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In Corrupt UN of Guterres DG Audrey Azoulay Fumbling UNESCO Sources Tell Banned Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Video

UN GATE, Dec 1 –  From the corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres in New York, the whole UN system has been corrupted, including UNESCO.

   A week ago, Inner City Press exposed the declining influence of France at UNESCO, highlighting that at the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris for the first time since the foundation of the organization 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, the host country got humiliated. This humiliation was supplemented by the colossal political fiasco for DG Azoulay, for France and for Brazil - its only supporter, that occurred at the Executive board meeting held last Friday in Paris.  Until now, the no respect for rules, financial regulations and diplomatic practices by the French Director general Audrey Azoulay were contained mainly to the mismanagement of the Secretariat of UNESCO. Last Friday, though, this changed. She and the representatives of the French government decided to transcend all acceptable limits and to brutally impose their monkey diplomacy by interfering in the election business of member states. For the first time in the history of UNESCO, a Director general of the organization decided to ignore the rules governing the separation of power within UNESCO and made a shameful attempt to counter the legitimate decisions by member states and to impose her own candidates in major elections for the Executive board Chair and vice-Chairs positions. 

After deciding to throw all traditional UNESCO’s diplomatic practices under the bus, DG Azoulay lobbied actively together with her puppet friendly countries against the candidates unanimously decided upon by member states within their respective regional groups. Still, after all efforts, promises, pressures and intimidations, the result was a total disaster for her - out of the five elections that took place last Friday at UNESCO, DG Azoulay and France lost five times. 

First came the attempt to prevent the election of the African candidate for the position of Chairman of the Executive Board. It took proportions beyond the usual dealings including threatening most of the former French colonies on Thursday, day before the vote at the Board, so as to ensure that the African candidate from Equatorial Guinea is massively rejected. France even requested a secret ballot in an attempt to impose Tunisia instead, but failed to secure the necessary support for its double-crossing maneuvering. Thus, the candidate of Africa got elected by acclamation after 2 hours of deliberations. 

The following hours only confirmed the debacle for DG Azoulay and her marionettes. After opposing fiercely without success nor support the election of Saint Lucia for the first vice-Chair position, the representative of Saint Lucia got also elected by acclamation to the great disappointment of DG Azoulay. Followed another insane election for the second vice-Chair position of the Board with Albania pushed by France and DG Azoulay in opposing the Russian Federation. This was another slap on the face of DG Azoulay since Albania lost the election in a notable manner with 47 votes for Russia and only 12 votes secured for Albania. 

The next predictable defeat for DG Azoulay was the election held between Egypt and Jordan as candidate of the French administration for the 3rd vice Chairmanship position of the Executive Board. Despite the reported promises by the French Ambassador that Jordan will win this election since they “got the numbers”, Jordan actually lost the election in another painful blast for DG Azoulay and her team of corrupted lawbreakers.  The last fifth blow for DG Azoulay came with the election of Venezuela as Chair of the Program commission of the Executive Board against the candidate from Argentina pushed in the arena by the French delegation to UNESCO.  “In the history of UNESCO, this is a first ever-sequence of setbacks for a DG sitting in office. It is well beyond any imagination”, said a high level official from the organization in an interview with Inner City Press. “No such precedent ever, and those who orchestrated this political disaster must resign for their insulting behavior and total disrespect for the prerogatives of member states but also for ultimately discrediting UNESCO in an incredible manner”, he added. 

One who should certainly face problems ahead is the Director of the Cabinet of DG Azoulay, Nicolas Kassianides, who masterminded this absurd sabotage operation against the legitimate candidates of member states. He is now the first to blame by the French authorities for instigating this “outrageously stupid manipulation” as pointed out by a member of the French delegation in public.  The capacities of the French Administration of UNESCO to push the boundaries of the unacceptable by any UN standards are truly outstanding. So are its efforts to enforce massive corruption schemes and to cope with the challenges for its survival posed by professionalism and integrity of staff.  Furthermore, further 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.  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. 

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. 

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. 

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.  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?  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 

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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