Exclusive: UN Guterres Snubbed #MeToo Club in Vienna and Beagle and Haq Ignore Since While Banning Inner City Press
 
By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive Series

UNITED NATIONS, July 8 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on May 14 in Viennatold UN staff that sexual exploitation and abuse is not relevant, only sexual harassment is. This was in a closed-door Town Hall meeting on which Inner City Press exclusively reported, including Guterres refusal then and since to answer to request by staff member Monica Garcia Montes to establish a #MeToo club at the UN in Vienna. Since then, under Guterres Inner City Press has been ousted and now banned from the UN, for covering his budget and reform / job moving proposals. Fox News story here, GAP blogs I and II

Now, while covering the UN from the park in front of it, Inner City Press has obtained a series of e-mail regarding the #MeToo club proposal Guterres has blocked, some copied to Guterres' spokespeople including Farhan Haq. Sample e-mails exclusively put online here. They include such outrageous reasons for opposing as "Mr Zabaar said the Metoo Movement is in conflict with the UN code of conduct" and "Ms Kuleshnyk compared the name of the Club with an hypothetical Club named Osama BinLaden." 

A cover letter recites that " Mr Guterres had a staff meeting in the VIC on May 14, 2018, and Monica publicly asked him for his support in a question. Mr Guterres reserved his reply. This was documented here. Immediately after the meeting Monica contacted Mr Bridi's team and Mrs Menendez replied to her and subsequently called her and had a long conversation with her. The conclusion of this conversation is that Monica should contact Mrs Beagle. Monica contacted Mrs Beagle, but Mrs Beagle didn't contact Monica (her secretary called but nothing else happened). On June 25 Monica sent an e-mail to Mrs Menendez urging her to provide her with the reply of Mr Guterres on her initial question about him supporting the creation of the club. She has received no reply to this date. As a matter of fact, apart from the phone call from Mrs Menendez in May, and as you can see in the e-mails copied below, highly placed persons in the office of Mr Guterres have been systematically copied, so that they are informed of the progress. However never once did Monica receive any kind of reply or contact from any of them ever since." 

This is Guterres' UN. We'll have more on this - and oncensorship which has been raised to Guterres, his deputy Amina J. Mohammed, his chief of staff Viotti and Communicator Alison Smale,here. Earlier Inner City Press asked the UN to explain Guterres' statement, below - and then was informed by sources in Vienna that the #MeTooUN problem there is wider than heretofor reported. An abrupt resignation at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, of Tero Varjoranta, was by some like Reuters linked to Trump's pull out from the Iran JPCOA deal. But Inner City Press is exclusivelyinformed it is more tied to an incident witnessed by many, and inquired into by press pursuing the impunity in the UN system for sexual harassament and abuse. Inner City Press' source, understandably afraid of retaliation in Guterres' UN (which continues to restrict Inner City Press) says, "at a senior management retreat at the start of the year, the Deputy Director General  was seen to publicly 'kiss a female subordinate long and hard' and then was seen retiring to the bed chamber with the female person. Nonetheless, Amano approved a contract extension for the DDG subsequently. An investigative journalist from [a] magazine pursuing the #MeToo syndrome in the UN system visited Vienna and was made aware of this incident along with other previous incidents involving safeguards staff and female subordinates. Why the DG asked for the resignation now remains a mystery. In my view the DG also should resign for his cover up - but he is laying the ground for a fourth term citing DPRK denuclearization." If the Director General urged the exit in order to cover up, is he little more than another Michel Sidebe, the UNAIDS director whose resignation is being sought? And what does Guterres support of Sidibe, and oblivious or worse junket through this UN killing field say about him? Guterres' statement was made at a staff Town Hall meeting for which he was 45 minutes late. After he said it, a staff member complained that her application to set up a #MeToo club had been denied and would Guterres help? He did not say yes. So on May 15 in New York, Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: At yesterday's town-hall meeting in Vienna, one of the questions from the floor was from a self-described victim of sexual harassment within the UN system, and she asked Secretary-General whether he supported the idea of a "me too" club, I guess, within the UN in Vienna.  He didn't seem to say yes.  He seemed to say, well, if I understand it better.  She said, do you support it, and they just moved on.  Can you say now does the Secretary-General support the idea?  She was apparently rejected by the UN in Vienna to set up this, such a club.  Does he support that idea, and will he follow up with the staff member who asked him this explicitly in the town-hall meeting?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first, we are trying to get input from all staff about what needs to happen in order to deal more effectively with sexual harassment, including through a survey of staff, and so we will try to evaluate what staff broadly say and see what steps need to be taken." Oh. Guterres also on May 14 said his attempted reform of the UN development system had "passed silence," with but without assessed contributions. On May 15 Inner City Press also asked Haq: He also seemed to say that, I don't know if that the assessed contributions, that the reform of the development system had passed through silence procedure; it still has not been voted on, but he seemed to say that it's passed, but without the Resident Coordinator system being funded through assessed contributions.  What is his plan, given that it seems like that he thinks that now it's going to be approved by the General Assembly, hasn’t passed through, what is the plan to actually fund these resident coordinators?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, first, we will see what the final results are once the Member States agree on it.  We hope in the coming days we will be able to provide some details about what the development reform is about. " Back on May 14 in New York at the UN noon briefing Inner City Press asked Guterres' deputy spokesman Farhan Haq if Guteres doesn't think the Loures cases is about sexual abuse, beyond harassment. Haq seemed to say Guterres uses these terms based on the identify of the victim, not the use of force or economicpressure. #MeTooUN? 

