UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, beleaguered of late by multiple investigations into the oil for food scandal, has had more coals heaped upon his head. First, Annan's his right hand man, Benon Sevan, virtually disappeared from world view amid allegations of having received oil for food money from Saddam and now...
New York Sun
The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended.
The importance of this story involves not only undisclosed conflicts of interest, but the question of the role of the secretary-general himself, at a time when talk is starting to be heard around the U.N. that it is time for him to resign, and the staff labor union is in open rebellion against "senior management."
Annan's denials of personal involvement are beginning to seem rather thin. His every move suggests a cover-up.
The pattern in this scandal has been that Secretary-General Annan, until confronted by the press, has either failed to spot or failed to disclose timely information about Cotecna's paychecks for his son. The first bout came back in early 1999, two years into Kofi Annan's watch as secretary-general. Cotecna had just won the U.N. oil-for-food contract, replacing a British firm, Lloyd's Register. News broke January 24, 1999, in the Sunday Telegraph, that Kojo Annan had worked for Cotecna. The U.N. produced an internal report, shown this year to the New York Times, but never publicly released, which found no wrongdoing, but evidently failed to note that Kojo Annan was still receiving payments from Cotecna.
The fact that the UN General Assembly has not risen as a body and thrown Annan out on his rear, shows exactly what kind of organization it is.