Monday, January 30, 2017

Exclusive: Amid ACLU Legal Action, UN Staff Were Blocked, UN Quiet, Guterres Email Here

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, January 30 – Many hours after the American Civil Liberties Union legal action and injunction, what explains the near-total silence from UN officials?  Some say a desire to avoid UN funding cuts; others more realistically see personal desire not to lose well-paid jobs. 

  But over the weekend, UN staff were banned from getting on planes to the UN. While the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric provided little information, and only when pressed, Inner City Press is exclusively publishing this, from Secretary General Antonio Gutteres to staff:
"Dear colleagues, I have been following closely the developments regarding the recent Executive Order on immigration which was issued by the US administration last Friday.

As you know, the order prohibits entry of nationals from certain countries to the United States.

I am writing to inform you that we have been in close touch with the United States Mission to the United Nations throughout the weekend, and have received reassurances that the order should not impact UN Staff and their families who are entering the United States using their G4 visas.

The US Mission has offered to assist if any issues are encountered by UN Staff and their families upon trying to travel to or enter the United States.

Staff should keep in mind that there are likely to be delays at airports across the globe over the coming days as US Customs and Border Protection implements its new procedures. Please do take this into account when making travel plans.

Best regards,

Secretary-General António Guterres"
  What about the staff blocked from planes?
But where is the UN communications guidance (or 2017 propaganda plan by Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach) in all this?
  Nowhere. Intentionally so. 
 The communications chief of the UN, already named by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services as having done no due diligence on Ng Lap Seng, the defendant in the first of two UN bribery cases, promulgated a self-serving rah-rah trying to promote herself, not the Organization. Her CYA made an A of the UN.
Long after the injunction, the UN response was three mid-level (ASG, Special Adviser and holdover spokesman) re-tweets, coy like the self-serving Gallach (UNless going Dutch).
   While in some place the UN is doing good work, the worst of the organization is exemplified in its Department of Public Information, particularly as regards planning to mislead the public in 2017 about such issues has peacekeepers' rapes and bringing deadly cholera to Haiti. 
See UN Plan, exclusively put online here.
   UN Peacekeeping needs radical reform, and UN DPI under Cristina Gallach needs to be disbanded. 
  Gallach produced a propaganda plan for 2017, which multiple outraged UN sources leaked to Inner City Press.  Gallach's "2017 Communications Guidance" has a paragraph on cholera in Haiti which does not mention that the UN brought the disease to the island. Page 9.
  While barely a million dollars, nearly all of it blood money from Ban Ki-moon's South Korea, has been raised, Gallach tells her propaganda troops to "promote the UN's efforts to combat the disease harnessing.. social media tools." 
  This is propaganda. 
 Likewise on sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeepers, Gallach's rah-rah implies that the corner has been turned. Page 5. While the UN's billion dollar DR Congo mission is a mere footnote, the UN's failed envoy on Yemen is portrayed as successful on Page 6. The section on the Middle East , and pages 10 and 14-15, are designed to trigger budget cuts.

 It is Gallach who should be fired.
  As the UN remains unreformed after Ban Ki-moon's ten years ended with corruption, long asked about by the Press, exposed, budget cuts are coming.
 In Washington executive orders are being prepared to cut up to 40% of the US' contributions to the UN, and to fully cut funding to entities blamed for violation of human rights.
  Inner City Press has put that draft EO online here.
  One obvious question is whether the total denial of due process for whistleblowers - already part of US law - and investigative press which covers UN corruption constitutes such a violation.
  For example, the UN Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach in early 2016 threw Inner City Press out of the UN, dumping its investigative files onto First Avenue, without a single hearing or opportunity to be heard, and no appeal since
All this for seeking to cover an event in the UN Press Briefing Room which was nowhere listed as closed, and leaving as soon as a single UN Security officer said the Spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, wanted Inner City Press out.
Gallach had a conflict of interest, having been asked by Inner City Press about her own links with Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, facing trial (like Ban Ki-moon's nephew and brother) on bribery charges.
There are no rules, only the one-person fiat rule of an official dumped on Ban's UN by Spain, where she had previously managed, at most, seven people as spokesperson to Javier Solana. Nothing has been done; eleven months later Gallach still requires Inner City Press to have "minders" to cover the UN Security Council. 
  The cuts, and a new US Ambassador, are coming. Six days after a confirmation hearing in which she called for accountability at the UN, including for peacekeepers' abuses, Nikki Haley on January 24 was confirmed to replace Samantha Power as US Ambassador to the UN.
  This came after at least two business days of no photos replacing those of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the US Mission to the UN. 
  On January 24, Inner City Press asked former UN official, now Swedish foreign minister Margot Wallstrom about Haley's call to defund countries whose peacekeepers abuse. Tweeted video here. There are reforms needed at the UN.
  Back on January 18 before Haley spoke as nominee for US Ambassador to the UN, Senator Bob Corker said he sometimes wondered if just-left Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had a pulse.
  In fact, Ban was quite active in helping his own relatives at the UN, promoting his son in law to the top UN job in Kenya, his brother mining in Myanmar with a "UN delegation," indicted nephew using Ban's name to sell real estate.
  When Haley began, she said the UN has a "checkered history." That's being diplomatic. Consider a head of Peacekeeping who has linked rapes to R&R, video here.
  Consider a head of the UN "Department of Public Information" who did no due diligence over indicted UN briber Ng Lap Seng - then evicted and still restricts the Press which asked here about it. Audit here, Para 37-40, 20b; NYT here.
   In response to questions, Haley praised the UN peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, questioned the one in South Sudan and that country's government. She noted that countries make money off their peacekeepers. The case in point, we note, is Burundi, here.