United States Representative for UN Management and Reform Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella today commended UNICEF for making advances in financial disclosure program.
Mr. Torsella said the United States strongly supports financial disclosure as a vital tool for avoiding conflicts of interest among staff and welcomes the continued high rate of compliance with the program at UNICEF.
“We urge the Ethics Office to keep this matter under continuous review to assure that all individuals who hold positions of public trust are required to file financial disclosure statements.” -Mr. Torsella
He said the United States is pleased to see the advances made in the financial disclosure program, for example the new online system for registering and submitting forms.
Mr. Torsella noted that the recruitment of an ethics specialist, has enabled the Ethics Office to conduct the first ever review of financial disclosure statements.
He highlighted that the review of financial disclosures is the only way to identify potential conflicts of interest. He added that the report makes only general observations, and the United States would like to see future reports offer more detailed reporting on the actual number of cases that required recusal, transfer to another office, divestiture of financial holdings, or other remedial action.
“More thorough reporting on these issues would build greater confidence in the program’s capacity to identify and address conflicts of interest among staff.” -Mr. Torsella
Mr. Torsella pointed out that the U.S. government is encouraging UNICEF to publicly disclose the financial and outside interests of its senior staff to the greatest extent possible under current UN regulations.
He commended the ethics office for working to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity. He emphasized that those 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.