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After UN Sold Itself to Ng Lap Seng, This Week Event With Guo Xiangang, Macau Attendees

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 21– After the UN was exposed as having been bought and corrupted by Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, convicted less than a month ago on six counts of UN bribery, money laundering and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, what has changed?

While the spokesmen for new Secretary General Antonio Guterres evade the questions asked by Inner City Press, for example about the UN rewarding Ng for his South South News' coverage of Ban Ki-moon's Central America trip in 2015, murky uses of the UN and its building, movement inside which Inner City Press is still restricted for its anti-corruption coverage, continue.

 For example, on August 23-24 the UN General Assembly Hall will be taken over by an NGO named “World Development Foundation” headed by Guo Xiangang. Inner City Press first reported on this group in May 2016, noting that the UN Department of Public Information was partnering with a group that at that time did not even have a website. This came after DPI's then-chief Cristina Gallach did no due diligence of Ng Lap Seng's purchase of events in the UN lobby and even its slavery memorial, then evicted Inner City Press after it asked her about her links to Ng's South South Awards.

But there are photos of DPI officials with Guo Xiangang. The cover, just as Ng Lap Seng used the Dominican Republic's Francis Lorenzo and a number of other states, in this case are Suriname and Guyana, both of whose Permanent Representatives attended Ng Lap Seng's Macau event in August 2015 and were interviewed by South South News, here and here. This week in attendance will be the Permanent Representative of Dominca, whose Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit was the only head of state who went to Ng Lap Seng's Macau event, along with the vice president of the United Nations Correspondents Association.

As Inner City Press reported and pursued, the UN Correspondents Association took payment from Ng' South South News for full page ads, then provided the venue for Ng's and Vivian Wang's photo op with Ban Ki-moon. It was for seeking to cover the UNCA event in the UN Press Briefing Room, “lent” without paperwork by Ban's and Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, that Inner City Press was evicted and is still restricted.

New DPI chief Alison Smale will have to deal with all this - and clean it up. For now, this is how the UN under Guterres remains. Watch this site. Legal footnote: the prosecution of Ng Lap Seng was by Assistant US attorneys Douglas Zolkind, Janis Echenberg and Daniel Richenthal of the US Attorney’s Office, David Last, on detail with the criminal division fraud section's FCPA unit, and Aashna Rao and David Louison. There are (many) further exhibits they are supposed to disclose to the Press, through spokespeople Nicholas Biase and Dawn Dearden and DC. We'll have more on all this.


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