U.S. Representative for UN Management and Reform Ambassador Joseph M. Torsella today stressed that the United States remains a strong supporter of UNDP’s mission.
At the UNDP Executive Board Meeting, Ambassador Torsella said the United States warmly welcomes the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations, and appreciates UNDP’s initiative to begin planning for a country program.
“At the June Executive Board, we outlined our priorities in the areas of management reform, transparency and accountability. The United States remains dedicated to seeing the UN Funds and Programs move urgently and immediately toward full disclosure of all audit, oversight and financial information, with appropriate safeguards for individual due process rights.” -Ambassador Torsella
He highlighted that the United States acknowledges and supports Administrator Clark’s commitment to making UNDP a fully transparent organization. The United States appreciated her leadership in partnering with the Board in June to grant the Global Fund access to UNDP’s internal audits. He also said that the U.S. government also welcomes the follow-up proposal jointly developed by UNDP, UNFPA, and UNOPS for remote viewing of audits through a secure website.
“Given the increasing and appropriate demand for information access by both the international community and domestic constituencies, we have reached a juncture where we have to ask the hard question: Will UNDP adopt full public disclosure as its policy, and when? The answer will have a profound impact on the perception of UNDP’s integrity and on the support it receives from donor and program countries in the years ahead.”-Ambassador Torsella
He stressed that for the sake of UNDP’s future, that answer must be “yes.” He explained that full transparency is an obligation they owe not just to UNDP’s donors, but also to the vulnerable population that UNDP serves. Ambassador pointed out that UNDP should be a leader, not a follower, on issues of public management standards.
“And because at a time when all of us are demanding transparency and good governance in both developed and developing states, we should ask no less of UNDP.” -Ambassador Torsella
Ambassador Torsella underscored that the United States stands ready to work with her senior management team and the Board to achieve this objective. He said the U.S. government is considering additional resources to support UNDP management initiatives to promote transparency, accountability, and other management improvements.