Annan steadfast on UN reforms

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said the Iraq oil-for-food scandal will not derail his reform plans for the world body.

    The UN chief wants the Security Council expanded

    Annan, who has been under pressure over scandals including the Iraq scheme, acknowledged "there have been mistakes in the oil-for-food thing. Serious allegations have been made ... we are taking measures to strengthen our own administration and transparency".

    "I hope that the member states, who are focused on the reform initiative, will continue on that," Annan said on Friday.

    "I do not expect it to derail the reform process."

    The UN chief has presented an ambitious UN reform project - including expanding the UN Security Council - which he hopes to see passed at a summit of world leaders in September.

    Annan said UN members, who knew how oil-for-food was set up and managed, "are much more sanguine about the facts than most other people, and I hope they will focus on the work and strengthen this institution".

    "For some, the oil-for-food crisis will never die down," he said.

    The $64 billion oil-for-food programme, which ran from December 1996 to November 2003, was intended to ease the effects of international sanctions on ordinary Iraqis, allowing Iraq to sell oil and use the revenue to buy humanitarian supplies.

    SOURCE: Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Coca-Cola: Red-and-whitewashing the empire

    Coca-Cola: Red-and-whitewashing the empire

    Capitalism's flagship company has been working tirelessly for over a century to disguise the reality of US imperialism.