Press Releases

    13 October 2004

    Audit Bodies Have Crucial Role Helping Countries Reach Anti-Poverty Goals, Says Secretary-General in Message to Budapest Meeting

    NEW YORK, 12 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the Eighteenth Congress of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), delivered by Dileep Nair, Under-Secretary-General for Internal Oversight Services, in Budapest, 12 October:

    It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to all the participants in this Eighteenth INTOSAI Congress. The United Nations and the wider international community recognize the valuable role your organization plays in bringing together Supreme Audit Institutions from national governments around the world.  We also welcome the contributions that members of INTOSAI make, as external auditors on the UN Board of Auditors, to oversight of the United Nations system itself.  Our organizations have also cooperated in capacity-building in the developing world and through annual joint seminars on government auditing. This Congress is a timely opportunity to deepen what is already a constructive partnership.

    The global reach of the United Nations, from its wide-ranging development work to peace operations on several continents, means there is a clear need for effective oversight arrangements.  In recent years in particular, the Security Council has given the United Nations unprecedented and wide-ranging responsibilities in helping countries to emerge from conflict, for example by setting up transitional administrations in Timor-Leste and Kosovo to exercise governing powers. The United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services has helped these transitional administrations in assessing oversight needs and determining other requirements for effective governance and accountability.  INTOSAI, its regional organizations and the supreme audit institutions of donors likewise possess expertise that can be helpful in post-conflict situations, such as those in Africa, where governance and audit capacities are necessary elements in building functioning societies

    Supreme Audit Institutions also have a crucial role to play in helping countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals endorsed by world leaders at the Millennium Summit four years ago.  Ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education -- all by the target date of 2015 -- the goals provide a template for building a better world for all people.  But countries will not achieve them without good governance, accountability and transparency -- areas in which I hope you will make your expertise available to those who need it most.

    In short, organizations such as INTOSAI are taking on an increasingly active role in helping the United Nations.  I look forward to continuing to work together in our common global mission and in that spirit of partnership offer you my best wishes for a successful Congress.

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