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In Corrupt UN Of Guterres  New COVID 19 Rules by UNESCO DG Opposed by Staff

By Matthew Russell Lee & sources, Exclusive

UN GATE, March 13 –  From the corrupt UN of Antonio Guterres in New York, the whole UN system has been systematically corrupted, including UNESCO. 

Inner City Press, banned from the UN by Guterres, has reported exclusively on the appalling situation at UNESCO. Now this:

Inner City Press covered extensively the poor decision making at UNESCO regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that put staff and ambassadors at risk. See previous reports here  and here.

  Now, in her typical style of uncompromisingly following the decisions of the French government, DG Audrey Azoulay has imposed a return to work in the office for all staff as of tomorrow, March 14. This has created quite a stir among staff members. The following email, sent last Friday to the ADG for Administration and the Director of Human Resources, clearly outlines the junior staff's position against Azoulay's latest decision.   Further reactions are expected from UNESCO's staff unions later this coming week. Here is the email shared with Inner City Press in extenso:  From: YoungUNESCO [at] unesco.  Sent: Friday, March 11, 2022 6:11:10 PM To: Jeffreys, Nicholas; Ogawa, Kazumi  Cc: Coronavirus Coordination [at]

Subject: Young UNESCO’s concerns - Back to the office measures  Dear ADG Jeffreys, Dear Ms Ogawa,    We trust this message finds you well. Young UNESCO would like to acknowledge their delight in the overall improvement of the sanitary situation at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. However, we also wish to express Young UNESCO’s concerns on the "Back to the office measures”, as communicated via email on 10 March 2022.     Following two years of teleworking measures, into which substantial investments have been made by the Organization, along with many lessons learned, and good practices identified, we fail to understand the rationale behind the decision of abruptly removing the current teleworking arrangements and authorizing teleworking solely on an exceptional and justified basis within the limit of one (1) day per week. Notably, this goes against the host country (France’s) own recommendations.    We recall that when the pandemic hit and related measures were put in place, staff were required to adjust almost from one day to the other and to continue to deliver. Despite the global shock and major difficulties in many cases, staff nevertheless responded, adjusted, and delivered.    The new requirements compel all those concerned to completely rearrange their lives within a very tight time frame (1 working day). We kindly request a justification for making such a major adjustment again, as the required practicalities for those involved are either immense or impossible to fulfill. For instance, many colleagues must find alternative solutions for childcare or medical needs in a very short time. This is in addition to the necessary logistics for some interns that might involve: visas, accommodation, travel tickets, health insurance, etc. Many do not have the financial or practical wherewithal to be able to do this. The short deadline and the strict temporary telework policy offer very little flexibility for staff and interns to adapt.    Since the relevant measures applicable from next Monday will be valid during the suspension of the current tele-work policy and pending the approval of a new flexible work arrangement policy, we emphasize the need to provide clarity and visibility on the timeline for this process to be completed.     We would like to stress also the importance of aligning any transitional measures with the preliminary proposals for the new UNESCO Human Resources Management Strategy covering the period 2023-2027 (ref 214 EX/5.III.A), notably with the elements proposed to adapt for the future/agility. This would ensure staff well-being and would avoid sacrificing the principles contained in the HR strategy, regardless of the time required to finalize a new policy.    In a technical brief on healthy and safe teleworking published on 2 February 2022, the World Health Organization and the International Labour Organization highlighted clear benefits of a well-organized teleworking policy, including an “improved work–life balance; opportunities for flexible working hours and more physical activity; reduced traffic and commuting time; and a decrease in air pollution across urban areas”, which can in turn improve physical and mental health, social well being, as well as lead to higher productivity and lower operating costs.   Staff, and particularly young staff, have proved time and again their capacity to adapt during the pandemic and teleworking has been instrumental in this regard. We are concerned that the measures applicable as of 14 March 2022 disregard the benefits of teleworking for the organization and its employees and they do not reflect the level of flexibility and agility required. Moreover, these measures seem to be especially detrimental for young colleagues, who share their offices and common spaces and are directly impacted by the rule of wearing masks during the whole working day. This imposition creates a very unequal and unfair work environment for young colleagues in comparison to senior officers, as young colleagues will be confronted to very uncomfortable full-time working conditions. In this sense, we are concerned about the message this sends in terms of UNESCO’s attractiveness as a workplace and, in turn, about the medium and long-term retention/turnover of young professionals.    Finally, no results of the online survey recently carried out to gather input on the measures to come back to the office have been published yet. This is despite the considerable participation of 850 colleagues, among which many of us appear to have underlined the necessity to pursue teleworking modalities in any future action of the administration. Young UNESCO recommends that the results of the survey are transparently shared with all staff, in its whole and unaltered form, along with a summary analysis.   "Our previous reality cannot be considered normal any longer, now is the time to make a change.”

  With this slogan, UNESCO sparked a debate among thousands of people during the COVID-19 pandemic, questioning our ideas about what is “normal” and leading the way for a more sustainable future.     The compulsion to work in the office without flexibility, or without due regard for the concerns of individual teams, is what has brought us to the present situation. It seems to us that a more workable solution would be to permit flexible working arrangements (including teleworking) according to the needs of each team, whilst lifting the restrictions on a physical office presence.   

  Young UNESCO dreams of UNESCO as a leader within the UN-system where noble ideas are put into practice and where the "normal” working modalities of the past are adapted to the 21st century needs.    As always, we thank you for your support and consideration and look forward to hearing from you.   Sincerely, Young UNESCO ”. 

  Inner City Press will closely observe the response to the concerns expressed and inform of any corrective action. The situation at UNESCO is obviously worrisome, but it is not yet enough for the ambassadors to begin to rectify the corrupt and incompetent management style of French DG Audrey Azoulay. UNESCO obviously lost it all and has reached this level of recklessness in only 4 years of French mandate. Member states can therefore easily imagine the consequences of another 4-year term of the French administration that has just started. We will have more on that.

This is where UNESCO is today, an agency where corruption, embezzlement, moral and sexual harassment, abuse of power and nepotism thrive.  We'll have more on this. Watch this site


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