Secretary-General receives audit on UN operations in DPR Korea, says first step in worldwide probe of field activities

News and Press Release
Originally published

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The United Nations Board of Auditors has handed in its report on the activities of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Children's Fund and the United Nations Population Fund in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The Secretary-General has also received a copy.

The report does point to some of the difficulties United Nations funds and programmes have had in operating in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. On independence of staff hiring, foreign currency transactions and access to local projects, the report identifies practices not in keeping with how the United Nations operates elsewhere in the world. It should be noted that the report does not indicate that large-scale United Nations funding has been systematically diverted, as has been alleged. However, the Secretary-General does expect the agencies to act upon the findings in the audit as quickly and transparently as possible.

As the report also indicates, there are a number of areas that the Secretary-General feels would require follow-up in a subsequent audit phase. The Secretary-General will write to the Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions asking that the Committee consider requesting the Board of Auditors to continue their work, including a visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The Secretary-General had called for this audit in January 2007 as the top priority in a systematic worldwide probe of United Nations activities in the field. Today's report represents the first results of this ongoing effort.

For information media - not an official record