UN Secretary General Fires His Deputy For Alleged Embezzlement - Reports
21:47 GMT 09.05.2022 (Updated: 00:39 GMT 10.05.2022)
© AP Photo / Adam RountreeIn this Sept. 13, 2005, file photo, the flags of member nations fly outside the General Assembly building at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
© AP Photo / Adam Rountree
An internal investigation by the United Nations, launched in December last year, has revealed “baffling” transactions, reportedly performed by António Guterres’ under-secretary.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has dismissed the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services, Grete Faremo, after a probe into the misappropriation of funds, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Faremo's resignation came on the day it was revealed that her office had made “a baffling series of financial decisions.” The office, an agency with a mission to provide “infrastructure, procurement and project management services for a more sustainable world,” was said to have cooperated with private businesses, recreating the role of an investment bank.
The agency allegedly loaned a Singaporean company funds to develop plans for the building of a million affordable homes in six countries and granted tens of millions of dollars to a single British family “to produce a pop song, a video game and a website promoting awareness of environmental threats to the world’s oceans,” according to the newspaper.
The unsuccessful ventures were said to have resulted in losses from $22 to $25 million, according to different reports.
16 March, 06:30 GMT
The internal investigation was reportedly concluded on Thursday, but there has been no official statement issued. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric only said that Faremo's resignation took effect on May 8. Jens Wandel, former Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Reform, will take over her duties.
According to Faremo's letter, circulated to her staff early on Sunday and obtained by The Times, she had submitted her resignation on Friday, “without knowing the full story, it happened on my watch.”
She blamed her deputy Vitaly Vanshelboim, who was sent on administrative leave in December when the inquiry started. “I acknowledge my responsibility and have decided to step down,” she reportedly said.