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UNESCO Governance Crisis Deepens Amidst Concealed Coronavirus Spread Like Guterres

By Matthew Russell Lee & UNESCO sources

UN GATE, Nov 1 – As reported by Inner City Press on 28 May last, here, due to total incompetence and the unruly interference by the Secretariat of DG Azoulay in the governance processes, Member states of UNESCO are even more divided than before over the governance issues at stake.   

   After the noisy slap given to both this week by member states, the ears of DG Azoulay and of her new friend Agapito Mba Mokuy, Chair of the Executive Board, will keep buzzing for some time. 

   The UN Agency in Paris is plunged in another governance insanity. The attempt instigated by the French DG Audrey Azoulay to push for a virtual meeting of the Executive board with a considerably reduced agenda, did not work despite the full support by Mba Mokuy.

Putting at risk his vanishing reputation and credibility, the support of Mba Mokuy for Azoulay is not a surprise after cheaply selling himself to the French last June by accepting all conditions including the imposed on him Secretary of the Board, the Indian Sachin Bhatt.  Despite the technical and political mistakes made as Secretary of the Governing bodies, Sachin Bhatt is still kept as Director GBS. For how long will this aberration last is an open question. As pointed out by a staff member working in central services, Remaining true to his sleazy reputation, Bhatt kept eavesdropping on the Chair and sabotaging his work as instructed by the Cabinet and by his exclusive dog-handler Kacyanides”. 

This week, subsequent to his efforts to impose a virtual meeting of the governing body and then consulting the members of the board about it, Mba Mokuy got a clear negative answer. Here follows his email to the Board members announcing the results of the vote:

 “Dear colleagues,  Results of the vote further to the consultation as per Rules 60 and 51 of the Rules of Procedure of the Executive Board. The question: Considering the measures announced on 28 October 2020 by the host country, should the 210th session of the Executive Board take place virtually (from 4 to 18 November 2020)? Summary of the results: Members of the Executive Board 58; Member States that VOTED YES – 21; VOTED NO – 33; ABSTAINED -1 and 3 DID NOT VOTE. Conclusion: The result of the consultation by correspondence is that the Executive Board should not meet virtually from 4 to 18 November 2020. Therefore, the 210th session is postponed to a later date. signed: Agapito Mba Mokuy, Chairperson of the Executive Board”   

 Despite this huge political failure for which he is only one liable and accountable, in his email, and in order to preserve DG Azoulay’s plans and reputation as much as possible, Mba Mokuy did not include a single hint of an  answer to the questions raised by member states about the agenda of the Board and about the modalities of its holding, summarized as follows: 

 1. Will the current provisional agenda for the 210th session of the Executive Board be maintained or will it be changed in case of a virtual meeting? If a change is foreseen, when will the new provisional agenda be distributed to the Member States? 2. The current provisional agenda contains items which require a private meeting. Which procedure is foreseen for them in case of a virtual meeting? 3. With regard to possible technical developments after the approval of the document on the working methods for virtual sessions, what will be the procedure for votes, if they should be necessary, in case of a virtual meeting?  

 An EU ambassador put it plain and simple to Inner City Press: The Africa group made a mammoth mistake in proposing last year Agapito Mba Mokuy to chair the Board. It was unquestionably their turn, but they could have found a better candidate. He is simply not up to this highly demanding political position. The most he could get in GBS (Governing Bodies Secretariat) is a post of a clerk, but even then he may again underperform.  

  Another African disappointment for the majority of member states is the ambassador of Ethiopia Henok Teferra Shawl. In his position of vice-chair of the executive board, he was expected to be impartial in the heated political debate on a dividing topic concerning the future of the international Bureau of education. Still, under instructions from China, Henok Teferra Shawl took the chairmanship of the working group established to examine the proposal of China on the skyjacking of education curricula worldwide (see report here)  and achieved nothing but further splitting member states in a political confrontation that could have been avoided by a diplomat with better negotiation skills.   

 There is also another serious setback for the Africa group in the Secretariat of UNESCO that Inner City Press already pointed out on several occasion. After climbing the reputation of the most corrupt Assistant DG in the Agency, the “yes-man” of the French regime Firmin Matoko, who was supposed to retire and leave the Paris based Agency in few months, got an extension of his contract by DG Azoulay against the regulations so that he can “keep demonstrating his high standards of brain-sterility and docile incompetence” for few more months. 

At the last session of the Board, the Assistant DG for Africa, Matoko from Congo, himself rewrote a Draft decision prepared and submitted by the African states on the “Priority Africa” item submitted for the approval by the executive board.

By doing so, DG Azoulay was expecting the decision to be modified in favor of the French national narrow priorities - that is, FrancAfrique.

 Even for those ambassadors who usually keep their eyes wide shot in front of the political mess and diplomatic malpractices of Azoulay’s administration, this was too much. Confident in his total impunity, Firmin Matoko did not bother even to consider necessary to erase his name as author of the document submitted to the Africa group, on his behalf, by Ethiopia, Senegal and Gabon.

Furthermore, ADG Matoko and DG Azoulay did not even bother to inform member states about the several COVID cases that were notified from a number of permanent delegations accredited to UNESCO.

On October 19 Guterres bragged that he will travel in two weeks to Massachusetts to meet his semi-estranged wife who lives in Portugal, a country from which quarantine would be required in New York. This is open evasion of quarantine rules - or not open, since it was said in a meeting several disgusted participants invited Inner City Press to observe.

  Perhaps most significantly, Guterres in the meeting expressed open preference in the current US president election saying that if one side wins, "Net Zero Emissions" can be advance, and if the other (Trump) wins, Guterres and the UN will rely on bankers like JPMorgan Chase.

Guterres also spoke about social media platforms - not the censorship of investigative articles but the need to censors more, citing what he called "Social Dilemma" a show he says he is watching on Netflix. We will have more on this.

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Self-evidently, since her election, DG Azoulay often proved useless. Now immorality is added to the uselessness with staff and ambassadors misinformed about COVID propagation in the Agency prior to the nation-wide lockdown.

Clearly, DG Azoulay is not an asset to this Agency”, added the EU ambassador usually sympathetic to the French regime. “They are losing it all”.  

This is where UNESCO stands today, a Zombie-land propitious to the flourishing of corruption, embezzlement, abuse of power and nepotism.  This is Antonio Guterres' UN - corrupt colonialism. We will have more on that. Watch this site. 


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