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In Corrupt UN of Guterres UNESCO Sinking Lower With Promotions of Bath and Bonetti

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UN GATE, Feb 8 –  From the corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres in New York, the whole UN system has been corrupted now into, including UNESCO.

  The dismantling of the mandate of UNESCO and of its core functions continues in total indifference. The relevance of the Organization is questioned. The global crisis in leadership at the corrupted UN of Guterres affects severely the Paris-based UN Agency.  The exposure for misdemeanors and wrongdoings of some staff members close to the French DG Audrey Azoulay is actually helping them to get promoted.

Banned Inner City Press learned from its many sources this week that both staff members exposed in the article of 31 October 2019, on the undercover surveillance operation of private e-mails and mobile phones launched by the Cabinet of Audrey Azoulay with the assistance of the French ministry of Interior, got duly promoted since then. 

This undercover surveillance operation was 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 in 2018. He was promoted from P-3 to P-4 this year.   In this surveillance operation, Mr Bonetti was capably assisted by another member of the Cabinet of Azoulay usually used for the dirty work, 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.

As Inner City Press wrote at that time: “His next job actually will be to infiltrate the closed circle of elected member states at the governing bodies secretariat”. And this is precisely what happened! For his loyal dirty services, Mr Bath was promoted by DG Azoulay as the Director (D1) of the Secretariat of Governing bodies (GBS). No better mole could have been ever found by DG Azoulay for this politically sensitive job requiring high moral standards and total impartiality. A member of the secretariat told Inner City Press that “he got this position despite his reputation of emotionless lawbreaker and his lack of experience in dealing with GBS matters. In the short list for this post there were by far more experienced and knowledgeable candidates. But the most unacceptable is the selection procedure itself – the head of the recruitment panel was his direct boss, which is against all rules at UNESCO.” Favoritism and fraud, this is what UNESCO stands for nowadays. 

Another calamity for UNESCO was the appointment of the French Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, in the position of Assistant Director-General (ADG) for Natural Sciences. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, originally from South Africa, left the country in her youth years, got the French nationality and built a career in France. She was a Director of Research at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) and is married to the renowned French scientist Hugues Bedouelle. Needless to say, Shamila Nair-Bedouelle was not first on the short list for the ADG Sciences position, but the French connection played well in her favor and DG Azoulay decided to appoint her instead of appointing the most qualified candidate. What happened since her appointment is the total disruption in the work of the Sciences sector. A senior staff from the Sector contacted Inner City Press, suffering from and alarmed by her blatant incompetence, her lack of any managerial skills and her total absence of political connotation which is a must for any ADG. “The Science sector is currently slowly collapsing. Donors who supported our work for many years are leaving UNESCO in order to find a more reliable partner elsewhere and those member states concerned by the issue of water worldwide are initiating discussions on ways for removing her from office”.  The hemorrhagic tendency of staff separations continues at unprecedented rates. Senior staff members are leaving UNESCO sickened by the working environment and this is what the French DG precisely expects in order to proceed unbothered with the nominations at UNESCO of another bunch of French technocrats.  Staff associations keep voicing their concerns of those alarming practices resurfacing in the total absence of respect for rules and regulations. They keep opposing the new situation in which top senior managers can exert totalitarian control over the staff including by using intimidation and harassment that force staff members into fear and obedience.   Despite all exposure, little progress has been achieved mainly because of the criminal complicity of member states. Their political stance is actually a green light to DG Azoulay for her to keep up with those practices and scale them up.  Measures are yet to be taken and sanction imposed in the following major pending cases listed by staff: 

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 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. 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) 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.  

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 DG 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. Would all that be ever investigated in the corrupted UN of Guterres?  

10) Several cases of sexual and moral harassment have been reported to IOS but because of the smokescreen by the Cabinet of DG Azoulay, no sanctions were imposed and disciplinary measures are yet to be taken against the perpetrators of those criminal deeds. It appears, that since her election, DG Audrey Azoulay totally disregarded for two years the Constitution of UNESCO as well as her oath pronounced as per the usual ritual at the beginning of her mandate.  The big question is what will the president of the General Conference (Turkey) and the chairman of the Executive Board (Equatorial Guinea) do in order to bring to an end this anti-constitutional behavior or the Director-General.  The Constitution of UNESCO does not provide legal basis for an impeachment process. Still, member states consider constitutionally unbearable to allow the continuation of DG’s politically biased Administration. Therefore, in the specific case of DG Azoulay, after all the collected and duly exposed evidences with respect to her  unreserved allegiance to the French national authorities, a specific mechanism will have to be established by the Chairs of the two main governing bodies in order to ensure that French DG Audrey Azoulay is subject to the utmost disciplinary sanctions and consequently removed from office before the end of her mandate in 2021.  In the case of DG Azoulay, there is no danger whatsoever of a partisan, politically motivated impeachment that would lower the bar for imposing the ultimate sanction – the political equivalent of the death penalty – on future Director-generals.  But at the UN, after all the cases of Heads of Agencies successfully revoked, the impeachment case of DG Azoulay must set an example internationally.  It is obvious that the French Government and the rich club countries will flip-flop on those impeachment principles and try to protect the French DG, since they are all aware that getting the UNESCO top position again by one of them in the near future is a mirage. Will that short-sighted strategy work? The future will tell. This is where UNESCO stands today. We will have more on that.


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