On UN Sex Abuse Inner City Press Asked Guterres Spox of Karkara Abuse At Habitat before UN Women Little Rock and Canada

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On UN Sex Abuse Inner City Press Asked Guterres Spox of Karkara Abuse At Habitat before UN Women Little Rock and Canada

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR, Filing, Fox

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 13 -- UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says he has a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual harassment, and for retaliation. But a case at UN Women, many months after abuse and eight victims coming forward, alleged harasser Ravi Karkara was and is still online listed as  representing the Organization as late as September 2017 and November 2017, and now there are new charges against him, see below. While Guterres' office so far has responded with only a UN Women press release to written questions from Inner City Press which Guterres had roughed up on July 3 and banned since, the troublingly questions cannot legitimately be so dodged by Guterres, as he has done for example in the cases of Michel Sidibe at UNAIDS and Diego Palacios at UNFPA in India. Inner City Press has asked: "August 10-2: Given the multiple sexual harassment allegations against Ravi Karkara, working directly with one of the SG's ASGs, and given the SG's public statement regarding sexual harassment, please immediately state when was Mr. Karakara placed on administrative leave? After the December 2017 incident involving Steve Lee? Why wasn’t Mr. Karakara placed on administrative leave when the investigation began in June 2017? When did the SG become aware of these allegations of sexual harassment and what has he done about them?" In this case, Kankara began his alleged about of Steve Lee when Kankara worked at UNICEF (and not UN WOMEN) and the latter was 16 years old. The complaint was filed in June 2017 but on 3 September 2017, Karkara was promoting on Twitter from Mamaroneck New York his article, ironically, on Gender Equality in the Workplace, here, complete with a photo of himself in the UN General Assembly hall. On the same day Karkara was re-tweeting like Guterres' Communicator Alison Smale, ghoulishly as it turns out, about "child brides;" he re-tweeted Al Jazeera and Elizabeth Gore. He promoted the leader of UN DESA, with its murky financial partnership with the now disgraced China Energy Fund Committee. Karkara re-tweeted Guterres, as 200 miles south a person already charged with wrong doing might re-tweet to ingratiate himself to a leader with the power to pardon (in the UN, they just don't review, or do scam reviews, like Guterres' and Smale's "review" of / against Inner City Press.) He re-tweeted the UN Global Compact and the "SDG Media Zone." Perhaps due to this mix Karkara was listed as #3 for the month on "UNsocial 500." Online we find Karkara still listed as a speaker for the World Woman Summit on 30 September 2017 in Little Rock, Arkansas, here: "Ravi Karkara is Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary General to the UN and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women. With over two decades of experience, Ravi is an expert in various international development-related fields, driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, and promoting advocacy and programming in the areas of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice. He is also the Acting Head of Private Sector for UN Women. Ravi has been the force behind several high-value strategic partnerships, resource mobilization, and key advocacy initiatives for UN Women – including partnerships with the City of New York, MasterCard, CitiGroup, Philantropic Age, to name a few." A few? MasterCard and CitiGroup? The City of New York?  Karkara online is still  listed for the Catalyst Canada Honours on 6 November 2017 as "Ravi Karkara is Senior Advisor on Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy to the Assistant Secretary General to the UN and Deputy Executive Director, UN Women."

  Before that he was with UN-HABITAT. From Hannah Summers in The Guardian: "A British MP who claims he was harassed by a UN official under investigation for sexual misconduct, says Ravi Karkara should never have been given a senior adviser role working with young people because concerns had already been raised about his behaviour. Lloyd Russell-Moyle worked with Karkara during his time as vice-president of the European Youth Forum and later as chair of a UN Major Group for Children and Youth, before he was elected as Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown in 2017. The 31-year-old, who is a member of the UK’s international development committee, which last month published a report into sex abuse in the aid sector, claims Karkara sent him “penis pictures” on a dating app and bombarded him with messages. The news comes amid fresh allegations made to the Guardian by two young Pakistani activists who claim they became victims of cyber bullying and sexual harassment after meeting Karkara on social media. Last year, Karkara was suspended from UN Women, where he was responsible for promoting gender equality, after a number of young men including policy advocate Steve Lee, accused him of sexual abuse. But it was while Karkara was still working for another UN agency – UN-Habitat – that Russell-Moyle says he complained to his managers about a pattern of manipulating behaviour." The UN of Guterres and his Communicator Alison Smale have banned Inner City Press and not answered detailed questions from it including on Karkara.

