In a major embarrassment for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), its chief, and the UN more broadly, a controversial UNESCO “peace” prize named after an African dictator was awarded to President Barack Obama in what insiders say is just the latest instance of corruption at the scandal-plagued UN agency. It seems that the selection of Obama for the “Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize” was actually an underhanded effort to purchase the administration’s support for UNESCO chief Irina Bokova (shown) in her ongoing bid for the position of UN Secretary-General. However, for obvious reasons, Obama has still not accepted the award, forcing UNESCO to scramble in its efforts to scrub all references to this year’s winner of the UNESCO prize (not to be confused with the now widely ridiculed Nobel Peace Prize, which Obama also won).
It is not the first time that Bokova, a known Bulgarian communist currently embroiled in numerous corruption scandals, has abused her position at the UN agency to push her candidacy to lead the UN by cozying up to decision-makers among the five permanent Security Council members (the governments of the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia, and Communist China). In fact, a few years ago, the UNESCO she leads awarded the same discredited “Peace” Prize to Socialist French President François Hollande for his bombing and warmongering in Mali. In 2014, Bokova named the wife of brutal Communist Chinese dictator Xi Jinping as her “Special Envoy” for female education, calling the despot’s wife “an immense role model for millions of young girls in China and beyond.” Bokova also joined communist dictators from around the world at Vladimir Putin’s Soviet Communism-themed “Victory Day” festivities in Moscow last year. Putin is a key Bokova ally.
The Bulgarian communist operative, the daughter of a proud murderer and Communist Party official who served as the top Bulgarian Communist Party propagandist, was trained from a young age to further communism. Among other actions, she served in the youth branch of the murderous party, and later as an adult member, including after it was re-branded the Bulgarian Socialist Party, in addition to her service to the communist regime. Indeed, Bokova went to the essentially KGB-controlled Moscow State Institute of International Relations, which trained future high-ranking diplomats for international communism. Almost incredibly, her campaign team for the top UN spot is literally dominated by “former” spies for the ostensibly defunct Bulgarian communist regime and its security service widely dubbed the “little KGB,” according to declassified files.
But the crimes of the regime are hardly secret. The savage Party-State that Bokova served so loyally, and has never renounced, murdered an estimated 222,000 people (today’s Bulgarian population is seven million), according to Statistics of Democide: Democide and Mass Murder since 1900 by political science Professor Emeritus R.J. Rummel of the University of Hawaii. Many more victims were tortured and ruthlessly persecuted, many for their religious views or for opposition to communist tyranny. As Bokova’s candidacy shows, the ruling communist establishment never went anywhere despite the ostensible turn toward “socialism” and “democracy.”
The UNESCO prize awarded to Obama this year is named after late Ivorian dictator Houphouët-Boigny, who ruled the Ivory Coast for more than three decades and personally amassed around $10 billion in the process, according to estimates. The prize was established in 1989 by UNESCO, the UN’s would-be global education ministry which promotes, among other schemes and ideologies, humanism, Big Government, global governance, and even a bizarre “World Core Curriculum” for schools all over the world. Recipients receive $150,000, a gold medal, and more.
According to UNESCO, the peace prize is “intended to honor living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO.” It has been given to multiple Soviet-backed terror leaders including Yasser Arafat, as well as a variety of communists and socialists from around the world. None of that should be surprising though — the UNESCO “jury” is led by the former Marxist-Leninist strongman of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano, and UNESCO itself is led by Bokova.
Under Bokova, beyond merely honoring communists and globalists for their service, UNESCO and its funds, which come from taxpayers around the world, have been put in the service of Bokova’s campaign for UN boss. An insider at UNESCO who asked not to be named told The New American that the award for Obama was “definitely, no question” an effort to drum up support for her UN Secretary-General bid. The source also said this was well known at UNESCO and only one similar example among many. “The corruption is unbelievable,” the source said.
Bulgarian media outlets, citing a variety of sources, have indicated the same thing. In fact, according to Faktor.bg, a Bulgarian news outlet, the exploitative abuse of the UN agency and its prizes to further the ambitions of Bokova and the sinister forces pushing her campaign has now sparked discussion among members of UNESCO’s governing Executive Board. The Bulgarian media organization also reported that Bokova was traveling around the world at UNESCO’s expense to gain support for her candidacy. Sources quoted in the news report, headlined “Obama Refuses to Accept UNESCO Peace Prize Awarded by Bokova?,” said that “Bokova has mastered exceptionally well the style and the methods of communist diplomacy.”
