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Statement on Finance and Oversight

Norway's statement on UNHCR’s finance and oversight during agenda item 2, d) of the 73nd meeting of the UNHCR Standing Committee.

As delivered by senior adviser Heidi Malene Nipe

Thank you, Chair,

Thank you for the useful presentation. Our statement covers the internal auditor report, the report of the Independent Audit and Oversight Committee and Risk Management. Norway welcomes and appreciates the reports. We commend the work done by UNHCR on audit and oversight, and value the comments and recommendations from these reports. We encourage the follow-up of the recommendations in a timely manner and note the clarification around these processes in the previous session. 

We acknowledge UNHCRs focus on fraud prevention and efforts in increasing fraud awareness. Norway would welcome initiatives on collaboration and dialogue with states on fraud prevention. We encourage further measures in line with recommendations from the auditors. We note the low participation in e-learning courses and ask UNHCR to consider whether this could be made mandatory for staff.

Clear and consistent messages from top management is critical in achieving a strong risk and compliance culture, including by holding staff accountable. As our German and Belgium colleagues also highlighted, sufficient capacity and resource level is also needed to ensure robust risk management and oversight functions enabling a strong and robust organisation. 

In these regards, Norway welcomes the Risk Management 2.0. We are looking forward to future reporting on the strengthening of the three lines of defense and embedding risk management into day-to-day work and decision-making.

We would appreciate more information on the timeline for the implementation of the Risk Management 2.0., and how risk appetite discussions will be addressed.

Norway welcomes the new strategy and action plan to eradicate sexual exploitation and abuse.

Finally, Chair, we would like to ask for two specific, but gentle, improvements in the future reporting from the Internal Auditor: First, would it be possible to elaborate further on status of the audit coverage achieved? Secondly, and referring to figure 2 in appendix 3, could we also receive reporting on number of recommendations completed yearly, to better understand the full scope of the progress of addressing the recommendations.

Thank you.