Beyond Karkara's disturbing online appearances listed as UN representative in September and November 2017, long after Lee's June 2017 formal complaint (apparently looked into as lackadaisically as Inner City Press' complaints of physical abuse by UN Security's Lieutenant Ronald E. Dobbins and five others unnamed, on which NYPD initially told Inner City Press the UN has total immunity which Guterres has now been asked to waive), Karkara spoke in the UN General Assembly in August 2017. And online, on Twitter for example, Karkara was spewing the full UN Pollyanna array like that of Guterres' Communicator / censor Alison Smale, for example in a frenzy on September 5, 2017 long after the detailed complaints. Have these UN pablum exhortations become just a cover for abuse and impunity under Guterres? Has his Administration undermined the principles, if they were meant in the first place, as he has "freedom of the press," "protection of journalists" and even "due process," with a 41 day review of Inner City Press which was roughed up, with only a single interview of Inner City Press on July 10, only about Dobbins July 3 ouster of it from covering the Budget Committee meetings? We'll have more on all this. After Guterres imposed on Inner City Press on ongoing ban against entering the UN, his two spokesman on July 20 and since have refused to answer a written question from Inner City Press. For the PBS Frontline "UN Sex Abuse Scandal" documentary, Guterres arrogantly refused to be interviewed - by contrast he did 30 minutes with RT recently - and went on vacation on the broadcast date, after ousting and banning Inner City Press which has asking him about UN sex abuse. Now in his UN Women, Ravi Karkara is being accused of sexual harassment of men. Under Guterres the UN is getting more and more unaccountable, evidenced by his lawless and violent ouster and ban of the Press which asked him about it. So on August 8 Inner City Press for a UN noon briefing it was banned from for the 36th day in a row by Guterres emailed his spokesmen: "August 8-3: What is the Secretary General's comment and action on the reported sexual harassment charges against UN Women's Ravi Karkara for “using his prestige and position to sexually harass” at least 8 men?" Deputy spokesman Haq replied, after the briefing, with a UN Women press release.

 UN Women says Karkara is “remains on administrative leave” and that, while still on U.N. payroll, he “is not currently performing any active function.” But documents still online (and photographed by Inner City Press before they predictably in UN fashion get disappeared) show that Karkara was still representing UN Women in September 2017 and November 17. 

