UN chief appoints Christian Saunders as Officer-In-Charge of UNRWA

UN chief appoints Christian Saunders as Officer-In-Charge of UNRWA

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The office of the UN Secretary General has appointed Christian Saunders as the Officer-In-Charge of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

UNRWA said in a press statement that the Secretary-General’s office has announced that the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) has completed a part of the ongoing inquiry into UNRWA management-related matters.

The findings of OIOS revealed management issues that relate specifically to the Commissioner-General, who has stepped aside until the completion of the process. The UN Secretary General has appointed Christian Saunders as the Officer-In-Charge for the interim period.

Over the last few months, UNRWA has initiated an internal review of its governance, management and accountability functions, so as to ensure it practices the highest standards of professionalism, transparency and efficiency.

The review revealed a number of areas that required strengthening, and the Agency has already commenced corrective action and will be pursuing further initiatives and improvements over the coming months.

UNRWA is grateful for the critical support of the UN Member States and other partners around the world and is committed to ensuring donor funds are utilized in the most efficient and effective manner in support of the Agency’s critical mission.

The Secretary General calls upon donors and partners to commit to the transfer of critical funding payments to enable UNRWA to bridge its significant financial deficit and ensure it is able to carry out its unique and vital role in serving over 5.5 million Palestine refugees.

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