The United Nations “education” and “cultural” organization, as well as its controversial Communist Party boss Irina Bokova, are facing growing pressure over corruption, abuse, mismanagement, and other scandals. Several major donor governments including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Israel have recently been up in arms about the outfit, formally known as UNESCO. Meanwhile, insiders at the UN agency tell The New American that an external independent audit is needed to bring everything to light. And in the United States, where federal law already prohibits U.S. tax funding to the scandal-plagued UN “education” body, calls for a complete American withdrawal are growing louder.
The scandals plaguing the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have been bubbling under the surface for years. Indeed, controversy has surrounded the UN bureaucracy almost from the start, as its leaders, often actual communists, pushed global schemes to promote globalism, humanism, totalitarianism, U.S. disarmament, and other controversial ideologies and beliefs. The agency’s extremism and hostility to basic liberties got so bad that, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan decided to formally cancel the U.S. government’s membership in the Soviet-dominated outfit, along with American funding for it.
In a series of scathing statements about the organization, senior U.S. officials lambasted the UN agency and its collectivism. U.S. State Department officials, for example, said UNESCO “has extraneously politicized virtually every subject it deals with.” The UN agency also “has exhibited hostility toward the basic institutions of a free society, especially a free market and a free press, and has demonstrated unrestrained budgetary expansion,” officials said, lambasting the organization for wasting money promoting Soviet schemes and other totalitarian absurdities.
President Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Gregory Newell, meanwhile, said that, despite frequent warnings from U.S. officials, UNESCO has “served anti-U.S. political ends.” Specifically, Newell cited “misguided policies,” including “collectivist” schemes that promote “group rights” at the expense of individual rights. He also blasted UNESCO’s promotion of licensing schemes for journalists, its obsession with imposing a “New International Economic Order” in which taxpayers in freer countries are fleeced so their wealth could be redistributed to the UN and oppressive Third World regimes, and numerous other problems.
The U.S. government re-joined UNESCO in 2003 under President George W. Bush. “As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO,” Bush claimed, without explaining how joining a dictator-dominated organization dedicated to anti-American ideologies and plagued by scandal would be a symbol of commitment to “human dignity.” Bush also claimed, falsely, as it turns out, that the organization had been “reformed.” Recent events and actions by UNESCO prove that the outfit has not only not “reformed,” but that it is actually worse today than it was in 1984 when the U.S. government withdrew.
In fact, UNESCO’s current director-general, longtime Bulgarian Communist Party operative Irina Bokova, is the perfect symbol of everything that is wrong with UNESCO and with the UN more broadly. In a series of investigative reports about Bokova published last year when she was being promoted by top globalists, bankers, and communists to lead the full UN, The New American highlighted, among other concerns, her background as a leading member of Bulgaria’s mass-murdering communist elite. The Bulgarian Communist Party, where she was a member from her youth until it was deceptively renamed the “Socialist Party,” murdered an estimated 222,000 people, according to the world’s leading expert on democide. Many more were tortured and brutalized.
But the controversies go far beyond Bokova’s deeply troubling communist background, or even the fact that her Bulgarian campaign team for the UN secretary-general race was literally dominated by agents of the ostensibly defunct Bulgarian dictatorship’s so-called “little KGB.” In fact, the problems with Bokova began almost immediately after she took office. From there, it was all downhill, with numerous questions surrounding the abuse of taxpayer money, nepotism, corruption, and more.
More information on Bokova’s many scandals, including crony appointments in violation of protocol, obvious lies on her CV, communist scheming, and unanswered questions on luxury properties she purchased in New York, Paris, and London, can be found in an investigative report from last summer published by this magazine. In early 2016, an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Clinton’s UN Candidate?” also noted that the Bulgarian with a “Communist past and a record unfriendly to U.S. interests” was being promoted by Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law in addition to being the Kremlin’s preferred candidate. The Obama administration, along with Moscow, helped put Bokova in charge of UNESCO.
That ended up being a major mistake, according to critics. In 2011, UNESCO provoked outrage in Washington, D.C., after it approved an application by the Palestinian Authority to join as a member state. Due to Bill Clinton-era federal laws banning taxpayer funds to international organizations that accept “Palestine” or other non-states as a member state, that move triggered an immediate halt to American subsidies for UNESCO — not to mention outrage in Congress and beyond. Bokova tried to distance herself from the scheme, but insiders at UNESCO say the UN agency chief was actually involved in lobbying member states to approve the controversial move.
