Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to thank Ms. Aruna Thanabalasingam, Officer-in-Charge, OHRM, Ms. Elia Armstrong, Director of the Ethics Office, and Mr. Carlos Ruiz Massieu, Chair of the ACABQ for introducing their respective reports. We would also like to thank the Joint Inspection Unit for its constructive report on conflict of interest. My delegation notes that we will take up remaining elements of human resources management later this main session at which time we will deliver further remarks.
Madam Chair, the Ethics Office serves as a cornerstone for accountability of the United Nations and underpins the UN reform agenda, by seeking to foster a culture of integrity and ethical standards at the UN. The Office’s annual report serves as testament to the hard work and dedication of its staff and the vital nature of its services. This includes the successful pre-appointment reviews for senior UN officials and the financial disclosure program.
My delegation commends Secretary-General Guterres for his leadership in strengthening protections from retaliation for those who report wrongdoing. Along with facilitating implementation of the updated policy on whistleblower protection, we believe that his and the Ethics Office’s efforts will help transform the Organization’s culture into one where all UN staff serving around the world feel comfortable in coming forward and reporting misconduct without fear of reprisal. Member states and UN leadership need to take every measure to ensure this transformation.
Madam Chair, the United States further supports efforts to increase the independence of the Ethics Office as a means to strengthen accountability and performance in the UN and will explore options to achieve this.