UN and UNESCO accused of corruption and clannishness

UN and UNESCO accused of corruption and clannishness

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a letter to the Security Council, in which he informed about his nomination for a new term. His term in the office expires at the end of 2021. The UN Secretary-General is re-elected every five years, but the same person can lead the organization an unlimited number of times, but so far no one has held this post for more than ten years. Meanwhile, there are many questions to Guterres and UN leadership as a whole - the organization is accused of corruption and clannishness.

As reported today, the UNESCO Director for Morocco and representative for the Maghreb, the Lebanese Golda el-Khoury, was found fault with her management and consequently dismissed from her post of Director of the Rabat UNESCO office after inappropriate remarks towards the Moroccan members of her staff, Inner City Press informs.  Moroccan employees lodged an internal complaint, accusing Golda el-Khoury of having created a "hostile" working environment. She went so far as to compare her office to a "zoo" insinuating that most of the employees were “animals”. This insult sparked a revolt against her, including from the international staff, who expressed their solidarity with their Moroccan colleagues. 

More than ten years ago, when Golda el-Khoury joined UNESCO, many questions have been asked about her weak credentials. Her appointment was backed by the then ADG for Social and Human Sciences, Pierre Sané, from Senegal, who later confessed that he had to appoint her under the pressure of his wife, Golda being one of her cousins.

 Golda el-Khoury's fate is expected to be sealed soon, since the internal oversight service (IOS) already concluded that her misconduct was duly proven. However, the ADG in charge of the field offices, Firmin Matoko, is doing his utmost to protect her. Because of his connections with Sané, he will try to find for her another UNESCO office where she could undisturbedly keep insulting, harassing and demoralizing staff. Unless member states and staff unions remain vigilant, the Azoulay fraudulent administration may, as in the substantiated case of moral harassment and retaliation by the Tunisian former ADG for Communication, Moez Chakchouk, take only minor disciplinary measures against her, that would keep her afloat.  

Another serious administrative oversight by ADG Admin Jeffreys, is the choice for her replacement. DG Azoulay decided to appoint Alexander Schischlik as interim of the Rabat office. In fact, Schischlik, has just retired few days ago from the Paris based UN Agency and according to the rules, he cannot take any job at UNESCO before the expiration of a three-month compulsory period. However, not respecting rules is never a problem for Azoulay and Matoko, so he got that position contrary to the HR manual stipulations.  A staff from the Rabat office affirmed that his colleagues “have complained several times in the past to ADG Matoko, but no action has ever been taken against Golda who was one of his friends. We believe that he will protect her now, even though firing this repugnant woman would only be justice”.

Indeed, Firmin Matoko, supported Golda throughout the investigation launched against her by IOS, obviously anxious that she could reveal the corrupted schemes orchestrated by Matoko in a number of field offices.  

The Moroccan National Commission for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of Morocco to UNESCO were both also fully aware of the degrading situation of staff in the UNESCO office. Nevertheless, they opted to remain silent, putting the priority on keeping good relations with the French DG and daughter of André Azoulay, the advisor of the Moroccan King Mohammed VI, rather than to protect their own nationals. The end result of this hasty reshuffle is a major breach in the conduct replaced by a blatant breach in the rules.

Awkwardly, or cowardly, the Moroccan ambassador Samir Addahre, is buying with no objection the argumentation by Firmin Matoko that “they have no one else but Schischlik willing to go to Morocco”, a country of “bougnoules” (insulting word for Arabs), as elegantly pointed out by the Director of Cabinet Kacyanides, a year ago. 

So, Mr Addahre will again support docilely all humiliating maneuverings by DG Azoulay. While unruliness is prevailing, the domesticated Moroccan ambassador to UNESCO is instructed by his Ministry to kneel down every time he has to meet with DG Azoulay or her mignon Kacyanides. A disgiusted by this attitude Moroccan UNESCO staff told Inner City Press: "What is happening with Morocco is obnoxious. Azoulay is constantly humiliating the ambassador and the country. Sure, the behavior of Samir Addahre is deplorable and certainly not up to the level of an ambassador appointed by the King of Morocco. Still, seeing him with lost dignity bowing to Azoulay and Kacyanides is intolerable”. Moreover, “if that kind of criminal anarchy is prevailing in the office of UNESCO in Morocco, the home country of the Azoulay’s family, the bad situation of offices in other regions is simply beyond imagination”, added our source. 

 

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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