Friday, June 2, 2017

UNSG Guterres Won't Release Budget or Staffing Chart, ICP Obtains Supposed Reform Chart

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series
UNITED NATIONS, May 24 – Even facing budget cuts, the UN remains as untransparent as ever, even more so. On May 24 Inner City Press asked Secretary General Antonio Guterres' holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric for a copy of Guterres' budget speech or budget, but none was given. Later on May 24 the head of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, which Guterres spoke before, issued three tweets about the presentation. Inner City Press has obtained and tweeted a copy of Guterres' placemat-like "Peace and Security Pillar" chart, with three separate Udner Secretaries General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, Peace Operations and Field Management and Support. Many are left wondering, where is the reform? Inner City Press on May 24 asked Dujarric, UN transcript here: 
on the budget, could I just… it's a factual question.  You've listed today at 3 presenting his pro… proposed programme budget for the biennium 2018-19 to ACABQ [Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions]. One, is it open?  Two, can we see the budget?  And if… three, if not, why not?

Spokesman:  The process remains the same.  This is a budget that has start… that was elaborated before the sec… this Secretary-General came into office.  As you know… as you may not know, but it's kind of a long process.  This is the first step.  It will go to the ACABQ and then go to the Fifth Committee.  The Fifth Committee deliberations are often open, and then I think we'll get a clearer picture then.
   But it's not clear. On May 24 before 6 pm Guterres held a meeting with his senior management group since after a two week trip he is in New York for only three days, leaving tomorrow. At the appointed time for Azerbaijan, streaming out of Guterres' conference room were USg Jeff Feltman, Jean Pierre Lacroix who declined to answer Inner City Press' question about France's 20+ year rule of UN Peacekeeping, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Fabrizio Hochschild and others. Earlier on May 24 Inner City Press asked Dujarric to "please state if a David J Vennett is now a/the principal advisor to the SG, if so why he is not in iSeek and how he was recruited and hired and, again, please provide a list of who works in / or the Executive Office of the Secretary General and whether they are paid by the UN, by a UN affiliate like UNOPS, or by a country and is so which." There was no answer. Dujarric announced, "Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be heading out of New York for Italy to attend the G-7 meeting. On Saturday, he will participate in the outreach session of the summit, which is taking place in Taormina.  The focus of the discussion will be "Innovation and Sustainable Development in Africa."  He will leave Taormina Saturday afternoon." Does it take from Thursday to Saturday to get to Italy? Is there a stop over on the way back? What was in Guterres' budget speech on May 24, a copy of which Inner City Press requested? Why was corrupt censor Cristina Gallach speaking in the General Assembly Hall on May 24, and why has her censorship continued, without hearing or appeal?
Facing US budget cuts, how does today's UN react? On May 1 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the 12:15 pm item on Secretary General Antonio Guterres' public schedule: meeting with members of US Congress. Inner City Press asked, who are the members? Dujarric replied that it was organized by the UN Foundation and, pressed, agreed to provide the list. When it arrived, it consisted of 11 House of Representatives members -- each and every one a Democrat. Here is the list: "Matthew, here's the list:
1.        The Honorable Barbara Lee (California)
2.        The Honorable Diana DeGette (Colorado)
3.        The Honorable Val B. Demings (Florida)
4.        The Honorable Lois Frankel (Florida) TBC
5.        The Honorable Cheri Bustos (Illinois)
6.        The Honorable Robin Kelly (Illinois)
7.        The Honorable Chellie Pingree (Maine)
8.        The Honorable Nita Lowey (New York)
9.        The Honorable Yvette Clarke (New York)
10.         The Honorable Carolyn Maloney (New York)  TBC
11.         The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas)"

  We'll have more on this.