(TibetanReview.net, Oct24, 2015) – Former UN General Assembly President John Ashe had been arrested by police in New York City earlier this month for accepting bribes from China to unfairly facilitate the latter’s interest in the world body, reported timesofindia.indiatimes.com Oct 23. The arrest has vindicated India’s suspicion that key top level officials in the UN system were being paid off to delay or scuttle the Security Council reform process, among other things, the report added.
Ashe, former envoy from Antigua & Barbuda, has been charged by US attorney Preet Bharara for accepting a bribe of $1.3 million from Chinese businessmen and officials for support for a multi-billion dollar “south south” UN-sponsored conference centre in casino capital Macau.
For India, the more important part of the corruption charges against Ashe is the claim that the former GA president was reportedly paid to further Chinese interests. This is because New Delhi believes that part of the bribery had to do with influencing the progress of UN Security Council reform which China has steadfastly opposed. India has been pushing for reform to seek a permanent seat in the Security Council.
Bharara has said the arrests of Ashe and the other defendants and the ongoing investigation could result in more charges as authorities examine whether “corruption is business as usual at the United Nations.”
“If proven, today’s charges will confirm that the cancer of corruption that plagues too many local and state governments infects the United Nations as well,” Bharara was quoted as saying. Ashe, the complaint was cited as saying, received more than $800,000 from Chinese businessmen to support their interests within the UN and Antigua.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN, was quoted as saying secretary-general Ban ki Moon “was shocked and deeply troubled to learn of the allegations, which go to the heart of the integrity of the UN.”