UN agency in ‘crisis’ after sex scandal
GENEVA — Independent experts looking into allegations of sexual harassment at the UN agency that fights AIDS say it’s plagued by “defective leadership,” a culture of impunity, and a toxic working environment that can’t be changed unless its top official is replaced.
In a damning new report released Friday, the four experts cited a “vacuum of accountability” and said UNAIDS leaders had failed to prevent or properly respond to allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and abuse of power.
The panel was created earlier this year following allegations of sexual harassment by staffers and calls from critics for executive director Michel Sidibe of Mali to resign.
Sidibe has denied claims he tried to force an employee to drop allegations that she was sexually assaulted by his former deputy.
And despite the scathing report, Sidibe said in a statement he’s the right man to turn around the organization.
That isn’t what the investigators believe.
“The panel has no confidence that the current leadership can deliver cultural change when that leadership has been largely responsible for the current malaise,” the report said.