Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
My view of the oil for food kickbacks is similar to yours, but not quite the same. Yes it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, and the instrumentalization of the scandal as a stick to bash SecGen and the UN as a whole was very annoying. However, I do think that Kofi deserves some blame here. My impression is that he is someone very reluctant to hold senior UN officials to account for serious ethical lapses and not at all sympathetic to whistleblowers. He is a highly competent product of the career UN bureaucracy, but very much part of its institutional culture. It's not just the OIF but also the sexual harassment stuff.  

And as a child of mid level international organization employees I was 'shocked, shocked' to hear that there might be corruption at the UN. Way too many senior international organization managers are there through patronage rather than merit. Accountability is close to non existent, petty corruption (junkets, gifts) is rife.  Again, I'm not saying that this is something unusual for a public bureaucracy, but one shouldn't have any illusions about the UN being any more pure than, say, the DOD or your typical US state bureaucracy.  At the same time, just as one seeks to eliminate that sort of stuff at home, one should also do so at the UN.

by MarekNYC on Fri Dec 2nd, 2005 at 11:31:44 PM EST

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