Tuesday, December 14

Kofi Annan should resign

“In any other organization, if the CEO was around at the time when there was a $21 billion rip-off, the board of directors would say it’s time to go,” said Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman, whose subcommittee on investigations is looking into a wide range of alleged UN improprieties. “Unless folks see us getting to the bottom of this, I think the U.S. relationship with the United Nations is jeopardized.”
Rep. Roger Wicker, R-MS, has collected 52 cosponsors for a resolution calling on Annan to resign “due to the allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and abuse.” Sen. Coleman says the condition for continuing U.S.-UN relations is “Kofi himself taking responsibility and stepping down.”

I understand that it might be counter-productive if we are seen in the world as trying to force Annan out, but allowing him to stay is not an option. He is an impediment to the things we need to get done in the world, including in Iraq and with regard to the Israel/Palestinian issue. If getting him out mains withholding funding, then it must be done.

There is another important aspect to the Oil-for-Food Scandal, which has gone largely unnoticed. Oddly enough, Kofi Annan sums it up nicely:

Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign investment and aid.