Lebanon – Lebanese American University
How would you address institutional corruption and bad management practices, and misuse of resources among UN agencies especially in humanitarian settings?
Ms. Helen Clark’s answer
I have a well-earned reputation as a leader who champions transparency. While I was Prime Minister, New Zealand was repeatedly at the top or near the top of the Transparency International index. For the past two years, the same organization has awarded UNDP the most transparent aid agency in the world. You can be assured that as Secretary-General I would be vigilant in setting the highest standards of ethical management and transparency for the UN.
Mr. Miroslav Lajčák’s answer
It is essential to ensure greater transparency, integrity and accountability in the work of the UN Secretariat. We need to work hard to build and maintain a strong ethical organizational culture at the United Nations. The SG must be fully accountable to the UN Member States as well as the public in implementing the mandates given by Member States in most effective and cost-efficient manner. It goes without saying that the Secretary-General must ensure a sound financial management of all resources made available to the Organization and ensure their effective and efficient use.
Dr. Igor Lukšić’s answer
There is need to modify UN’s work to be able to meet our obligations stemming from the UN vast agenda in all its comprehensive aspects. That is why I propose certain modifications, in particular to set up an international panel of experts to do a deep review of the current spending in light of the need for better coordination and the need to better mirror UN agenda. International independent panel of representatives from all the regions should be set up to make sure there is a fresh view from outside. Extending partnerships should lead to avoiding duplications and more effective role of other donors including ones coming from the private sector.
The budget reassessment and the more program budgeting will contribute to flexibility in making decisions about certain programs. This will enable better prioritization in favor of prevention, mediation, human rights agenda as well as strengthening of the position of offices that are in charge of close cooperation with regional arrangements in the core budget in particular. It is also worthwhile considering extension of the budget framework from two to four years to make sure it is sustainable and responsive to challenges, while keeping flexibility to approach newly arising emergency needs. My intention is to set up UN Programmes, Management, Budget Group within the reformed CEB too. By doing that, more coordination and less duplications will be brought about.
Additionally, I am convinced we need to embrace modern technologies as that can help tremendously. For instance, the blockchain technology offers incredible possibilities to better coordinate and execute humanitarian aid and other funds thus avoiding any misuse of resources. We should also think of introducing internal social network to stimulate talented people to promote ideas.
Dr. Danilo Türk’s answer
This will be an important priority. I would request the necessary information and analysis from the UN’s Office of Internal Oversights Services, the Joint Inspection Unit and other relevant elements of the UN System. On the basis of my own personal review of information thus obtained in the first four months in office, I would take specific decisions within the Secretary-General’s purview and make the necessary recommendations to UN Member States and to the relevant organs of the Organization. The capacity of the UN to guarantee effective oversight and to combat all forms of malfeasance must be strengthened.