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In Corrupt UN of Guterres UNESCO Is Dominated By France Azoulay Fuel Corruption

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Video

UN GATE, Nov 25 –  From the corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres in New York, the whole UN system has been corrupted, including UNESCO.

   This week, at the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, for the first time since the foundation of UNESCO in November 1945, France ended with the lowest number of votes in the elections for a seat at the Executive Board of UNESCO. In a situation of no competition, after the withdrawal of the UK, the host country got "humiliated mainly because of the policy of new aggressive colonialism," as one participant told Inner City Press, with no respect for rules, financial regulations and diplomatic practices led for two years now by the French Director general Audrey Azoulay. 

  “Nowadays UNESCO is not anymore about education, science or culture. It is about advancing the narrow interests of France and of its European Union allies in a detrimental to the rest of the world arrogant approach”, said another of the contacts of Inner City Press within the Organization.

 Since the beginning of her term in office, DG Azoulay is showing blatant incompetence in managing UNESCO. Instead of motivated leadership, she adopted the low-profiled delegation of power approach, happily abandoning her prerogatives to her close entourage.  Despite the severe warnings issued by the member states at their governing bodies gatherings in Paris during the Executive Board in October and at the General conference this month, corruption is spreading around unpunished. Not only measures have not been taken to fight fraud, but even worse, those involved in the corruption schemes are getting promotions and cushy jobs.

 This is the UN of Antonio Guterres. Following the exposure by Inner City Press of several internal scandals, the administration of the French DG Azoulay has nevertheless initiated some internal investigations but still no sanctions whatsoever.  Staff associations have voiced their concerns about the alarming practices reemerging by the total absence of respect for rules and regulations. As a consequence, in an unprecedented move, member states have rejected last week, during the work of the administrative commission of the General conference, the entire package of insane changes that the French DG Azoulay intended to impose on the staff rules and in the statutes of the Appeals Board.

  Member states also pushed the stop button to the impractical mobility policy crafted by the Cabinet of Azoulay, much as what happened with mobility at UNHQ, where money continues to be wasted under Guterres on so-called "hot desking" while Guterres flies to Lisbon.

   Still, much more action is required from IOS and from the external auditor in order to fix the scandalous situation and the tarnished reputation of UNESCO. Measures are yet to be taken and sanction imposed in the following major pending cases: 

  1) The first-time undercover surveillance operation at UNESCO that is coordinated by Flavio Bonetti from the Cabinet of Audrey Azoulay and former deputy prefect of the Centre-Val de Loire region, with the assistance of the Cabinet expert in dirty work, Mr Sachin Bath. Who will be reprimanded for helping the administration massively invading the personal rights and freedoms of staff and of member states’ representatives? 

2) The administrative deviation of hierarchical reporting lines - the Director of Cabinet Nicolas Kassianides unprecedented power to control and supervise the Deputy Director general of UNESCO and the Assistant Directors general of the program Sectors. This is disrupting the work of the entire Organization, since at the top of it there is evident no respect for regular lines of authority. 

3) The staff members cases lost in Geneva where UNESCO got sentenced by the ILOAT to pay hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ money. IOS must investigate the work of the senior staff members in HRM dealing with contested cases, namely A. Grisar and A. Duganis. A sanction that would certainly put an end to this persisting detrimental situation in dealing with personnel files, is an automatic wage withholding of HRM managers so as to reimburse the financial loss for the Organization provoked by their incompetence in dealing with contested files. 

4) Some important elements are missing in the report by IOS after the investigation on the functioning of the transportation unit of UNESCO.

The Director of the Cabinet Nicolas Kassianides, is still using an official car without being entitled to do so. Even more unacceptable is the fraud with petrol orchestrated by the French driver of Audrey Azoulay. IOS may complete its report with a note on the use of the gasoline paid with public money for the private cars of those close to Kassianides and Azoulay 

5) The appointment of dozens French officials in the Cabinet of the DG Azoulay in an effort to turn UNESCO into a branch of Quai d’Orsay and the consultancy contracts for the children of several Ambassadors to UNESCO. 

6) The misuse of tax-payers money in large proportions. The financial services of Azoulay authorized a payment of some 450,000 US dollars to an unknown financial institution in London. After effecting the payment, those funds vanished in someone’s pocket. Still no disciplinary measures taken in the corrupted UNESCO of Audrey Azoulay. 

