As if we needed another example of why the U.N. and its affiliated organizations have earned a reputation for poor accountability, opacity, and mismanagement, along comes a scandal from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The WMO is a U.N. specialized agency based in Geneva. The U.S. is a member of the WMO and gave the organization $1.9 million in 2008 and 2009. The FY 2010 budget request for the WMO is $2.2 million.
A couple of years ago, WMO internal auditor Maria do Rosario Veiga was fired after refusing to discontinue investigations an embezzlement scheme where WMO officials stole $3.5 million and used the money to buy votes to secure the election of Michel Jarraud to be Secretary General of the organization. Despite demands from U.S. Congressmen, no investigation into her dismissal was conducted.
She appealed to the International Labor Office Administrative Tribunal which reviewed her case and found that she was wrongly dismissed. FOX News has the conclusion to the story, “Nearly four years after her dismissal, Veiga, a Portuguese national, has been awarded what is believed to be one of the largest amounts ever paid by the International Labor Office Administrative Tribunal. The ILOAT awarded Veiga $476,098 for defamation, harassment and wrongful termination while carrying out her recognized audit duties.”
As one of the largest contributors to the WMO, the U.S. is a double loser here. The stolen money doubtlessly involved U.S. contributions and, as a financier of the WMO, we will have to pay a share of Veiga’s award. But the worst part is that Jarraud was appointed to a second four year term in 2008. Who says crime doesn’t pay?