Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Statement by Artjon Shkurtaj on EIIRP Report on UNDP Operations in North Korea

The External Independent Investigative Review Panel (EIIRP) published its report today without presenting its conclusions to me beforehand and asking for my rejoinders. It thus violated my rights to due process under well-established UN Procedures. The Panelist did not appear before the press, and have apparently said they will speak to no journalists until they have briefed UNDP's Executive Board in Geneva in two weeks. They thereby presented journalists with a fait acomplie without the opportunity for cross examination. In presenting the report, UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis, when asked susbstantive questions, declared that he had not read the report carefully but would do so soon.

The EIIRP report does not include the fact that one member, Mary Ann Wyrsch, has served since 2006 as Chairwoman of the UNDP's Audit Advisory Committee, which advises UNDP Administrator Dervis on UNDP progress and policy with regard to audits, investigations, and whistleblowers. This is a clear conflict of interest since in this report she is passing judgement on how well UNDP complied with previous audits on all issues under investigation. In other words, she is passing judgement on herself in her advisory capacity.

It is significant that at the revelation of a report, authorized by the Secretary-general, the authors have made themselves invisible, and the press conference is held by the people who were under investigation. Nor was any representative present of the UNDP's Executive Board who's President allegedly chose the Panelists along with UNDP management.

Let me ask you: how much credibility would you give to such an event if it happened anywhere else but at UNDP?

I am still awaiting word form the U.N. Ethics Commissioner, who previously declared that he found prima facie evidence that I was a whistleblower who had been subjected to UNDP retaliation.

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