Malaysian anticorruption leader appointed as UN ethics adviser

The co-founder of a Malaysian anti-corruption organization has been appointed to be the special adviser on the establishment of a United Nations Ethics Office, a critical part of current efforts to reform the world body, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today.Tunku Abdul Aziz, who co-founded the Malaysian Chapter of Transparency International, will advise on the set-up, operating procedures and staff recruitment for the Office, one of several reform measures endorsed by the 2005 World Summit, a UN spokesman said today.Conceived by Mr. Annan, the Office was formally established on 1 January, with an interim team of seconded UN staff members, to administer the new financial disclosure and whistleblower policies, both of which were mandated by the General Assembly to take effect by the start of 2006.In the case of a complaint of retaliation for whistle-blowing, the Ethics Office will conduct a preliminary review to see if there was a credible case. If so, it will forward the matter to the UN Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS).Under the new financial disclosure system, the value of gifts that UN officials will be required to report will drop from $10,000 to $250, and financial disclosure forms will be required from a far broader spectrum of officials.In addition to his anti-corruption efforts, Mr. Aziz has held senior management positions in large private and public sector organizations in Malaysia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.Mr. Aziz devoted himself to Transparency International, on a volunteer basis, from 1995 to 2004 and is a member of the World Bank High Level Advisory Group on Anti-Corruption in the East Asia and Pacific Region.He is also a member of the Advisory Board on Public Policy Networks, a project of “Visioning the United Nations,” an initiative of Secretary-General Annan and the UN Foundation, as well as being a principal several other international ethics and good governance organizations.

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