By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 25 – 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.
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.