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The UN response to the PGA issue

As I reported in my previous blog about John Ashe, the UN and the Media that the UN was not involvement in this scandal but that it was a member state issue. I said i would return to this issue if i thought it was worth doing so.

On Friday the 23rd (while I was at the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival) the UN Secretary General in response to a question on the subject said:

"I have made it quite clear all the times that the United Nation's staff or leadership should work with the highest level of integrity and ethical standard.  That is why I have made this one of the top priorities, and I have asked OIOS (Office of Internal Oversight Services) to have a thorough investigation and I have established a small task force led by my Chief of Staff, Susana Malcorra, to draw out some means and measures -- how we can make more transparent and accountable measures, particularly on the case of President of General Assembly, Office of the President of General Assembly.  We have all of the discussion of this matter with President [Mogens] Lykketoft, the current PGA.  He fully supports what I'm going to do, with all this investigation by OIOS and with our own internal discussions to draw up some measures to improve the conduct of the Office of the PGA.  And if necessary, I'm going to recommend to the General Assembly to take some legislation, so that the United Nations, whether it is the Member States’ side or the staff, Secretariat side, we all have a responsibility and duty to conduct our duties [in] a transparent and accountable [way], with the highest integrity and ethics."

The media by onlarge are now reporting the process accurately now and this initiative by the UN Secretary General is to be commended and I hope the findings are then taken up by the member states.

It is also very good to see the positive role that the present UNPGA is taking Morgens Lykketoft's Presidency could eb one of the most important ones for many years. This is not only the 70th anniversary of the UN but it is a time for thee UN to be fit for purpose as a vehicle to help deliver the SDGs. It is also a chance to address issue relating to the measures needed to ensure that the Office of the UNPGA is conducted appropriately.

I would add here that the report by the Global Policy Forum report on 'Fit for Purpose: Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations' should be read by all member states and acted on as well. There needs to be a full transparent and accountable process with effective rules for private sector partnerships with the UN.

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