Ban welcomes approval of new chief for UN’s in-house watchdog


Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the General Assembly’s approval of Carman Lapointe-Young of Canada as the new head of the United Nations internal watchdog office.

Ms. Lapointe has served since February 2009 as the director of the Office of Audit and Oversight at the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Prior to that, she was the Auditor General of the World Bank Group, and has held a number of oversight positions in the private sector in Canada.

She possesses “the breadth and depth of experience and expertise required for this demanding position,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, told reporters at UN Headquarters.

Ms. Lapointe succeeds Inga-Britt Ahlenius of Sweden as Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), which was set up in 1994 as an operationally independent office that reports to the Secretary-General and the Assembly on protecting the Organization’s assets, and conducts audits of UN operations worldwide.

The end-of-assignment report submitted by Ms. Ahlenius as she concluded her five-year term earlier this month included an attack against Mr. Ban’s leadership, with Ms. Ahlenius alleging he undercut the independence of her office, thwarted the hiring of her own staff, and set up a competing internal investigations unit.

That report, however, contains “many inaccuracies, misrepresentations and distortions,” the Under-Secretary-General for Management, Angela Kane, said today.

She added that transparency and accountability are essential to the work of the Organization, and OIOS is critical to advancing this effort.

“The new chief will be expected to build up the OIOS team, filling vacancies and taking on responsibilities of the department that in recent years have unfortunately gone unmet,” said Ms. Kane.

“We are all committed to taking prompt action that will help the office carry out its vital work.”

Source: UN News