Friday, June 2, 2017

In UNGA, Ghoulish Gallach Preaches Ethics to UNIS After Ng Corruption, Press Censorship

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, May 24 – A former UN official who engaged in corruption and censorship, Cristina Gallach, was allowed to speak about ethics, in the UN General Assembly Hall, to UN International School students on May 24. This is how low and unaccountable today's UN has become. Gallach has stuck around New York for seven weeks, retweeting Ambassadors about Kyung-wha Kang, hoping it seems to land another job. USG of Censorship? On March 31, the UN told Inner City Press, which Gallach evictedfrom the UN without hearing or appeal after it asked her about her links to bribery indictee Ng Lap Seng, that she had been replaced by Maher Nasser. But on April 1 Gallach continued to direct communications about Zbigniew Brzezinski to the Secretary General and his spokesman as "USG of DPI," no longer her position. Was it just April Fools Day? The Officer in Charge and those who were under Gallach during her sordid tenure of censorship have been asked questions. Watch this site. On March 30 as the UN's then-outgoing now former head of Communications Gallach was given a ghoulish farewell toast, it was noted that of those UN officials leaving, her tenure has been the shortest, and the worst. Ban Ki-moon gave her the job in order to cut a deal with then-Security Council member Spain, and she nearly immediately let Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng buy his way without due diligence into illegal art shows in the UN, even sponsoring the UN's anti-slavery memorial. Audit here. After Inner City Press asked Gallach about her links with Ng Lap Seng, she had Inner City Press thrown out of the UN without any hearing or appeal. Then she had Inner City Press' files thrown out onto First Avenue, and put an Egyptian state media which rarely comes in, and never asks questions, in Inner City Press' long time shared work space. As she belatedly leaves, this must all be reserved.
  The UN Communications "position will be filled by an Officer-in-Charge... while the process to find a new Under-Secretary-General for Public Information continues," the UN replied to Inner City Press on March 29. The day before, the same UN Spokesman had declined to even confirm that Gallach was leaving.  On the morning of March 28 Inner City Press asked the UN Spokesman to state if the Under Secretary General of the Department of Public Information is leaving March 31 and the status of the recruitment" to replace her. Spokesman Farhan Haq replied, "We will announce arrivals and departures as they occur." Then later on March 28, forwarded not sent to Inner City Press, this: "UNCA will host a farewell reception in honor of Under-Secretary-General of DPI, Cristina Gallach, on Thursday, March 30th at 5:30 pm in the UNCA room (3rd floor, UN Secretariat Building, room 310). Food and wine will be served. Please join us for a farewell toast!" If it's farewell, she's leaving. Toasting what? Allowing into the UN with no due diligence the Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, as detailed in the UN's own audit at Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b? Evicting the Press without any hearing or appeal? The decline in media access? On March 29, Inner City Press asked among other things, "yesterday your Office replied, regarding the USG of DPI, 'We will announce arrivals and departures as they occur.' Now that your partner has arranged a farewell for this USG for March 30, what is the rationale for your Office refusing to confirm her departure and the status of recruiting a replacement?" The UN spokesman replied, "Regarding Under-Secretary-General Cristina Gallach, her position will be filled by an Officer-in-Charge upon her departure while the process to find a new Under-Secretary-General for Public Information continues." We'll have more on this.
On March 15, Inner City Press asked the UN's holdover lead spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: Is the head of OHRM [Office of Human Resources Management] still in place?  I wanted to ask you that.  I've heard that the ASG [Assistant Secretary-General] for OHRM is actually no long… and I ask because it's… they're the person who decides who can be punished and who can't.  Are they…?

Spokesman:  Right, right.  I understand… I mean, I don't know if the outgoing… or if the person who was in that post is actually still there.  And even if they… if a senior official is no… a person is no longer in the post, there's an officer in charge, and the process… the process continues.
  Hours later, Dujarric never confirmed this simple fact, about the UN official who decides who gets punished. We now exclusively publish this: 
From: Carole Wamuyu Wainaina /NY/UNO@UNHQ
Date: 03/13/2017 XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
I am out of the office until 31/12/2030.
Following a valuable two and the half years as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management at the UN, I wish to inform colleagues and others, whom I have not had a chance to notify, that I  will be moving to back to Africa in a new role.
Mr. Victor Kisob will replace me temporarily as Acting ASG... I wish to thank you all for your support, advice and friendship during my time at the UN. Cheers, Carole
   The UN discloses nothing. On March 13, Inner City Press asked the UN's Dujarric, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: I've noticed that two new senior-level vacancies have been announced at OHRM [Office for Human Resources Management] and the UN University, but I also… that the one for DPI [Department of Public Information], the deadline was extended.  Can you give some sense of… it was said to be 6 March.  Now it's 20 March.  Also, OCHA [Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs], for example, there are other posts that neither have been extended nor have they been advertised.  But, particularly on the extension of DPI, I wanted to… does this mean that they were unsatisfied with the applications they got?  What's behind it?

Spokesman:  I don't know.  I'm happily not involved in the recruiting process.  I think, as any hiring manager has the authority to do, we can… the recruiting deadline can be extended for a number reasons.

Inner City Press:  When does Mr. [Stephen] O'Brien's contract expire?

Spokesman:  I don't know.  I think most people were extended for some time.  I don't know what the exact date is.

   And five hours later, the question wasn't answered. The same question could be asked and should be answered regarding the head of DGACM Catherine Pollard, previously the head of OHRM during the time of the cases recently decided by the UN Appeals Tribunal. Of her successor Carole Wainanu, sources tell Inner City Press she "disappeared" on March 10 and that "someone is now Acting ASG/OHRM in her place." Suspicions -- bred by lack of transparency - was expressed: "The ASG/OHRM gets to decide who gets charged with misconduct and who gets let off." We hope to have more on this.