UN agency chief resigns after probe into its investments

May 8, 2022, 1:41 PM | Updated: 3:33 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accepted the resignation Sunday of the head of a United Nations agency that was under investigation for questionable investments.

Grete Faremo, a former Norwegian minister of justice and public security, had been undersecretary-general and executive director of the U.N. Office for Project Services since August 2014.

The office, headquartered in Copenhagen, says its mission is to provide “infrastructure, procurement and project management services for a more sustainable world.”

Faremo’s resignation was accepted on the day the New York Times reported that the agency made “a baffling series of financial decisions” that purportedly led to $25 million in losses.

The Times report followed an April 16 article in Devex, the media platform for the global development community by Brussels-based writer Ilya Gridneff, titled: “What went wrong with UNOPS’ ambitious impact-investing initiative?”

That article said the investigation focused on a series of loans from the agency to a Singapore-based company that received tens of millions of dollars to develop plans to build more than 1 million affordable homes in six countries. “Today, the entire project is stalled, UNOPS is owed tens of millions of dollars, and no houses have been built,” it said.

Devex quoted an unidentified spokesperson for the agency as saying that “steps are being taken to recover all outstanding amounts regardless of the source of activities.”

The U.N.’s internal watchdog had been investigating the transactions.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Faremo’s resignation was effective Sunday. He said Jens Wandel of Denmark, a former special adviser to the secretary-general on reforms, will serve as acting head of the agency while a new executive director is recruited.

“The secretary-general is grateful for Ms. Faremo’s commitment and dedicated service to the organization,” Dujarric said in a statement.

He would not comment beyond the statement when asked whether Guterres asked for Faremo’s resignation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

2 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

2 days ago

southern Arizona rancher George Alan Kelly...

Associated Press

Trial of a southern Arizona rancher charged in fatal shooting of unarmed migrant goes to the jury

Closing arguments were made against a southern Arizona rancher accused of shooting an undocumented migrant on his land to death on Thursday.

3 days ago

Donald Trump's hush money trial: 12 jurors selected...

Associated Press

Although 12 jurors were picked for Donald Trump’s hush money trial, selection of alternates is ongoing

A jury of 12 people was seated Thursday in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial. The proceedings are close to opening statements.

3 days ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

4 days ago

Most Americans are sleepy new Gallup poll finds...

Associated Press

Most Americans say they don’t get enough sleep, according to new Gallup poll

A new Gallup poll found that most Americans are sleepy — or, at least, they say they are. Multiple factors play into this.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

UN agency chief resigns after probe into its investments