Senior UN figures under investigation over alleged sexual harassment


The United Nations is investigating two senior figures over allegations of sexual harassment.The World Food Programme’s country director in Afghanistan, Mick Lorentzen, has been suspended while a disciplinary process is under way. Luiz Loures, an assistant secretary general of the UN, and deputy executive director of programme at UNAids, is also the subject of an investigation. The Guardian understands that he has not been suspended.

On Thursday, the WFP announced an overhaul of its sexual harassment policies, following mounting criticism over how UN agencies handle such cases. Last week, a Guardian investigation uncovered a widespread culture of silence surrounding sexual harassment and assault at the UN, with employees feeling unable to report complaints for fear of losing their jobs. Three alleged victims said they had lost their jobs, or been threatened with termination of contract, after reporting sexual harassment or assault. Two cited concerns with investigations, and said there had been errors in transcripts, or that key witnesses had not been interviewed. Alleged perpetrators were allowed to remain in senior positions – with the power to influence proceedings – throughout investigations.(theguardian)…[+]