Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER

More: InnerCityPro

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

French Dominated UNESCO Descends Into Governance Chaos Like Most of UN of Guterres

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UN GATE, May 28 – For another week in a row, the situation at UNESCO is getting from bad to worse. On 19 May, ICP rightfully wrote that the diplomatic saga at UNESCO is finally over "for the time being". Precisely, for the time being, since the political circumstances worsened at record speed in the meantime. 

Due to the unruly interference by the Secretariat of DG Azoulay in that governance process, Member states are more divided than ever over the governance issues at stake. Despite the vote by which the Chair of the Executive board of UNESCO, Mr Agapito Mba Mokuy, obtained overwhelming support for his proposal to end the paralysis of the Executive Board, the Cabinet of Azoulay sabotaged the session scheduled for 28/29 May by intentionally submitting working documents for the session which content and quality was considered unacceptable even by the usually low UNESCO standards.  Also, the Secretary of the Governing bodies, Sachin Bhatt reportedly committed too many technical and political mistakes over the short period since his appointment with promotion as Director GBS only few months ago.

As pointed out by a staff member working in central services, “Remaining true to his sleezy reputation, Bhatt kept eavesdropping on the Chair and sabotaging his work as instructed by the Cabinet and by his exclusive dog-handler Kacyanides. After delivering on all dirty assignments as member of the Cabinet, in this GBS position he poorly failed”.  Because of all active sabotage activities against the governing body and its Chair, the Bureau of the Executive board had to meet again urgently on 25 May. It then recommended that the 6th Special session of the Executive board be postponed. Inner City Press has published the letter here.

Needless to say, that such postponement is a first-ever at UNESCO. Underscoring that the quality of documents was “not in conformity with the requirements and expectations expressed in detail by Members States” is already a huge slap on DG Azoulay’s face.

Still, the most severe blow was reserved for the the failed Secretary of GBS. The sentence in the letter saying “…urgently put at the service of the Governing Organs a team of staff within GBS that can respect the constitutional authority of the Member States” is staggering by its blunt ruthlessness, very much far from the usual diplomatic language. As pointed out already by Inner City Pres several times, the DG Azoulay administration is totally ignoring the Constitution and the obligations for the members of her senior team to respect it. Now it is on record and disciplinary sanctions are expected by member states.  The French DG and her subordinate home-country Delegation to UNESCO will keep fighting back and undermining the authority of member states so as 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, the Director of her Cabinet, Nicolas Kacyanides contacted African ambassadors to make sure that they defend the indefensible position of impeding the work of the Executive board. This didn’t work properly, so the French ambassador Roger-Lacan had to initiate another round of consultations herself this week.

The latest stratagem is to mobilize the African countries previously under French colonialism, and currently under French neo-colonialism, in order to make sure they decry the Chair and possibly work together with France and other EU countries towards removing him from the Chairmanship of the Board before the end of his mandate. This would then open the door for the Board vice-chair for Africa from Ethiopia, reputed francophone, and fervent advocate of DG Azoulay administration, to take over the Chairmanship of the Board and smoothly prepare it for the 2021 elections.   In the effort to remove the Chair before then end of his term, France can count on Germany, Spain and Italy. The destabilizing and undercutting attempt is coordinated by the Director of Azoulay’s Cabinet, Nicolas Kacyanides and the necessary legal arguments will be invented as usual by the Director of Legal Affairs, Santiago Villalpando.

 “Definitely, the holding of the Board meeting next month will be a cutting-edge political moment with its clear-cut balance of power and subsequent predictable political consequences”, said a Paris-based diplomatic source to Inner City Press.  Since the very outset, the African Chair Agapito Mba Mokuy is under severe attack by some European countries led by France.

Any further political victory of the Chair, will leave a sour taste in the mouth DG Azoulay and this is precisely why the French Cancan Delegation to UNESCO will not let go that easily. One of the remaining options for the French ambassador Roger-Lacan is to work towards cancelling the special Board session now scheduled for 8/9 June. 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 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.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Past (and future?) UN Office: S-303, UN, NY 10017 USA
For now: Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Reporter's mobile (and weekends): 718-716-3540

 Search  Search WWW (censored?)

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2020 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for