UN General Assembly OKs Heidi Mendoza’s appointment
THE UNITED Nations General Assembly on Tuesday unanimously approved the appointment by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of Commission on Audit (COA) commissioner Heidi Mendoza as undersecretary general of the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).
Mendoza is the first Filipino to be appointed as undersecretary general in the UN secretariat.
Ambassador Lourdes Yparraguirre, permanent representative of the Philippines to the UN, welcomed Mendoza’s appointment and expressed gratitude to the regional groups of the UN for their endorsement and the member-states for their affirmation of the appointment.
Under UN rules, the appointment by the UN secretary general is submitted to the General Assembly for approval.
“It is a great honor for the Philippines that a highly-qualified woman from the developing world was chosen to serve in a senior position in the United Nations,” Yparraguirre said in a statement.
She added that Mendoza’s “qualifications and wealth of experience, coupled with her commitment to excellence and integrity, make her a wise choice for the job.
“Her qualifications are crucial in the history of the UN which is celebrating its 70th anniversary, moving forward with an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and pursuing a platform of reforms in various fields of UN work.”
“Good governance, rule of law, and effective, accountable and transparent institutions within the UN itself are necessary for ensuring that the UN continues to be a credible champion in the global fight against corruption and achieves its lofty goals,” she said.
The United States and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden also hailed the appointment.
Speaking on behalf of the United States, Ambassador Isobel Coleman, Ambassador for UN Management and Reform, said they “look forward to working with Ms. Mendoza” and are “committed to ensuring a strong OIOS to carry out robust audits and effective investigations to ferret out waste, fraud and corruption.”
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Albert F. del Rosario hailed Ban Ki-moon’s announcement of his intention to appoint Ms. Mendoza, saying her appointment at “an important office that aims to be an agent of change to promote responsible, accountable, and transparent administration of UN resources, is a true testament of her skills and integrity as a public accountant.”
Mendoza is expected to begin her term on Nov. 15, 2015. She will be based in the UN headquarters in New York.
According to UN regulations, her appointment is for a fixed term of five years without renewal.
As the UN’s undersecretary General for Internal Oversight, she will be responsible over the resources and staff of the organization through internal audit, monitoring, inspection, evaluation and investigation services. Aside from New York, OIOS also has staff based in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna.
Mendoza was the state auditor who blew the whistle on the corruption scandal in the Armed Forces of the Philippines in 2011.
Mendoza had to quit her job at the Asian Development Bank so she could testify about the corruption in the military.
“As a certified public accountant, Ms. Mendoza has over 20 years of service in government particularly in the field of audit, investigation, fraud examination, anticorruption and integrity advocacy,” the UN said.
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