Keep on paying the predators, as in UN Peacekeeping, while trying to destroy the business of independent Press which reports on it - that is the Guterres way, which must end. h/t Newsweek - who knew? - which has yet to cover Guterres' censorship but, it seems, should... On July 25,
banned from entering the UN by Guterres for the 22nd day Inner City Press put written questions to several missions and has received this, to his credit, from Swiss Mission spokesman Johann Aeschlimann: "I do not have any comment on Cameroon, but regarding your question on sexual abuse, I would like to assure you that for Switzerland these matters are of high importance. Consistent with our national approach, we consider all instances of sexual misconduct by UN peacekeepers as unacceptable. Switzerland is working closely with the offices of the Special Coordinator on improving the United Nations response to sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), Ms. Jane Holl Lute, and of the Victim’ Rights Advocate (VRA), Ms. Jane Connors. Moreover, the President of the Swiss Confederation is a member of the Secretary-General’s Circle of Leadership on the prevention of and response to SEA in United Nations operations. Switzerland holds that an adequate response to SEA should be victims-centered. In the upcoming negotiations in the Fifth Committee this fall, Switzerland will engage for a strengthening of the office of the VRA... On the matter of your access problems to the UN premises, I appreciate your information." We'll have more on this - including on the EU response. It was covering the July 3 meeting of the referenced Fifth (Budget) Committee that Inner City Press was roughed up by Guterres' Security and has been banned by him since, 24 days and counting. Back on July 25, banned from entering the UN by Guterres for the 22nd day Inner City Press put questions on First Avenue to the French Mission's political coordinator (who refused to answer, video here) and French UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric who said without explaining that Guterres chosen to to speak and sent Lute. Inner City Press in the morning wrote again to the French Mission: "Dear Ambassador Gueguen,, Ms Bree, Ms Negga, others: This is a reiterated request for your, your Mission's and Ambassador Delattre's comment on three issues: first, the troubling issue of UN sexual abuses, detailed in a one hour Frontline documentary broadcast an hour ago, for which UN Secretary General explicitly refused to be interviewed while now going on vacation. What is your mission and country's comment on  this? Here at the Delegates Entrance, banned from the UN for 22 days with no end in sight, I asked your Mission's political coordinator this morning. Nothing. Second, again, the human rights abuses by the Cameroon army and security forces, not only in the Anglophone areas (which I have been asking about in the UN since early 2017) but now also in the north, video linked to in Inner City Press, here, as verified by Amnesty International. (Now HCHR has commented, today - why is there no meeting of the UNSC, at least under Any Other Business?) Given that the Security Council has supported these Cameroonian forces, and given France's role in Cameroon and the region, this is a request for comment on deadline including on whether your Mission will now seek and/or support a Security Council meeting on these abuses, and if not, why not. I am asking these questions in writing now because I was banned all week from entering the UN and could not ask them at the Security Council stakeout.This notifies your Mission that I have been banned from the UN since at latest July 5, with no due process. See, The Independent (UK), July 12, 2018, “UN 'roughs up and bans' investigative reporter long considered thorn in side of world body officials, Mr Lee has written about UN in connection to Haiti, Burundi, Sri Lanka and other nations." Frontline did well by interviewing victims, but entirely misrepresented several interviewees' roles, most notably Isobel Coleman, who did not criticize the UN when she worked for Samantha Power, and stood by as the UN evicted Inner City Press from its work space and made it a "non resident corresponent." (Guterres has gone much further, trying to strip even that, deploying violence and banning the Press.) There was no mention of "R&R" Ladsous' role, nor of Lacroix. It was filmed some time ago, with David Gressley. But a key point is the 32 new allegations this year, each of which Inner City Press has asked the UN about before being targeted with violence and Guterres ban. That, and his arrogant refusal to answer, and going on vacation, should have consequences. Watch this site. Before the July 20 UN noon briefing it was banned from attending Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric and Farhan Haq, as well as Guterres' chief of staff, his Global Communicator Alison Smale and Deputy SG Amina J. Mohammed: "What is the SG's comment on the already completed Frontline documentary S36 E11: 'UN Sex Abuse Scandal' - 'An investigation of sex abuse by United Nations peacekeepers in the world's conflict zones. The film traces allegations from Boston to Congo to the Central African Republic, with firsthand accounts from survivors, witnesses, and officials'?" There had been no answer so on July 24 Inner City Press asked again, in writing: "On July 20 I asked for UN's comment on Frontline's documentary on UN Sexual Abuse, but not no answer on that. Now with the documentary set for broadcast at 10 pm Eastern this evening, again - please provide UN comment on gap between the SG's “zero tolerance” statements and the documentary.  Still waiting for answer to July 21-1, regarding location of SG and public costs." After Stephane Dujarric's noon briefing from which Inner City Press was banned, his deputy Farhan Haq emailed this to Inner City Press: "Ending sexual exploitation and abuse has been a priority for Secretary-General António Guterres since he took office. The UN has a unique responsibility to set a global standard for preventing, responding to and eradicating this scourge. We have a strict zero-tolerance policy. We have implemented a number of measures to that effect. During his first week, the Secretary-General established a High-Level Task Force to develop ambitious proposals to improve the system-wide approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse. These proposals led to a comprehensive strategy that we have since been implementing. He has mobilized Member States to work with the UN in fighting this scourge. He appointed victims’ rights advocates, both at Headquarters and in the field, who work across the UN system to make sure victims have access to urgent assistance; that they can file complaints safely and reliably; and that they get timely information on the progress of their case. They connect personally and directly with victims to make sure that their voices are heard. On the ground, we are also strengthening complaint mechanisms to make it easier for victims to come forward. We are conducting outreach activities to inform communities on the standards under which UN personnel are expected to perform, as well as the risks of sexual exploitation and abuse and how to report such behavior. We have launched mandatory training for all UN personnel prior to deployment. We now have an electronic tool for screening UN staff dismissed as a result of substantiated allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse, or who resigned or were dismissed during an investigation. We have improved our reporting and data collection methods, including through the development of a system-wide incident reporting form. The whistleblower policy has been strengthened to ensure that people who come forward feel safe and are protected from retaliation. We also report allegations publicly on our websites and in press briefings on a regular basis in a spirit of transparency. While accountability is a shared responsibility between the UN and Member States, only Member States can conduct criminal investigations and prosecutions. The Secretary-General has been personally engaged at the highest levels with countries on this issue. Regarding the Secretary-General, he is on annual leave.  He pays for his own expenses." Including for security? The child rapes and sexual exploitation continue, and Inner City Press which has most asked about them remains banned from entering the UN to ask more, with no end in sight. We'll have more on this. When Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on March 15 about Michel Sidibé's reported threats of retaliatory investigations against those making and offering support to sexual harassment complaints at UNAIDS, Haq said this is entire a matter for UNAIDS. Earlier Inner City Press story here; exclusive publication of whistleblowers' international condemnation of retaliation and favoritism in Sidibe's UNAIDS, below. On July 18, even as Guterres read a speech about sustainable development in ECOSOC, his UN disclosed yet another case of sexual exploitation, by a Morocco "peacekeeper" in the Central African Republic. Inner City Press published a report on that one, and later noticed yet another case, against a Malawian peacekeeper in the DRC. On July 19 before a UN noon briefing from which Inner City Press was banned - and the UN Webcast of which had no audio, nearing the very definition of censorship - Inner City Press asked Haq, "Please provide all information on the new sexual exploitation and abuse cases put on UN website yesterday while SG spoke to HLPF. What is the stage of investigation(s)?" The question was plural - but Haq only replied about the second of the two cases, the Maliwian: "Regarding your first question, we have the following information:
The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, has received one new allegation of sexual exploitation involving a member of the Malawian military contingent formerly deployed to the Mission. 
The allegation refers to transactional sex with an adult woman that allegedly took place in March 2016, resulting in the birth of a child.
The UN has informed the Member State of the allegation and has requested that a National Investigation Officer be appointed within five (5) working days, and for the investigation to be completed within the reduced 90-days timeframe.
The alleged victim and her child have been referred to UNFPA for appropriate support and assistance. The Mission will continue to monitor their needs, as well as provide any additional assistance such as the collection of DNA samples if requested to do so by the victim."

