Canadian legal expert takes top ethics post at UN

Robert F. Benson

3 May 2007 – A Canadian lawyer with extensive experience in governmental ethics has been appointed Director of the United Nations Ethics Office, a key element of reform of the Organization mandated by the 2005 World Summit, a UN spokesperson announced today.

Robert F. Benson served as the Interim Ethics Commissioner in the Canadian Parliament and, prior to that, was Deputy Ethics Counsellor within the Canadian Government. Mr. Benson succeeds Nancy Hurtz-Soyka who has been the Interim Director of the Ethics Office since its inception in early 2006.

Conceived by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Office was established to administer financial disclosure and whistleblower policies mandated by the General Assembly in its 60th Session.

In addition, the Office provides confidential advice to staff to help them avert conflict of interest problems.

Mr. Benson started work at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 1 May.

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