Amid UN Bribery From Ng to Ho UN Correspondents Association One Candidate Election Triggers Questions

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Amid UN Bribery From Ng to Ho UN Correspondents Association One Candidate Election Triggers Questions

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT NY Post

UNITED NATIONS GATE, November 27 – Today's UN and its partners are well versed in hypocrisy and as shown by the second UN bribery case US v Ho adept at allowing corruption and hindering reporting on it. But sometimes things go so far they must be noted in advance. On December 5 in an expensive catering hall near the UN, Secretary General Antonio Guterres who this summer had investigative Inner City Press roughed up, ousted and banned ever since will appear in a tuxedo as a guest of honor - of the UN Correspondents Association. Since it was just such a shindig that provided the venue for Ng Lap Seng, convicted of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in the first UN bribery case, to pay UNCA money and then be given, by then UNCA president Giampaolo Pioli, a set aside photo op with the Secretary General, questions must be asked. In fact, Inner City Press has asked the UN: "In US v Ho yesterday in the SDNY it was said that still UN accredited NGO CEFC was used to bribe PGA Kutesa and other UN officials including John Ashe. Given that even Ban Ki-moon audited the bribery of Ashe by Ng Lap Seng well before his conviction, explain why Antonio Guterres has not audited Ho's / CEFC's alleged bribery of Ashe and Kutesa (among others). In terms of yesterday's canned response, please confirm you are claiming the UN has made available thousands of documents in US v Ho, or whether you were referring to US v Ng Lap Seng. And again, given that access was provided to Ng at Cipriani 42nd Street, what safeguards are in place this is not repeated with SG Guterres on 5 December 2018." There has been no answer. Meanwhile UNCA is set for a transfer of power, another uncontested election. For president, ANSA's Valeria Robecco is set to be installed without any competition atop what has become the UN Censorship Alliance, the UN Secretariat's partner in excluding - and this year, getting roughed up - investigative and critical Press. There's to be presentation of candidature - strange when there is no one else running for the position - for which disgruntled members tell Inner City Press they are being "encouraged to attend to show support for the candidates." Even in a one candidate "election" questions should be asked. Does the hand picked successor have any ideas to safeguard against a repeat of the Ng Lap Seng purchase of access to SG and about UNCA shameful collusion in censorship and ouster from the UN - including a secret banned list - of critical and investigative Press? We'll have more on this. The December 5 tickets are expensive and the guest list is secret. Previously this group, formally the United Nations Correspondents Association, took money from now convicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng and then provide Ng a photo op with the Secretary General. Who will be paying this year?

  What we can report is that the UN Correspondents Association's prize for broadcast media is sponsored - that is, paid for - by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the same group which in May 2018 canceled an event in order to censor testimony about Egypt, Turkey and others. Photo here. Inner City Press (video of the type used as a pretext to oust it here), and even then how self servingly UNCA, along with CNN's Brian Selter and others, expressed outrage.

 Now UNCA is taking their money, just as they took Ng Lap Seng's money then lobbied to get Inner City Press which reported on it ousted from the UN.

  So on the morning of November 8, banned from the UN noon briefing for the 127th day by Antonio Guterres - but according to spokesman Stephane Dujarric, at the request of at least some bigwigs in UNCA, the UN's Censorship Alliance, Inner City Press submitted written questions to Guterres, his Deputy Amina J. Mohammad, his Global Communicator Alison Smale and two spokesmen including: "November 8-5: It appears that the “UN Alliance of Civilizations” is sponsoring an award at an event the SG is slated to attend on December 5. Please state whether any UN money is being used to sponsor this award, and what safeguards are in place such that access to or photos with the SG are not exchanged for money as presumptively took place with regard to now incarcerated UN briber Ng Lap Seng." More than six hours later, not a single answer to any of the questions, despite Smale's promise to UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye that questions would be answered. There's more sleaze, back in the news again: after the Sri Lanka government of Mahinda Rajapaksa and Palitha Kohona, and military figure turned UN adviser Shavendra Silva slaughtered tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, UNCA gave what was called a “UN screening” to their war crimes denial film Lies Agreed To. The decision was made, without consulting then UNCA board members like the author, by UNCA President Giampaolo Pioli. Who is organizing this year's tuxedo sleaze fest with UNAOC? Giampaoli Pioli, and his handpicked successor. We'll have more on this.


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