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UN staff seek historic no confidence vote in Annan

Old 11-19-04, 02:22 PM
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UN staff seek historic no confidence vote in Annan

UNITED NATIONS -- UN employees were readying on Friday to make a historic vote of no confidence in scandal-plagued Secretary General Kofi Annan, sources told Agence France-Presse.

The UN staff union, in what officials said was the first vote of its kind in the more than 50-year history of the United Nations, was set to approve a resolution withdrawing its support for the embattled Annan and UN management.

Annan has been in the line of fire over a high-profile series of scandals including controversy about a UN aid program that investigators say allowed deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to embezzle billions of dollars.

But staffers said the trigger for the no-confidence measure was an announcement this week that Annan had pardoned the UN's top oversight official, accused of alleged favoritism and sexual harassment.

The union had requested a formal probe into the behavior of the official, Dileep Nair, after employees accused him of harassing members of his staff violating UN rules on the hiring and promotion of workers.

Top UN spokesman Fred Eckhard announced on Tuesday that Nair had been exonerated by Annan "after a thorough review" by the UN's senior official in charge of management, Catherine Bertini.

Annan underlined that he "had every confidence" in Nair, Eckhard said, but UN employees ridiculed the decision and claimed that investigators had not questioned the staff union, which first raised the complaints in April.

"This was a whitewash, pure and simple," Guy Candusso, a senior member of the staff union, told AFP.

http://news.inq7.net/breaking/index....story_id=18616
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I tried to find it on Foxnews.com or MSNBC since I saw it on FOX, but they're to slow to post it up.
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Old 11-19-04, 02:25 PM
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Bill Clinton might start his UN campaign earlier than expected.
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Old 11-19-04, 02:39 PM
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Originally posted by Chew
Bill Clinton might start his UN campaign earlier than expected.
I can just see him going up to the UN Ambassador from Chad and saying, "I feel your pain."
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Old 11-19-04, 02:49 PM
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I don't think Annan is any more corrupted than the rest of the U.N.
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Old 11-19-04, 03:59 PM
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I can just see him going up to the UN Ambassador from Chad and saying, "I feel your pain."
Only if it's a woman and he's in the mood for someone different.
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Old 11-19-04, 09:10 PM
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The tower is crumbling
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Old 11-20-04, 08:46 PM
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Can we have an oil for <s>food</s> defense fund?
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Old 12-01-04, 02:14 PM
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http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2...d_x.htm?csp=36

Son's Payments on deal disappoint Annan

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was unaware his son received $30,000 a year for over five years from a Swiss-based company under investigation in connection with suspected corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.
The disclosure of the payments was the latest embarrassment for Annan and the United Nations related to the program to help Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

Annan told reporters Monday that he had been working on the understanding that payments to his son, Kojo Annan, from Cotecna Inspection S.A. stopped in 1998 "and I had not expected that the relationship continued."

But on Friday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Kojo Annan's lawyer had informed the independent panel appointed by the secretary-general to investigate allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food program that the younger Annan continued to receive monthly payments through February 2004.

The program allowed Iraq to sell unlimited quantities of oil provided the proceeds went primarily for humanitarian goods and reparations for victims of the 1991 Gulf War.

Annan's son worked for Cotecna in West Africa from 1995 to December 1997 and then as a consultant until the end of 1998.

"Kojo Annan's sole responsibilities were in Africa," said Cotecna spokeswoman Ginny Wolfe. "He had nothing to do with any U.N. discussions and work."

Cotecna was hired by the United Nations on Dec. 31, 1998 to certify that food, medicine and other goods entering Iraq corresponded to a list of goods approved for import.

The United Nations previously said Kojo Annan stopped receiving monthly payments from Cotecna at the end of 1999. But Eckhard said Friday he continued to be paid because he had an open-ended no-compete contract.

Under that contract, Kojo Annan was paid $2,500 a month — $30,000 a year — in return for which he agreed not to work for a competitor, Wolfe said.

The secretary-general reiterated that in his U.N. job he has "no involvement with granting of contracts, either on this Cotecna one or others." But he said he understood "the perception problem for the U.N., or the perception of conflict of interests and wrongdoing."

Five U.S. congressional panels have been pressing the independent inquiry headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker to hand over internal U.N. documents for their own oil-for-food probes. But Volcker told the Senate that his panel won't hand over documents until its investigative reports are issued starting in January.

Earlier this month, congressional investigators estimated that Saddam's government raised more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue under the oil-for-food program and by subverting U.N. sanctions for over a decade.

