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UN Guterres Cries Poor Flying to Germany UK and Lisbon Amid COVID and Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 15 – How corrupt is today's United Nations?

Well, just as New York prepares to go into another COVID-19 lockdown, its Secretary General prepares to fly off to Germany and the presumably to his real home in Portugal, before slipping back into New York evade quarantine rules that applies to others.

This while Guterres cries poor, in a letter to staff that Inner City Press now exclusively publishes in full:

"Saturday, 12 December 2020 Dear Colleagues,  I am writing to update you on the ways in which we are managing the continuing liquidity challenges facing the United Nations.  My senior team and I have been working closely with Member States to find a systemic solution to the recurring cash crisis, especially for our regular budget operations.  The ultimate responsibility for our financial health lies with Member States.  Most have fulfilled their Charter obligations and paid in full, some on time and some even in advance.  Many have responded positively to my appeals during the year to accelerate their contributions.   With your help, we have been working hard to deal with a problem that is greater this year than compared to 2019.  We started 2020 with the highest level of arrears in recent history – $711 million – eroding our already meagre reserves.  By February, there were already alarming signs of further deficits and as a result, we had to institute additional cash conservation measures to ensure that we would be able to pay the salaries and entitlements of our staff on time and settle our legal obligations to vendors.  The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have created even further difficulties, and we are now over $600 million short of our target for the year.  However, notwithstanding these shortfalls, we have continued to prioritize salaries every month and have advanced payments to provide staff with more predictability during the crisis.  This cautious approach to spending, especially in controlling hiring, has proven prudent.  Without these measures, our operations would have been disrupted and we would not have been able to meet payrolls or fulfil our obligations.  However, outstanding contributions are now nearly $1,194 million, and we have depleted the liquidity reserves for the regular budget and now have to borrow from the accounts of closed peacekeeping operations in order to meet obligations for December.   I have made every effort to protect staff from this crisis, and I will continue to do so.  As personnel costs constitute the bulk of the regular budget, as well as being the most difficult to adjust quickly in response to cash shortages, hiring judiciously has been critical to ensuring liquidity for salaries.  But this has a terrible knock-on effect: high vacancies put more pressure on existing staff, which is neither desirable nor sustainable.  I have urged managers to be sensitive and creative in addressing this situation, and I have also emphasized to Member States that this persisting liquidity crisis is undermining our work.  I continue to implore Member States to contain the erosion of our capacity to deliver while working with them to find a sustainable solution that simultaneously supports staff and enables the United Nations to sustain its operations.    I want to assure you that we are in this together.    Thank you for your service during these challenging times. Yours sincerely,  António Guterres"

  Now UK Permanent Representative Barbara Woodward has tweeted, "My Prime Minister is looking forward to welcoming you to London in January to mark #UN75." So, "does  @AntonioGuterres  leaving NY for Germany tomorrow Dec 16, as NYC moves to COVID Pause of Lockdown, and this "London in January" mean that he'll be spending public money in Lisbon from mid Dec into January, amid the pandemic? When would he come back to UNHQ?" This has been asked publicly - no answer.

Nor to this, emailed to Guterres, his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, chief of staff Viotti and spokespeople: "  How can it be that, given the impending lockdown for COVID in NY, and the situation in Germany, that SG Guterres is flying there, instead of speaking by Zoom? When is SG Guterres scheduled to return to NY? Will he be going to Lisbon? Is that, as some surmise, the goal of the ill-considered / bad example trip?"

  During the pandemic, Guterres has already sneaked off to Portugal twice. He has allowed his UN Security to keep their gym open when all other gyms in NYC have been closed. When banned Inner City Press asked in writing about this, Guterres' spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming have refused to answer. It is impunity. He should not return. 

From the December 14 UN transcript:  Dujarric: I have a trip announcement for you. The Secretary-General will travel on Wednesday to Berlin, where he will address the German Parliament on Friday morning. While in Berlin, he will also meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. 

Q: it's his first personal trip since March; right? 

Dujarric: It is his first official trip. As you may have recalled, he went home twice to see his family.     

Question:  Yeah. So the question is, why is it so important to go to Germany, in particular taking into account the current strict COVID measures in Germany right now... and if he's going to quarantine after his arrival back to New York?       

Dujarric: A couple of things. We may have more travel to announce. I will tell you that the way we're... travel is organised, safety is first and foremost. The Secretary‑General will be tested before leaving, as will his delegation.       This was a very important invitation on behalf... by the German Government. It's not every day that a Secretary‑General is invited to address the Bundestag. So, we've accepted the invitation.       The Secretary‑General will, of course, follow all regulations pertinent to the city and state of New York upon return when he is in New York."

   And when would that be? Is this just a pretext to spend public money to go to Lisbon, where Guterres took money from Gulbenkian which tried to sell its oil company to UN briber CEFC China Energy?

Inner City Press and its questions have been banned from the UN for 895 days by this corrupt Guterres. He should not return.


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