What about Morocco? And audio? Inner City Press has asked. On July 11 there were two more sets of cases, both in the Central African Republic, photo here: one by a peacekeeper from The (Republic of the) Congo and another by a peacekeeper from Morocco, which chairs the UN Peacebuilding configuration on CAR. This comes has the UN has banned Inner City Press from entering the UN and asking questions, Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II, Independent here, since it was physically ousted while covering the UN Peacekeeping budget on July 3. Morocco state media, by contrast, are given by the UN of Antonio Guterres and Alison Smale multiple offices and full access. Without access, Inner City Press sat in the sun on First Avenue and emailed in six questions, two of which have been answered including this "if-asked" on the UN's trends of sexual exploitation abuse. Inner City Press' question on this: "On the two new sexual exploitation and abuse cases put on the UN's website last night, what was the age of the victims and what is the response of the TCC (Morocco and Congo-Brazzaville) and each's past record in holding accusees accountable?" UN's if-asked answer: "regarding your first question below, we have the following information:
    The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) has received two reports of sexual exploitation and abuse.
    The first allegation involves thirteen (13) members of the military contingent from the Republic of the Congo, previously deployed to the mission. Military contingents of the Republic of Congo left MINUSCA in early 2017.
    The allegation refers to exploitative relationships with eleven (11) adult women that are alleged to have taken place between 2015 and 2017, resulting in pregnancies and the birth of ten (10) children.
    The UN has informed the Member State of the allegation and has requested that a National Investigation Officer be appointed within five (5) working days, and for the investigation to be completed within the reduced 90-days timeframe.
    The Field Victim Rights Advocate (VRA) immediately referred all alleged victims for appropriate services. The Mission will continue to monitor the situation and stands available to provide any assistance in the future if requested to do so by the victims.
    The second allegation involves a  member of the military contingent from Morocco, previously deployed to the mission.
        The allegation refers to an exploitative relationship with an adult woman that allegedly took place between July and August 2016, resulting in the birth of a child.
        The TCC has informed that national investigation officers, already present in the mission area, will conduct an investigation into this allegation jointly with OIOS. The UN has requested for the investigation to be completed within the reduced 90-days timeframe.
        The Field Victim Rights Advocate (VRA) has referred the alleged victim to UNFPA for appropriate services. The Mission will continue to monitor the situation and stands available to provide any assistance in the future if requested to do so by the victim."
Inner City Press has also asked, among other things, "1) why is this UN investigation of the ouster of a journalist taking so long, and being limited to only the latter of two “incidents” and not taking into account Lt Dobbins' motive and my June 25 notification to Guterres and Smale? Didn't the Deputy Spokesman call me a “repeat offender” and cite June 22? Why have I still not been given a copy of “my statement, much less those of Lt Dobbins, ASG Saunders and the UNnamed July 3 officer who tore my shirt and twisted my arm? Is this a cover up of retaliation, and of the SG and his team's knowledge?

2) why am I banned during this investigation so that I cannot enter and ask any questions? Who made that decision and why has it not been reversed given the video of the incident, questions raised by the Government Accountability Project, etc?" We'll have more on this.
On June 18, the UN disclosed yet another case of child rape - alleged child rape - by a UN Peacekeeper from Tanzania, in the DR Congo. Photo here. On June 19, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the case and only then was it revealed that this UN child rape resulted in the birth of a child. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: there's a new case of… in this case, it's listed as child rape, was disclosed by the UN yesterday, a Tanzanian peacekeeper in MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo], DRC.  And all it said is everything is pending.  It seems like… this seems like a pretty serious charge.  And so I'm wondering, what can… what more can you say about this?  When… when did the UN learn of it?  Where is the person?

Spokesman:  What I have, the information that I was given is that the UN Mission in the DRC received allegations of sexual abuse involving a member of the Tanzania military contingent deployed to the Mission in June 2014 and '15.  The allegation refers to sexual abuse on a minor, aged 17 at the time, an incident which occurred sometime between '14 and '15, resulting in the birth of a child.  The UN has informed the Member State of the allegations, has requested the National Investigative Officer be appointed within five working days, as the procedure is, and that the investigation be completed within the reduced 90-day time frame.  The alleged victim and her child have been referred to UNFPA [United Nations Population Fund] for appropriate support and assistance.  The Mission will continue to monitor their needs, as well as provide any additional assistance, such as the collection of DNA samples if [requested] to do so by the victim.

