By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
UNITED NATIONS, August 18 -- Two weeks after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokespeople cut off Inner City Press' questions about a for-profit event that had been scheduled in the UN on August 2, by a group whose board of directors includes UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan, Inner City Press is reporting on new “fundraisers” in the UN.
Here is a flier for such an event scheduled for October 2, “a fund raising performance by invitation only for donors,” 10 am to noon. How is this possible? Well, Ban Ki-moon has used the UN to give for example a position to his mentor Han Seung-soo while allowing Han to be on the boards of directors of Doosan, in UN Procurement database and selling equipment to countries Han gives “UN” speeches to, and of Standard Chartered, with two UN contracts. We'll have more on this.
The UN was set to play host on August 2 to a for-profit event led by agroup on which a UN Security official is on the board of directors, apparently with the approval of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has yet to address his and his Under Secretaries General's role in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe bribery scandal which resulted on July 29 in a 20 month prison sentence for Sheri Yan's, whose father's one-man show Ban attended in the UN Secretariat lobby.
The event involves COPsync, Inc, a for-profit company which sells equipment to police departments and whose CEO has previously beensued for securities law violations.
Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson about the event three days in a row, including whether Ban had given his required approval for UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan to be on the board of a directors of an involved group (which was also involved with Francis Lorenzo, who founded UN-resident South South News and had pleaded guilty to UN bribery charges in the Ng Lap Seng case.)
On August 1, when Inner City Press asked about Jack Brewer listing himself as a "UN Ambassador for Peace and Sport," Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said that the event is "canceled," there will be no answers on the three prior events or Sullivan being on the board or Jack Brewer listing himself as a UN Ambassador for Peace and Sport.
But as was published before Haq spoke, the event is NOT canceled - it is postponed, until later this month, and still lists UN Inspector Matthew Sullivan as a speaker:
"the decision has been made to POSTPONE this Tuesday’s (August 2) Peace Summit at the United Nations... Our team is scheduling a new date – tentatively during the week of August 15, 2016. The plan is to select and announce the new date within the next few days."
This is a cover-up. This is impunity. This is Ban's UN.
Last week Ban's deputy spokesman Haq, rather than answer this or which member state or UN Department is the sponsor of the August 2 event, accused Inner City Press of “unethical” Googling, implying that because Ban and his USG Cristina Gallach evicted Inner City Press as it investigated their links to the Ng Lap Seng scandal -- see, for example, this OIOS audit at Paragraphs 37-40 and 20(b) -- Inner City Press is now precluded from investigating that or other corruption in Ban's UN.
Haq said he is not aware of any problem with UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan being on the board of directors of the Jack Brewer Foundation (Brewer lists himself as a “UN Ambassador of Peace and Sports”), implying that Ban Ki-moon has approved all of this. Video here. Watch this site.
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 pleaded-guilty Francis Lorenzo's South South News, among others.
While as of July 27 Ban and his Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach still have this last "bribery conduit" in a UN office after evicting Inner City Press for investigating it, and them, more dubious events are scheduled for Ban's UN. (Gallach, who appeared with Lorenzo, spoke in the GA Hall on July 29 - given her retaliatory evition of Inner City Press, it would only half cover the event with one of Ban's minders.)
On July 29 Inner City Press asked Ban's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, for the second day in a row, if UN Security Inspector Matthew Sullivan's position on the board of the directors of the sponsor of an August 2 event, which has links with pleaded-guilty Francis Lorenzo, was approved by Ban Ki-moon as required by UN rules. Haq refused to answer, video here.
Rather than answer this simple question, Haq said he is not aware of any problem with the individual. Does that mean that Ban Ki-moon has given up even pretending to enforce UN ethics rules? Or that Ban Ki-moon has approved this UN Inspector's moonlighting with entities linked with the UN's Lorenzo / John Ashe (RIP) / Ng Lap Seng bribery scandal?
One of the links is through an event held in the UN in January 2015 which Inner City Press has reported about and asked about, by “Reelcause” - the UN speakers included not only UN DSS Inspector Matthew Sullivan, a JBF board member, but also UN DSS Officer Anthony Barzelatto. We'll have more on this, as the UN is refusing to answer the most basic factual questions.
Even the simple question of who sponsored the use of the UN on August 2, a mission or a UN department, was stonewalled by Ban's Haq. He said, ask the group holding the event. Well, no. The UN premises are being used, and this requires a sponsor.
In fact, the head of the group now in a press release identifies himself as a UN Ambassador for Peace and Sport. Did Ban Ki-moon give him this title? Or does anything go, now that Ban's own Secretariat sold documents to Ng Lap Seng and Ban only wants to run for President of South Korea?
Now that Ban's UN goes so far as to evict the Press asking the question and "mis-speaks" to the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders, and to either the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee or to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta?
Inner City Press and @InnerCityPress first reported on the dubious concussions event in the UN, involving Matthew Sullivan in 2014, before he and Ban and Gallach ousted and evicted Inner City Press from the UN.
Here is a notice of a for-profit event in the UN announced for August 2 by the Jack Brewer Foundation including JBF (UN) authorized board member UN Department of Safety and Security Inspector Mathew Sullivan, who on February 22 told Inner City Press Ban and Gallach had Banned it from all UN premises worldwide, audio here and petition here, and who further censored Inner City Press on July 26 from covering South Sudan and Haiti meeting.
