Oil-For-Food Update

According to an interim report by Paul Volcker, Benon Sevan, head of the Iraq/UN Oil-for-food program was as corrupt as was suspected.

An interim report by a commission investigating the U.N. oil-for- food program in Iraq said the former head of the program had violated the U.N. Charter by helping a company run by a friend obtain valuable contracts to sell Iraqi oil.
The conduct of Benon Sevan, a Cypriot official who ran the program between 1997 until its demise in 2003, was a “grave and continuing conflict of interest” and “seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations,” the report concludes. (source)

Some point out that the reputations of both Volcker and the UN are on the line. Volcker’s report has caused many Iraqis to call for justice.

Anyone who stole from the UN’s oil-for-food program for Iraq must stand trial and the money be repaid to the Iraqi people, Iraq’s Human Rights Minister said.
Bakhtiar Amin praised Thursday’s report by Paul Volcker, the former head of the US Federal Reserve charged with probing corruption in the program, and said it revealed that even UN dignitaries were not above robbing the poor for profit.
“It shows that some so-called dignitaries had not an iota of shame in their bones, no conscience and no morals,” Mr Amin told Reuters in an interview.
“They profited as parasites on the misery of an impoverished nation.”

It seems that “some of these so-called dignitaries” had an interest in maintaining the status quo in Iraq. Saddam Hussein in power meant money in their pockets. No Saddam, no money. But the UN’s, and international community, couldn’t possibly have opposed the War in Iraq for something as lowly as their own interests, could they?

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