UN Whistleblower Research Seminar
On Wednesday June 3rd Caroline Hunt-Matthes, Faculty at Webster University Geneva, gave an Online Research Seminar on 'Whistleblower Protection Failure in the United Nations - Narratives of Retaliation & Resilience'. The lecture is now available to watch on our YouTube channel.
UN whistleblowers uncover more corruption and fraud in the UN than any other UN oversight mechanism combined (JIU 2016). The failure of the UN to properly protect its whistleblowers in the first decade of its operations is the greatest single impediment to reporting corruption in the world body.
This brown bag research seminar drew 50 international participants from across the globe. It provided a unique and neutral forum to foster dialogue on the implementation of UN whistleblower protection. Participants included UN whistleblowers, survivors, UN ethics practitioners, policymakers, scholars and the public who are the ultimate stakeholders as the taxpayers that fund government participation in the UN and its whistleblower protection mechanisms.
Research was discussed about the importance of safe reporting channels given 100% of UN Ethics Office cases reviewed by an independent UN judges found errors in the UN Ethics Office decisions with regard to its none transparent operations which lack independence and had up until 2011 been shielded by confidentiality.
This research framework uses UN whistleblower survivor narratives to inform policy formulation and practice. The role whistleblowers play in reducing fraud and corruption in the United Nations was acknowledged by the UN Joint Inspection Unit who recommend strengthening of protection measures in 2016. A new UN policy created in 2017 by the new UN Secretary General promised to improve the decade of whistleblower protection failure and is the subject of ongoing scrutiny and research.