- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 21, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Ursula Mueller, the leading voice of humanitarian affairs at the United Nations, just came out and called for punishments for those found guilty of participating in a widespread abuse of power and sexual misconduct scandal at the global body’s Relief and Works Agency for the Palestinian people.

But isn’t that how it goes. After all these years, after all these promises to self-regulate and self-police and to clear the riffraff — the United Nations is still filled with a bunch of sad and sorry corrupt S.O.B. sacks.

It’s actually more of a surprise when the United Nations isn’t in the news for scandalous behavior than when it is.

This, from Mueller, remarking on an ethics probe into UNRWA for sexual misconduct, nepotism, bullying, work-based retaliation and abuse of power: It’s “disastrous,” she said.

And then this: “It cannot go unpunished. We really need to look at the people that are committing these very devastating activities. These people need to face consequences. It cannot be brushed aside. … Any taint of fraud or corruption is a disaster,” she said, The National reported.



Ya think?

But be ye not fooled.

Not only was Mueller’s statement a classic textbook “Properly Worded” statement — it’s also one that was probably at the top of her “in” box. The global body’s own Internal Oversight Services has been tasked to investigate UNRWA for similar corruption allegations in previous times.

And guess what: Everybody knows it.

Corruption is at the heart of the United Nations. In fact, that’s exactly how The Economist wrote it back in August of 2005 in a piece entitled, “Corruption at the heart of the United Nations.”

That bit of corruption was all about how the ex-chief of the oil-for-food program in Iran accepted money in exchange for contracts. Another leading oil-for-food program bureaucrat was accused of soliciting the bribes. Talk about inner-office teamwork: You do the bribes, Johnny, I’ll get the kickbacks.” (Only in that case it was Benon Sevan, kickback king, and Alexander Yakovlev, briber extraordinaire.)

“How Corrupt Is the United Nations?” Commentary Magazine queried in a headline a year later, in April of 2006.

No joke.

“Recent years have brought a cascade of scandals at the United Nations,” Commentary reported. “We still do not know the full extent of these debacles.”

Move it along about a decade and it’s more of the same, as in this, from The New York Post in October, 2015: “The long, sordid tale of corrupt UN leadership.”

Among the Post’s lengthy listing of corrupt U.N. leadership? None other than players in the office of the president of the General Assembly, like the former president himself, John Ashe, arrested for bribery and tax evasion. And how ‘bout that Nicaraguan, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, elected president of the General Assembly in 2008, despite his vicious anti-American leanings — anti-America leanings that once led him to call former U.S. President Ronald Reagan the “butcher of my people,” “possessed by demons.” Good stuff.

Good “bite the hand that feeds” stuff.

Then, at the time, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara vowed to investigate to see if “corruption is business as usual at the United Nations.”

That was 2015.

Here we are, four years later.

And we’re still seeking the answer to that same question?

Mueller may have said this about this latest UNRWA issue, as Breitbart reported: “We have fraud prevention mechanisms in place, and when we hear about irregularities we make every effort to follow up.”

But we all know what that means.

That means it won’t be long before the next U.N. scandal comes to light. And the one after that. And the one after that.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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