By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, February 2 – There is today's UN a form of caste system, or like the old British show "Upstairs, Downstairs."
Lower level UN staff are told that only the Secretary General can speak -- witness this gag order sent out after Inner City Press published whistleblowers' account of their bosses wining and dining outside brokers.
But political and politicized bureaucrats like Cristina Gallach of the Department of Public Information are allowed to, for example, promote Samantha Power's election night party, while the head of the UN's Sustainable Energy for All tweets about successes "despite Trump."
If they can speak, why can't other UN staff including whistleblowers? Why has there as yet been no accountability for Cristina Gallach, listed in the UN's audit of the Ng Lap Seng bribery case, and who in the midst of that evicted and restricts Inner City Press without any due process or appeal?
Why was the former head of SE4ALL reportedly paid 600,000 Euros a year? The UN needs reform and accountability. Now, not March 31.
Arrogant and incompetent, this is a double whammy characteristic of a number of parts of the UN system, crying out to be radically reformed or entirely disbanded. This is true not only of the UN Department of Public Information under Cristina Gallach (see below), but also of such entities as "SE4ALL" or Sustainable Energy for All.
This entity, set up under now discredited Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as a vehicle for Kandeh Yumkella to run for president in Sierra Leone, still says it plans an event in New York in April 2017.
Meanwhile Rachel Kyte its director and "representative of the Secretary General" -- that is, speaking for Antonio Guterres as least as of February 2 -- is tweeting things like this:
"Glad to see leqdership [sic] from @marossefcovic EU to lead fight on climate change despite Trump."
Who is PAYING for this? We'll have more on this.
Kyte was re-tweeting Hillary Clinton in November (and shouting out #PantsSuitNation, both here), just as DPI's Cristina Gallach promoted Samantha Power's election night party. This happens while lower level UN staff are threatened for telling Inner City Press about UN corruption, here.
Antonio Guterres surely as his views. But he is trying to navigate a relationship with the UN's largest funders, while incompetents like Gallach, and devil-may-cares like Kyte, do whatever they want with no consequences. Gallach evicted and restricts Inner City Press with no due process, no appeal. She must go. Now.
While in some places 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.
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.
UN's "2017 Communications Guidance," Here, Is Propaganda Plan of Cristina Gallach, Who Should Be Fired by Matthew Russell Lee on Scribd
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.