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As UNSG Guterres Rewards Sexual Harassment Houngbo At IFAD Follows Suit Italian Insider Reports

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR  Video

UNITED NATIONS GATE, May 1 – How corrupt and hypocritical is the United Nations of Secretary General Antonio Guterres? So much so that while Guterres claims zero tolerance and to be a feminist, now he was rewarded and covered up sexual misconduct in his own office. In a musical chairs personnel move on April 18, the day after he continued his 287th (now 301st) day censorship of the Press, Guterres named Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond of Chile "as Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Preparations for the Commemoration of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary." This promotion is, ghoulishly, Guterres rewarding what multiple staff say was Hochschild's relationship with another junior staff member. One of the staff members tells Inner City Press it in these words: "his promotion to USG was because the SG wanted him out of his office after he was caught having an affair with a junior staff member. In terms of power play this is a reward for sexual harassment." Talk about MeToo - the faux feminist Guterres covers up and rewards such behavior. And it is spreading throughout the UN system. Here's from our colleagues The Italian Insider, also attacked by the UN and not allowed in unlike more tamed faux watch-poodles who say nothing about Guterres' censorship of Press: "IFAD President, Gilbert Houngbo, is asking the UN agency's board to leave the International Labour Organization Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) so as to make it easier for management to fire staff at the poverty-busting organisation and strip employees of the tenuous protection the Geneva-based ILOAT courts provide against abuses including sexual harassment such as a new case it is considering against top IFAD executive Ashwani Muthoo, IFAD Sources said Friday.    “IFAD staff are in almost open revolt,” a senior IFAD source told the Insider. “The organization has many cases filed against it in the ILOAT, including one involving harassment by Ashwani Muthoo.  They have lost a lot of cases before. Their response is to leave the ILOAT, but they are trying to do it in secret,” the source added, speaking on condition he not be named.    “A document has been submitted to the board, but it is confidential, and staff don't know what it proposes.  This is a violation of IFAD's disclosure policy, but there is no accountability and the board doesn't care.”   Italian Insider requested a copy of the document from the IFAD press office Monday but while the press office said it would reply “as soon as possible” there was no concrete response by Friday.   The latest ILOAT case was filed by a staff member who claims Ashwani harassed her and that IFAD did nothing to stop it or compensate her. IFAD has fought the case at every step of the way. “If they really were sincere about ‘zero tolerance’ for harassment they would have settled the case,” the IFAD senior source said.   Ashwani, now Director of IFAD’s Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division, was suspended from his previous senior position at the agency in a separate sex harassment case brought several years ago by an Asian senior government official who claimed he harassed her while on a mission for IFAD. He was cleared of the allegations by an internal whitewash investigation and allowed to resume his post. Ashwani lists his educational achievements as including a PH.D from the University of Knightsbridge, which is widely regarded as a bogus 'mail order' university and is recognised by no government.   Subsequently Indian national Muthoo and his father, a patriarch in tight-knit UN circles in Rome still on the payroll at the FAO, showed their gratitude when one of Ashwani's brothers who is a senior academic at Warwick University arranged for the then IFAD President Kanayo Nwanze to receive an honorary degree from the hallowed institution.   Ashwani and his other fun-loving brother Raqesh, a director of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, a sister agency of IFAD, are cronies and drinking buddies of Fernando Servan, the Peruvian human resources head who had been dubbed a ‘sex predator’ by former UN investigator Peter Gallo of Hear their Cries, the NGO fighting sex abuse at the UN.   A macho predatory approach to young women employees fuelled by gallons of alcohol has flourished as a lascivious senior management style at the UN food agencies in Rome during the 10 year reign of FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, a Brazilian, who is sueing Italian Insider’s chief editor in two criminal libel cases at the Rome Tribunal for allegedly tarnishing the image of the FAO." Nothing left to tarnish. A fish rots from the head: #DumpGuterres.

   In the midst of Inner City Press' questioning in 2018 about Guterres' links to now convicted UN bribery Patrick Ho's China Energy Fund Committee and Guterres' failures on Cameroon and elsewhere, his UN Security twice roughed up Inner City Press on June 22 and July 3, 2018.

Then after Inner City Press filed a New York Police Department complaint against the UN and its Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins, none of its written questions to UN Security chief Peter Drennen and Guterres were answered. There are no due process rights for journalists in the UN of Guterres. On April 15, a year minus a day since the UN accredited Inner City Press on 16 April 2018, Inner City Press submitted a formal application and letter for re-accreditation, including in light of the guilty verdict and sentencing against Patrick Ho of CEFC (video here), financial links to which Guterres has failed to disclose and has for 287 days sought to censor to conceal.

On the morning of April 17, without any reasoning or explanation, this: "Greetings Matthew LEE from ICP     INNER CITY PRESS,  Your media accreditation request, with reference no: M66561081, has been declined." Just as there was no hearing, no action on assault by UN DSS Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins, and not appeals process, no reasons. Absolute lawless corruption.

The letter was sent to Guterres, his USG Alison Smale and her "personal assistant" Alison Corbet, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti and her staffer Eihab Omaish, his Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed and her chief of staff Nelson Muffuh, as well as to PGA Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces, her chief of staff  Kwabena Oseidanquah, her spokesperson Monica Grayley and staffers Nadia Kalb and Raquel Martins, to MALU chief Tal Mekel and others still to be named  along with a simple request for confirmation of receipt. Even this they had not done, a full 38 hours later. From what's been submitted: "A year ago on 16 April 2018 I was re-accredited to enter and cover the United Nations, as for many years before. Then I asked more and more questions about the Patrick Ho / CEFC China Energy UN bribery scandal, about the Secretary General, about Cameroon - and on 22 June 2018 I was pushed out of the UN Visitors Lobby while other non-resident correspondents remained there.    On 3 July 2018 as I covered the UN Budget Committee meetings as I have for years, I was physically roughed up by UN DSS Lt Ronald Dobbins and another who refused to give his name. On July 5 I was told I could not enter the UN and this remains the case, with no hearing and no appeal.     Now just less than a year since I was accredited, before the above and other facts of record, I am submitting this formal application for accreditation which you grant to correspondents who report far less, and far less critically, on the UN than Inner City Press.    It is particularly imperative that Inner City Press be allowed to enter and attend the noon briefing as hundreds of my questions have gone unanswered despite USG Smale's assurance to UNSR David Kaye, and Spokesman Dujarric's on camera assurance.    

Beyond the hundreds of articles covering the UN since the arbitrary ouster of 3 July 2018, for the record:  March 29, 2019, Hong Kong TV documentary on Patrick Ho CEFC, Inner City Press in front of UN and SDNY...

   For years Guterres received money as a board member of the Calouste Galbenkian Foundation, which despite its name is the 100% owner of Partex Oil and Gas. Partex has operations in Angola, Abu Dhabi, Brazil, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Oman and Portugal. It was to a Portuguese court that Guterres, while justifying no listing some of his income, disclosed in 2016 that he was paid at least € 2735 per month for his position with the Gulbenkian Foundation.

   But while a now deleted Foundation web page (archived here) stated that Guterres continued with Gulbenkian into 2018, Guterres did not list it on his most recent, and so far lone, UN Public Financial Disclosure, which covered 2016 ("Disclosing financial and other interests for the 2016 reporting year").

  So why did Guterres disclose his position with the Club of Madrid, but not with the Gulbenkian Foundation / Partex Oil and Gas?  Inner City Press has a right to re-enter and pursue these questions.


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