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UN Corruption Worsens Under Guterres with WOGC On Kiribati with Ng's Garcia No Answer But Press Ban China Trip

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR Letter PFTracker

UNITED NATIONS, August 27 – After the UN was exposed as having been bought and corrupted by Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, convicted and now imprisoned on six counts of UN bribery, money laundering and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and with Patrick Ho of the China Energy Fund Committee jailed pending trial for similar bribery of UN President of the General Assembly Sam Kutesa, what has changed? Very little - in fact it's getting worse, now with violent censorship. On 25 August 2017, a full year ago, Secretary General Antonio Guterres was listed as a speaker at an absurd event in the ECOSOC Chamber, promoted by the UN Correspondents Association, by a group that had plead-guilty Francis Lorenzo and demonstrated money laundering helper Carlos Garcia at its founding. Here is a video shown at the event making outlandish claims about the only recently founded WOGC group: the World Organization of Governance and Competitiveness.

  Now a year later, with Inner City Press have probed further into the corruption of the UN under Guterres, he and he Global Communicator Alison Smale had Inner City Press roughed up on June 22 and July 3 and banned since. Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric on August 17 said this is not about freedom of the press but rather being in the wrong place at the wrong time and making some diplomats and UN officials - and even journalists, seemingly the leadership of UNCA which promoted WOGC and its events - uncomfortable. Well, yeah. Dujarric too was apparently uncomfortable, not only on June 18 when he was found spoonfeeding Al Jazeera in a private briefing in the UN Briefing Room about Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo, then exposed for a role in the June 22 roughing up of Inner City Press - he was so uncomfortable retaliatory he has not answered this: "August 27-9: Last week I saw near the UN former Dominican Republic DPR Francis Lorenzo, who pleaded guilty to UN bribery. Please immediately state whether Mr Lorenzo, and separately Mr Carlos Garcia and others implicated in the Ng Lap Seng case, still have access to the UN, including as visitors, and please contrast their right to entry with mine (please define that), and explain. And please describe the UN's allowance of entrance to the WOGC group I have previously asked about, and Secretariat's knowledge of their deal in Kiribati." No answers, as Guterres who has yet to even start an audit of China Energy Fund Committee still in the UN bans Inner City Press and heads to China September 1-4. Inner City Press asked, "August 27-1: Given the obvious torture of Uganda MP Bobi Wine, please state what the SG has done and whether he will raise the issue to Uganda on his upcoming trip to the AU related meeting in China. Also, what the SG has done about the trend of bribery by CEFC and those now imprisoned and links to DESA and whether this will be raised on his trip." Nothing.  Inner City Press has been looking into WOGC's dubious program with the micro-state Kiribati, which like Ng's bribery overlapped with and used the UN Development Program, also works with UNDP. Here is a WOGC Facebook video on Kiribati (and here one from Inner City Press, where Dujarric for Guterres denies censorship). Here is WOGC and "digital currency." Here a UNDP program with Kiribati is illustrated by a photograph of the deal with... WOGC's Cary Yan, here.

After Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric again refused to answer questions, Inner City Press which can no longer stakeout ECOSOC without a UN "minder" instead went to Periscope and take photos. It witnessed, and raised, that Carlos Garcia himself was in ECOSOC, here - but he left once he was photographed. The highest levels of the UN know about this. Inner City Press has asked Guterres' spokesman Dujarric, including again on August 28 and each business day since: "Beyond the still unanswered vetting questions below, about the canceled WDF/Suriname event and the one allowed to go forward on Friday - who PAID the UN for UNTV, security etc on Friday? How was WOGC vetted, including specifically its relation with Carlos Garcia? What is the status of former El Salvador PR Garcia, given what was shown about his action for Francis Lorenzo and Ng Lap Seng in Ng's trial, in the UN?" Dujarric purported to respond to two other questions, but removed this one from his response. As of September 5 he has answered only three of 21 Inner City Press questions. Here another one Dujarric and his two top deputies have not answered or even confirmed receipt of: "Please confirm or deny that current ASG, Martha-Helena Lopez is the daughter of Armando Duque González, that Armando Duque González was a D2 in OHRM and the appropriateness of Ms. Lopez' recruitment into the UN system and the accuracy of her PHP, includign in light of Staff Rule 104.10. On deadline. Please confirm receipt of these questions." No confirmation, even, for 46 hours (Dujarric said responded to three of 21 Press questions is a good average for him). Now this, from Dujarric: "Just to be clear Martha Helena Lopez is not the daughter of Armando Duque González. Ms. Lopez is a well respected expert in human resources. Her appointment is solely based on merit." And here from the underlying complaint by whistleblowing UN staff to OIOS: "From: [  ] Date: Tue, Sep 5, 2017 at 11:02 AM, Subject: Re: your report to OIOS, To: OIOS HLMAILBOX, Dear Sir/Madam, I find your request rather odd. If I did have the sort of information that you seek from me, there'd be no reason on my part to have contacted you in the first place. Anyway, here's some info that may help you: (i) a number of long-serving senior Spanish-speaking staff at the Secretariat are quite aware of Lopez's background. So are senior D2s in DM. Crooks tend to protect each other. I received the information from an acquaintance of mine at the Columbian Mission to the UN. Martha-Helena Lopez (MHL) is a national of Columbia; (ii) In Hispanic Catholic traditions, MHL's full name most likely takes the form of Martha-Helena Lopez-Gonzalez, or Lopez- Duque Gonzalez, or Duque Lopez. In that tradition, children tend to take the last name not only of their father but their mother as well. MHL clearly has not, dropping one of them, at least when beginning her UN career.I'd check with academic institutions, and places of work where MHL was trained or was initially employed before entering the UN system. This information is quite easily obtained on her Linkedin profile. I'd cross check this info with her PHP. ID (and indeed OIOS) has the mandate to request and obtain the PHP of any UN Staff member.Earlier versions of her passport too, or other forms of national ID cards, most likely gives her full name. (iii) In addition to the above, I'd cross-reference her dates of employment at the UN with those of her father's. This requires some investigation work, I'm afraid. After his career at the Secretariat, he joined the JIU as one of the inspectors, from 1999-2003. Please see attachment. There is also a María Victoria Duque López, also associated with the UN in one form or another. Perhaps a sister of MHL." On Wed, Aug 30, 2017 at 5:13 PM, OIOS HLMAILBOX wrote: Dear Sir/Madam, Thank you again for your report sent to the Investigations Division, Office of Internal Oversight Services (ID/OIOS). If you could please provide to us, by 8 September 2017 , any additional information—including relevant documents and details of possible witnesses—we would appreciate it.  Please include any information regarding your report of PHP falsification and nepotism, as well as any other evidence in your possession using this e-mail address.  In your response, be sure to mention that you are following up on a request for additional information.  Please note that if we do not receive a response by the indicated date above, a final decision on the matter will be based on available information." Apparently OIOS has already made its decision. We'll have more on this. At the UN General Assembly on August 28, a rogue UN Security supervisor ordered Inner City Press to stop filming from the stakeout, without giving his name. At the August 25 UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you again about this event that's now, is going forward.  It's in the Journal.  It will be televised.  And I'd asked you yesterday whether this World Organisation of Governance and Competitiveness… how it was vetted, and I didn't get an answer from you, so I want to ask you…Spokesman:  I don't have any more to, I don't have any information to share on that.  I'll check
... Inner City Press:  It's beginning at 1:00. Spokesman:  The SG is not participating. Inner City Press:  Right.  But my question is this.  I went and looked up… Spokesman:  It's sponsored, I think, by a Permanent Mission. Inner City Press:  It's listed, the Journal itself says World Organisation of Governance and Competitiveness.  So, I searched the ECOSOC database and… I just want to ask you because… when you answer on this.  It was only formed in 2016, and yet it says it's an ECOSOC member organisation.  That's how it's sponsoring, and, I believe, paying for part of this event.  And when you go to the ECOSOC documents, it basically took over the name of another group called World of Hope International. And so many people that work in this field… there's a lot of controversy about the NGO committee in ECOSOC, but how can a group sneak under the radar by buying a name?  And I would like just to know from you, who's paying for the event?  And what connection does Carlos Garcia-- Spokesman:  You should ask, that's a question, I mean, I will look… Inner City Press:   No, no, it's the UN.  Who's paying the UN… Spokesman:  You should ask… Inner City Press:  Who's transferring money to the UN?
Spokesman:  …"ask the organisers as well." That's called passing the buck. The group emphasizes it is accredited to ECOSOC. But the May 2017 document, under its name, is all about "World of Hope International," here. We'll have more on this. UN Spokesman Dujarric, who previously evicted Inner City Press as it covered the Ng Lap Seng scandal and still restricts it, has not answered.

