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In UN of Guterres Qatar Funds To Curry Favor Disappear As Staff Union Election Loom With Press Roughed Up and Banned

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS GATE, March 5 – The UN of Secretary General Antonio Guterres is immune from legal accountability, ranging from the killing of 10,000 Haitians with cholera to the roughing up and banning now for 244 days and counting of what critical Press remain(ed) in his UN. So the UN Staff Union is one rare opportunity for oversight of his management - but so far, just as Guterres has faux correspondents calling him transparent after off the records lunches of halibut, the Staff Union hasn't held him accountable.  How is the UN staff union being run? Back on 23 July 2018, then the 21st day of Inner City Press' ongoing ban by the Guterres, it e-mailed Guterres' Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed, his chief of staff Maria Luiza Viotti, his also vacationing Communicator Alison Smale and his two spokesmen: "Please confirm or deny that, in the UN Staff Union (and UN DSS under the control of the SG), there was recently an attempt to seize the raffle ticket books, worth $60,000, hoping to keep the cash from the sales and circumvent the new spending rules. “An incident ensued to which UN security had to be called.” - confirm or deny."  Eight months later there has been no answer to the question; despite Smale's and Dujarric's promises no answers are being given. Now on March 5 we publish this: UN Staff Union Second vice-president Cristina Silva last week lost her appeal against a ruling of the union's Arbitration Committee, which had found her to have violated the union's financial rules when $3,000 could not be accounted for and $12,000 were incorrectly placed into the Athletics Club's accounts. It was money with which Qatar, whose royal family is engaged in human trafficking to a mansion right in Manhattan, tries to curry favor in the UN - tellingly, misused. The ruling appealed from began: "The Second Vice-President was designated to be the liaison for Staff Day Committee and was a member of the UNSU 2018 Staff Day committee. She was charged with contacting the Missions for gifts and sponsorships in general of the Staff Day. As part of that undertaking, the Permanent Mission of Qatar (the Mission of Qatar) offered to the UNSU a financial donation of USD 15,000. From what the Arbitration Committee has gathered, financial donations are not usually received from missions and this seems to have been a first. The Second Vice-President instructed the Mission to transfer the money to the account of the UN Athletics Club1, to which the donation was wired on 6 September 2018 (the value date being 1 September 2018). There  1 In her statement before the Arbitration Committee (4 December 2018), the Second Vice-President stated that: “And so I asked the Mission to transfer the money to the account of the Athletics Club. The donation was, after all, earmarked for sports. I am the Vice President of the Athletics Club. As Vice President of the Athletics Club, I have access to the account for this club. But I am not the only one with access. There needs to be at least two signatories for any  The Arbitration Committee of United Nations Staff Union  was no written communication from the Second Vice-President to inform the Council of the donation. The Staff Council found out about the donation on 10 September. The sum of 12,000 was first understood to be the amount of the donation, but an official letter from the Mission of Qatar, dated 12 October 2018, confirmed that the amount of the donation was in fact USD 15,000. Two separate cash deposits were made to the UNSU account: − 7,000 on September 10 at the UNFCU DC2 Branch and; − 5 000 on September 12 at the UNFCU GA branch. The bank did not keep track of the identity of the person who made deposits. In her initial correspondence with the Arbitration Committee, the Second Vice-President stated in writing that she was the person who deposited those amounts, but later in a hearing denied having any knowledge of the identity of the person who made the deposits. The Second Vice-President explained the difference of 3,000, by expenses that were made, during the Staff Day or in the period leading to it, to acknowledge the contribution made by the Mission of Qatar and to pay Staff Day referees3. In that regard, the Second Vice-President has submitted invoices to prove those expenses. The Second Vice-President explained that some of expenses were made from her personal funds (Credit card) and later reimbursed by the Athletic Club."

