“I am both surprised and encouraged by the far-reaching interim report of the Volcker Committee. Surprised in that at this stage of a complex investigation the Report provides us with such a thorough description into certain irregularities. The Report carefully documents how the failure of a few officials to follow established UN procedures combined with a weak, under-staffed auditing system to lead to the awarding of certain contracts in the Oil for Food system. I am rather encouraged, however, that in this report the Committee has not found the ‘system’ to be corrupt or incompetent. Rather, with a number of new reforms that the Secretary-General can put in place, member states can be assured that procurement, monitoring and other important aid procedures will proceed with integrity and transparency at the UN.

George A. Lopez
co-author The Sanctions Decade
Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

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