Significantly, Sullivan was listed for a UN event by “Reelcause,” whose shareholders include not only Jack Brewer Foundation but also the“Montessori Model UN,” founded by Francis Lorenzo who had pleaded guilty to UN bribery charges (while Gallach leaves Lorenzo's South South News in an office after evicting Inner City Press as it investigated it, and her and Ban's links).
The JBF, on whose board of director UN Matthew Sullivan serves, hasappeared with South South News, here and Lorenzo, here (and photo).
So l'affaire Matthew Sullivan, which Ban's spokesman is trying to stop investigation of by calling even Googling unethical, is connected to the Francis Lorenzo UN bribery scandal. Perhaps this explains Ban's spokesmen stonewalling. Lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric stonewalled Inner City Press' previous questions about Montessori Model UN.
We also note that Jack Brewer Foundation is a shareholder of a company called "Immune Therapeutics," for which Brewer opened doors (including, literally, the UN's) to help the company sell pharmaceuticals. Immune Therapeutics' CEO is named Noreen Griffin, and she is linked to bribing imprisoned ex-Congressman William Jefferson. Why has Ban authorized one of his Security officials to be on this board of directors and to use the UN?
On July 28 when Inner City Press for the second time asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about the specifics of for-profit events in the UN and Sullivan's presence on the board of directors of the events' sponsor, rather than answer Haq tried to call Inner City Press' research and reporting “unethical,” going so far as to ask if it had started research AFTER it was Banned from covering UN meeting on Haiti and South Sudan.
In fact, Inner City Press reported on the “concussions” event long before Ban and Cristina Gallach ousted it on February 19, and Sullivan on February 22 told Inner City Press it was Banned from UN premises worldwide. Haq's boss Stephane Dujarric claimed that day that Sullivan had gone beyond the ouster ordered by Gallach. If so, why did Sullivan do it?
Ban's UN has become a place where officials at all levels think they can sell access to the UN, since Ng Lap Seng so easily bought it. The scandal, as Inner City Press will shortly report, are connected. Ban's UN's response to reporting is to evict the Press, then to question whether Googling is somehow unethical. Vines here and here and here and here. Then video here. From the UN Transcript:
Inner City Press: yesterday I asked you about this event that is scheduled for 2 August and you told me to speak to the group and Mr. Sullivan didn't know he was on the list, and wouldn't speak at it. Since then I've seen there are at least three other events at which he did speak by the same group, involving the same group and that he is on board of directors of the sponsor of the 2 August thing, that Jackie Brewer Foundation. So I guess what I wanted to know is, one, to me it seems strange that he didn't know that he was listed by them if he is on the board of directors. But I also wanted to ask, I've seen the Secretary-General orders called outside activities that say staff members should not engage in outside these activities without the approval of the Secretary-General. So I wanted to know, since this is a private, for-profit company that has had its stock pitched based on the involvement of UN DSS (Department of Safety and Security), whether the Secretary-General has, in fact, approved this or not? And, if not, what happens next?
Deputy Spokesman: As I told you, he is not appearing at their function. He was not aware of this.
ICP Question: Did you look into it? He is on the board of directors of the group, so I'm asking.
Deputy Spokesman: This person who, by the way, has informed me that you apparently have taken some sort of gripe with him because he tried to talk to you at a stakeout. I'm aware…
ICP Question: It's not a gripe. I'm asking you about an official DSS official on the board. You are cutting me off. I thought that was unprofessional. I'm asking a question, how does this regulation apply?
Deputy Spokesman: I was actually in the process of answering you, and then you can talk. This is how conversations go: I talk and you talk and so forth.
ICP Question: Just that you walk away, so that is why I'm making sure I want to ask, there are number of other questions on this.
Deputy Spokesman: Matthew, that is not fair. I take a huge amount of questions from you, as every transcript and every video will show. Now, I have no problem with you asking questions. I do not think that you should try to use the briefing in terms of personal vendettas against people. If that is what you are doing, it's unethical and I would have a problem with that.
ICP Question: You can say whatever you want. Okay, what I'm asking, a senior UN DSS official is, this is all online, these are all… you could have found them yourselves with ten minutes of Googling. He is on the board of directors of a group that you said didn't know put him on the list and there have been three separate events, one about sneakers, one about concussions in the NFL (National Football League), and these have all taken place in the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) Trusteeship Chamber. So my question is for the service of this individual on the board of directors of a for-profit company for a for-profit event, has the Secretary-General given permission? And, if not, is this reflective of a lack of due diligence as in the Ng Lap Seng case, "Yes" or "No"?
Deputy Spokesman: First of all, to the extent that DSS ever gives briefings at these, there are briefings about security conditions. Those are standard; outside of those, I'm not aware…
ICP Question: I urge you to look at the press releases.
Deputy Spokesman: I'm not aware of anything that is not a standard briefing. Second of all, did you do any of this Googling before you had your conversation in the corridors with him?
ICP Question: Yes, I have. I've been actually following… I wrote about the concussion event because it's a joke these events take place in the UN that are raising money, so I'm now I'm asking you about these events because you said he didn't know and it's not credible. He has done three events. Look at them and see whether there were safety concerns.
Deputy Spokesman: Like I said, I have talked to this person and this is what he said.
