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Total Fiasco for UNESCO DG Azoulay and Her and Macron's FRACHESCO Delegation

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UN GATE, May 19 – The diplomatic saga at UNESCO, another corrupt portion of the UN system Antonio Guterres is destroying, is finally over for the time being.

Last week, the Chair of the Executive board of UNESCO organized a vote in order to put the right the checks and balances in place for member states supporting his proposal to end paralysis of the Executive Board, despite the objections of those supporting blindly the French DG and her aspiration to maintain the current status-quo propitious to mismanagement, corruption and abuse of power. For DG Azoulay, ruling with no oversight and accountability the UN agency is a priceless advantage in campaigning for her reelection planned for next year. 

As Inner City Press reported on 11 May, no efforts had been spared by DG Azoulay and her team led by the Director of her Cabinet, Nicolas Kacyanides to make sure that at least some African states are on the French side for defending the indefensible position of impeding the work of the governing body.  In spite of the aggressive lobbying by France and Germany, and despite the legal objections invented by the Director of Legal Affairs, Santiago Villalpando to that end, the plan as delineated by DG Azoulay, shamefully failed.

The holding of a Board meeting later this month was adopted and member states overwhelmingly supported the the Chair of the Executive board, Mr Agapito Mba Mokuy in his legitimate endeavor. The results of the vote are as follows: Votes cast by return e-mails (by 3p.m. on Wednesday 13 May 2020): 

Total Member States that voted (Participation) 53 

Total Member States that:  - DO NOT OBJECT to the holding of the Board meeting :49  -

OBJECT to the holding of the meeting : 1  - ABSTAINED: 3  - DID NOT VOTE: 5    

Considering those results whereby the majority of the Member States voted for holding the meeting, the Chair informed Member states of the decision of the Executive Board to proceed with its special session on 28 and 29 May.  Thus, after the severe setback at the Security council experienced by France and Tunisia earlier this month, the same detrimental to both countries, and to their usual allies, political outcome was reached at UNESCO.

Several observers noticed that at the last moment the Tunisian ambassador Gherairi obviously got instructions to support the African Chair of the Executive board instead of aligning with the French DG. The same happened with Ethiopia and the Ambassador did not dare to tear the African solidarity regardless of his personal animosity. Only Senegal from the African group voted against it by submitting pointless conditions together with France, Germany and Albania. 

This political victory of the Chair Agapito Mba Mokuy, will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the French delegation to UNESCO, especially after the conflict that opposed France to the President of Equatorial Guinea over the decision of the Appeal court in France last February to fine the son of the President, who happens to be also Equatorial Guinea's vice-president since 2012, with more than 30 million euro for using public money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.  This is precisely why the French Cancan Delegation will not let go that easily. One option for the French Ambassador Roger-Lacan is to work towards undermining the impact of the special Board session by preventing any decision-making, reducing thus the meeting of the governing body to a mere information meeting.

This would be a soft revenge. A hard one could be, since UNESCO is based in Paris, totally under French control, “to have the electric company EDF simulating electric supply failure during the board special session and thus fully and irrevocably sabotaging it”, said a diplomatic source in Paris, only partially joking.  At the time when the UN system of Antonio Guterres is under unprecedented scrutiny for its lack of efficiency, for its corruption and its obnoxious political dependence, the situation at UNESCO is a case study of how to drive on the short run a UN agency into moral, financial and programmatic bankruptcy.

When interviewed by Inner City Press last week, a senior UNESCO staff member described the situation as follows:  “A disaster. It is simply a disaster that UNESCO is currently experiencing. The word "crisis" is no longer sufficient to define the present situation. Every day, UNESCO staff lives longs hours of disillusionment and stress provoked by mismanagement and by the lost relevance of the organization.

Since the election of the French Director general, before our eyes, everything positive we knew about the UN is collapsing at an unimaginable speed. We also fail to understand why member states have so little interest in the organization. We are wasting our time at UNESCO discussing insignificant issues related to the daily caprices of Madam Azoulay, who is constantly changing her mood and priorities and thus creating problems that should not have existed if the French diplomacy was represented by its best senior executives. UNESCO is no longer a solid organization, but a petty little agency, puffed up with the vanity, arrogance and pretentiousness of its senior managers”. 

The intellectual nullity of the top UNESCO leaders, and in particular of those ADGs in charge of the five program sectors, combined with the pathetic self-importance of the unexperimented generation of French senior officials at UNESCO, is making the decline of the UN Agency even more predictable. "A caste of miniature “leaders”, imbued with their position, their sufficiency, who, when facing the challenges of today’s world, appear totally unprepared to assume their responsibilities, easily panicking and impulsively thrown into disarray". 

Sooner than later, governing bodies will have to investigate and ask unpleasant questions about this orchestrated disaster. Quite inevitable and predictable, the five features depicting best the DG Azoulay Administration will have to get publicly exposed: incompetence, corruption, disorganization, lack of long-term vision and improvisation.  In the mid-1980s, there was a political scandal in Europe. Now forgotten, it did however enhance the English language.

One observer described the affair as “grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented” – a phrase which was promptly shortened to “GUBU”. After more than two years of the French administration at UNESCO, with a leadership which would be laughable if it were not having so serious damaging consequences, UNESCO successfully entered the GUBU phase.

How will it end? Nobody knows. But certainly, elections for a real DG are looming on the 2021 horizon.  This is UNESCO today. This is the UN of Antonio Guterres. We will have more on that. Watch this site.


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