The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) executive director has resigned over alleged misconduct, risking millions of dollars in investments.
Grete Faremo, executive director for UNOPS, said she has decided to step down as she acknowledged her responsibility for the failures of the Sustainable Infrastructure Investments and Innovation (S3i) initiative.
S3i is an initiative with eight investments amounting to $63 million. The New York Times reported that two UN officials entrusted tens of millions of dollars to a British businessman they had just met at a party. The man allegedly defaulted his businesses on more than $22 million in loans.
UNOPS said that the S3i funds are at risk, but “no funds have been lost.” The organization also clarified that the S3i initiative is separate from UNOPS regular projects and activities.
“I hope my decision will allow UNOPS to focus on its vital work uplifting the lives of vulnerable people around the world,” Faremo said.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres accepted Faremo’s resignation, which had taken effect on Sunday. UN has appointed Jens Wandel of Denmark as UNOPS acting executive director. The secretary-general has also launched a recruitment process, in consultations with the UNOPS Executive Board, to find a replacement for Faremo.
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