UN Agency May Reappoint Boss Despite Scandals, Helping Tyrants

By:  Alex Newman
03/06/2014
       
UN Agency May Reappoint Boss Despite Scandals, Helping Tyrants

In spite of scandals surrounding Francis Gurry, head of the UN's World Intellectual Property Organization, agency members may reappoint him for another term.

Despite non-stop mega-scandals swirling around World Intellectual Property Organization Director General Francis Gurry (shown), member governments and dictatorships of the powerful United Nations agency may vote to reappoint the disgraced WIPO chief this week for another six-year term. The UN outfit, charged with managing the planetary intellectual-property regime, has been under heavy fire for years, largely as a result of Gurry’s machinations — supporting dictators, corruption and abuse of power allegations, and, most recently, charges by a high-ranking whistleblower that the UN agency chief stole employees’ DNA in a fiendish effort to identify his critics.

The embattled WIPO chief, who leads one of the most important and well-funded UN outfits, has also attracted bipartisan fury in the U.S. Congress. Among other scandals decried by American lawmakers was the agency’s bizarre decision to send sensitive American technology to the barbaric communist regime ruling North Korea and the Islamic autocracy in Iran — potentially in violation of U.S. law. After a global uproar about the allegedly unlawful tech transfers to despots, WIPO refused to cooperate with U.S. investigators and was accused of a cover-up.

“Those responsible for this outrageous misuse of U.S. technology and U.S. taxpayer dollars must be held fully accountable, and meaningful safeguards must be put in place to prevent these kinds of technology transfers in the future,” the bipartisan leadership of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee said in a letter about the scandal. “Even more troubling are allegations that your primary focus on this issue has not been full disclosure of all relevant information on these projects in Iran and North Korea, but rather discovering and punishing whistleblowers who initially alerted outside bodies about these transactions.”

Incredibly, even after being exposed, Gurry’s outfit continued to collaborate with the murderous regimes, even deploying a “technical assistance” mission to Pyongyang last summer. According to formal allegations filed by a WIPO whistleblower and covered widely in the global press, the UN aid to murderous regimes was actually part of a broader corruption scandal, with Gurry allegedly pledging the sensitive equipment in exchange for the dictatorships’ votes. “The evidence suggests that the director general has a track record of manipulating appointments to WIPO professional posts in exchange for votes,” added the brief filed with the International Labour Organization’s Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT). Gurry, who denies the allegations, won his appointment by one vote.

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Photo of Francis Gurry: AP Images

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