Because reasons

The head of the United Nations’ environmental agency has been strongly criticised for his frequent flying in a report raising doubts over his environmental concerns.

Erik Solheim, a 63-year-old Norwegian former environment minister, spent 529 of his first 669 days in the job travelling, according to a draft UN report obtained by Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper.

The UN’s office of internal oversight services (OIOS) claimed that Mr Solheim spent 79 per cent of his time away from the agency’s Nairobi headquarters.

The auditors accused him of taking a flight from Washington DC to Paris for the weekend, before boarding another flight to New York.

In total he spent 90 days in Oslo and Paris, with some of the trips registered as “bilateral meetings” – despite taking place on weekends or during the Christmas holidays.

Don’t you know how hard that nomenklatura saving the world work?

9 thoughts on “Because reasons”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    “The UN’s office of internal oversight services (OIOS) claimed that Mr Solheim spent 79 per cent of his time away from the agency’s Nairobi headquarters.”

    Could well be a clue there.

  2. This looks like standard behaviour for any UN bureaucrat, especially the big boss of an agency, so I wonder who he’s upset to get publicly called out like this.

    Perhaps it’s the old ‘resign over this with a nice big pension so we don’t have to tell the world what you’ve really done which would make us look like the bunch of crooks that we really are’ ploy.

  3. I understand how a new UN official can become trapped in a cycle of travel and never get anything done.

    For several years I was an officer at UNHQ in NY. I was constantly being “invited” to speak at meetings held in various UN offices around the world. My opinion – none of the meetings was actually important.

    For example, I was once asked to go to Geneva to speak for 20 minutes at 4:00 pm on the second day of a two-day conference. All expenses paid by UNOG, of course.

    I declined to attend that conference – as I did all other invitations to visit UN offices around the world – on grounds that my job kept me quite busy in NY. I offered instead to supply written answers to any questions the conference attendees might have. I never received any requests for written information

    However, the various UN offices always expressed dismay that I did not visit them, and UNOG actually complained to my manager – who then demanded to know why I was being “uncooperative”. I told her to fire me if she thought any of those meetings was more important than doing my job in NY. She did nothing.

    I doubt my experience is different from most officers at UN. Some meetings are clearly important. But in my opinion, most are unimportant except to the self-important UN officers who schedule them.

  4. One day such meetings will be able to be done over some sort of visual network, so they will never have to undergo all that arduous foreign travel and staying in fine hotels ever again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *