Mr. Rudd described the reports as “deeply worrying”.
Rød-Larsen and his diplomatic wife Mona Juul are famous in the diplomatic world. A game – Oslo – was written about their then secret role in the implementation of the Oslo peace accords.
They are also personal friends of Mr. Rudd.
According to internal IPI emails published in the Norwegian media company DN, Rød-Larsen approved a payment of $ 100,000 ($ 140,000) to Epstein in 2016. It was also revealed that he personally borrowed $ 130,000 ($ 182,000) from Epstein in 2013.
The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which will stop funding the United Nations-affiliated think tank IPI in 2018, has asked the Executive Board to clarify the matter “particularly with regard to its own ethical regulations”.
The IPI made little response to the revelations until Mr Rudd’s statement was released on Wednesday evening (ADST).
Rudd said he has introduced a character test for private donations and is recommending the think tank to conduct a probabilistic study as well as an independent review of all financial transactions between Epstein and IPI.
The former prime minister said he had directed Rød-Larsen to submit a report to the board of directors and had the think tank donate the money Epstein’s foundations have made available over the years to programs to support victims of human trafficking and sexuality Assault donates.
“I first found out about contributions from Epstein’s foundations to the IPI in November 2019 through coverage in the Norwegian press. That made me blind, ”said Rudd in his statement.
“Mr. Rød-Larsen apologized to the Board for what he described as his grave assessment of error. I am deeply disappointed that the board had to learn so much about it through the media. ”
DNThe coverage showed that Rød-Larsen had approved a payment of $ 100,000 ($ 140,000) to Epstein for work related to the Mongolian Advisory Board.
Rudd said the Mongolian president asked him to join the board of directors supported by the IPI.
At this point, 2013, Rudd was still a member of the Australian Parliament and would join the IPI Board the following year.
That year he took part in an event that also included the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Henry Kissinger and John Kerry and Rød-Larsen.
He said he attended a conference call in 2014.
“IPI staff later told me that Epstein appeared to be one of the 10 participants in the conference call,” he said.
He said he declined the payment in 2016 when it was offered because he had not done anything for the Mongolian Advisory Council since that 2014 conference call.
According to the email reported by DN, Rød-Larsen instructed staff to divert the funds earmarked for Rudd to Epstein.
“I had dinner with Kevin last night and he said we could keep his share,” the email read.
Rudd said he had been advised that Epstein had not received any compensation for her work on the advisory board.
“The Board of Directors will issue a further statement on these matters as soon as they meet on these matters.”
Latika Bourke is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in London.
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