise of Guterres' USG Alison Smale.

   After receiving favors from Thomson as PGA, Guterres gave him a job in his Secretariat, Representative on Oceans. Here is Patrick Ho, interviewed by Guterres' DESA, on Oceans. There should have been an audit. There still should be. Another of Guterres' special advisers, Jeffrey Sachs, after denying Inner City Press' documented report Sachs was on a UN - CEFC board, abruptly closed his Twitter account, story here. Guterres goes on robo-tweeting from parts unknown, spending public money undisclosed. Guterres should explain and / or resign.  We will have more in this series.

   A now-removed Gulbenkian Foundation web page says Guterres continued as a board member into 2018. Archived here. In fact it was on 9 February 2018 that Gulbenian tweeted that Guterres was no longer on the board - AFTER it was reported that Gulbenian was trying to sell, or even had already sold, Partex to CEFC. This is called guilty knowledge.

 While Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric is refusing to answer Inner City Press' written questions, contrary to promises by Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, it appears Guterres' evasive defense is claiming that he left Gulbenkian in November 2016 and therefore somehow had no conflict of interest in refusing and blocking the obviously needed UN audit of CEFC after the arrest of its Patrick Ho for UN bribery. This defense is dubious.

  Why did Gulbenkian take down its webpage disclosing that Guterres remained on board into 2018? Why - sixteen months after Guterres ostensibly left - did they wait until February 2018 to tweet that he left? Because their negotiations with CEFC became public (see 2 February 2018 Bloomberg here, and 6 February MacauHub here: "CEFC China Energy buys Portugal’s Partex Oil & Gas.")

  In any event, Guterres' "2017" Financial Disclosure, which explicitly says it covered the year 2016 in which even in this new story he remained on Gulbenkian's board into November, more than 80% of the year - did not disclose his role in Gulbenkian, only on the Club of Madrid. Guterres has had previous financial disclosure omissions, for example in Portugal, here. CEFC was hardly unknown: it bought a Portuguese insurance company in November 2017, here.

    Guterres' failure to disclose and, separately and even more so, his refusal to audit CEFC in the UN was a direct conflict of interest, which he has tried to cover up by roughing up and banning Inner City Press which asked him about it. (See January 2018 press conference here, July 2018 roughing up by Guterres' UN Security here, banning letter via Press Freedom Tracker here.)

Three times now Dujarric, his deputy Farhan Haq and Office of the Spokesperson colleagues Marcia Soares Pinto and Keishamaza Rukikaire, as well as Guterres, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti and Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed have refused to answer this: "Beyond the 36 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer last week, still set forth below for promised answer, this is a reiterated request past deadline that you (1) state when SG Guterres left his position on the Gulbenkian Foundation, (2) state why Gulbenkian was not listed on SG Guterres' public financial disclosure which covered 2016; (3) explain how it is not a conflict of interest for SG Guterres to have refused to start an audit of CEFC in the UN, as requested by Inner City Press in January 2018, given CEFC's bid for the oil business of Gulbenkian. Also, again, state why under SG Guterres there have been no updates to the UN public financial disclosures since those filed for 2016. Also, again, explain your refusal to answer any of Inner City Press' questions this week despite USG Smale's statements to GAP, me and UNSR David Kaye." No response at all, even as spokesman Dujarric for example tweets at actor Seth Rogin. Dujarric, as simply one example, on 1 March 2018 evaded Inner City Press' in-person questions about CEFC and Guterres, less than a month after Gulbenkian said Guterres was off the board, amid oil negotiations with CEFC. Video here. Then Guterres and Dujarric had Inner City Press roughed up and banned from the UN. Guterres' wife Catarina Vaz Pinto also worked for Gulbenkian. This is today's corrupt UN.

   For years Guterres received money as a board member of the Calouste Galbenkian Foundation, which despite its name is the 100% owner of Partex Oil and Gas. Partex has operations in Angola, Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Oman and Portugal. It was to a Portuguese court that Guterres, while justifying no listing some of his income, disclosed in 2016 that he was paid at least € 2735 per month for his position with the Gulbenkian Foundation.

   But while a now deleted Foundation web page (archived here) stated that Guterres continued with Gulbenkian into 2018, Guterres did not list it on his most recent, and so far lone, UN Public Financial Disclosure, which covered 2016 ("Disclosing financial and other interests for the 2016 reporting year").

  So why did Guterres disclose his position with the Club of Madrid, but not with the Gulbenkian Foundation / Partex Oil and Gas? It is worth noting that Guterres' wife Catarina Vaz Pinto has also been connected to Gulbenkian.

   Following the roughing up and banning from the UN of Inner City Press which has covered the CEFC scandal throughout, Guterres' head of Global Communications Alison Smale promised UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye, who asked, that the UN would still answer Inner City Press' written questions.

   But as 2018 came to a close Guterres' spokesmen Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq left unanswered 36 questions in a row from Inner City Press, including this: “Beyond the 35 questions from Inner City Press you refused to answer this week, this is a request on deadline that you (1) state when SG Guterres left his position on the Gulbenkian Foundation,

(2) state why Gulbenkian was not listed on SG Guterres' public financial disclosure which covered 2016;

(3) explain how it is not a conflict of interest for SG Guterres to have refused to start an audit of CEFC in the UN, as requested by Inner City Press in January 2018, given CEFC's bid for the oil business of Gulbenkian.

