Reforms at the UN
Claudia Rosett looks at Kofi Annan's proposed reforms at the UN....and has some words about Maurice Strong.
In the course of telling the press on Monday that he "cannot recall a single instance" of contact or discussion with officials responsible for the scandal-plagued Oil for Food program, Mr. Strong did confirm that he has been friendly for years and had a business relationship back in 1997 with a Korean, Tongsun Park. Mr. Park achieved prominence in the 1970s as the go-between who shuttled hundreds of thousands in bribes from the regime of former South Korean dictator Park Chung-Hee to assorted members of the U.S. Congress, in the scandal that became known as Koreagate.Read the whole column - Rosett is one of the best journalists covering the UN.
Even if Mr. Strong had the best of intentions, his decision as a high-ranking U.N. official to be involved in any business relationship with the star bag man of Koreagate suggests seriously odd judgment. That should have been obvious even before U.S. federal prosecutors charged Mr. Park last week with accepting some $2 million from Saddam Hussein to convey yet more millions to two (so-far unnamed) high-ranking U.N. officials in an effort to shape the 1996-2003 Oil for Food program to facilitate Saddam's sanctions-busting embezzlement of billions meant for the people of Iraq.