Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Henry J. Hyde, Chairman

CONTACT: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, February 3, 2005

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Hyde Comments on Release of UN Commission
Interim Report on Oil-for-Food Investigation

(WASHINGTON) U.S. Rep Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, commented Thursday on the release of the interim report by the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme:

The interim report paints a picture of mismanagement, neglect and political manipulation that resulted in significant corruption of the Oil-for-Food program.

The interim findings reinforce evidence we have developed detailing lapses in program oversight, management, fiscal controls and an absence of even the most rudimentary standards of accountability.

I am reluctant to conclude that the UN is damaged beyond repair, but these revelations certainly point in this direction. The interim findings should come as no surprise, given what is already known about other significant scandals engulfing the organization. Whatever safeguards presumably exist at the UN to prevent corruption on this scale have failed thoroughly. This failure is a matter of urgent concern for this Committee as it considers various reform proposals.

Aware that this report is only interim, I look forward to additional findings on systematic weaknesses that would lead to this level of corruption, and further details regarding the role of current and former high-ranking UN officials, including former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali.

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