   Union elections are scheduled for the first week of April. With the second vice-president now out of the picture, the president has reportedly been struggling to find running mates, although rumors now suggest the staff counselor may be interested in joining her ticket. The deadline for submitting candidacies is soon and it appears that a number of competing tickets are being formed. Even banned from entering the UN by Guterres, without any accountability from any existing mechanism, Inner City Press will cover it. The initial question was based on this account received by Inner City Press as it works from the bus stop in front of the UN Delegates Entrance: "Dear Matthew: Following concerns about how services were procured and money spent at last year’s staff day, the union treasurer instituted strict financial controls. Worried about how these controls would affect her ability to freely overspend this time around, union second vice-president Cristina Silva, whose main role together with union president Bibi Khan, is to organize parties and redesign the union logo rather than help staff, seized the raffle ticket books, worth $60,000, hoping to keep the cash from the sales and circumvent the new spending rules. An incident ensued to which UN Security had to be called. Luckily other union members, with the help of first vice-president Patricia Nemeth, managed to force Silva and Khan to hand over the raffle tickets. This isn’t the first difficulty to beset president Bibi Sherifa Khan. Two weeks ago the union passed a resolution of no confidence in Khan following outbursts in front of Jan Beagle in New York and at a meeting at ESCAP. Second vice president Cristina Silva has also faced scrutiny from the council. Besides her mismanagement of the interagency games, which she organized in Long Island in 2014 and which incurred a large financial loss, she has also been under fire for recruiting an ECLAC retiree, friend, countrywoman and member of the Internal Justice Council as a union legal advisor, on a generous retainer, without approval by her union. Bibi Khan’s keenness to be photographed with Antonio Guterres has also been mentioned as a reason for the ease with which Jan Beagle and Christian Saunders were able to recommend the abolition of 100 administrative posts in New York, much to the horror of other union officers. Some suspect that Guterres has simply manipulated Khan to play divide and rule with the union." Again, that is the account we received; we are aware of and in fairness report Bibi Khan's concern at sexual harassment in ICSC. Guterres and Smale are hindering Inner City Press' ability to report, but we'll have more on all this. And this: At the UN, even the Security Council's website is a prize to quietly be given to a top official's spouse, with no competition or transparency. Inner City Press is exclusively informed by whistleblowers that Department of Political Affairs chief of staff Kyoko Shiotani's husband John van Rosendaal has been brought in to run the Council's website, as if the UN and its Security Council were a small business suffused in nepotism. On May 24, as part of its exclusive reporting, Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: people that work in your UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA) have been confused and surprised to see, according to them, that the husband of the Chief of Staff, Kyoko Shiotani, a John van Rosendaal, has been designated to run the Security Council's website.  They… they found it kind of strange because there was… there was no need for it.  He was brought in without any competition, according to them, and it seemed like a classic case of nepotism and affecting the Security Council itself.  So, I'm wondering… maybe you don't have the information at your fingertips, but can you find out how it is that… that it's… I've seen this thing.  He's now called a senior programme officer after being a self-employed consultant.

Spokesman:  I'm not aware of the case, and I'm sure all the rules were followed.  Carole?

Inner City Press:  How are you so sure?" This was not answered. On LinkedIn, van Rosendaal lists himself as “Strategic Communications Consultant at United Nations” as well as Self-Employed, Photographic Wanderings.

   Here is van Rosendaal's website, Photographic Wanderings dot com: “Professionally, I’ve worked as a journalist, media company manager and communications consultant. I plan to combine my passion and my expertise to build this site into something interesting, useful and entertaining. I’m originally Dutch but left Holland in 1989. Since then I’ve mostly lived in or close to New York, with stints in Switzerland, Cyprus and Austria.”

 He's a communications strategist with 39 Twitter followers. Now he's to run the Security Council's website. Why not?

  Inner City Press asks, how did this "self employed communications consultant" (with 39 Twitter followers) become, as his signature block now says, "Senior Program Officer, Security Council Affairs Division"?

  This is the UN of Antonio Guterres. Rosemary DiCarlo has just taken over at DPA. Guterres and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric banned Inner City Press from covering the ceremony where Dicarlo presumably pledged to serve the public. It is impossible to know since UNTV did not film it and Inner City Press was then and now banned from its own livestream Periscope broadcast on Guterres' 38th floor.

Now what will DiCarlo, or perhaps despite his spokesman's knee-jerk defenses of and evictions for anything the UN does Guterres who is already charged with overseeing cover ups of sexual harassment in the IAEA, do? Watch this site.


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