Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach, announced his resignation at a press conference. His decision came as a complete surprise to media and politicians, because of the scandal surrounding climate organization GGGI.
The press conference took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Christian Friis Bach explained that he leaves his position, because it was his personal responsibility as minister that he came forward with wrong information about travel regulations within the South Korea based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).
Recently there has been much debate about GGGI with rumors of possible corruption and mismanagement. Christian Friis Bach has earlier been criticized for not reacting fast enough and ignoring signs of financial irregularities in the organization. But it is the organizations Danish chairman, the former Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, who was under fire for having luxury-habits when traveling for the organization. Rasmussen has explained that he was acting within the rules and that these rules had been approved by the GGGI board of directors including Christian Friis Bach himself.
After weeks of public pressure Lars Løkke Rasmussen expressed his regrets about having very high travel expenses even though it was within the rules. The turmoil was a public embarrassment for Lars Løkke Rasmussen.
Christian Friis Bach today said that it was a big mistake that he was not made aware of these rules by the foreign office. The decision to resign has been made by Christian Friis Bach personally.
Christian Friis Bach represents the political party Radikale Venstre and has a background in Danish NGOs working with development.
Rasmus Helveg Petersen is being appointed as new Minister for Development Cooperation.
While the climate organization's future is currently uncertain, Lars Løkke Rasmussen has repeated earlier today that he does not see any reason that he himself should step down as chairman.