Security Council calls for all States to cooperate with 'Oil-for-Food' inquiry

UN Security Council in session

21 April 2004 – Welcoming the appointment today of an independent high-level inquiry into allegations of corruption in the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme, the Security Council called on all concerned to cooperate fully with the probe.

The move came as Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced that the panel would be chaired by Paul A. Volcker, former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System. Its other two members are Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, who previously served as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and Mark Pieth of Switzerland, a Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Basel with expertise in money-laundering.

Speaking to reporters in New York today following the announcement, Mr. Volcker pledged a thorough probe "so that the UN in fact can fulfil the responsibilities and take advantage of the opportunities that arise to contribute to not only the situation in Iraq but situations that are bound to come along in the rest of the world."

In its unanimously adopted resolution, the Council called upon "the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), Iraq and all other Member States, including their national regulatory authorities, to cooperate fully by all appropriate means with the inquiry."

The resolution refers to the Council's "desire to see a full and fair investigation of efforts by the former Government of Iraq, including through bribery, kickbacks, surcharges on oil sales, and illicit payments in regard to purchases of humanitarian goods" with respect to the programme.

The text further affirms that "any illicit activity by United Nations officials, personnel and agents, as well as contractors, including entities that have entered into contracts under the Programme, is unacceptable."

Under the panel's terms of reference, the Secretary-General will receive a report on the status of its work within three months.

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