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UN Guterres Bumbles Toward UNGA on Honor System, Some Staff Must Vax, Memo Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Video Q&A
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

UN GATE, August 13, Exclusive –  Since August 3, Inner City Press has each week end asked UN Spokespeople Stephane Dujarric and Melissa Fleming about the UN's planned "honor system" UN General Assembly week, without vaccination required. Then it also asked, Where *is* Guterres? No answer.

Now on August 13  Guterres returned from an undisclosed vacation - in a Level 4 / Do Not Travel country? - and issued an internal memo which banned Inner City Press exclusively publishes here:

Dear New York-based Colleagues, planning has commenced for the high-level period of the 76th Session of the General Assembly, which will take place at UNHQ from 14 September to 1 October 2021.                   The Delta variant of Covid-19 is posing some challenges to our planning, and we will be taking additional precautionary measures to ensure a safe work environment for our personnel and delegates.                  Mask requirement.  To ensure adequate protection for all colleagues, effective today, all personnel must wear masks when indoors on premises.  We will reassess this requirement as conditions warrant.     Reporting of vaccination status. The most significant driver of COVID19-related risk is vaccination status.  Accurate information on the vaccination status of staff is therefore essential to determine risk and appropriate mitigation strategies.  For this reason, all staff at UNHQ in consideration of the need to protect one another will be required to report their vaccination status including through EarthMed with immediate effect.     Reporting of positive test results.  In addition, any personnel who has been on site and has a positive COVID-19 or Antigen test result must report the results immediately to the Division of Healthcare Management and Occupational Safety and Health through the confidential self-reporting portal ( in order to ensure effective risk mitigation at the workplace.     Proof of vaccination to use dining facilities.  In order to align UNHQ’s approach to indoor dining with that of NYC’s guidance, we will soon require proof of vaccination for seated meals at cafeterias and other dining facilities on premises.      Further guidance on full return to work is being developed and will be issued in September.     Vaccination requirement for certain categories.  I continue to be very grateful to those staff who have been working on premises throughout the pandemic, either because their functions could not be performed remotely or when remote work would have impacted their effectiveness and efficiency. I particularly commend those who did so when we did not have the protection of vaccination.  As the presence of unvaccinated staff potentially increases the risk for other staff members, whether vaccinated or not, vaccinations will be mandated for staff performing certain tasks and/or certain occupational groups at UNHQ whose functions do not allow sufficient management of exposure. This mandate may be waived where a recognized medical condition prevents vaccination.     Those staff who will be required to be vaccinated must receive the final dose of a vaccine no later than 19 September 2021... Yours sincerely,    António Guterres"

So what are the tasks? And why if the UN holding an "honor system" no vax UNGA, and banning Press?

 The UN has neither responded to or offered any explanation when a lawyer's letter - to UN official Fleming, and Tal Mekel, and to each UNCA Executive Committee member - urged them to have a dialogue about ending the UN's banning and censorship of Inner City Press.

On August 9, journalist Benny Avni asked Dujarric about the letter, video here, transcript:

Question:  My second question is the law firm ‑‑ what is it called? ‑‑ Quinn Emanuel wrote a letter to the UN asking about reinstatement of our colleague Matthew Lee into the UN press corps. Do you have any comment on that?      

Spokesman:  No. All I can tell you is that we've received the letter, and I'm not aware of any change to his status.     

Question:  You're not aware? I mean, aren't you part of the group that decides the fate of... or even the negotiations... The letter calls for renegotiation [Cross talk]      

Spokesman:  I decide the fate of no one. [Laughter]      Trust me, trust me, my authority is extremely limited, whether at home or at work.       What I can tell you and, joking aside, is that the letter has indeed been received, and I'm not aware of any... and there has been no change in Mr. Lee's status.     

Question:  Has the letter been answered? Do you plan to answer it?      

Spokesman:  It's been received. Whether or not it's been answered, I don't know yet.

The letter was received by the UN's Melissa Fleming, Maria Luiza Vioti and Tal Mekel and to each UNCA Executive Board member, to them citing UNCA's stated goals that it has a charter to supposedly uphold.

What's next? Since the letter, Inner City Press has published exclusive stories not only from the U.S. court systems but about the United Nations, including its agencies UNOPS, UNFPA, UNITAR and UNESCO. (Also credited in AP, Daily Mail, and Nigeria's Sahara Reporters, amid answers from the IMF.)

But none of its written questions have been answered by the UN Spokespeople, and it remains banned from entry to the UN's briefings. This must end.   

 Having asked for a colleagial discussion, and while still offering it, things must turn to the law. UNCA is a New York State non-profit which has not only not abided by its stated goals - it has tortiously interfered with a journalist's right to cover the United Nations.    The United Nations itself propounds Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and has other legal duties that must be addressed by national courts, particularly in the UN's host country... 

Those in receipt of the first, friendly letter:,,,,  and UNCA
Valeria Robecco, ANSA News Agency, Nabil Abi Saab, Al-Araby, Jianguo Ma, Xinhua News Agency, Edith Lederer, Associated, Giampaolo Pioli, Quotidiano, Linda Fasulo, Ibtisam Azem, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed Newspaper, Ali Barada, France 24, Asharq Al-Awsat; Oscar Bolanos, OMB News, Sherwin Bryce-Pease, SABC South Africa - Alexander Hassanein, The Tokyo Shimbun, Maria Khrenova, TASS, Philippe Rater, Agence France-Presse, Kaori Yoshida, Nikkei, Betul Yuruk, Anadolu Agency at,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

  We'll have more on this. Watch this site.


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