By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, April 15 -- As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of the Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and South South News, among others.
The audit, completed early this year but first put online by Inner City Press, directly criticizes Cristina Gallach, the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information.
Gallach has ordered the search and eviction of Inner City Press' files, set for April 16. She has misrepresented it to UN Ambassadors of major countries.
Now on the afternoon of April 15 Inner City Press has been told that it will be UN staff going through the files but that then they will be given to, and impounded for some time by, a third party or parties whom the UN won't even name to Inner City Press.
As one wag put it, maybe they'll just keep passing them along.
Ban's chief of staff Edmond Mulet has heard requests to hold off from major Permanent Representatives - but has done nothing, except that Inner City Press' files have already been searched.
UN Department of Public Information staff despite a formal legal letter about privilege have already entered Inner City Press' office without notice. This violates basic free press protections.
And despite the retaliatory nature of Gallach, ultimately it is attributable to Ban Ki-moon, who on Capitol Hill on April 13 was called "inept" -- Ban's spokesman told Inner City Press that's just "one person's opinion" -- and who is down in Washington and will remain there while Inner City Press' files are searched and evicted.
What country does this remind you of?
Ban's audit, notably, does not mention that Ban accepted Ng's South South Award and was in the program of Ng's August 2015 event in Macau.
Nor does Ban's audit mention that his Sri Lanka adviser Vijay Nambiar and his spouse, Ban Soon-taek, were both present at the founding of the Global Sustainability Foundation; the latter took photos with South South News' indicted Vivian Wang at the UN Correspondents Association ball where UNCA gave Ng, from whose South South News it took money, a photo op with Ban himself.