Also, again, state why under SG Guterres there have been no updates to the UN public financial disclosures since those filed for 2016. Also, again, explain your refusal to answer any of Inner City Press' questions this week despite USG Smale's statements to GAP, me and UNSR David Kaye. On deadline.”

   The question was also sent to the e-mail addresses of Guterres, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, his Deputy Amina J. Mohammed, and Smale, who earlier in the week told Inner City Press she would take “under advisement” her 17 August 2018 pretextual withdrawal of Inner City Press decade long UN media accreditation.
  It seems clear that Guterres and his team have engaged in censorship for corruption, to conceal a blatant conflict of interest by Guterres. It has been raised by Inner City Press to the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services, and others.  Watch this site.

Back on 5 December 2018 Patrick Ho was found guilty of seven of eight counts of violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and month laundering. (He was only not guilty on money laundering in Chad - where the bribe was not through any US bank but in cash, $2 million in a gift box). The evidence showed that the NGO he ran, China Energy Fund Committee, used its ongoing UN consultative status to pay bribes to Ugandan foreign minister - and Ashe's successor as President of the UN General Assembly -- Sam Kutesa.. He was working with precedessor Vuk Jeremic while Jeremic was UN PGA. CEFC even offered weapons, tanks and drones, to Chad's long time president Idriss Deby for oil blocks or a stake in the Chad Cameroon pipeline. (Inner City Press published documents here.)

The night of the verdict I asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres what he will do to clean up the UN, where he has left CEFC without any audit, still in consultative status with the UN. On his way from his Mercedes to a glitzy fundraiser including George and Amal Clooney, Guterres refused to answer. The next day when asked by another journalist why Guterres had refused to answer banned Inner City Press' question, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric claimed that the UN has “cooperated” with the prosecution. But the bribery group remains in the UN, unaudited.

Why has the case of US versus Ho, and now the guilty verdicts, garnered relatively so little interest, with the corruption of the UN exposed by it scarcely mentioned all? SG Guterres is hoping it goes away. In terms of corruption, he did not disclose and refuses to answer on the African business links of his son Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres. He refuses to answer how much he spends in public funds flying to his home in Lisbon at least sixteen times sofar as SG.

   So CEFC remains an accredited non governmental organization with the UN's Economic and Social Council, while investigative Inner City Press for which I have been covering the case has been dis-accredited by and ousted from the UN, put on a list of those permanently banned without notice, due process or appeal. On December 7 I was informed I am banned from a “UN Human Rights” event on December 10 to be addressed by Guterres and his human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet. But this reporting will not stop - Guterres' corruption of the UN must be addressed, through oversight or as is discussed elsewhere, impeachment. From the lofty goals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to Guterres' censorship for corruption is UNacceptable.

  With UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and her Deputy Andrew Gilmour set to speak in the UN on human rights day on December 10, Inner City Press responded to an invitation and was told, "Thank you for registering to attend the Human Rights Day event at the United Nations on Monday 10 December. On Monday, please come to the UN Visitors’ Gate on First Avenue opposite 45th street starting at 2pm, at which time entry passes will be distributed."

Then, past six p.m. on Friday, December 7 this from Bachelet's and Gilmour's Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: "Dear Matthew, We have received notification from UN Security that your name was flagged as "BARRED" on the list we submitted for passes for Monday's event (3pm, ECOSOC Chamber). We will therefore not have a pass for you and are unable to facilitate entry.
Thank you for your interest and best regards,
OHCHR New York Office." Photo of email here.

   Inner City Press immediately wrote back, to the sender and Bachelet and her assistant, to Andrew Gilmour and to the moderator of the event, "Particularly since you are the UN Office of the High Commissioner for *Human Rights,* did you not ask why a journalist who asks the Secretary General and his spokesmen about the killings in Cameroon, Burundi, UN corruption, UN peacekeepers' sexual abuse of civilians, and Sri Lanka, is “BARRED” from attending your human rights event - without any hearing or appeal? I will appreciate your Office's answer to this."  We'll have more on this.

 Bachelet gave a speech on October 15 in the UN's Third Committee, she emphasized a prioritization of social and economic rights and said one of the officials of her office is "on mission in Silicon Valley" in the US. There are questions about this - but Inner City Press which has covered human rights and the UN for more than a decade was for the first time banned from access a High Commissioner's speech. This has been raised repeated to Bachelet since she took office but she has so far done nothing, not even responded. Meanwhile on October 12 Cameroon, from whose Paul Biya Secretary General Antonio Guterres took a golden statue and favors in the Fifth (Budget) Committee and remains silent on the slaughter of Anglophones, was elected to a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. This system is failing - but if Bachelet cannot even answer on Guterres maintaining a secret banned list including not only Inner City Press but also "political activists" - and anti-corruption campaigners - then the UN of Guterres has hit its newest low.


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