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UN Pension Fund Wines & Dines Brokers in Hospital(ity) Log, Boykin Sends Gag Order, Dujarric Spins

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, February 3 – As the UN remains unreformed after Ban Ki-moon's ten years ended with corruption, long asked about by the Press, exposed, budget cuts are coming. And scrutiny on UN corruption is being ramped up, including the extension of Clinton-aligned Jeffrey Feltman so his pension can vest, here.

  Now, after another Inner City Press exclusive, a Ban Ki-moon era official now purporting to speak for Antonio Guterres has sent a gag order to staff, here.

 On February 2, when Inner City Press asked Ban's, now Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the gag order, he claimed UN staff misinterpreted it. From the UN transcript:

Inner City Press: You'd sent me an answer about the so-called hospitality log at the Pension Fund.  That was fine.  They published it.  Since then, the employees of that unit have all received a, what they call a gag order from Ms. Carolyn Boykin telling, reminding them that only the Secretary-General can speak for the Organization.  And they see it as basically they thought that they…

Spokesman:  I don't… I, you know, people can interpret whatever they want in whatever way they want.  My understanding is that what was circulated are the current, the current media guidelines, which actually say that people should be able to speak in their areas of, their area of competency.

Inner City Press:  So, what level of UN employee is… is authorized to disclose if they think they saw… they see corruption?  They took this as very much a threat to punishment.

Spokesman:  I'm sorry they interpreted it that way.

Inner City Press:  What does it mean?

Spokesman:  Mr. Abbadi.

   We'll stay on this.

  Inner City Press continued its series on January 26 with this from the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, which whistleblowing staff tell Inner City Press maintains a "Hospitality Log" of its wining and dining of brokers, leaving General Service staff to (mis) fill in the information.

  The whistleblowers tell Inner City Press of a directive from Sandhya Peerthum, citing Ban Ki-moon's corrupt boondoggle UMOJA:

"With the implementation of UMOJA, assistance from EO has been drastically reduced. Assistants can help schedule interviews, print PHP, book rooms, take notes, enter guests in workspeed for access etc. They can better support the SIO’s by taking on more administrative roles to free up the SIO’s time so that they can focus on their respective portfolios. Also, trading has been absorbed by Vicky so there is a lot of excess capacity."

  The staff whistleblowers tell Inner City Press there is a problem with "accurate record keeping including the Hospitality Log – Hospitality log is the responsibility of the P-staff (Investment Officers) who wine and dine with brokers, advisers and other investment professionals. So how would a GS staff know when and where a P-staff would be enjoying lunch, dinner and beer (and what else) on any given date or time to update the hospitality log? This is totally illegal"

And needs investigation. The UN's holdover Spokesman Stephane Dujarric answered only two and a half of Inner City Press' 22 questions, and on January 25 and January 27 left the briefing room as Inner City Press was still asking questions. Then on January 27, this:

From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 12:35 PM
Subject: Your question on the Hospital Log of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
To: Matthew.Lee [at]
Cc: Stephane Dujarric [at]

We have the following information provided by the UNJSPF:
The purpose of the Hospitality Log is to record events which Investment staff attend as part of their official functions, which may include meetings, conferences, meals or receptions.  These events are to the benefit of the Fund, as they enable investment staff to network and gather information which is helpful to their research.  As most of the Fund is internally managed, attendance at such events is not unusual.
The Investment Management Division (IMD) has a Gift and Hospitality Policy, which was reviewed by the UN Ethics Office and the Pension Fund’s Audit Committee. This policy requires events to be logged and it requires them to be reasonable and customary in cost.  Additionally, the Investment Management Division conducts annual ethics training."

  After this spin, Carolyn Boykin, representative of the Secretary General (that would be, now, Antonio Guterres, "reminded" staff that they have no right to speak to the Press, that everything should be through... Dujarric, who stonewalled Inner City Press on Ban Ki-moon's and Cristina Gallach's corruption, threw it out of the Briefing Room and then the UN.

 There is a need for an entirely different approach, and new officials, at the UN. Watch this site.

 In Washington executive orders are being prepared to cut up to 40% of the US' contributions to the UN, and to fully cut funding to entities blamed for violation of human rights.

  One obvious question is whether the total denial of due process for whistleblowers - already part of US law - and investigative press which covers UN corruption constitutes such a violation.

  For example, the UN Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach in early 2016 threw Inner City Press out of the UN, dumping its investigative files onto First Avenue, without a single hearing or opportunity to be heard, and no appeal since.

All this for seeking to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room which was nowhere listed as closed, and leaving as soon as a single UN Security officer said the Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, wanted Inner City Press out.

Gallach had a conflict of interest, having been asked by Inner City Press about her own links with Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, facing trial (like Ban Ki-moon's nephew and brother) on bribery charges.

There are no rules, only the one-person fiat rule of an official dumped on Ban's UN by Spain, where she had previously managed, at most, seven people as spokesperson to Javier Solana. Nothing has been done; eleven months later Gallach still requires Inner City Press to have "minders" to cover the UN Security Council.

  The cuts, and a new US Ambassador, are coming. Six days after a confirmation hearing in which she called for accountability at the UN, including for peacekeepers' abuses, Nikki Haley on January 24 was confirmed to replace Samantha Power as US Ambassador to the UN.

  This came after at least two business days of no photos replacing those of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the US Mission to the UN.

  On January 24, Inner City Press asked former UN official, now Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom about Haley's call to defund countries whose peacekeepers abuse. Tweeted video here. There are reforms needed at the UN.

  Back on January 18 before Haley spoke as nominee for US Ambassador to the UN, Senator Bob Corker said he sometimes wondered if just-left Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had a pulse.

  In fact, Ban was quite active in helping his own relatives at the UN, promoting his son in law to the top UN job in Kenya, his brother mining in Myanmar with a "UN delegation," indicted nephew using Ban's name to sell real estate.

  When Haley began, she said the UN has a "checkered history." That's being diplomatic. Consider a head of Peacekeeping who has linked rapes to R&R, video here.

  Consider a head of the UN "Department of Public Information" who did no due diligence over indicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng - then evicted and still restricts the Press which asked here about it. Audit here, Para 37-40, 20b; NYT here.

   In response to questions, Haley praised the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, questioned the one in South Sudan and that country's government. She noted that countries make money off their peacekeepers. The case in point, we note, is Burundi, here.


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