15 September 2003

UN Internal Oversight Opens New Investigations Office in Vienna

VIENNA, 15 September (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) opened a new regional branch at the Vienna International Centre, comprising significant parts of its Investigations Division on Monday, 15 September 2003. The opening of the OIOS Vienna Office was marked by a ceremony where the Foreign Minister of Austria, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, and the Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, Mr. Dileep Nair, addressed invitees. The Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), Mr. Antonio Maria Costa hosted the event and delivered the opening remarks.

"I am very pleased when I get the opportunity of opening new branches and offices of the United Nations here at the Vienna International Centre. The opening of this OIOS' Investigations Division is a response to the need to move beyond New York and to permanently cover Vienna and nearby operations without the constraints of time and distance", Ms. Ferrero-Waldner noted. "The decision to relocate parts of the Investigations Division, while maintaining a small staff at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, was based on strategic considerations as well as on the reality of resource constraints", Under-Secretary-General Dileep Nair said. "Among other advantages is the fact that OIOS' presence in Vienna enables it to operate in the same or similar time zones as its clients, and the move will allow OIOS to save travel time and gain substantial cost savings", he said. Approximately 90 percent of cases investigated by OIOS are located away from United Nations Headquarters.

The choice of Vienna as a location for the Office was also made to achieve enhanced synergies between the work of the Investigations Division and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), especially in the field of anti-corruption and organized crime. "I am particularly pleased at the opening of an OIOS office here as it will provide UNODC with an opportunity to work more closely with OIOS colleagues on areas of common interest -- particularly tackling corruption, organized crime and money laundering", UNOV Director-General Antonio Maria Costa stated.

The OIOS Investigations Office in Vienna will also house one of the two regional hubs (the other being Nairobi) for Regional Investigators who work on investigative matters in peacekeeping missions. The two regional hubs were created in June to achieve better operational use of investigative resources. The Office in Vienna will be headed by Francis Montil, Deputy Director of the Investigations Division, who will be assisted by Mark Gough, Senior Investigator of the Investigations Division.

To learn more about OIOS, its mission and mandate, visit the Website at http://www.un.org/depts/oios/index.html

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