Inner City Press: Andthe accused, has he remained deployed in MONUSCO during that time?  What's the information on that?

Spokesman:  My understanding is that he was deployed between 2014 and '15, so that person is no longer deployed on the ground." Minutes later Inner City Press asked the UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence and Conflict Pramila Patten about the case and she said it it not part of her Office, since Guterres has other officials on victim's issues and, as said before, Jane Holl Lute. But what is wrong with the UN?
Earlier on June 18 Inner City Press asked the head of UN Police in South Sudan about the sexual exploitation by the Ghana contingent in Wau, and it is still unclear what punishment, if any, those found involved by the UN's OIOS face.
Inner City Press was unable to live stream this Q&A:
Inner City Press' livestream Periscope account has been suspended by Twitter for showing UN reacting to the World Cup and a screen installed by the Russian Mission to the UN. But the above, though Inner City Press was unable to Periscope it, is what was said. On June 12, the UN disclosed yet another sexual exploitation complaint, this time against a peacekeeper from Morocco, in the Central African Republic where so many of the UN's abuses have occurred. But there are also recently disclosed cases involving peacekeepers from Tanzania and Malawi, in the DC Congo. On June 13, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here, Inner City Press: on sexual abuse.  Okay.  Some new cases have been disclosed.  And that's all… again, it's all to the good to be disclosing, but I did want to ask, it's a little unclear to me, because, in a category called "investigation", the most recent one involves a Moroccan peacekeeper, and it says investigation by TCC [troop-contributing country] and OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services].  And then ones that seem to be… have been earlier disclosed or have taken place earlier under investigation it just says "pending".  Does that mean there's no investigation yet taking place or is there some…?

Spokesman:  I think it depends on the case.  Thank you." That is not transparent.
On May 22 at 5:30 pm, the UN disclosed a rape allegation against one of its civilian contractors in Mali, in the MINUSMA mission in 2018. The Office of Internal Oversight Services, whose director has declined Press requests to take questions about OIOS' procedures, is the one investigating it. But why isn't it a crime subject to real prosecution by Mali? After UNclear answers on May 25, below, on May 30 after Guterres' two days in Mali Inner City Press asked his lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: a UN contractor in Mali, is alleged to have engaged in… in child rape, so I wanted to know, particularly since the Secretary-General was just there.  It was unclear to me last week from Farhan [Haq]'s answer whether this individual can be, and will be, prosecuted by the Malian authorities, and I guess my question would be is this a case in which the UN would waive immunity that… that may or may not apply to the contractor or, if none applies, has the person been… been apprehended?

Spokesman:  The investigation I think is ongoing from what I have.  And they're being investigated by the OIOS.  As a matter of principle, the Secretary-General has always said he would waive immunity in cases of sexual abuse.

Inner City Press: Did he look into this case while… during the two days he's been there?

Spokesman:  I don't have any update...
Inner City Press: One more question.

Spokesman:  No.  Thank you."
Dujarric canceled the May 31 UN noon briefing, in exchange for Guterres taking a few (pre-selected?) questions at 5 pm. The UN is increasingly UNtransparent.
Inner City Press asked Haq on May 25, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: an additional case of child rape by a civilian contractor of the UN in Mali, and unlike for military personnel, it doesn't disclose, one the nationality, and two it's a pretty serious charge, and the Secretary-General is obviously going there for the Day of the Peacekeepers, so I wanted to know what's the nationality of the contractor?  How did the UN become aware of this?  And what… in the serious instance of alleged child rape, what is the UN going to do about it?

Deputy Spokesman:  I don't have the nationality to share with you.  What I can say is that MINUSMA has received a report of sexual abuse involving a national civilian contractor, so this… I assume from that what the nationality is, but it says it involves a national civilian contractor.  The allegations refer to the rape of a female minor, resulting in her pregnancy.  The incident allegedly took place at an unspecified date in 2018.  Ensuring the provision of assistance to the victims is our priority.  The victim has been referred to UNICEF [United Nations Children’s Fund] and an NGO [non-governmental organization] partner for appropriate medical, psychosocial, and legal support.  The Mission also stands ready to provide additional assistance as needed and the allegation is currently being investigated by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

Inner City Press:  If, in fact, the contractor is Malian and the victim is Malian, why wouldn't… why would not this be a criminal matter for actual prosecution in Mali?  Is the person given immunity simply by being a UN contractor?  What is it… like, for example, what was this person doing for the UN…?

Deputy Spokesman:  You would have to ask the Malian authorities whether there's any criminal prosecution being followed up in that case.  That is a matter between the contractor and the Government of Mali.  I've given you the details on our side.

