FAO Postpones New Director For Office In Geneva 29/11/2016 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) today announced the postponement of the assumption of duties of the person appointed to become the new director of the FAO liaison office in Geneva. The postponement comes after the government of Peru raised concerns that FAO’s appointment of former Peruvian first lady Nadine Heredia Alarcón interferes with a government investigation of corruption and money-laundering against her. Nadine Heredia Alarcón In announcing the postponement, the FAO nevertheless offered a defense of Heredia, saying the UN agency’s independent selection process found her an “excellent” candidate for the post, noting that she so far has not been accused of wrongdoing, and insisting on innocence “until proven otherwise.” According to press reports, Heredia is being investigated for suspected corruption and money laundering in relation to the financing of her husband former President Ollanta Humala’s election campaign. The timing of the announcement to the Geneva post might have seemed unusual given the investigation. The Peruvian government interpreted it as interfering with the investigation, according to reports, for instance here. Below is the full message sent today by the FAO: This message is sent on behalf of Ms. Sandra Aviles, Officer-in-Charge, FAO Office in Geneva FAO statement FAO postponed the assumption of functions by Mr Nadine Heredia Alarcón as Director of the FAO Liaison Office in Geneva, in view of current procedural developments in Peru. FAO informed the Peruvian government of this on Monday November 28. FAO will continue monitoring the situation of Ms Heredia, who will remain a FAO employee, with the aim of identifying appropriate measures to apply in the specific circumstance at hand. The Organization reiterates that at no point did it intend to interfere in Peru’s internal political or judicial affairs, over which Peruvian authorities have the sole authority. FAO reiterates that the recruitment process was transparent and followed all ordinary procedures. The decision to hire her was taken after an assessment of her management skills by an internal panel as well as by an independent company that routinely helps FAO and other organizations in the United Nations system. It reports on a candidate’s abilities as regards each post’s responsibilities. Ms Heredia was judged excellent for her strategic vision, communication capacity and ability to promote ideas and points of view to others. Her qualifications, experience and association with FAO’s work, including promotional activities in favor of several UN and FAO initiatives, such as the International Year of Quinoa and the International Year of Family Farming, impressed all those who participated in the recruitment process. FAO considers that the basic principle that a person is presumed innocent until proven otherwise must be maintained and followed. Ms Heredia Alarcón is at the current time only the subject of an investigation and has not been formally accused nor convicted of any crime. The Organization is fully aware of its duty to cooperate at all times with the authorities of its Member States to facilitate the administration of justice, as well as to avoid any abuse relating to prerogatives, immunities or any other benefits that may derive from the general conventions governing civil servants working for UN organizations. All questions regarding the appointment of Ms. Nadine Heredia Alarcón as Director of the FAO Office in Geneva should be addressed to FAO Headquarters in Rome (FAO-Newsroom@fao.org, Tel: (+39) 06 570 536 25). Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."FAO Postpones New Director For Office In Geneva" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.