When after publishing a story exposing the notice and Sullivan's listed involvement Inner City Press asked Bna's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq about it, Haq said he had spoken with Sullvian who said he had not been aware he was listed, and is not involved. Haq refused ot answer more about the event, and cut off Inner City Press' questions. Video here.
This is not credible. In fact, Matthew Sullivan is on the board of directors of the group holding the event, which is either a violation of UN rules or was approved by Ban "Fast and Loose" Ki-moon. The applicable rule:
"ST/AI/2000/13 Outside activities
Section 2 Staff members engaging in outside activities authorized under the present instruction shall make clear to the organizers and participants in such activities, including any employers, that they act in their personal capacity and not as representatives of the United Nations.
Section 3 3.1 Under staff regulation 1.2 (o), a staff member shall not engage in any outside occupation or employment, whether remunerated or not, without the approval of the Secretary-General. For the purposes of the present instruction, the expression 'occupation' shall include the exercise of a profession, whether as an employee or an independent contractor."
Here is a photo of Sullivan with the people he says he doesn't know listed him for the August 2 event.
There are been other events with Sullivan, for example here: "MagneGas Announces Panelists for World Water Day Summit at the UN... The Summit will begin with a welcome from the CEO of MagneGas Corporation Ermanno Santilli and Inspector Matthew Sullivan of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security."
And another ("Reelcause," here in PDF) and yet another: "Discussing the GTX SmartSoles with various officials including Inspector Matthew Sullivan of the United Nations’ Department of Safety and Security."
In fact, the for profit company has had it stock touted citing UN Sullivan's involvement, here: DirectView Holdings, "facilitated a number of introductions and collaborative meetings for DirectView executives throughout the course of the week including with the United Nations' Inspector of Operations from the Department of Safety and Security."
While Ban Ki-moon cited immunity / impunity for 10,000 killed by cholera in Haiti, a meting on which Sullivan Banned Inner City Press from on July 26, doesn't this implicate at least US securities laws?
Since the above is easily available online, Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson's denial and stonewalling is worse then negligent.
Under Ban Ki-moon, as shown in the Ng Lap Seng / John Ashe case investigation of which resulted in Ban evicting Inner City Press from the UN in retaliation, using Sullivan, everything has become for sale.
Detailed evidence presented, including about Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach who signed the ouster and eviction orders, has been sitting unacted on at Ban's Ethics office, and OIOS for months. Here was Gallach at Ng's South South Awards, and here was Inner City Press questioning her about it, and her passing the buck to Ban's lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, before her ouster of Inner City Press from which she should have been recused.
How high does this particular scam go in the Department of Safety and Security, whose Captain McNulty and seven officer physically ousted Inner City Press on February 19? Audio here; McNulty initially refused to identify himself. DSS later cited a non-public Handbook to justify Inner City Press' ouster, here. Is USG Peter Drennan in on this? Michael "Mick" Brown, who oversees McNulty? There are some fine people in DSS, but it must be cleaned up, and all retaliation reversed and addressed.
How about the Department of Management which is titularly in charge of these events in the UN, including Andrew Nye, Craig Boyd and British Assistant SG Stephen Cutts? Ban Ki-moon's UN is corrupt throughout, and retaliates against the Press which pursues and reports on it. The UN's ouster and eviction of Inner City Press, and harassment and censorship since, has been pure retaliation. Now what?
Here's the notice for the August 2 event, followed by the UN's transcript of Ban's Haq's denials:
"COPsync Co-sponsors #Stand2Protect Peace Summit at the United Nations
DALLAS, July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- COPsync, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYN), announced today that they are co-sponsoring the #Stand2Protect Peace Summit in conjunction with UN Ambassador Jack Brewer, the Blue Alert Foundation, the United Federation for Peacekeeping and Sustainable Development, and Trust 2 Protect. The Summit will be held at the United Nations Headquarters on August 2, 2016, from 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT.
The goal of the United Nations #Stand2Protect Peace Summit is to bring together community and global leaders, law enforcement, politicians and influencers to discuss real solutions to end the growing distrust between communities and law enforcement. Prominent speakers at the Summit will include ... Inspector at the United Nations Headquarters Mathew Sullivan"
This is a for-profit company, selling services to Police Departments. Why is UN DSS Matty Sullivan involved?
Inner City Press after publishing the above asked Ban Ki-moon's deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here and below; video here
Inner City Press: Yesterday, there was a public announcement by a for-profit company called COPsync Inc. that is going to hold an event in the UN on 2 August called “Stand to Protect Peace Summit”. And basically, I mean, it's a for-profit company and it sells products and services to police departments. And maybe they have rented out space in the UN, maybe you will find this out, but I wanted to ask you about is, they list as a participant as part of their pitch to attend it the involvement of Inspector of the UN Headquarters Matthew Sullivan, a UN DSS [Department of Safety and Security] individual. So, I wanted to ask you either now or later today, what is the UN's involvement in this for-profit event and how is it consistent with the commitments to do due diligence after the Ng Lap Seng South-South News scandal?
Deputy Spokesman: I actually spoke with Mr. Sullivan earlier today. He has confirmed to me that he had not heard of this particular speaking engagement before, was not aware of it, and is not participating.
ICP Question: They put it out on PR Newswire. So, what is this involving? Can you get an answer? They obviously know who he is, so what is his involvement with the Jack Moore Foundation and with these individuals?
Deputy Spokesman: He is not involved in this. That is what he has told me. For anything further, you need to ask them.
ICP Question: But, it's in the UN, it's a for-profit event in the UN, so I'm asking in the wake of the Ng Lap Seng scandal. What is the UN's involvement in this event taking place?
Deputy Spokesman: First of all, you are trying to tie into similar things. I don't speak for this company. You would have to talk to that company about what they're doing. Regarding how they do their arrangements, you would have to ask them. Regarding Mr. Sullivan, no, he is not involved in this?
ICP Question: Are they paying the UN to use the room? It's being held in UN Headquarters, 2 August at 3 p.m.
Deputy Spokesman: This is not something… the UN does not charge for the use of the UN. Yes?
ICP Question: Why are they in the UN?
Deputy Spokesman: You would have to ask that company.
Ban's Haq said, ask them. But they have already, according to the UN, lied about Sullivan's involvement. The UN under Ban Ki-moon is a wild west of corruption that is not being cleaned up - instead, Ban throws about the Press that is asking about it.
On Ng Lap Seng, the UN Development Program began its own audit, which Inner City Press published here, and asked Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric for a press conference about. That has still not been held. And Dujarric, after misusing the UN briefing room and podiumand training and empowering his deputy to do so, has disappeared. We'll have more on this.
On July 1, Inner City Press asked this Ban Ki-moon spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, about the superseding indictment of Ng Lap Seng to include UNDP and all acts through September 2015. Paragraph 12 names the Secretary General. Video here;
UN Transcript here:
Inner City Press: the UN bribery case of Ng Lap Seng has now had a superseding indictment that accuses Mr. Ng of buying benefits from UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and expands the time limit of the case up to September 2015. So, one, I'm wondering if you have any comment on this, as it seems to be an expanding case. And, two, I want to reiterate the request now for several months that UNDP hold a press conference, at least on the audit that it released, and… and state where… why the money that was given…
Spokesman: I think on your… on your second part, you can address that request to UNDP.
Inner City Press: I have.
Spokesman: I have not seen the new indictment, so I cannot comment on it.
Inner CityPress: You had said from here that they would do it. I've spoken to the head of the office, and he hasn't done it. I'm wondering, has the Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, head of the system…
Spokesman: I know where we are.
Inner City Press: Cover up.
Spokesman: You're always free and have always been free to express your opinions.
Dujarric said Inner City Press is free to say what it wants . Yes: from the street, to which Ban and his Head of Communications, with an assist from Dujarric, first threw Inner City Press on February 19 (audio here) then evicted its files (Video here.) On July 1, Dujarric at noon said he hadn't read the superseding indictment. Then he left the UN just after 3 pm, with no briefing for six days. This IS a cover up, on which we're have more.
The audit of Ban's Secretariat, 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. On June 29, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Farhan Haq, video here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: Monday down in… in Federal Court, there was a hearing for Mr. Ng Lap Seng in the ongoing case, and Assistant District Attorney [Daniel] Richenthal basically widened the case and said they're going to be… there's more things they're looking at as to Ng Lap Seng, and he also described in more detail a, quote, conduit of bribery taking place within the UN. And I wanted to know, since you've said you're monitoring it, what is the UN's response to the new information that was presented on Monday?
Deputy Spokesman: Yeah, we are aware of the latest information, and, as I've pointed out, the situation of South-South News is under review. It continues to be under review, but certainly, any new information is useful in light of that.
After the above, a corporate news wire which has a conflict of interest on this passed through South South News' claims that it has had "no connection with any government at any level" - this is false. But the conflicted corporate wire, with its own Permanent seat on the board of hte UN Correspondents Assocation which took money from Ng's South South News, merely passes through the denial. Call it journalism? We'll have more on this.
On June 27, former South South News reporter turned spokesperson for John Ashe and now his family wrote to the UN press corps, some of whom she saw over the weekend:
"Dear Friends and Dear UN and Media Representatives, I am kindly forwarding a Statement from the Family of the late John. W. Ashe, President of the UN General Assembly 68th Session, at the request of his widowed wife, Anilla Cherian.I have accepted to forward this Statement in my personal capacity and in honor of Ambassador Ashe’s legacy as a long-serving diplomat. I will not be addressing any questions and I do appreciate your understanding.
It was very nice seeing several of you over the weekend. I hope you are all doing well."
If the goal was to distinguish South South News from John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng, this doesn't do it.
The audit deals with South South News - which as of June 27 STILL has a UN office, photo here, UNlike Inner City Press. In Ban's UN one only gets due process if one has money, or pays money, as South South News did, including to the UN Correspondents Association which then gave Ng Lap Seng a photo-op with Ban. Or as the Saudis did to get Ban to remove them from the Yemen Children and Armed Conflict annex.
On June 27 in Federal Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Richenthal said that South South News was a conduit for bribery involving the now conveniently (and mysteriously) deceased former PGA John Ashe. (Some with links to Ashe try to erase all trace, but here is one: UNCA with AAshe's spokesperson Konja, formerly of South South News), which one wire-with-a-conflict covering this story never mentions. Compare to this.)