Inner City Press: But what was the contractor doing?  You say he's a contractor, just to understand a little bit better how someone could get immunity for child rape, what services were their performing for the UN?

Deputy Spokesman:  I didn't say that any… first of all, there's not immunity for crimes that are committed.  Second of all, I didn't say that immunity was in play.

Inner City Press: Is it immunity from local prosecution?  [Inaudible]… rape by the UN…

Deputy Spokesman:  Again, you would have to ask… no, it's not by the UN.   Like I said, it's by a national contractor.  Second of all, you would have to check with the Malian authorities whether they are following up with criminal charges." The "inaudible" was a correspondent often used by the UN for this purpose trying to cut off the follow up on UN child rape with an unrelated question. We'll have more on this. 
On May 17 at 12:30 pm, just after the day's UN noon briefing ended (Inner City Press asked about UN sexual harassment in India, and about Vienna), the UN disclosed yet another case,
of sexual exploitation by a South African peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the November 2017 time frame, photo here. On May 4, the UN at 5:30 pm disclosed another case, of sexual exploitation by a South African peacekeeper in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, photo here. Minutes after the UN put that case online, Inner City Press asked three UN spokespeople, "on the new Sexual Exploitation case put on the UN website at 5:30 pm on Friday, can you explain why these cases, involving South African contingent in MONUSCO, were unknown or undisclosed so long?" Deputy Spokesman Farhaq Haq replied, "We received the new allegations yesterday and have asked for national investigation officers to be appointed within an expedited five day timeframe." This comes after on May 2, the UN after 6 pm disclosed yet another case, of alleged sexual exploitation in the DR Congo by a South African peacekeeper. And then another, of sexual assault by a South African Military Observer, in April 2018, here. Inner City Press is quoted here, that the UN is a joke on this, no one is held accountable. True to form, on May 2 Inner City Press was informed there is still no outcome from the loudly announced investigation of sexual exploitation by Ghana UN Police in Wau, South Sudan. On May 1, Guterres' Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq read out a disclosure on sexual abuse and exploitation cases (distinguished by the UN from sexual harassment, the term they use whenever a UN staff member is the victim), and Inner City Press is near-immediately publishing it in full: "Today, I want to give you an update on cases of sexual exploitation and abuse in the UN system, in line with the Secretary-General’s initiative on increasing transparency on these allegations.

"For the first three months of this year, from 1 January to 31 March 2018, we have received 54 allegations for all UN entities and implementing partners. Not all allegations have been fully verified, and many are in the preliminary assessment phase.

"Out of the 54 allegations, 14 are reported from peacekeeping operations and 18 from agencies, funds and programmes. 21 allegations relate to implementing partners and 1 to a member of a non-UN international force.

"Of the 54 allegations, 17 are categorized as sexual abuse, 34 as sexual exploitation, and 3 are of an unknown nature.
The allegations involve 66 victims – including 13 girls (under the age of 18) and 16 victims whose age remains unknown.

"With regard to the status of the allegations, 2 have been substantiated by an investigation; 2 were not substantiated; 21 are at various stages of investigation; 27 are under preliminary assessment; and 1 investigation’s result is under review.

"With over 95,000 civilians and 90,000 uniformed personnel working for the UN, sexual exploitation and abuse are not reflective of the conduct of the majority of the dedicated women and men who serve the Organization. But every allegation involving our personnel undermines our values and principles and the sacrifice of those who serve with pride and professionalism in some of the most dangerous places in the world. For this reason, combating this scourge, and helping and empowering those who have been scarred by these egregious acts, continue to be key priorities for the Secretary-General in 2018." After this read out, Inner City Press asked again from the UN "nomenclature" for child rape, which has still not been provided. On April 30 the Guardian's  Rebecca Ratcliffe reports that "Miriam Maluwa, who has worked for the UN for more than 25 years, was placed on administrative leave from her post as country director for UNAids in Ethiopia on 27 March." On April 30, Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about Maluwa and more about the Luiz Loures case, and WFP in Fiji. Video here. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press:  at UNAIDS [Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS], one of the complainants against Luiz Loures has been suspended from heading the Ethiopia office of UNAIDS and told not to go back into the office.  Many people see it as exactly the retaliation that was promised in Mr. [Michel] Sidibé’s speech to staff, saying that he will investigate all accusers.  What does António Guterres think of this suspension?

Spokesman:  We're aware of the issue.  Our understanding is that this is completely unrelated, but questions should be directed at UNAIDS.

Inner City Press: And also, just, I guess, in terms of the… the extent of this problem within the UN system, over the weekend, it emerged and I'm wondering if you can… will confirm and have… if he has anything to say on it, that there are sexual harassment complaints about… in Fiji on… at UN World Food Programme (WFP).  And have the staff been suspended?  And does the Secretary-General believe that, in such cases, staff should be suspended?  And what's the timeline for an investigation?

