U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella today said United States strongly committed to credible whistle blower protections.
“I would like to welcome the ethics offices of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS, and thank them for their presentations of their annual reports. The United States strongly supports each of their offices and welcomes their collective effort to contribute to a culture of integrity and accountability within the UN system.”-Mr. Torsella
According to Mr. Torsella, the United States strongly supports the financial disclosure program as a vital tool for avoiding conflicts of interest among UN staff. He said the U.S. government is pleased to see that the program is well-established with compliance rates of 99 percent at UNDP, 100 percent at UNFPA, and 95 percent at UNOPS.
Mr. Torsella stated that the United States would like to see 100 percent compliance at UNOPS and welcome its efforts to improve participation in the financial disclosure program in order to achieve this goal.
Mr. Torsella said the United States appreciates the annual reporting mechanism.
“We are strongly committed to credible whistle blower protections. However, it is difficult to determine from the current reporting how each case is handled and whether sufficient protections exist to guard against retaliation.”-Mr. Torsella
Mr. Torsella recommended that UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS standardize their reporting to the Executive Board with a view to maximizing transparency and disclosure by seeking guidance from the chair of the UN Ethics Committee on the treatment of complaints of retaliation.
Mr. Torsella noted that the United States reiterates its appreciation to the ethics office in each organization for working to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity. He said the efforts are critical to building a credible system that encourages staff to come forward with ethics questions, and to report instances of fraud, waste, and abuse.