Meanwhile while Inner City Press can only work with minders, its office given to Akhbar Elyom's correspondent, a former UNCA presdient, sits empty and Gallach gallavants in Paris. We'll have more on all this.
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.
On April 16, at Ban's and his USG Cristina Gallach's direction, Inner City Press' long time UN office in S-303 was evicted and five boxes of files were dumped onto First Avenue. Video here and here.
On April 20, the Free UN Coalition for Access sign on S-303 was removed (photo here) without the consent of Inner City Press' office mate, also a FUNCA member, who was told that the lock was being changed, presumably to sell the office to someone else. Inner City Press immediately objected to MALU, the DSG, Chef de Cabinet and Spokesman, putting them on notice.
And lo and behold it was given to a former UNCA president who never comes to the UN, never asks questions: Saana Youssef of Egyptian state media Akhbar Elyom. This is Ban's UN.
UNCA, at least under Giampaolo Pioli, openly tells people to pay it money, it can get them UN official space. This is corruption.
Now since the eviction of Inner City Press, South South News has sent out a press release saying that despite the guilty plea by its President Francis Lorenzo and indictment of its Vice President Vivan Wang, it is clean - and blames its problems on a "few independent journalists." Wonder who's referred to - as the other one(s).
Not Reuters, which passes through without analysis South South News' press releases - and without disclosing that Reuters' Lou Charbonneau and now Michelle Nichols have occupied Reuters' permanent seat on the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association, which took South South News' money then arranged a photo op for Ng Lap Seng with Ban Ki-moon.
South South News' founding is described in the John Ashe and Ng Lap Seng indictment; it is portrayed through gauze in the OIOS audit. The name South South News has appeared in the Panama Papers.
For now, another UN example. To deliver "personal" invitations to the South South Awards, which USG Gallach attended in September 2015, South South News needed access to the UN during the Septameber High Level week. So, Inner City Press is informed, South South News personnel got D or Diplomat passes through Lorenzo's Dominican Republic mission to the UN. Back, indeed.
Here are an initial two of many photographs of that event, these by Luiz Rampelotto of Europa Newswire via Facebook, including one of now indicted Vivian Wang of South South News with Mrs. Ban
Here's from South South News' press release:
"It is disgraceful that a few independent journalists are exhibiting a lack of professionalism and irresponsibility by attacking everything and anyone they believe is linked to this case. This is often done by insinuation, guilt by association and baseless assumptions that disparage many innocent people and organizations. Irresponsible assumptions, fact-twisting and misinformation serve to distort the perception of the situation, while affecting our hard work and the work of many innocent people who have absolutely nothing to do with this case.
These types of attacks are counterproductive and unprofessional. We believe these attacks reflect poorly on the integrity of the profession of journalism as a whole. Not to justify any illegal activities, but all sorts of organizations worldwide have been victims of unscrupulous people, as have other organizations facing similar circumstances.
We as employees will defend our hard and honest work and we will defend the commitment to our goals and objectives of producing quality journalism to inform about these important issues. This hard-earned reputation has been tainted by some unscrupulous acts. Many media and administrative professionals have proudly worked for South-South News and can attest to the integrity of our media operation.
This is a complex case in which many players from different organizations and events have been implicated, as detailed in the Government’s complaint. It is working its way through the United States judiciary system, as it well should. If you have questions regarding the people mentioned in the US Government complaint, you should contact their legal representatives directly.
Again, South-South News is continuing its professional day-to-day functions by providing some of the most comprehensive, high-quality coverage of the UN and disseminating information on global development issues."
The same indicted Vivian Wang of South South News with David Ng Lap Seng at the same UNCA event
On this, Inner City Press on January 29 sought to cover an UNCA event held in the UN Press Briefing Room, which was nowhere listed as closed. On February 19 Gallach, without recusing herself, unilaterally deactivated Inner City Press UN residential correspondents pass, and had Inner City Press' reporter physically thrown out on First Avenue without coat or passport. Audio here.
This is called retaliation. On the afternoon of April 12, Inner City Press while with another colleague asked Ban about Gallach's orders.
"That is not my decision," Ban said quickly. He is aware; the ouster and censorship serve him, but he says it is not his decision, just as for example Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa or higher profile censors might.
On the evening of April 12 Gallach ordered the final eviction of all of Inner City Press' investigative files on Saturday, April 16 at 10 am. This is the face of today's UN corruption.
This is what the UN eviction order sent to Inner City Press says:
To:matthew.lee [at] innercitypress.com
From: Tal Mekel [at] un.org
Date: Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 6:47 PM
Dear Mr. Lee,
Further to the letter to you from Cristina Gallach, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information, on 30 March 2016, we note that you did not remove your belongings from the office by the 6 April deadline as required.
As you have still not removed your belongings, we wish to inform you that your belongings will be packaged on Saturday 16 April 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
After carefully packaging them up, your belongings will be forwarded to Bronx NY headquarters address for Inner City Press that you had listed in your media accreditation application. If you wish us to forward your packaged belongings to another address instead, please let us know as soon as possible.
We request your presence during the packing. Please contact the Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit (MALU) to make the necessary arrangements. If you are not present, the packing and forwarding will still take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday 16 April 2016.
Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit
United Nations - S-250
New York, NY 10017
And here is some of what the OIOS audit says, about USG Gallach:
"37. On 30 June 2015, Global Sustainability Foundation sponsored an exhibition titled “The Transformative Power of Art” in the visitors’ lobby at United Nations Headquarters. This exhibition was curated by an Italian artist, whose works were displayed along with the works of other artists participating in one of his workshops.
38. Exhibitions in publicly accessible areas at Headquarters are governed by the Secretary General’s Bulletin ST/SGB/2008/6, which stipulates, inter alia, as follows:
(a) The United Nations Exhibits Committee, which is an interdepartmental body of the Secretariat chaired by the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information [Cristina Gallach] is the standing body that reviews and authorizes such exhibitions;
(b) Any proposal originating from an NGO or foundation must be accompanied by a written communication of support from a Secretariat department or office, a separately administered organ or programme of the United Nations, an organization of the United Nations system or a permanent or observer mission to the United Nations;
(c) Exhibit proposals focusing on a specific individual, or originating from a single artist, shall not be permitted;
(d) The Exhibits Committee may, at its discretion, reject a proposal for an exhibit in part or in its entirety, or require the elimination or alteration of any part thereof; and
(e) The secretariat of the Exhibits Committee shall inform the Assistant Secretary General, Office of Central Support Services, of the authorization granted for a proposed exhibit.39. OIOS noted that the exhibition held of 30 June 2015 was not in compliance with these provisions. The Exhibits Committee did not authorize the exhibition because it did not receive a proposal in accordance with (b) above. The Chef de Cabinet of the Office of the President of the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly informed the Exhibits Committee of the President’s decision to host a series of major cultural events, which included an exhibition, reception, and concert. The Committee informed the Office of the President that the exhibition was not in accordance with the regulations for exhibits in publicly accessible areas at Headquarters, but the Office of the President decided to proceed with the exhibition anyway. Therefore, the Exhibits Committee did not accept, reject or alter the “proposal”.
40. OIOS notes that the Exhibits Committee only had an advisory role in the matter, and in the circumstances described, it could not have possibly prevented the staging of the event. However, considering that the exhibition was attended by the Secretary-General and other senior Secretariat staff despite its non-compliance with the Secretary-General’s bulletin on exhibits, the perception that the NGO was given preferential treatment or favour (that too without performing any due diligence checks) could have an adverse impact on the Organization’s reputation. This risk is aggravated by the allegations in the criminal complaint against Sun Kian Ip group, with whom this NGO is affiliated."
While Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric has said this audit will not be made public until April 22, on April 6 as a full text exclusive Inner City Press published the audit while noting affiliates the UN audit omitted, and portions of the audit that some involved seem to be trying to cover up, including not only as to the Department of Public Information, but also the Global Compact and other back-doors into the UN, including but not limited to "Friends of the UN."
Beyond the Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information's responsibility for exhibits in the Visitor's Lobby such as the one indicted Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation held on June 30, 2015, she was also in charge when GSF was allowed, without any due diligence, to on March 25, 2015 sponsor an event entitled "Unveiling of the 'Ark of Return' Permanent Memorial." Audit at Paragraph 20 (b).
Inner City Press asked the UN about DPI's engagement with the Global Sustainability Foundation around the Ark of Return in October 2015. To be diplomatic, this should have led to / required a recusal.
DPI, the audit says, was "associated" with Ng Lap Seng's and Frank Liu's World Harmony Foundation through something called the "Friends of the UN" based in Los Angeles / Santa Monica. We'll have more on this.
As Inner City Press demonstrated even before publishing the audit, the Global Compact as of April 2016 lists Ng's World Harmony Foundation as a member, despite the October 2015 indictments.
Now we note that the Global Compact, represented at Ng's Macau event in August 2015, has a representative who because not a UN staff member kept the iPad Ng's Sun Kian Ip foundation gifted. What kind of "anti corruption" UN Global Compact is this?
On April 11, after publishing the above, Inner City Press asked Ban Ki-moon's spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, and when Ban will answer questions. Video here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: onthis OIOS inquiry, I want to ask you something. One of the entities controlled by Mr. Ng Lap Seng is World Harmony Foundation. I don’t know if it was you or Farhan [Haq] last week that said it’s still a member of the Global Compact, but it also seems to partner with DPI (Department of Public Information) is associated through something called Friends of the United Nations, which seems to be based in Santa Monica, California. It’s a little unclear. Can you say, is this one of the ground balls that you guys are going to be running down, in terms of what other groups enter through that way? Also, what explains World Harmony Foundation six months after the indictment still being part of the Global Compact? And one other Global Compact question. The audit specifically says that, of the iPads given out at the Macau event in August, the representative of the Global Compact has not returned it, said that he’s not going to return it. He’s not a staff member and he’s keeping it. It’s right in the audit. And so I wanted to know, since the Global Compact said it’s about transparency, anticorruption, is this okay? And why isn’t he a staff member if he’s representing the Global Compact?
Spokesman Dujarric: I don’t know. That’s a question you should… in terms of World Harmony, whether or not they’re still a member, is a question you can ask of the Global Compact. Obviously, as we said, the audit is an initial step, and other issues are being pursued.
Inner City Press: But are they going… I mean, I guess Global Compact, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), are they going to hold a press conference?
Spokesman Dujarric: You should ask them. They have press people, like the Secretariat, and they’re there to answer questions.
