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In Corrupt UN Of Guterres Azoulay Scams Continue Like PGA Opacity and Ban on Press

By Matthew Russell Lee & sources, Exclusive

UN GATE, Oct 21 – The United Nations is falling irreparably into irrelevance and ineptitude and there is a reason for this. Strong and competent leadership is what counts for success in national and international politics and the UN does not have it.

For years during the Cold War, international organizations used to play an inconsequential role in the great-power squabbling. That has changed.  Beijing buys its influence at the UN on the cheap, having paid only US$ 1.3 billion to the UN system in 2018, compared to the US$ 10 billion annual cost to the United States. For now, the game seems lost as China largely dominates the UN and controls significant leverage over the intergovernmental institutions by influencing their programs, norms and activities.

 In this way Chinese are injecting their way of thinking into national policies of other states. The puppets Guterres and Azoulay are indispensable elements in this game of domination. For example, UN SG Antonio Guterres has been severely criticized by five human rights groups for failing to condemn the Chinese government's detention of more than a million Muslims in Xinjiang, and for bowing to China by refusing to speak out forcefully about it.    

 Furthermore, Guterres is to be blamed for his role in the CEFC China Energy UN bribery scandal, including bribe-related acts right inside the UN headquarters building, as reposted by Inner City Press (here)   

 Because of his weak leadership and poor human qualities, Guterres has consistently eschewed controversial issues, notably in the field of human rights, free speech and corruption in the UN agencies. He is particularly scared by the five veto nations on the Security Council and hence, he sidesteps speaking out about the treatment of the Uighurs in China or repression of freedoms in Russia. Generally, he has kept his head down for the last five years.   
In addition, plagued by a history of corruption allegations made against its chiefs, along with sex scandals within its missions around the world, the UN's leadership finds itself besieged by controversy. Thus, Guterres came under fire for supporting high UN officials accused of sexual misconduct. Since his appointment, he established himself as a champion of double standards and hypocrisy, with a number of cover-ups, to protect loyal staff and avoid bad press coverage. Thus, on the sexual harassment cases plaguing the UN, which its SG promises to deal with, the reality is that Guterres does not deal with complainants, and rewards those accused of sexual harassment. 

 While the UN claims to have a zero-tolerance approach, in 2019 one in three UN employees and contractors said they had been sexually harassed in the past two years, according to a UN study. According to the UN’s latest statistics, in 2020 the organization received 66 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse in peacekeeping and 91 allegations about UN personnel outside peacekeeping.  One blatant example of Guterres’ support for sexual harassers shows that it was just five days after Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond won a major appointment to be the United Nations’ first technology envoy that he was placed on paid leave, pending an investigation into workplace harassment allegations against him. The SG Guterres said through his spokesperson that the first he learned of the allegations was after he had already awarded Hochschild his promotion. But he lied. It wasn’t the first that his own staff knew of the allegations against Hochschild. At least one member of Guterres’ senior staff was aware that formal complaints were about to be lodged against Hochschild by one of his former female subordinates — more than a month before his promotion occurred. 

As we wrote previously, “Under Antonio Guterres, things have gotten exponentially worse, because some of the corruption is personal to Guterres, whereas with Ban Ki-moon [and Kofi Annan] it was about relatives. Ban had a nephew who used the UN to make money - but Guterres took money from the Lisbon-based Gulbenkian Foundation”. The Portuguese body, although appearing to be philanthropic, also has massive investments around the world and its move in February 2018 to sell its energy firm Partex to the Chinese would incriminate Guterres, because former Hong Kong minister Patrick Ho – who was jailed for three years for bribing African officials at the UN – was believed to be the chief ‘negotiator’ of the deal.  Under Guterres, the United Nations in recent years has also been rocked by a number of huge corruption cases involving its top people – even Guterres’s predecessor Ban Ki-moon’s bid to become president of South Korea was dashed by graft allegations. Moreover, the United Nations’ own internal investigations office has uncovered serious lapses and due-diligence failures in the UN interaction with organizations tied to an alleged bribery scheme involving a former UN General Assembly president, John Ashe - then Kutesa while the new PGA Abdulla Shahid refuses to post who pays his staff.

    UNESCO suffers from the same scourges of corruption, abuse of power, overwhelming Chinese influence and cases of sexual and moral harassment. When Audrey Azoulay was elected by one vote against the Qatari candidate, the victory was clearly due to Egypt, which traded its support for the position of DDG. However, behind the backs of the Egyptians, Azoulay negotiated the support of the Chinese who insisted on this high position in order to be in a strong position of influence.

To this end, they presented a list of four potential candidates to Azoulay and succeeded in getting two of them appointed by her at UNESCO. One senior Chinese diplomat, Xing Qu, was appointed Deputy Director General (DDG) and the other, Du Ye, was appointed Director with special assignment (buying Africa's support with Chinese money) in the external relations office under the supervision of the notoriously corrupt ADG/PAX Firmin Matoko. So Egypt got nothing and Audrey Azoulay did everything to please China from the beginning of her tenure.  Besides, DG Azoulay emphasizes at every opportunity her administration's ongoing efforts to combat harassment, including by the strengthening of UNESCO's investigation team with the appointment of a new IOS Director and a team of specialized investigators to replace the ineffective Ethics officers.

However, focusing on looking into allegations of sexual and moral harassment has not yet produced the expected effect. Victims continue to face retaliation, and there is no help or hope for staff members who report sexual and moral harassment. Staff unions have reported that these processes are not sufficient because many victims fear retaliation and resolution of allegations takes months or even years.  In most cases, victims of harassment at UNESCO are denied justice or compensation despite proven by IOS acts of misconduct by their respective supervisors. Appeals Board cases are piling with no chances for rapid examination. In other cases, the senior officials who perpetrated the harassment are given the lightest possible disciplinary sanctions by DG Azoulay.

Also, a number of illegal acts of fraud, undeserved promotions (such as that of the mistress of her Director of Cabinet Nicolas Kassianides), the use of professional cars for private purposes and serious abuses of power are simply ignored and left unsanctioned by Audrey Azoulay.   

 This shows to what extent Audrey Azoulay, like Guterres at the UN, protects her cronies even when their misconduct merits immediate dismissal. The Staff unions are constantly complaining about this abnormal situation and this totally irresponsible and unaccountable management. But here again, the member states let it happen. For these and other reasons, UNESCO, like the entire UN system under Antonio Guterres, will continue to collapse into absurdity and corruption. We will have more on that. Watch this site.


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