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April 21, 2005
UN: Rosett on Stale Kofi
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

In the Opinion Journal yesterday, my favorite UN watcher, Claudia Rosett, brews up more of the foul stench that the UN has become - pointing out that Annan's recently touted reforms are simply regurgitated, stale promises from the near past.

Annan promises a litany of empty reforms - but Claudia points out:

All of which sounds terrific. Except that the reforms cited above, heralding the new era of openness, coherence, competence, integrity and improved peacekeeping are all plucked from a U.N. dossier released almost three years ago, in June 2002. These reforms were shepherded through by Mr. Annan starting in the late 1990s, with the help of his handpicked special adviser, Undersecretary-General Maurice Strong.

And what of Mr. Strong? Well, if he's not UN Official #1, or UN Official #2 in the Justice Department's recent indictment of the illegitimate founding of the Oil For Fraud program - he just demonstrates the infilitration of the world's favorite bagman into the UN and also shows that almost anything that the UN offers up is permeated with the blood of innocents:

...Mr. Strong did confirm that he has been friendly for years and had a business relationship back in 1997 with a Korean, Tongsun Park...Even if Mr. Strong had the best of intentions, his decision as a high-ranking U.N. official to be involved in any business relationship with the star bag man of Koreagate suggests seriously odd judgment. That should have been obvious even before U.S. federal prosecutors charged Mr. Park last week with accepting some $2 million from Saddam Hussein to convey yet more millions to two (so-far unnamed) high-ranking U.N. officials in an effort to shape the 1996-2003 Oil for Food program to facilitate Saddam's sanctions-busting embezzlement of billions meant for the people of Iraq.

Further, Claudia recounts that Anann's promises are not only stale but that he presides over a cesspool:

Since the U.N.'s self-described dawn of integrity three years ago (one of several such sunrises since Mr. Annan became secretary-general in 1997), we have seen the sex-for-food scandal in the Congo, featuring the rape of minors by U.N. peacekeepers, which continued well after press disclosures last year prompted a U.N. internal investigation. We have seen theft at the World Meteorological Association, scandal in the U.N. audit department, the resignation over sexual harassment charges of the refugee high commissioner Ruud Lubbers, turmoil within the Electoral Assistance Division, and allegations of corruption involving the U.N.'s Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization. We have seen rebellion by the U.N. Staff Union against "senior management, and a raft of resignations by senior U.N. officials who nonetheless linger on the premises on official salaries of a dollar a year, plus the various perquisites and connections the place affords.

But even all of this mess pales in comparison to the "Krakatoa" of OFF.

Claudia concludes by delineating the surprising lack of interest at the UN in determining who it might be that the United States Department of Justice is investigating in the latest indictment - showing once again the haughty arrogance that characterizes the august body - it is much reminiscient of Saddam's regime itself isn't it?

It is of some importance that there be a body politic of some kind in which the nations of the world enter together to work collectively on their mutual interests - but it is not the body that we presently have. This one needs to be razed and its memory wiped from the face of the earth.



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