UNITED NATIONS, March 2 – Even on the environment, the UN's last refuge as it fails under Antonio Guterres on conflict prevention and anti-corruption, the UN is in decay. UN Environment, the re-branded UNEP, is paying over EUR 500,000 in a (reverse) corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races, see below. Guterres' deputy Amina J. Mohammed has refused Press questions since November on her role in signing 4000 certificates to export from Nigeria and Cameroon endangered rosewood already in China. Guterres, Mohammed and Alison Smale's only response has been to censorand continue to restrict the Press which asks, despite 5000 signature petition, UNanswered.
Now whistleblowers in UNEP have written to Guterres, and exclusively sent a copy and documents to Inner City Press on UNEP mis management, harassment and misuse of government resources. Who authorized UNEP to spend EUR 500,000 in a mis-named corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races?
Before today publishing the documents, Innr City Press on March 1 asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, videohere, UN transcript here: and below. Dujarric did not explain, then or for the rest of the day; he said he hadn't spoken with Guterres about it. Oh. Inner City Press is today publishing in full, attached hereto, the agreement with Volvo Ocean Races signed by Erik Solheim, and the EUR 500,000 agreement signed by UNEP's Lisa Emilia Svensson.
This UN agency is paying for "public appearances by Dee Caffari and the crew" -- Ms. Caffari is a British sailor -- and for "hospitality activities." It's a new low.
From the March 1 UN transcript: Inner City Press: I also wanted to ask you about UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). Whistleblowers there have alleged a number of irregularities, but the one that caught my eye and I've published has to do with the allegation is that UNEP, which claims under Mr. [Erik] Solheim to have a number of corporate partnerships is, in fact, in some cases paying the corporation for the partnership. I.e., it's not a partnership like, you know, Barcelona Football Club with UNICEF, where they pay. In this case, they're alleged that, under Mr. Solheim, the UN Environment, as it's now called, is paying $500,000 to Volvo Ocean Races. And I wanted to know is it… one, I don't know if it's true, but they work there and they have a lot of names and a lot of information.
Spokesman: I think you can ask those questions directly of UNEP. I have no doubt that Mr. Solheim is operating and running the agency in accordance to all relevant rules and regulations.
Inner City Press: Did the Secretary-General receive this e-mail? Because it was sent out as a cri de coeur of the people who work there, saying…
Spokesman: I have not spoken to him about it.
Why not? Here's from what Solheim as written: "Dear colleagues, You may have received or heard about an anonymous email sent to me this week and copied to many. It consists of slander, rumors and false allegations. Worse, the message contains unfounded attacks on many good colleagues working hard for UN Environment. This is unacceptable. We must strive for openness." Yeah. To be continued...