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Oil-for-food report shows need for UN reform, say Annan, State Department

[JURIST] Reacting Thursday to the publication [JURIST report] of the Volcker committee's final report [TOC] on the UN oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive], UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the US State Department both emphasized the need to reform program oversight mechanisms at the United Nations which they said allowed Iraqi ex-president Saddam Hussein to corrupt the UN's humanitarian Oil-for-Food Program [official website]. Annan also emphasized the need for UN member states to prosecute companies within their own territories that knowingly participate in illegal activities. State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack called the report "one more data point" [State Department transcript], suggesting that "reform of the UN secretariat and implementation of important management reforms" is necessary. The Independent Inquiry Committee [official website] led by former US central bank chief Paul Volcker [Wikipedia profile], confirmed its prior conclusion [JURIST report] that Annan himself was not guilty of influencing the bidding process that awarded a company employing his son Kojo a lucrative contract. AFP has more on the State Department response; the UN news service has more on Annan's position.

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