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US Steps Up for Others in Whistleblower Protection

The United States continues to make great strides in whistleblower protection as the world super power recently made demands regarding protection on the world stage.  The United States was prompted into action as a result of United Nations officials taking retaliatory measures against a former United Nations employee who blew the whistle on a $500 million kickback as part of the construction of a power plant and coal mine in Kosovo.

US Steps up for Others in Whistleblower Protection

The United States continues to make great strides in whistleblower protection as the world super power recently made demands regarding protection on the world stage.  The United States was prompted into action as a result of United Nations officials taking retaliatory measures against a former United Nations employee who blew the whistle on a $500 million kickback as part of the construction of a power plant and coal mine in Kosovo.
Following the United States coming to his defense, James Wasserstrom, who felt he was attacked personally for blowing the whistle, became a senior anti-corruption official for the United States Agency for International Development and the State Department at the United States Embassy in Afghanistan.  He worked in Kosovo before overseeing public utilities and handling all corruption reports.  The overarching issue has come to the forefront of the news as it was reported that only three whistleblower cases were deemed valid out of 300 reports between 2006 and 2011.
The former request made calls for the United Nations to ensure complete protection for all whistleblowers who report corruption to the national body.  Specifically, the United Nations must protect whistleblower against retaliation, permit access to independent tribunals including external arbitration, and ensure financial compensation and restoration of reputation for proven retaliation.  The body also is called upon to fairly judge the amount of evidence necessary to prove retaliation as well as considering a proper statue of limitations on the issue.
According to the Government Accountability Project, the United States has pledged that it will withhold 15% of all contributions to the United Nations until the body addresses their concern.  Wasserstrom was quoted as saying that “all major donors to the UN should demand that the UN stop playing around with the words ‘anti-corruption’ and go after higher level officials involved in this [retaliation].”  The United States would seem to be in a relatively high place of power in their demands as the US is responsible for 22% of the United Nations’ budget.  That 15% that President Obama has pledged to pull then represents about 3% of the entire UN budget, which is a pretty steep amount to operate without in the event that action is not taken.
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