Good Intentions Corrupted: The Oil for Food Scandal and the Threat to the UN

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PublicAffairs, Apr 27, 2009 - History - 304 pages
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Despite its good intentions, mismanagement and corruption plagued the UN's Oil-for-Food Program:

• More than 2,200 companies paid 1.8 billion in illegal surcharges and kickbacks to the Iraqi regime
• The UN Security Council stood by as the Iraqi regime outright smuggled about 8.4 billion of oil during the Program years in violation of UN sanctions
• The Iraqi regime steered oil contracts for political advantage by giving rights to buy oil to dozens of global political figures sympathetic to Iraq's goal to loosen or overturn the UN sanctions
• The Iraqi regime provided Benon Sevan, the UN's chief administrator of the Program, with rights to buy more than 7 million barrels of oil
• UN-related humanitarian agencies collected tens of millions of dollars for costs they never incurred, and some built factories in Iraq that weren't needed or that never worked at all
• Even UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was tainted by it

But the whole story has never been told in one place.


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Page xii - Nations' ability to respond promptly and effectively to the responsibilities thrust upon it by the realities of a turbulent and often violent world. In the last analysis, that ability rests upon the Organization's credibility — on maintaining a widelyheld perception among member states and their populations of its competence, honesty, and accountability. It is precisely those qualities that too often were absent in the administration of the Oil-forFood Program.

About the author (2009)

Led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, the Independent Inquiry Committee revealed the Program's flaws and the urgent need for UN reform. Jeffrey A. Meyer is former Senior Counsel to the Committee and chief editor of its reports, and Mark G. Califano is former Chief Legal Counsel to the Committee, who supervised and led major aspects of the investigation.

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