Inner City Press: And the Secretary-General, you said he’ll be in the room tomorrow, but he won’t speak. Looking at the list of press conferences, it seems like the last one was December of last year…
Spokesman: He will have… there will be some sort of a press conference… there will be a press conference, probably on Friday, tied to the climate event.
Climate of corruption, some say.
To be diplomatic, on April 8 this is what Inner City Press asked Dujarric, video here, UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: this OIOS [Office of Internal Oversight Services] audit, I obtained it, published it and I want to ask just for today, two specific questions about it. One is, it talks about funds going to this thing called UNPAN, which I've heard of, but it seems to be pretty obscure. And in looking at its website, it claims to be publishing articles they say were published in December 2016, which hasn't actually occurred yet. So, there's something a little… What's been done on the recommendations as to… to UNPAN and the use of its name by the entities that were audited....
Spokesman: The recommend… the audit, I think, as all of you have seen now, includes recommendations and includes the status of those recommendations, and we're following through with them.
Inner City Press: I'd asked Farhan [Haq] yesterday about the 30 June 2015 event in the Visitor's Lobby, which has a section of the whole audit about DPI [Department of Public Information] being in charge of it, not doing it. I want to ask you about another event, which was 25 March, this unveiling of the Ark of Return permit memorial, which they said was no due diligence done of the Global Sustainability Foundation. It seems like, in this audit, they make these two findings about DPI, these two events, but it's only looking at it, I guess, institutionally. As I've asked you, when Global Sustainability Foundation was founded in this building, a senior adviser of the Secretary-General and his spouse were present…
Spokesman: I mean, I think…
Inner City Press: Does this audit look at individuals or only entities…?
Spokesman: The audit looks at… looked at the systems. When there are issues related to individuals, further investigations are being done.
Inner City Press: Right. But, it seems like they only mention the individuals that were in the criminal complaint. There was nothing…
Spokesman: You know, the audit… I think the audit speaks for itself and outlines how we're following up with it.
There is a need for follow up.
The audit cites Ng's Interntional Organization for South South Cooperation's engagements with, or capture of, the UN agency UNPAN, the UN Public Administration Network. A visit on April 8, 2016 toUNPAN's website finds them featuring articles they say were publishd in December 2016 - that is, in the future. Ironically, the article(s) address the topic of corruption. That is today's UN.
The audit for example does purport to cover South South News, but not the big money South South Awards held in September 2015 at the Waldorf Astoria including the Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information (DPI) Cristina Gallach.
(Inner City Press in October 2015 questioned Ms. Gallach about her participation in the South South Awards, video here. On February 19, 2016 Gallach ordered Inner City Press to leave its long time office and stripped its Resident Correspondent accreditation, without once speaking to it. This is the subject of an April 5 letter to Ban Ki-moon from the Government Accountability Project, demanding that this “crude and heavy handed” retaliation be reversed, watch this site.)
On April 7, Inner City Press asked UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq a first round of questions about some of the limitations of the audio,video here,
UN transcript here:
Inner City Press: I've now obtained and published this OIOS audit of selected NGOs and related entity that you said will come out on 22 April. And there's different things I want to ask you about it, but main thing I want to ask about is, there's an entire section that runs from paragraph 37 through paragraph 40 that it's about an exhibit they say was improperly held in the Visitor's Lobby on 30 June 2015. And it goes through a lot of detail, and it says that the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Public Information is in charge of the exhibits committee and, I guess, in charge of the space. And somehow, this exhibit was held in violation of a number of the rules that apply to it. What I'm wondering is, what is the response? Obviously, it seems like you guys have had access to this audit even before it was sent to Member States. What is the thinking… the way they walk through it is they say… it seems strange. If she's in charge of the space and the exhibit took place without complying with the rules, what is the response to her responsibility for that? And what steps have been taken? The audit doesn't say that any steps have yet been taken to address that.
Deputy Spokesman Haq: Well, with regard to the specific cases referred to in the audit, actions being taken to determine responsibility and any follow-up and any measures that may be deemed appropriate. And so, we'll continue to study that.
Inner City Press: And who decides? In getting the audit, there obviously is a long section about South-South News, but I noticed that a related entity of which there's been a lot of coverage is South-South Awards. And it's unclear, it's not mentioned once in here. And this is something that… I mean, the Secretary-General received the South-South Award. This is an entity that's absolutely connected to Ng Lap Seng and Frank Lorenzo et al. So, the question is, who… maybe that's OIOS, but who decided on the scope of this audit, the date that it would start, 1 January 2012, and the exclusion of… of… one of the things that people covering this scandal have focused on are these glitzy events in the Waldorf. The Under-Secretary-General of DPI did attend in September, but prior to that, Ms. [Susana] Malcorra took an award for Ban [Ki-moon]. Why is this not in the audit? And will there be an audit of South-South Awards going forward?
Deputy Spokesman Haq: I think the audit is what it is. It's prepared by the professional people in the Office of Internal Oversight who deal with audits. And you can evaluate the results for yourself.