More recently, UNESCO has again come under fire for demonizing Israel. In October, the UN agency adopted a resolution slamming Israel as an “occupying power” and downplaying the well-established Jewish history surrounding the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, and more. Also sparking outrage was the resolution’s reference to the “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif” as holy Muslim sites, completely erasing the historical and religious links of Jews to the sites. Unsurprisingly, Jews around the world were outraged. In 2015, UNESCO passed a similar resolution purporting to rename famous Jewish historical and religious sites with Arabic names, again sparking outrage. Ironically, though, even Arab governments have grown increasingly frustrated with Bokova.
On redefining history to satisfy influential totalitarians, UNESCO, in its efforts to please the mass-murdering dictatorship ruling mainland China, also recently drew the outrage of the Japanese government, which is one of the UN agency’s top donors. In that incident, UNESCO complied with the Beijing regime’s request to add questionable “historical” documents in its “Memory of the World” repository. Tokyo said the documents massively exaggerated the death toll in Nanjing at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army. “Our country would like to strongly call for fairness and transparency in the [screening] system of this program, so that it is not used for political purposes,” said a top Japanese official.
Bokova, of course, has strong links to the murderous communist regime in Beijing and other communist power centers. Amid her bid to become UN boss, Bokova honored the brutal Chinese dictator’s wife with the title of “Special Envoy” for female education. “You are an immense role model for millions of young girls in China and beyond,” Bokova declared, as if being married to a tyrant was something for girls to aspire to. The regime was happy to support Bokova’s candidacy. Obama was also awarded with a “peace” prize by Bokova’s UNESCO around that time, ironically named after an African dictator. Both schemes, along with other similar ones, were described by critics as transparent bribes to leaders of influential UN member states amid the Secretary-General race.
Bokova was hardly shy about her affinity for the Kremlin and totalitarians. As if to prove the point, she joined communist dictators from around the world at Vladimir Putin’s Soviet Communism-themed “Victory Day” festivities in Moscow in 2015. Some UNESCO ambassadors even refer to Bokova as the “Russian Red Princess,” sources tell The New American. And under her leadership, UNESCO has continued its long record of pro-communist activism.
Also accepted into the “Memory of the World” repository under Bokova was the “Life and Works of Ernesto Che Guevara,” the racist and bloodthirsty executioner in Fidel Castro’s totalitarian regime. If Havana’s propaganda service is to be believed, UNESCO is also now organizing a “special tribute” to “the life and work of Fidel Castro” for May of 2017. Of course, other top UN leaders also celebrated the savage dictator, who murdered tens of thousands of innocent people, including women and children trying to flee the Stalinist regime’s open-air island prison.
Perhaps not surprisingly, UNESCO has also continued to promote extremism, globalism, and totalitarianism around the world — especially aimed at young children. As The New American reported easrlier this week, the UN agency recently released a report demanding that school textbooks around the world be revised to comply with radical UN demands. In UNESCO’s view, textbooks must be used to turn children into globalist pro-UN activists while promoting homosexuality, transgenderism, global governance, global citizenship, the man-made global-warming theory, legalized abortion, the sexualization of children as young as five-years old, and the UN’s dangerous ideology of “sustainable development.” Bokova herself has bragged in public about using “education” to re-shape the values of children worldwide.
In addition to supporting and promoting globalism and statism around the world, UNESCO has also been a colossal waste of taxpayers’ funds. Consider, for instance, a recently released report prepared by the British government that expressed “wide-ranging concerns” about UNESCO, “in particular its lack of transparency.” Among other criticism, British authorities found “systemic weaknesses in the management of core funding and organizational effectiveness.” UNESCO was the only international organization in the report to receive a score of “weak.” British authorities also called for “independent oversight” and “assurance functions” to be put in place, recommendations and findings that Bokova promptly dismissed and rejected.
