Custom Search

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Corrupt UN.

latest piece from BBC is not at all surprising, nor is it new.

Children have been subjected to rape and prostitution by United Nations peacekeepers in Haiti and Liberia, a BBC investigation has found.

Girls have told of regular encounters with soldiers where sex is demanded in return for food or money.

A senior official with the organisation has accepted the claims are credible.

The UN has faced several scandals involving its troops in recent years, including a DR Congo paedophile ring and prostitute trafficking in Kosovo.

The assistant secretary-general for peacekeeping operations acknowledges that sexual abuse is widespread.

"We've had a problem probably since the inception of peacekeeping - problems of this kind of exploitation of vulnerable populations," Jane Holl Lute told the BBC.

In January of 2005, another article was released dealing with the rampant problem of sexual abuse.

LAST MONTH A CLASSIFIED UNITED Nations report prompted Secretary General Kofi Annan to admit that U.N. peacekeepers and staff have sexually abused or exploited war refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The worst of the 150 or so allegations of misconduct--some of them captured on videotape--include pedophilia, rape, and prostitution. While a U.N. investigation into the scandal continues, the organization has just suspended two more peacekeepers in neighboring Burundi over similar charges. The revelations come three years after another U.N. report found "widespread" evidence of sexual abuse of West African refugees.

Sex scandals are not the only form of corruption that the UN is responsible, but not held accountable for: Oil for Food-

In 1991, he UN Security Council slapped sanctions on Iraq for invading Kuwait and to force Iraq's full disarmament of its unconventional weapons. But the sanctions appeared to hurt ordinary Iraqis and not Hussein. So the Oil for Food program was hatched in 1996, which allowed Iraq to sell oil and use the proceeds to purchase food and humanitarian supplies. Over the next seven years the UN says the program fed 27 million Iraqis, saved a least a half a million children from malnutrition, helped fight diseases, and cleared 135 million square feet of land of mines.

But Hussein was allowed to choose his own business partners for the program. This allegedly enabled him to game the system. He is said to have hauled in $5.7 billion from illicit oil sales and $4.4 billion more in kickbacks, while his partners skimmed a portion as well, the US General Accounting Office reported in March. Analysts say he used some of the money to buy weapons.

Then we have Kofi Annan's aide shredding thousands of documents:

"Hell no!" was Kofi Annan's bullish response when asked last week if he would resign over the oil-for-food scandal.

The UN secretary-general's office was in full spin mode following the release of the eagerly awaited Volcker Interim Report on questions of conflict of interest involving Annan, whose son Kojo was employed by the UN oil-for-food contractor Cotecna.

The report was immediately greeted with unconvincing and rather desperate shrieks of "exoneration" by the UN's senior leadership after Paul Volcker controversially found "no evidence that the selection of Cotecna in 1998 was subject to any affirmative or improper influence of the secretary-general in the bidding or selection process."

However, a closer reading of the report reveals serious failures of leadership at the United Nations, the destruction of thousands of critically important documents by the UN chief of staff, and previously undisclosed meetings between Kofi Annan and Cotecna executives, all of which make a mockery of UN claims of vindication.

It is hardly surprising that Volcker has struggled to find evidence of "improper influence" if a great deal of vital evidence has ended up in a shredder. Despite UN protestations, this latest report will add to a growing picture of mismanagement, incompetence, and unaccountability in a world body in deep crisis and in serious need of reform.

The most significant finding in the Volcker Report is undoubtedly the revelation that Kofi Annan's then-Chief of Staff Iqbal Riza authorized the shredding between April and December 2004 of thousands of UN documents--the entire UN Chef de Cabinet chronological files for the years 1997, 1998 and 1999, many of which related to the oil-for-food program.

We also have the fact that the UN has video tapes related to the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers by Hizbullah.

A defense ministry delegation examined Wednesday morning in Geneva footage from two videotapes related to the kidnapping of the three IDF soldiers by Hezbollah in October last year and which is in the United Nations' possession. They also examined seven bloodstained items taken from two vehicles believed to have been involved in the operation.

IDF officers viewed the video footage for the first time about two weeks ago at UN headquarters in New York. The initial conclusions from viewing the tapes and items was that experts were needed to get any information about the condition of the three Israelis.

The three soldiers - Adi Avitan, Omar Sued and Beni Avraham - were kidnapped on the northern border in the Har Dov area. At the time, Israel insisted that the UN was in possession of footage related to the abduction, but senior members of the world body, including Secretary-General Kofi Annan, vehemently denied the existence of any videotape.

Embarrassed UN leaders apologized to Israel after it emerged two months ago that UNIFIL soldiers had filmed events the day after the kidnapping, including the vehicles used by Hezbollah in the abduction. An internal UN investigation found that UN officials had been guilty of a "lapse of judgement" but that there had been no intentional effort to conceal the footage.

One that did not recieve a lot of attention was the incident, caught on Video of Terrorists using UN vehicles to carry out attacks. This was back in 2004.

The United Nations and Red Cross have been providing cover for terrorists – literally. And American taxpayers are footing some of the bill.

An Israeli television station aired footage of armed Arab terrorists in southern Gaza using an ambulance owned and operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. Palestinian gunmen used the UNRWA emergency vehicle as getaway transportation after murdering six Israeli soldiers in Gaza City on May 11. The footage shows two ambulances with flashing lights pull onto a street. Shots and shouts ring out during the nighttime raid. A gang of militants piles into one of the supposedly neutral ambulances, clearly marked "U.N." with the agency's blue flag flying from the roof, which then speeds away from the scene.

All in all, Kofi Annan, being in charge, should be held accountable for the corruption that he has made no attempt to stop.

Others discussing this:
Hot Air.
Captain's Quarters.
It Shines for All.
Blue Crab Boulevard.
[Update] More from lawhawk at a Blog for All.

Bolton Smacks Down the UN.