Inner City Press: And just one other thing I wanted to ask about, because I know I'd asked Stéphane [Dujarric] and you, going back to October, about the inclusion of South-South News content in UN Television archives. And, eventually, you came back with this answer that it was due to Habitat. And I just… I've pointed out to you that there's a number of things that have nothing to do with Habitat, a number of inclusions that you just search UNTV for "South-South News". But, I do notice in this audit that there is a reference to South-South News and Habitat. So, I wanted to know, was this finding that you said of people looking into how it got in there, was it basically just taken from reading the audit, or was there a… a… a… an analysis, either by your office or DPI, of how the many other inclusions of South-South News and UNTV archives took place?
Deputy Spokesman: No, our office had checked with DPI. That was prior to us knowing about the results of the audit.
Similarly, using timing as a basis of omission, by stopping the audit at January 1, 2012, OIOS did not address the issue of Ng's South South News getting a photo op directly with Ban Ki-moon in December 2011 at the UN Correspondents Association ball at Cipriani's 42nd Street after giving money to UNCA including for a two page ad spread in UNCA's “ball book.”
While Dujarric's deputy Farhan Haq allowed four UNCA board members from Reuters, France 24 and Agence France Presse to seek to rebut this including by directly addressing Inner City Press in the noon briefing on April 6, the cut-off at January 1, 2012 is problematic, especially as related to Ban Ki-moon himself.
The audit goes out of its way to say that Ban's Executive Office of the Secretary General did not know when a letter to it was modified to add the name of Ng's firm and of South South News. How is that possible? And again, why was Ban's direct dealing with Ng cut out from the audit by a matter of days?
Many of the irregularities in the audit are things first reported by Inner City Press, such as Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation funding the UN's slavery memorial, including an engagement with Gallach's DPI which even the audit criticizes while DPI tries to deny.
Undeniable is that Gallach chaired the UN Exhibits Committee which allowed the bogus “Transformative Power of Art” exhibit on June 30, 2015.
How does Gallach's no due process ouster of Inner City Press on February 19, 2016, when Inner City Press was thrown into the street and its laptop on the sidewalk by eight UN guards, look now that the audit is out? Even with the audit inexplicably omitting the South South Awards -- Ban Ki-moon got one of the awards -- the audit chides DPI for lack of due diligence for its slavery event, and Gallach as chair of the Exhibit Committee which allowed the Jun 30, 2015 “Transformative Power of Art” exhibit.
Gallach, who was questioned by Inner City Press about her role at the South South Awards with Frank Lorenzo, had a conflict of interest and should never have been near the decision to thrown Inner City Press out of the UN.
That decision must be reversed, as the Government Accountability Project has asked Ban, even before Inner City Press published the specifics of the audit.
Courthouse News Service of April 6 reports on GAP's first letter:
"The Government Accountability Project complained about Lee's fallout in a Feb. 26 letter to the U.S. Permanent Mission of the United Nations.
'The action targeted Matthew Lee alone, and appears to be retaliatory in response to independent, critical journalism,' wrote Beatrice Edwards, the project's international program director.
UNCA, the group whose meeting Lee got in trouble for recording, has denied the appearance of unfairness. 'UNCA stands for press freedom and vehemently defends rights of journalists at the UN and around the world,' the statement says."
Really? Where? It was the Free UN Coalition for Access asking this month about the UN requiring minders, not only in UN Headquarters but also in South Sudan. The Courthouse News continues:
"Lee blasted what he described as 'post-hoc' justifications for his ouster, which he compared to a Franz Kafka novel. 'Initially, they tried to say that I secretly filmed a closed meeting,' he said.
'That's fallen apart because the meeting wasn't recorded as closed.' Lee laughed off allegations that he entered a restricted area to secretly film the meeting, which he broadcast via a popular web-casting platform. 'It's hard to say that a Periscope live-streaming with my arms up is secret,' he said.
By downgrading his residential correspondent credentials to a second-tier status, the U.N. has restricted Lee's freedom of movement, forced him to be chaperoned by a minder."
That's right, a UN minder courtesy of UN Communications chief Cristina Gallach and ultimately, Ban Ki-moon. In terms of violations, and cover up, see Paragraphs 37 through 40 of the OIOS audit.
OIOS Audit of Ng & South South News, OIOS Cut Out Ban Photo Op with Ng at UNCA Ball by Matthew Russell Lee
Inner City Press on April 5 asked if Ng's World Harmony Foundation is still part of the UN Global Compact; deputy spokesperson Haq said he would check but never came back with an answer. On April 6 Inner City Press asked again and Haq said yes - now we see it is confirmed and criticized in the audit.
Worse while Inner City Press from October 2015 on asked Dujarric and Haq how South South News got its content in the UNTV archives run by Gallach's DPI, Haq belatedly mentioned only one use, connected to HABITAT. Now we see the HABITAT - South South News interaction is listed in the audit, which it seems Haq consulted before answering (and whatever else he did with the audit).
But why didn't OIOS look into South South News' OTHER inclusions in DPI's archives of UNTV? Watch this site.
Another question, now more poignant with the full audit online, is why the wire services reporters from Reuters and Agence France Presse, on the Executive Committee of the UN Correspondents Association which took Ng's South South News' money and then gave Ng a photo op with Ban Ki-moon, didn't even MENTION that DPI, their partner in censorship, was listed and criticized in the audit.
Not only the South South Awards, but the the Gallach-approved bogus exhibition criticized in detail in the audit is nowhere in their reports. Hence the April 6 threat and April 6 noon briefing, video here. We'll have more on this