By Roy Mabasa
The Philippines will vie for a seat in the powerful three-member United Nations Board of Auditors (UNBOA) when the body convenes at the UN headquarters in New York in November this year.
Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tendered a reception to launch the candidacy of Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Michael Aguinaldo to the UNBOA for the term 2020-2026.
The UNBOA, which serves as the external audit body for all UN organizations, has three members to be appointed by the UN General Assembly. Each member must be an Auditor-General (or equivalent) of a member-state.
In his remarks, Aguinaldo noted that COA was a member of the prestigious UNBOA for 18 years covering the periods 1984-1992 and 1999-2007.
During those years, he said COA has served the UN Headquarters, UN Peacekeeping Operations, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Institute for Training and Research, UN Joint Staff Pension Fund, UN Office in Nairobi, the UN Children’s Fund, and the UN Environment Programme, among others, and has established an “excellent reputation” in the organization.
In nominating Aguinaldo, DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. expressed hope that that the Philippines will be given an opportunity to contribute to the UN as an organization as it is strongly committed to the ideals of accountability and transparency in the pursuit of its mandate.
“The UN can only achieve its purpose and spearhead programs through its various organs and institutions with funds contributed by most of its 193 members each year. These contributions symbolize each member’s firm commitment to the UN and reflect the importance placed on multilateralism and diplomacy in building a better community of nations. These contributions serve as the lifeblood of the UN, and as such, need to be utilized with utmost care and diligence and audited by impartial experts to ensure the integrity of UN’s diverse operations and help maintain confidence between the UN and its member states,” Locsin said.
He further said that COA, with its extensive experience in the UN and up-to-date auditing system and techniques, has proven its capability to help lead the UN evolve as an international organization, with a purpose that continues to be relevant and important to this day.