Monday, October 03, 2005

UN whitewash

Members of the commission investigating the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal expressed grave concern that they might harm the U.N.'s reputation during a heated debate about how hard to hit Secretary-General Kofi Annan, according to a secret whistleblower's testimony to Congress.

Information suggesting an effort to protect the U.N. and Annan was contained in staff notes of a meeting of the Independent Inquiry Commission, headed by former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker, just weeks before it largely cleared Annan of wrongdoing in the scandal, officials said.

The explosive notes were among documents handed over to congressional committees by ex-Volcker investigator Robert Parton, who quit the panel under protest last April — alleging that it had been too soft on Annan.

But, according to Malloch Brown, there was no wrongdoing:

HUNT (FOX News): So Kofi Annan is not responsible in any way for the management problems at the U.N., is that what your saying?

BROWN(U.N. Chief of Staff): No, I mean I think we are where Volcker said, which is — there are management failings which go all the way up to Kofi Annan, and he has taken responsibility for that. There's no wrongdoing, which many have thought, including yourselves. There's no wrongdoing, but there are management failings. But they're overwritten by the fact that there are management structural weaknesses and that's what we, with this summit, are seeking to correct. To put in place the systems, the institutions which would allow a 21st century management.

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