STATEMENT BY TIMOTHY E. WIRTH, PRESIDENT OF THE UN FOUNDATION, ON TODAY’S INTERIM REPORT ISSUED BY THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY COMMITTEE ON THE OIL-FOR-FOOD PROGRAM

“Today’s report from the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) brings us a step closer to getting to the bottom of the problems with the Oil-For-Food Program (OFFP) and the steps needed to fix them. The UN has kept its promise to fully and fairly investigate OFFP and let the chips fall where they may. Today’s report makes important findings regarding the Secretary-General, his son, and his former chief-of-staff among others. But the report also makes clear that, despite some significant shortcomings on the part of the Secretary-General, the investigation did not find that he engaged in any wrongdoing.

Now the most important priority for the UN and the U.S. is to work together to reform and strengthen the institution and ensure it is prepared to help confront the 21st Century challenges of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, infectious disease, poverty and more. The Secretary-General’s recent report provides an excellent start on these UN reforms and we encourage the Bush Administration and the Congress to support these efforts.”

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