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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > Explanation of Votes/Positions by U.S. Delegations > 2005

Release of the Supplemental Report of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program

Statement by Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
October 27, 2005

USUN PRESS RELEASE

On behalf of people of the United States, I would like to thank Chairman Paul Volcker and the staff of the Independent Inquiry Committee for their important investigation into the Oil for Food Program. We congratulate them on the issuance of their supplemental report today, which concludes 18 months of uncovering the unfortunate truth about the Program.

The Reports show that Saddam Hussein aggressively manipulated a well-intentioned program so that he could divert to his personal use billions of dollars that belonged to the Iraqi people. But he was only able to accomplish this misdeed with the willing cooperation of UN officials, the acquiescence of some member states, and, as today's report indicates, the willingness of private companies and individuals to pay huge sums in bribes and kickbacks to the Hussein regime.

We note that the investigation into the Oil for Food Program continues with various inquiries being conducted by the United States Congress, and we encourage the IIC and the UN to cooperate with these ongoing inquiries. But there are already three clear lessons to be learned from the Oil For Food scandal:

  • The management of the UN needs urgent, immediate reform.
  • Sanctions regimes need to be strengthened and improved.
  • Countries must pursue those people and companies who assisted in the corruption of the sanctions regime.

In the United States, federal and local authorities have already indicted a number of people and companies that allegedly participated in illegal activities relating to the Oil-For-Food Program. The U.S. believes it is the duty of law enforcement agencies in nations around the world to pursue people and companies in their countries that did the same. The best deterrent to future corrupt complicity in the circumvention of sanctions regimes is to prosecute vigorously those many people and entities that profited financially from the corruption of the UN Oil for Food Program.


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