The situation is so bad that the U.K. government, which lavishes huge sums of taxpayer money on multilateral schemes, even threatened to cut off funding to UNESCO. “This Multilateral Development Review has concluded that UNESCO is in need of dramatic improvement,” authorities found, saying the UN bureaucracy was “failing” in its effectiveness and in its organizational capability. “UNESCO must meet higher standards of openness concerning the decisions made by senior management, committees and the board. They must be fully transparent about all spending, including off-budget expenditure.”
Indeed, more than a few critics from inside and outside UNESCO have alleged that huge sums of tax money were diverted by Bokova for, among other schemes, promoting her failed bid to lead the UN. Insiders from UNESCO, speaking on condition of anonymity, tell The New American that the culture of corruption that now permeates the UN agency began at the top with Bokova. They also said it must be investigated by an external auditor — perhaps the French government’s auditing agency, since UNESCO is based in Paris — so that justice can be served. Bokova has ignored repeated requests for comment.
Within the organization, insiders also recognize the problems and have been speaking out. Noting that Bokova has serious ethics and corruption issues, not to mention poor managerial skills, a high-level UNESCO insider told The New American that she has filled the organization with cronies and ideological comrades. “She created total chaos in the chain of command of UNESCO,” said the insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid retaliation. “Under her, bad practices such as corruption and traffic of influence have flourished. Bokova is neither respected, nor appreciated by UNESCO’s staff who consider her unfair, unreliable and selfish.”
Now, in an effort to protect her scandalous “legacy” at the helm of UNESCO, and to prevent all of her shady dealings from coming to light, Bokova is said by insiders to be working on grooming and installing a like-minded successor. In particular, UNESCO sources tell The New American that Chinese Communist agent Qian Tang, who leads UNESCO’s “education sector,” is seen as a good candidate for the job by Bokova. Communist Chinese operatives already run numerous UN agencies, as well as Interpol. Several other possibilities for Bokova successors have also been considered, sources said.
“He is the one to guarantee that the legacy of Bokova will remain untouchable,” a senior UNESCO insider told The New American about Tang. “This is important. Bokova needs to face accountability. If you listen to the recent speech by new [UN] Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, he said accountability would be one of the chief missions of his term. That needs to be addressed. UNESCO needs to face an external auditor, the French government’s Cour des Comptes, to see how the funds have been used. She needs to be accountable for what she did, and she should be made to reimburse what she misused from this organization.” U.S. lawmakers should also press for an investigation, the source said.
“Mobilizing the entirety of UNESCO’s resources for her campaign [for UN boss] is traffic of influence and active corruption since she was using public money for private goals,” the insider continued. “Taxpayers deserve to know where and how this UNESCO money was used over the last four years. We therefore appeal to the internal and external UNESCO auditors for a rapid investigation of Bokova’s decisions on using UNESCO funds over that period. The findings must be made public, then discussed by the Executive Board in order to trigger the impeachment procedure.”
Beyond thorough external audits by an independent auditor, prominent analysts and experts have called for the U.S. government to once again withdraw from the scandal-plagued outfit. “The benefits of UNESCO membership do not outweigh the downsides,” explained Brett Schaefer, an expert in international affairs and the UN at the conservative Heritage Foundation, adding that it was inappropriate for the U.S. government to maintain UNESCO membership while withholding funding. “The next administration should act responsibly and withdraw the U.S. from UNESCO.” More than a few lawmakers are said to agree with that position.
Also calling for a U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO was Dr. Guy Millière, a professor at the University of Paris and the author of 27 books. “The United States badly needs to leave UNESCO again,” Millière wrote for the Gatestone Institute, where he serves as a senior fellow, following the anti-Israel votes. “UNESCO is obviously subservient to Islamic correctness, and serving interests contrary to those of freedom, liberty and Western values. Eighty years ago, negationism and anti-Semitism led to the Holocaust. It is urgent to say, Enough.”
Insiders and outsiders are calling for Bokova and top UNESCO officials such as Paola Leoncini-Bartoli to immediately resign or be fired from their posts. But for the United States and American taxpayers in particular, investigating and removing Bokova from power is not nearly enough. Donald Trump and Congress should officially withdraw from UNESCO as quickly as possible. With President-elect Trump vowing to “drain the swamp,” rogue bureaucrats everywhere are seeking cover. Americans should ensure that the swamp creatures haunting UNESCO, and the UN in general, are identified and held accountable as quickly as possible, with a view toward ultimately restoring American sovereignty completely.