UN appoints Filipina as oversight chief

The United Nations General Assembly recently appointed Commission on Audit (COA) Commissioner Heidi S. Mendoza as Undersecretary General of the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

Mendoza is the first Filipino ever to be appointed as Under-Secretary General in the UN Secretariat, says the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs.

Mendoza is expected to begin her term on November 15, 2015. Her appointment is for a fixed term of five years without renewal.

As the UN’s Under-Secretary 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.

Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN, welcomed the appointment and thanked 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 Secretary General is submitted to the General Assembly for approval

Ambassador Yparraguirre said, “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,”adding that Commissioner 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 at this juncture 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.”

Speaking on behalf of the United States, Ambassador Isobel Coleman, Ambassador for UN Management and Reform, said that 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.”

In a similar vein, Sweden, speaking for the Nordic countries, said they “are confident that Ms. Mendoza will lead the OIOS effectively and efficiently” and noted that “an operationally independent OIOS is key to … rebuilding the confidence among the Member States that the office can play its role in protecting the integrity of the United Nations and promoting accountability within the organization.”

Earlier, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert F. del Rosario hailed the announcement of the UN Secretary General’s intention to appoint Ms. Mendoza, saying that “the appointment of Ms. Heidi Mendoza as UN Under-Secretary-General of 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.”