 Guterres' lead spokesman (speechwriter?) Stephane Dujarric appeared to be with him, kissing cheeks in Vienna. And what of the growing #MeTooUN issues while he is in Vienna? Is Guterres going to take his absurd restrictions on and censorship of the Press on the road? Or create a double standard where the restrictions apply only inside UN headquarters? How long will he continue his rote expressions of support for UNAIDS' Michel Sidibe, who threatened staff with retaliation for speaking about against Luiz Loures? And given the statements, when will Guterres have to start recusing himself? Watch this site. Last month Guterres slightly delayed his trip to Saudi Arabia, but not by much. After accepting a $930 million check from the Saudi Crown Prince and in remarks not mentioning the civilians deaths caused by Saudi bombing of Yemen, now Guterres has delivered again, remarks praising Saudi Arabia's counter terrorism work. Some find it ironic; some call this trip "Blood Money II." But duty called. Before he left, Guterres who refused actually pointed Press questions with  dismissive wave of the hand, delivered a 20 minute interview to Saudi aligned media. Now there, he is quoted with more praise of Saudi, by the Saudi Press Agency (to which his UN has given office space and full access while evicting and restricting the independent Press). The UN has yet to send out a transcript of Guterres' craven remarks quoted by the Saudi Press Agency, sending so far only a speech beginning "Your Excellency, Foreign Minister al-Jubeir, Your Excellency, Ambassador Al-Mouallimi, I want to express my deep gratitude to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous support to the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, a support without which the Centre, would probably never have been able to be born. And I thank Ambassador Al Mouallimi for his able chairmanship of this Advisory Board... I recently launched the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Compact, which I signed with the heads of 36 UN entities, the INTERPOL and the World Customs Organization." INTERPOL, of course, is used by some governments to arrest or travel ban their opponents. We'll have more on this. Only a week before as Guterres took off on his trip to China, Inner City Press which has pursued the UN bribery scandals of Ng Lap Seng and now the China Energy Fund Committee asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric on April 6 if Guterres will address any of these issues during his five days in the country. Dujarric was dismissive, and ended the briefing. Video here; UN transcript here and below. This cutting off of public quesitons happened after Guterres gave a private (self) promotional interview to China's state media Xinhua, touting the trip and China as "absolutely essential" on the North Korea nuclear issue. Dujarric race off the podium made it impossible to ask him for Guterres' opinion on if the gifts given to Kim Jong Un on his recent train trip to China violated the UN's 1718 sanctions. Then again, the UN's own World Intellectual Property Organization helped on North Korea's cyanide patents without telling the 1718 Committee, and Guterres has been as hands-off with WIPO's Gurry as he has been with UNAIDS' Michel Sidibe on the sexual harassment and retaliation scandal. We'll have more on this. 

Tier Benefits
Pledge $0 or more per month
Everyone
Pledge $0.01 or more per month
Patrons Only
Behind The Scenes in and out of the UN
$5 or more per month
Behind the scenes inside the United Nations and out: why some things work and many don't. Recent examples include Cameroon, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Recent Posts