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In Corrupt UN of Guterres Another UNESCO Year Of Azoulay Bus Station and Rest Room Chronicles

By Matthew Russell Lee & sources, Exclusive

UN GATE, Jan 22UNESCO, like the whole UN system under Antonio Guterres is falling apart in corruption and fraud.

  Inner City Press has been reporting on serious malfeasance by the French Audrey Azoulay administration at UNESCO in Paris, almost as bad as Antonio Guterres' corruption in and of the UN in New York. A fish rots from the head.

During DG Azoulay's term in office, abuse and corruption are spreading around unpunished. Not only have measures not been taken to fight fraud, but even worse, those involved in the corruption schemes are getting generous UNdeserved promotions and cushy jobs, while those exposing the corruption are under constant threat of harassment and mistreatments like in the Culture and Science Sectors of the agency.

  Following the exposure by Inner City Press of several internal scandals, the administration of the French DG Azoulay is in turmoil. But definitely there is more to come. 

Second terms are always difficult, and the lame duck Azoulay is about to learn this the hard way. The biggest blow to her carefully constructed image and reputation came last month during her official visit to Morocco, when King Mohammed VI refused to meet her as per the protocol governing visits of heads of UN agencies. Inner City Press reported on this, but the photo below was only recently brought to our attention. 


What's the point of having a father in the palace if he can't even get a meeting for his baby-daughter in the palace, that's an obviously disturbing question for UNESCO's Director general.  Instead, Madame Azoulay received a resounding slap in the face. While she spent her infanthood in Morocco and became familiar with the royal environment, here she comes to Morocco as DG of UNESCO and receives indecent treatment. Instead of an audience with the King, she was allowed to simply curtsy to His Majesty for less than two minutes while King Mohammed VI inaugurated the new bus station in Rabat.

So this is what happens to the head of UNESCO: a meeting at a new bus station instead of an audience at the palace.  But the most outrageous thing is Azoulay's bent-forward position in the photo.

 Before going any further, everyone should take another look. After a search of the archives, we can say that no other UN agency head has ever adopted such a humiliating posture in front of a head of state or other senior official. This is not only humiliating for DG Azoulay, it is also extremely disturbing for UNESCO and for the UN as a whole.  This is the posture of the lady who claims to be inaccessible to ambassadors and ministers. This is the Frenchwoman who, since her election in 2017, has adopted the attitude of an icon and despite the criticism still fiercely protects her image as a haughty and unapproachable DG. But now what? Who could take her seriously from now on. Even a slave would do the bowing with some dignity unlike DG Audrey Azoulay.  In addition to her proven attitude of "licking up and spiting down", Ms Azoulay is also good at having private fun with public money. This was illustrated by Inner City Press publications on her decision to go on holiday to Venice, Italy, and pay for a ‘boat’ with funds from the agency's regular Cultural sector budget (here

 Most of the time, corrupt politicians enjoy and profit from money stolen from the public purse. But sometimes they struggle and suffer. And Audrey Azoulay could suffer even more if IOS effectively investigates the new evidence we are now able to provide to the heavily closed eyes of IOS investigators.  After our own investigation, it turns out that the German owner of the boat, which had been rented to Ms Azoulay and her family, was in contact with only two people in the UNESCO office in Venice who were involved in the illegal financial transaction.

One is the Director of the office, Brazilian Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores, who gave the necessary authorization to process the boat rental, and the other UNESCO official is Italian Matteo Rosati, who has been under contract with the Venice office for several years now. 

Strangely enough, shortly after the scandal was revealed by Inner City Press, the Director Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores was removed and rushed to Geneva in a desperate cover-up operation to "save the soldier Azoulay". As for Rosati, to keep him quiet, Azoulay's cabinet promised him a permanent position as he was the one who dealt directly and negotiated the price with the German owner of the boat on behalf of UNESCO for the private needs of Azoulay and her family.

 So, if IOS is to have any credibility left, both Ana Luiza Thompson-Flores and Matteo Rosati must be thoroughly investigated and questioned. Any findings should be made public to members of the UNESCO Executive Board.

 Moreover, Azoulay's cabinet has been on fire since last week and is building a counter-offensive in front of member states which are increasingly curious about the facts revealed in the French press that are a public disgrace for Audrey Azoulay. Take a look at this one, which simply proves once again that DG Azoulay is not up to the ethical and moral standards required for the job. 

During her tenure as Minister of Culture in 2016 and 2017, a weird harassment case was covered directly by Audrey Azoulay and her services. Appalling but according to a too well placed whistleblower, a senior civil servant working in a high position in the Ministry under Minister Azoulay, forced women to urinate in front of him. A hearing took place last Friday before the administrative court of Paris to examine the responsibility of the State in this extraordinary case. The victims accuse the Ministry of Culture of having protected its agent and of having totally ignored numerous alerts. 

Thus, for almost ten years, Christian N., a senior official in the Ministry of Culture, interviewed women and used the interviews to photograph them without their knowledge. Above all, he intoxicated them to watch them urinate in front of him. Christian N., head of human resources, received women who were applying for a position in his department. He would start by offering them tea or coffee, discreetly adding a diuretic and imposing a walk outside. Under the effect of the drug, the victims could no longer restrain themselves and ended up urinating in front of him, sometimes on them, while he pretended to hide them. He would then go back to the Ministry and record everything in an Excel spreadsheet called "Experiments". Example: "She starts to pull down her tights and panties (black). [...] She squats down and lets out a very strong and long stream".  At the time, many victims accused the institution and asked a question: how could this man have victimized so many people over such a long period of time without ever being investigated? Indeed, many elements show that the management of the Ministry of Culture could hardly ignore the problematic profile of this senior official. 

The fact is that the alerts went unheeded. In 2016, Marie, one of the victims, sent a letter to the then Minister of Culture, Audrey Azoulay, the current Director general of UNESCO, to point out the actions of Christian N. She never received even a response and no corrective action was either instructed by Azoulay or taken by her in response to the growing scandal.

 This is precisely the same attitude of ignoring victims that Azoulay has subsequently adopted as her policy at UNESCO. She has continued to ignore all warnings and evidence of inappropriate and abusive behavior by ADGs and other officials appointed by her. The end-results is that she has intentionally allowed humiliation, harassment and misconduct to spread throughout the agency, killing staff morale and destroying the agency's credibility. Why the member states let this happen will be clarified as usual at the end of her painful second and final term.

  But in the meantime, only Member States can oppose a situation in which senior managers can exercise total abuse of power and control over staff, including through intimidation and harassment that force staff members into fear and obedience. This is where UNESCO stands today. We will have more on that. Watch this site.


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