While the spokesmen for 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 was scheduled be taken over by an NGO named “World Development Foundation” headed by Guo Xiangang. After Inner City Press asked and wrote about it, it was canceled, with the UN ascribing the cancellation entirely to... Suriname, see below. Now on the same day, the UN Correspondents Association sends out an invitation to an August 25 event by the "World Organization of Government and Competitiveness" (WOGC), whose founding event, photo here, featured Francis Lorenzo (pleaded guilty to UN bribery) and is linked with Carlos Garcia (who helped Ng launder money in the Dominican Republic - email here, article here). Here is the video of WOGC's founding, featuring Garcia and other UN people - more on this to follow. UN Spokesman Dujarric has previously refused to state Garcia's status in the UN, despite clear exhibits in the Ng trial which ICP covered. So on August 24, more than 24 hours before the event, Inner City Press publicly asked Dujarric at the UN noon briefing, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: number of times I’d asked you about Carlos Garcia, used to be the former Permanent Representative of El Salvador.  And, in the Ng Lap Seng case, he was shown to have assisted in the laundering of money between Ng Lap Seng and Francis Lorenzo. So, I wanted to ask you, there’s a, there’s an event tomorrow in ECOSOC, which is a, sponsored by a group which is… is linked online and in its founding with Carlos Garcia.  And it’s listed in a press release that was put out yesterday with the Secretary-General planning to attend… attend… Spokesman:  What’s the event? Inner City Press:  It’s called “Road to the Future of Sustainable Development:  Moving from Commitments to Results through Inclusive Innovation.”  And it has a press release by the group WOCG, talking about life pods.  And it says there will be a statement by António Guterres. So, my question is, has this group, including its links to… in its very founding, to Carlos Garcia and Francis Lorenzo, been vetted by the UN? Spokesman:  Let me check.  I was not aware, I’m not aware of the Secretary-General participating.  I will look into it. Inner City Press: Whether or not he participates, I guess, my question is, given that these… these exhibits… Spokesman:  I’m not a, yeah, I know.  I’m not aware of the event.  So, I will look into…Inner City Press: Last time you didn’t answer it… Spokesman:  I did answer you. Inner City Press: Well, yeah, that evening when the NGO asked you to…Spokesman:  "I answered you. "This time, past 7 pm, nothing. A whistleblower forwarded this to Inner City Press: "UNCA is extending an invitation from the Permanent Mission of Zambia to the UN and the World Organization of Governance and Competitiveness to a High-level Global Meeting discussing 'Road to the Future of Sustainable Development: Moving from Commitments to Results through Inclusive Innovation,' taking place on Friday, August 25th from 1:30 - 6:00 pm in ECOSOC chamber. Sherwin Bryce-Pease, President, United Nations Correspondents Association." The promotion: "H.E Mr. Lazarous Kapambwe, Permanent Representative of Zambia to the United Nations, Mr. Cary Yan, President of WOGC, Special Guests include: H.E. Mme Marie Chatardová, President of the Economic and Social Council (tbc), H.E. Mr. António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General (tbc), H.E. Mme Lorena Herrera, Vice President of Honduras, H.E. Mr. Alvaro Colom, Former President of Guatemala, H.E. Mr. Kessai H. Note, Former President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, H.E. Mr. Francisco Merino, Former Vice President of El Salvador, Hon. Mr. Freidi Torres, Former President of Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Panama." The press release says Antonio Guterres will speak. We'll have more on this. As to the WDF event, Inner City Press was urged to remove its reporting from the Internet - just as then UNCA president Giampaolo Pioli told it to remove an article about his renting of an apartment to Sri Lanka's ambassador from the Internet or get thrown out of the UN, which UNCA "leaders" and the UN in turn did - and to interview Suriname's Ambassador (we DO have questions). But the UN is covering up. The NGOs Dujarric refused to answer about have already been partnered with by the UN Department of Public Information, photos here and here; the now-cancelled event was still promoted in a DPI NGO newsletter sent out on the afternoon of August 23, with a greeting from DPI's Maher Nasser. Again, UNreformed DPI which views its role as pro-UN coverage cannot be allowed to evicted and still restrict the independent Press. We'll continue on this. On the now-canceled event, attendance list and junket offer below; voice mail after UN refused to answer, here, UN Spokesman's one-quarter answer, below; second voicemail here. In a third voicemail, an interview of with the Ambassador of Suriname, just as he was interviewed by South South News in Macau, was offered here. But Inner City Press' questions were and are to the UN, how it vetted the NGOs - UNanswered. Now a fourth voicemail, here, asking that Inner City Press take down article(s) - and, on August 23, the event was not taking place in either the General Assembly Hall, nor Conference Room 4. We'll have more on this. 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. The UN's holdover Spokesman Stephane Dujarric has been involved, including in both the eviction and continuing restrictions. On August 22, Inner City Press asked and e-mailed Dujarric about the August 22-24 event. Video here; UN transcript here: Inner City Press: there's an event this week in the General Assembly, and some of the sponsors are those who attended the Macau event sponsored and paid for by Ng Lap Seng in August 2015 just before he was indicted and arrested.  So, I wanted to know — maybe you can find this out today — it's said that it's going to be webcast.

Spokesman:  What's the event?  I don't, what's the event?

Inner City Press:  The event has to do with sustainable tourism.  It's sponsored by an NGO and two Member States, both of whom went to Macau.  So, my question to you is, you've said the things have radically cleaned up…What's the UN's role in the event…  Who's paying for the-

Spokesman:  I need… drop me off a piece of paper with information about the event and I will…

Inner City Press: I'm going to give you the email as well, the one about…

Spokesman:  Perfect.

Inner City Press: …Yiping Zhou and the one that you said you hadn't seen.

Spokesman:  Okay, thank you.

  Inner City Press immediately sent Dujarric as well as his top two deputies the Yiping Zhou email and some questions. Five hours later when he left, Dujarric had not answered nor even, as requested, confirmed receipt. After 8 pm one of the sponsors called Inner City Press, audio here. But the answer should come from the UN Secretariat, which had been asked eight hours previously. Inner City Press called the caller how to ask Dujarric, and Dujarric did respond to this NGO, emailing Inner City Press: "Dear Matthew, The event is sponsored that the Mission of Suriname. They are responsible for the content of the event and we have been assured that no one is being charged for this event. Sincerely, Steph." But this didn't answer the questions that Inner City Press had asked (while showing that Dujarric had received them - we'll have more on this, and this.)

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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