The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA) has dropped UN envoy to Libya Ghassan Salame’s name from its advisory board after The Democracy and Human Rights Foundation (DHRF) submitted a formal complaint to the United Nations Secretary-General and the United Nations Office for Internal Oversight demanding an investigation into Salame’s possible financial and political ties to the United Arab Emirates.
The United Arab Emirates, an active participant in the war in Libya and a major supplier of arms to Libyan militias, has succeeded over the past several years to enlist the services of the Special UN representatives to Libya. This practice has tainted the reputation of the United Nations in Libya and contributed to the death and destruction of an aspiring democracy.
Commenting on this development, the president of the DHRF Emadeddin Muntasser, said “Pursuing corruption within the United Nations is paramount to preserving its mission. I continue to follow up on the complaint against Bernardino Leon and the complaint against Ghassan Salame both filed with the UN Office of Internal Oversight. There will be no peace, security, or democracy in Libya as long as regional autocracies are allowed to buy influence and corrupt the process”.
Prior to this attempt by the EDA to cover up its relationship to Salame, the New York-based International Peace Institute (IPI) has also removed Salame from its board after the DHRF questioned Salame’s role within the Institute and his possible relationship to IPI donors.
The Democracy and Human Rights Foundation called upon the UN member states especially the United States of America to pursue corruption within the United Nations including within the Special Representative program.
On Wednesday, Libyan lawmakers lambasted Ghassan Salame for meeting with warlord Khalifa Haftar, who launched a deadly war on Tripoli early in April, causing hundreds of deaths and leaving thousands of people homeless. Haftar was the one who spoiled the National Conference in Ghadames, a UN initiative to settle the Libyan crisis.