Thursday, March 31, 2005

EU "Fraud"-Fighter to Head UN "Watchdog" Agency?

Last week, I discussed the meager findings announced by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) following its two-year-long investigation into EU financing of the Palestinian Authority. David at Medienkritik appropriately labeled the OLAF announcement – which included such gems of evasiveness as “there are consistent indications to support the hypothesis that it cannot be excluded that some of the assets of the PA may have been used by some individuals for other than the intended purposes” – a “whitewash”. I did not mention that the Director General of the OLAF is one Franz-Hermann Brüner. Well, look here for who has turned up in the short list of four candidates to replace Dileep Nair, the embattled outgoing head of the UN’s internal auditing agency. (The list is given in the final paragraph of the article.) This provides yet further evidence that if the UN bureaucracy is left to reform itself matters will only go from bad to worse.

It also worth noting the nationalities of the four candidates: Claus Andreasen, Mr. Brüner, Rafael Munoz and Inga-Britt Ahlenius, from Denmark, Germany, Spain, and Sweden respectively. These are all EU member states and indeed representatives of the “old” pre-enlargement Europe no less. There are 25 states in the EU. The pre-enlargement EU consisted of 15 states. There are 191 member states of the UN. I have suggested it here before: the relationship between the UN secretariat and the EU is far too close for the comfort of the rest of the world.