Spokesman:  My understanding is that WFP's fully aware and is starting the procedures.  I think WFP, under the leadership of the new Executive Director, has been extremely forward-leaning on these issues.  They will handle them according to procedures.  I'm not going to get into detail, because I'm not aware of the details in the investigation.

Inner City Press: 
But is there a UN-wide policy under António Guterres of suspending… suspending pending investigation…?

Spokesman:  I think each case… I think cases vary.  One of the things that we're looking at the CEB is, obviously, some harmonization and understanding across the system.  But, obviously, each… especially when it comes to specialized agencies have their own governing body and their own rules and regulations... 

Inner City Press: just one more on UNAIDS, and then I have some other stuff, but I'm sure you've seen that… that Ms. [Cristina] Brostrom, the… the alleged victim in the Luiz Loures case has written to say that she entirely rejects the re-opening and has no confidence in it.  I'm just wondering, is there a UN response?  She's also said…

Spokesman:  Well, I think… go ahead.

Inner City Press: No, no.  She's said that a toothless UN investigation could impact her ability to pursue the case outside of the system, so she act… is actively requesting that this not take place and views it as a cover-up.  What's your response?

Spokesman:  Well, I think my response is in what I just read, which is — and I'll read it again — that the complainant called for an investigation to be conducted by an external independent investigation entity outside of the UN.  The General Assembly, as you know, has mandated OIOS to have operational independence to conduct investigations.  OIOS has been requested to conduct it and re-open the investigation by WHO.  They've agreed to do so.  I think we are all hoping that… we all want to see what comes out of this re-opened investigation." The UN is failing.
n April 16, mid growing requests for Sidibe to resign, Inner City Press asked Guterres' led spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who reiterated Guterres has full confidence in Sidibe. So much for zero tolerance. Video here, UN transcript here: Inner City Press:  I wanted to ask you about UNAIDS.  As I'm sure you've seen, a number of… a number of groups have asked for an investigation, but the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which does work on AIDS in 39 countries, has reportedly written to António Guterres asking that Mr. [Michel] Sidibé step down in light of his alleged retaliation against staff, in light of a staff member having, in 2015, told him that Luiz Loures was a sexual predator.  And I'm wondering, what does the Secretary-General think now that… that… basically, it doesn't seem that Mr. Sidibé is going to self-resign.  What does he make of… of a member of the…?

Spokesman:  I think it’s always important to hear from our partners.  Mr. Sidibé continues to have the confidence of the Secretary-General.

Inner City Press: And… and the investigation [inaudible] of Luiz Loures meets António Guterres' standards of zero tolerance…?

Spokesman:  I think we've spoken about the investigation."
On March 29
hen Inner City Press audibly asked Guterres, if he had even yet spoken to Sidibe, Guterres did not answer. Vine video here. Present was Guterres' Global Communicator Alison Smale, who orders UN staff to "speak with one voice" - hers - on allegations of sexual harassment. She has continued to restrict Inner City Press, declining for monthes to even answer what the rules are. Inner City Press has been receiving detailed complaints about mismanagement and harassment in UNAIDS, but the UN refuses to answer. So below are some more of the complaints. Tellingly, the day after Guterres refused Inner City Press' question about UNAIDS, here are Loures' victims speaking publicly, in their own names:  Martina Brostrom,
a policy advisor at UNAIDS, said of Loures at a conference in Bangkok, Thailand in 2015: "I was pleading with him, and I was just bracing with all that I could just to not leave the elevator."  Guterres? No answer - and no action. Where is Guterres on this? Where is Guterres? Malayah Harper, who used to run UNAIDS' programs in Uganda and Kenya, on Loures a year earlier, also at a hotel: "He got into the lift with me, and then kind of lunged forward to -- you could call it -- kiss me, but I thought a kiss had to be consensual." We'll have more on this, and on retaliation. Some more of the complaints exclusively published by Inner City Press: "Michel Sidibé has established this 'boys club' culture where qualified women are made to feel less worthy, are openly ridiculed by male colleagues except those women who are providing favors to him and his 'boys,' he continues to give perks to his boys who serve as his connectors to presidents, prime ministers etc by appointing them to important positions as well as even when they retired bridging them back on special assignments for them to make easy money. People such as Fritz Lherisson, Georges Shaw and more recently Abdoul Dieng." There are the Mali connections, beyond what Inner City Press reported about Burundi on March 23, here: "Ben Wahab - A Malian recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director for Burundi with no country level and no management experience. He came in as a P4 Adviser and very quickly in 3 years he rose to his present position of UNAIDS Country Director.... Theresa Poirier, a Malian Canadian,  UNAIDS Country Director for Malawi .Also a relatively new comer to UNAIDS appointed by Michel as Director in Mali and now serving in Malawi as UNAIDS Country Director... Fode Simanga a Malian serving as senior adviser in Geneva but graded at Director level... Dado SY Kagnsssy a Malian before UNAIDS Country Director for Djibouti, very little experience,non articulative  and a fairly new comer to UNAIDS who was appointed to this position whilst many longer serving staff members are over looked and now posted to Guinea as UNAIDS Country Director.. Amakonde Sande (moved from consultant to P4 in short order to  P5 as UNAIDS Country Director in Malawi and then sent to Uganda  a D1 position where she stayed only for 3 months only to be appointed to China as UNAIDS Country Director... Bridgitte Quenum recently appointed as UNAIDS Country Director but she has no leadership, management experience and was appointed over other more senior  persons. It is reputed that her family is/was a great friend of Michel Sidibe and that is how she entered UNAIDS and now gained this distinguished position." But note - not only has Antonio Guterres bragged recently that now at the UN "we have some Portuguese things" - he also has his own hiring and traveling patterns.

