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UNESCO Corruption of Azoulay Hits Mosul In Iraq Exposed By Banned Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, more here

UNITED NATIONS GATE, July 2 – Following the exclusive report by Inner City Press of May 26, the wind of panic in the Cabinet of Azoulay is blowing across UNESCO.  In February 2018, only few months after the election of the French Director General Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO launched the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative ostensibly to participate in the reconstruction of this city, after years of war and destruction.  This seemingly noble initiative was in fact a cover up operation of reinforcing French influence in Iraq in order to secure markets and work for French companies. Inner City Press, before being roughed up and banned by Antonio Guterres, can trace this all the way back to France's abstention for BNP Paribas on Iraq Oil for Food.

  UNESCO was used and abused since then in the realization of that pragmatic end. All donations received from Governments around the world are accurately planned to be channeled in due course to corporations close to the French administration.  How did that happen? This is how. Immediately after the launch of the initiative, a special team was established within UNESCO led by the Director of the Cabinet of Azoulay, Nicolas Kassianides, well know by now for his illegal housing grants exposed by Inner City Press.

  Members of this restricted team are only fully loyal people to Azoulay such as the Assistant Director General for Culture Erneso Otone Ramirez, one of his senior Directors, Lazare Eloundou Assomo and the member of the Cabinet of Azoulay, exposed by Inner City Press as the forgetting her passport while traveling on official missions, Sunna Altnoder. 

As a next step, the Director of the UNESCO office in Baghdad, Louise Haxthausen, was removed straight away, since she was considered by Kassianides too close to the government of Iraq after her several years of experience in the country, and too independent in her dealing with issues that progressively became sensitive for French national interests. She was replaced by a Director well know for his submissive behavior in any circumstance, the Italian Paolo Fontani. 

At some point earlier this year, the Iraqi government expressed dissatisfaction that UNESCO is focusing on the reconstruction of one city only. The response from Azoulay was rib-tickling; in a meeting with the highest authorities of Iraq, she simply countered their line of reasoning by pointing out that UNESCO must first do the “re-looking of Mosul”.  The people present in the room are still telling the story over lunches and dinners when time for jokes arrives together with coffee and cognac.  Why focusing on Mosul is having a plain and simple rationalization. Most of the millions received by UNESCO are for projects to be implemented in that particular city. Actually, there are no prospects for business elsewhere at this stage. Thus, in corrupted UNESCO, the dirt keeps on oozing this time in the context of Iraq.  Furthermore, the French DG Audrey Azoulay supported and supervised personally the organization of a concert with her French partners and friends in Chateau de Chambord.

 Unfortunately for her, it did not attract any media attention outside Paris.  According to a member of the Cabinet of Azoulay, the transactions of UNESCO in Mosul are among the most well-kept secrets in the House. The Cabinet member even considers that a number of parallel dealings are most probably piloted by some specialized French services.

  For instance, why would the Director of Cabinet Nicolas Kassianides go on mission to Iraq next week? Since when is a UNESCO Director of Cabinet allowed to deal with tasks which fall normally under the responsibilities of the Director General, or of her Assistant Director generals for culture or for external relations.  Nicolas Kassianides proves to be an expert in shady deals and this is why he is the one designated by Azoulay to meet next week in Baghdad the Iraqi Ministers of Culture, of Education and for Foreign Affairs, as well as the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff who has nothing to do with UNESCO matters. All those meetings are clearly DG or Assistant DGs level. Obviously, if the Director of Cabinet was from another country but France, it would have been unconceivable to go on such high-level official mission. This French oriented management style is changing the nature of the organization, but strangely enough, UNESCO member states remain silent on that blatant usurpation of power by one country. 

  “Kassianides is clearly taking instructions elsewhere”, said our source in the Cabinet. “As a former staff of Quai d’Orsay, and being fully aware that his days in UNESCO are counted, he must keep good relations with his former administration in order to get a good position there after successfully defending the French national interest under the cover of multilateral UN work”.  The state of affairs in the Cabinet has been left to deteriorate progressively and as long as member states remain silent, the reputation of UNESCO will remain severely affected. The governing bodies of UNESCO must remember that it involves at present a number of different scandals with regard to Azoulay’s administration and a whole series of kickbacks and schemes that really make problems for the overall credibility of the organization. Still banned Inner City Press will have more on that.


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