October 19, 2010

Fully Staffed UN Ombuds Program Issues Report on 2009 Activities

In its second annual report, United Nations Office of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services said that all staff positions have been filled. Regional Ombuds and case officers have been appointed to stations in Bangkok, Geneva, Khartoum, Kinshasa, Nairobi, Santiago and Vienna. Case volume continues to grow as the Ombuds and Mediation Programs become better known: 1,287 cases were opened in 2009, and there was a 33% increase in the first five months of 2010.

The UN Assistant Secretary-General and Ombudsman, John Barkat, said that his office has worked to reach staff in remote locations through videoconference technology, field visits, in-personbriefings, and departmental town hall meetings. These efforts have paid off as the Ombuds and Mediation programs have resolved about 80% of cases, thereby avoiding formal complaints to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal. The UN Ombuds and Mediation Office also identified several systemic issues and made recommendations. (UN Ombuds 2009 Report, UN Document A/65/303.)

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