7) The special internal arrangement by the Cabinet of D-G Azoulay granting impunity to those accountable for the unjustifiable and speculative spending of some 2 million dollars by UNESCO without compensation. In two separate contracts, one for 1.536.000 EURO, and another one for 180.000 EURO, UNESCO contracted a French company to do the core redesign of the organization’s financial and administrative systems and tools. Subsequently, those amounts had been paid to the French enterprise without getting the expected deliverables. Anyone will go to jail or the responsible officer will rather get promoted? 

8) The Culture sector was poorly reformed by DD Audrey Azoulay and her assistant director general for Culture, the Chilean Ernesto Ottone Ramirez.  Staff in the Culture sector are blaming openly the arrogant and heavy-handed management style of Ottone Ramirez with even some dark and very UN talks of a "baby-Pinochet."  Will IOS evaluate the negative impact for UNESCO of this reform of the Culture Sector?

 9) UNESCO launched the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative ostensibly to participate in the reconstruction of this city, after years of war and destruction.  This seemingly noble initiative was in fact a cover up operation of reinforcing French influence in Iraq in order to secure markets and work for French companies. The Director of the UNESCO office in Baghdad, Louise Haxthausen, was removed straight away, since she was considered by Kassianides too close to the government of Iraq after her several years of experience in the country, and too independent in her dealing with issues that progressively became sensitive for French national interests. Focusing on Mosul is having a plain and simple rationalization. Most of the millions received by UNESCO from the United Arab Emirates are for projects to be implemented in that particular city. Thus, in corrupted UNESCO, the dirt keeps on oozing this time in the context of Iraq.  According to a member of the Cabinet of Azoulay, the transactions of UNESCO in Mosul are among the most well-kept secrets in the House. The Cabinet member even considers that a number of parallel dealings are most probably piloted by some specialized French services.  

“Kassianides is clearly taking instructions elsewhere”, said one of our sources in the Cabinet. “As a former staff of Quai d’Orsay, and being fully aware that his days in UNESCO are counted, he must keep good relations with his former administration in order to get a good position there after successfully defending the French national interest under the cover of multilateral UN work”. Would all that be ever investigated in the corrupted UN of Guterres? Guterres is corrupt.

  Some member states are questioning this lack of internal control and disciplinary measures. Others, mainly from the European Union support blindly this way of doing business and some of them even appear delighted to have their tax-payers money dilapidated by UNESCO. This political stance is actually a green light to DG Azoulay for her to keep up with those practices and scale them up with extra budgetary money, from which, no doubt, a fat percentage will go into the deep pockets of the senior UNESCO administrators.  We will have more on all that. Watch this site

Following the exposure by banned Inner City Press of several of the internal scandals, the administration of the French director general Audrey Azoulay has organized a witch-hunt as Guterres did, with raids and retaliation, in order to try to identify Inner City Press' sources. 

  It is an open secret inside UNESCO that the Quai d’Orsay and the Elysée are ruling the organization in place of the good-looking marionette, says one high official of the agency. However, few people know that earlier this month the Cabinet of Audrey Azoulay requested the help of the French ministry of Interior in order to launch an undercover surveillance operation of private e-mails and mobile phones that would help identifying the whistleblowers inside the house. 

Following the fiasco of the Director general Azoulay during the Executive Board of UNESCO, when she couldn’t secure enough support from member states neither for her draft budget nor for her reform policies, it was decided to accelerate the identification and surveillance of all those potentially undermining the administration of Audrey Azoulay.

The list of people then got extended, and included even the two staff unions presidents and some representatives of permanent delegations to UNESCO particularly truth-telling against Azoulay’s management style.

The undercover surveillance operation is coordinated by Flavio Bonetti from the Cabinet of Audrey Azoulay and former deputy prefect of the Centre-Val de Loire region, who started his career at the French ministry of Interior in 2014, before joining UNESCO last year as a knowledgeable UN staff member. 

In this important endeavor, Mr Bonetti is capably assisted by the other member of the Cabinet usually used for the dirty work and meanest tasks, Mr Sachin Bath. Bath, who is at UNESCO for many years is the perfect mole for playing both sides and helping identifying the people and permanent delegations deserving to be under surveillance. His next job actually will be to infiltrate the closed circle of elected member states at the governing bodies secretariat. 

 This is where UNESCO stands today. We will have more on that.


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