“The communists generously handed out medals, prizes and international awards in repayment for favors, or as an overture when pursuing a particular goal,” Faktor.bg reported. “In this game of favors Bokova is a good strategist — last time, in 2013, the Peace Prize of UNESCO was awarded to the President of France François Hollande; now it is offered to Obama. Many at UNESCO say sarcastically that the next nominee, if Bokova manages to keep her post until next year, will be Vladimir Putin himself.” Obama did host UNESCO’s “International Jazz Day” at the White House, an event that UN and UNESCO sources say was also aimed at boosting Bokova’s campaign to lead the UN.
Citing “informed sources” at UNESCO, Faktor.bg also noted that Obama “categorically turned down the prize, protecting himself from scandal.” Because of that, the journal reported, “the information about the award is kept secret and has not been made public.” Indeed, while a few African media outlets reported on Obama’s selection as the winner of the prize, the international press has been almost entirely silent, and UNESCO has said next to nothing on its website.
That is despite the fact that Socialist French President Hollande’s selection for the same prize in 2013 was celebrated by establishment media outlets around the world. “Thus, because of Irina Bokova, the international organization finds itself in a truly uncomfortable position, and it would be difficult to get out of the absurd situation,” Faktor.bg reported, noting that if UNESCO member states continue to allow Bokova’s self-promoting decisions in violation of the agency’s own rules, the UN outfit’s credibility will suffer even more.
Handing out prizes, awards, and bombastic UNESCO titles to cronies and those who can help advance the interests of Bokova and her handlers is hardly the only scandal plaguing the communist operative. Most recently, unanswered corruption charges have been raised about a number of luxury properties she owns, including a Manhattan apartment worth more than $3 million. She also reportedly owns properties worth more than $1 million each in London and in Paris, according to an investigation by Bulgarian watchdog Bivol. How she could afford to own luxury properties across multiple countries on a “civil servant’s salary” has raised serious concerns.
Atanas Tchobanov, a Bivol investigator based in Paris, described how his investigative service analyzed and investigated the cost of the real estate owned by Bokova and her husband, also a former agent of the murderous Communist Bulgarian regime. “The numbers don’t add up,” Tchobanov explained. And that is just the start. Numerous other corruption scandals swirling around Bokova continue to grow.
Despite mounting scandals and potential legal issues, not to mention her communist background, Bokova and her team have mounted a relatively successful public relations campaign involving some of the world’s largest PR firms. Indeed, PR operatives have succeeded in getting Bokova called the “frontrunner” for the UN post in a number of establishment media outlets around the world. “Former” agents for the Communist Bulgarian regime, inlcuding Georgi Gotev at the EU-funded propaganda service Euractiv.com, are also pushing Bokova’s candidacy.
Bokova also appears to have found a useful idiot — or willing collaborator, perhaps — in the United States. In a recent op-ed that was picked up by a number of left-wing establishment media organs across America, The Philadelphia Inquirer‘s far-left Trudy Rubin, a self-styled “worldview columnist,” disgracefully and dishonestly promoted Bokova’s candidacy without mentioning the communist background or the growing storm of scandals plaguing the UNESCO chief. If Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels’ National Socialist daughter was running for UN chief, Rubin would have certainly mentioned that to readers — and rightly so. Why different standards apply to the children of high-ranking communist murderers and propagandists with their own history of service to a murderous ideology and regime was not immediately clear.
A phone number listed on UNESCO’s public website was called multiple times to inquire about Obama’s prize, and the complete silence from UNESCO and the White House about it. Each time, the phone rang twice before giving a busy signal. The White House asked over the phone that questions be e-mailed. Nobody responded to The New American’s e-mailed questions by press time. If and when a response is received from UNESCO or the White House, it will be posted below in an update.
Fortunately for U.S. taxpayers, the federal government is prohibited by U.S. law from providing American funds to the radical UN “education” and “culture” organization. Perhaps if Bokova’s candidacy for UN secretary-general succeeds, it would finally wake up enough Americans to hasten the passage of the American Sovereignty Restoration Act (H.R. 2015), legislation to get the United States out of the UN and evict the dictators club from U.S. soil. After Brexit, U.S. lawmakers and prominent figures are already promoting an #Amexit (American exit) from the UN. Communist Bokova as UN boss, then, along with the awareness such a scandal would produce, may be a blessing in disguise for Americans hoping to abolish the UN dictators club.