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Mar 17

An Insider's Assessment of UN Management Reform

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

Amidst worldwide calls for management reforms at the United Nations, Under-Secretary-General for Management Christopher B. Burnham is playing a major role. On the job less than a year, the former Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of State has greatly influenced UN reform decisions. The UN has agreed to establish an Independent Audit Advisory Committee to provide independent oversight of the UN's budget. An Ethics Office has been set up to instruct staff on their responsibilities and to monitor compliance. A whistleblower policy protecting those who come forward with claims of waste, fraud, and abuse is in place; and financial disclosure requirements for many UN officials and their spouses have been toughened up. Yet many of the reforms the United States seeks still remain undone.

Last December, in adopting a $3.8 billion 2006/2007 biennial budget for the UN, the General Assembly agreed to U.S. pressure and capped authorized budget expenditures at $950 million in order to maintain pressure for reform. That amount may be exhausted in June. Member States will soon meet to review whether reform efforts have been sufficient to merit authorizing the remainder of the budget. The U.S. will be paying close attention. What further reforms is the UN considering to address the UN's management, oversight, and budgetary failures? Which reform benchmarks laid out by the U.S. Government or Congress have been met? Can the UN Secretariat sufficiently overhaul operations to prevent a recurrence of the procurement, peacekeeping, and Oil for Food scandals? Please join us as the Honorable Christopher Burnham discusses these issues and shares his experiences in his first year as Under-Secretary-General for Management.

More About the Speakers

Christopher B. Burnham
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management