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UN chief hails approval of new head for in-house watchdog

07-29-2010 11:20 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-general Ban Ki- moon on Wednesday welcomed the General Assembly's approval of Carman Lapointe-Young of Canada as the new head of the United Nations internal watchdog office.

"The secretary-general welcomes today's action by the General Assembly to quickly approve his nominee for under-secretary- general for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily news briefing here.

The new chief possesses "the breadth and depth of experience and expertise required for this demanding position," Nesirky said.

Lapointe succeeds Inga-Britt Ahlenius of Sweden as UN under- secretary-general for OIOS, which was set up in 1994 as an operationally independent office that reports to the secretary- general and the General Assembly on protecting the Organization's assets, and conducts audits of UN operations worldwide.

She 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.

The end-of-assignment report submitted by Ahlenius as she concluded her five-year term earlier this month included an attack against Ban's leadership. Ahlenius alleged that Ban 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 UN under-secretary- general for management, Angela Kane, said here on Wednesday.

Transparency and accountability are essential to the work of the world body, and OIOS is critical to advancing this effort, Kane said.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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