Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Annan Could Have Served Himself Better

WSJ.com - Our Mission Remains Vital: "Of course the U.N. is far from perfect -- even if some of the recent allegations made about it have been overblown. The interim report of Paul Volcker's independent inquiry has helped put the Oil For Food program in perspective. Some of the more hyperbolic assertions about it have been proven untrue.
Yet I am the first to admit that real and troubling failures -- ethical lapses and lax management -- have been brought to light. I am determined, with the help of member states, to carry through the management reforms which are clearly called for by Mr. Volcker's findings."

I agree with Annan that there is plenty to be proud of in the UN's recent accomplishments, and that we need to keep this institution. He, however, loses credibility when he minimizes the Oil-for-Food and sex scandals to "lax management". He also, sadly, talks about "assertions being proven untrue". This would have been the perfect time to truly acknowledge the gravity of the complaints and crimes, in an effort to move forward. To still be arguing the validity of the questions against it, he is dragging it out, such that people will have a hard time taking the rest of this piece and his commitment to cleaning out the UN seriously. Owning up to his own poor management and assuring people all around the world that he has learned a lesson would have been a better start. With this piece, it only gives ammunition to his detractors that he should be removed.

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