Friday, July 22, 2005

Claudia Rosett:- The Tangled web of UN Cronyism

"These tales represent a sampling of how Mr. Annan's United Nations - both post- and pre-reform - does business. What waits in the wings? There are reports that the Volcker committee is now looking into the secretive, Geneva-based U.N. Compensation Commission, which for years has been tasked with paying out billions in Iraqi oil revenues to parties claiming compensation as victims of Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Most of the UNCC's $19.2 billion in payouts flowed from oil for food. During the first few years of oil for food, the UNCC was led by a Haitian, Jean-Claude Aime. No one has accused Mr. Aime of any wrongdoing, but he might have some insights to offer about his previous superior officer, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who launched oil for food in 1996, just before Mr. Annan took over. Mr. Aime that same year served as chief of staff for Mr. Boutros-Ghali, whose cousin, Fakhry Abdelnour, owned the company African Middle East Petroleum, on behalf of which Mr. Sevan has been accused of soliciting oil allocations from Saddam."

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