UN might lose credibility over sexual scandal: Horton

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The United Nations has been warned that its credibility could be jeopardised if UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe does not resign, following a sexual harassment scandal that has rocked the world body.

The UN’s official Martina Brostrom has accused UN assistant Secretary General Doctor Luiz Loures of sexually assaulting her in Thailand in 2015.

Loures has denied this and has since resigned.

There are fears even from civil society groups, including in South Africa that this scandal could throw the United Nations into a crisis after allegations that Sidibe interfered in the 14-month-long internal investigation by allegedly offering Brostrom a promotion if she accepted an apology from Loures.

“It’s actually a credibility issue not just for UNAIDS. It’s impossible for Michel Sidibe to continue as Executive Director of UNAIDS while that independent investigation takes place. But it seems to me that unless the Executive Director suspends himself the credibility of the organisation and indeed the entire UN system will be placed in jeopardy. I find that very regretful to conclude that,” said Doctor Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of medical journal in Lancet.