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Uzbek president’s daughter uses UNICEF as cover-up

March 26, 2010

The following article is from UzNews.net.

Uzbek president’s daughter uses UNICEF as cover-up
©  UzNews
March 25, 2010

Uznews.net – The Uzbek president’s daughter Gulnara Karimova is using UNICEF, the UN Children Fund, as cover-up, often without the latter’s awareness and sometimes despite its polite but clear opposition.

The world’s well-known children’s organisation, UNICEF, has become hostage to the ambitions of President Islam Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara.

Uzbekistan’s newly-appointed ambassador to Spain, Gulnara, who presented her credentials to King Juan Carlos I, cites her inexistent cooperation with UNICEF to attach significance to and legitimise her events.

The Swiss jewellery maker Chopard’s boutiques which sell her Guli collection claim that all proceeds from this collection – each item of which costs as high €6,000 in Berlin – go to charity.

Spokeswoman for Chopard in Geneva Annette Heuer said last week that Chopard was continuing to sell the Guli collection to support Gulnara’s joint projects with UNICEF.

However, her statement bewildered and angered UNICEF’s offices in Geneva and Tashkent.

A spokesperson for UNICEF categorically denied any cooperation between the organisation and Islam Karimov’s daughter at present or in the past.

“UNICEF does not have any projects with Ms Karimova. We do not have any relations with Chopard,” the spokesperson said.

The unauthorised use of UNICEF for humanising Gulnara’s project with Chopard is not unprecedented.

Gulnara invited Western pop stars like Sting and Julio Iglesias to Uzbekistan to promote her Style.uz fashion week in Tashkent. By the way, Sting also claimed that this project had been supported by UNICEF.

Gulnara’s Forum of Culture and Arts foundation also claims on its website that the Yangi Avlod (Young Generation) children’s festival last November had been supported by the Kamalak children foundation and UNICEF.

UNICEF said that it had not taken part in this project and had sent a letter signed by its representative in Uzbekistan, Mahboob Shareef, to the foundation’s Executive Director A Isakjanov to decline its support.

UNICEF cannot give its permission to use its name, logo or emblem in materials made for the festival because, according to UNICEF procedures, its brand can be used only after the conclusion of a legal contract approved by its office in New York, Shareef wrote.

Despite the clear refusal, Gulnara Karimova’s foundation said that the project had been backed by UNICEF, especially when millions of children were forced to pick cotton in the country. Moreover, the foundation’s website still indicates UNICEF as the event’s sponsor.

In order to hide how she has amassed great wealth, Karimova decided to use the cover of a philanthropist, AIDS campaigner and protector of children and to insure herself for 100% she used UNICEF as a shield.

Chopard’s Vice-President Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele seems not to bother about UNICEF’s denials, as she was boosting Gulnara’s standing at Elton John’s AIDS Oscar party in Los Angeles on 7 March.

Elton John, who fights for the rights of gays and against AIDS, is not aware that he was posing for photographs with the daughter of the president of Uzbekistan, where he would have been jailed for being gay or promoting the fight against AIDS.

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Categories: UNICEF, UZB