As to UNAIDS and Sidibe, there is talk of mining business; there are harassment complaints and findings that Sidibé refuses to act on.  Of Girmay Haile, the current UNAIDS country director in Zimbabwe, whistleblowers tell Inner City Press that a recent internal investigation came unanimously to the conclusion of severe bullying and intimidation just two weeks ago - but Sidibé has refused to move him. This followed a previous investigation against Girmay Haile Girmay HaileGirmay HaileGirmay Hailein Kenya; Sidibe refused the recommendation of the internal team and promoted him to country director Ghana. Girmay Haile has reportedly said he knows too much and if he falls they all fall. We shall see.

  Back on March 15 when Inner City Press asked about the UN Secretariat's own investigation of whistleblowers, for the second day in a row, Haq again defended it, as somehow benefiting member states. From the UN transcript: Inner City Press: I'm sure you've seen the article in The Guardian quoting Michel Sibidé [sic] of UNAIDS [Joint United Nations Programme against HIV/AIDS].  What I wanted to ask you is, he seems to be attacking those who came forward in the sexual harassment case against Luiz Loures.  He's attacked them.  He's said that Loures is a… is… made a courageous decision.  And, of his detractors, he says, we know these people are taking their golden shan… handshakes from us here and knowing they have a job and then attacking us.  We know all about that.  We know every single thing.  Time will come for everything.  When I hear anything about abuse of our assets, I ask for an investigation.  Maybe these investigations are going on.  And so, many staff and many people in the… in the “#MeToo” movement see this as a direct threat against those who came forward.  And I wonder, what does António Guterres… who I'm… I… I would assume is a reader of The Guardian, what does he think of these comments?

Deputy Spokesman:  We're aware of this article.  Obviously, it's for UNAIDS and Mr.  Sidibé to explain what the comments attributed to him are. 

At UNESCO in Paris there are cover-ups and retaliation in the wake of the two-step firing of Assistant Director General Frank La Rue for sexual harassment.

But when Inner City Press on March 20 asked Guy Berger, the grandly titled Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, if he thought reporting on l'affaire La Rue, which has included Inner City Press' exclusive report that after his suspension he was still getting paid and now questions about UNESCO Ethics Adviser Rebecca Trott, Berger said he was unaware of the specifics of the case and to ask UNESCO's press officer.

  Since Inner City Press published the video of the Q&A, it has heard from UNESCO staff in New York that Berger "lied - he was among the best friends of La Rue, defended him at every turn, while also trying to take his job." This is how the UN works - work with collaborators like Berger's former student, to cover up abuse, while seeking mutual advancement. It is disgusting. So too on Rebecca Trott, UNESCO's "Ethics" adviser. As question mount about cover up, it will be interesting to know who is still protecting her within the organization. We'll have more on this.

Likewise, after Berger has spoken and joked with a former student (given the first question) about the importance of independent media and even holding power in check, when Inner City Press asked about the UN's FAO and WIPO going after the press, he said he was unaware but implied it might be justified.

When Inner City Press asked about the UN Department of Public Information's continuing lack of content neutral media access rules, despite Inner City Press' repeated requests to DPI boss Alison Smale, both his student and the UN moderate looked surprised, as if they didn't understand.

OK: Inner City Press was evicted from its UN work space for pursuing the Ng Lap Seng UN bribery case in the UN Press Briefing Room - an event of the group headed by Berger's student - and has been a non-resident correspondent requiring DPI “minders” to cover the UN General Assembly and its President. Meanwhile its office was given to a no-show Egyptian state media, Akhbar al Yom's Sanaa Youssef, who has not ask the UN a question in ten years.

Media that rarely come in and ask anything have arrived since Inner City Press' eviction and have been given UN office space. Inner City Press has been told it is not even on the list, and Smale has not answer a single email. No rules. We'll have more on this (charade) - and on UNESCO. Watch this site.


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