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Sept 24, 2013

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

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UN PGA Abdulla Shahid Won't Say Which Staff on Palau Junket Or Who Pays Them, Bans Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

UN GATE, April 12 – After UN President of the General Assembly John Ashe was indicted for taking bribes from Chinese government businessman Ng Lap Seng, and died before trial, the UN's lone reform was to say that future PGAs would disclose how each of their their staff members were funded, and by whom.

And now, even that insufficient reform is not being complied with. As of October 31, under staff, rather than lists who pays whom, Shahid says "Information on the staff of the Office of the President The staff of the Office of the President of the General Assembly (OPGA) are identifiable through their biographies on the website." This makes a mockery of transparency, and violates the post-Ashe commitment. And the Press that asks about ongoing UN corruption is banned.  

Now in April 2022 Abdulla Shahid is again on the road, this time in Palau, bragging about the the people he'll meet. In faux disclosure he says, "costs associated with the visit are paid for by the Office of the President of the General Assembly’s Trust Fund. The President is accompanied by three members of his Office."

But WHICH staff members, and who is paying THEM? Shahid has continued to refuse to say, and his spokesperson Paulina Kubiak Greer, who often gets no questions at all in the briefing room or WebEx, has refused to answer Inner City Press' daily e-mailed questions.

  Shahid's is not a "Presidency of Hope" - it is a presidency of corruption, or at least, of censorship.

Back on September 16, 2021 Inner City Press wrote to then-new PGA Abdulla Shahid's then-spokesperson Monica Grayley, "state when you will put on the PGA website the financial and staffing information committed to after the indictment of then PGA John Ashe."

It asked for confirmation of receipt, and a copy of the list of speakers for the UNGA High Level Week. Neither was provided, nor any response on what Shahid, Maldives' foreign minister, will do to ensure access to "his" UNGA by the Press which asks these questions.

Instead, with the Press still banned, Shahid on October 31 in Glasgow pontificated: "We must be honest about this, with ourselves, with each other, and with the rest of the world." Honest?

 How can the Press be banned? Corrupt

There is a pending application to the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit, acknowledged (unlike PGA Shahid's Grayley) but not acted on.  

On September 17, with the "Team" section of PGA Shahid's website still empty, Inner City Press wrote to two other staffers in the PGA's office, Carl Mercer  Lead, Communications, Advocacy & Speechwriting and Ahmed Salman Zaki, Executive Assistant to the PGA. Also complicity in the censorship of Press:  Carl Mercer  Lead, Communications, Advocacy & Speechwriting. At the UN, there are other more accurate words to describe these functions. Watch this site.


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