Eckhard said it was up to Volcker to decide whether the Kojo Annan contract involved wrongdoing. "We feel there is not. We have looked into it and we can find no evidence," he said.

Wolfe noted that the oil-for-food program awarded Cotecna an inspection contract in 1992 — before Kojo Annan joined the company — but it was withdrawn because Saddam didn't want full inspections. In 1996, when Kojo Annan was working for the company, Cotecna lost an oil-for-food contract to Lloyd's Register, she said.

With these two contracts in mind, Wolfe said, "it defies logic to think there was anything going on in the process" of awarding the contract to Cotecna in December 1998.

Annan has said his son joined Cotecna at the age of 22 as a trainee in Geneva, before he became secretary-general.

"He is an independent business man. He is a grown man, and I don't get involved with his activities and he doesn't get involved in mine," the U.N. chief said.

Asked whether he was disappointed and angry with his son for taking the money and not disclosing it, Annan replied: "Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised, yes."

U.S. Ambassador John Danforth discussed the oil-for-food investigations with Annan Monday and was asked afterward whether the United States still has confidence in the secretary-general.

"I don't think the U.S. government rushes to judgment until all the facts are in," he said.
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Old 12-01-04, 02:39 PM
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Asked whether he was disappointed and angry with his son for taking the money and not disclosing it, Annan replied: "Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised, yes."
"That's not the way I taught him to steal"
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Old 12-01-04, 04:03 PM
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Old 12-01-04, 04:31 PM
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Kofi has been a puppet too long.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/...man/index.html

U.S. senator wants Annan to resign as U.N. leader

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. senator leading the investigation into allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the Iraq oil-for-food program is urging U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resign, saying the "massive scope of this debacle demands nothing less."

Annan declined to comment on the call, made by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, in an opinion piece in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal.

"The decision to call for Mr. Annan's resignation does not come easily," Coleman wrote. "But I have arrived at this conclusion because the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch.

"The world will never be able to learn the full extent of the bribes, kickbacks and under-the-table payments that occurred under the U.N.'s collective nose while Annan is in charge."

Coleman is chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been investigating the oil-for-food program for seven months.

Coleman said he was not accusing Kofi Annan of anything "other than incompetence and mismanagement."

The program, administered by the United Nations, was designed to allow Iraq, when it was under economic sanctions after the Persian Gulf War, to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food and medicine to mitigate the sanctions' impact on the Iraqi people.

Coleman said the investigation cannot be completed with Annan at the helm of the world body.

"The bottom line is, one man was in charge and if we're going to get to the bottom of this, he's got to step back so that we can have trust and credibility and transparency in sorting out what happened," he said Wednesday in an interview on CNN's "American Morning."

Coleman's committee has charged that Saddam Hussein was able to siphon off $6.7 billion in oil revenues from the program and made an additional $13.7 billion smuggling oil in contravention of international sanctions.

Annan has appointed former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to conduct an internal investigation into the allegations. But Coleman, while calling Volcker a "good and honest man," said that the United Nations "simply cannot root out its own corruption while Mr. Annan is in charge."

"If we're to get to the bottom of this, if there's to be any credibility, the person that was at the helm during the course of this thing cannot be the guy that Paul Volcker reports to, cannot be the guy that we go asking for help and assistance in getting the people we need to talk to," Coleman told CNN. "He needs to step back, step down for the credibility of the organization itself."

Annan's son, Kojo, received money for consulting work done in Africa for the Swiss firm Cotecna, which inspected goods entering Iraq under the oil-for-food program. On Monday, the secretary-general said he was disappointed to learn in news reports that his son remained on the Cotecna payroll until earlier this year, despite earlier U.N. statements that he had stopped receiving money from the firm back in 1998.

No formal charges of wrongdoing have been made against Kojo Annan by any of at least six separate investigations under way into the oil-for-food program. But his father conceded Monday that the latest news creates the perception "of conflict of interests and wrongdoing" at the United Nations.

Kofi Annan also said he had no personal involvement in the granting of contracts to companies that participated in the oil-for-food program.
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Old 12-01-04, 08:06 PM
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And yet we need more UN support Kerry could have gotten us more support from the UN....
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Old 12-01-04, 09:37 PM
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Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was unaware his son received $30,000 a year for over five years from a Swiss-based company under investigation in connection with suspected corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.
wtf, that's it?
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Old 12-01-04, 09:59 PM
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This guy is a real asshat that needs to go.
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