security council adopts resolution welcoming appointment
of inquiry into iraq ‘oil-for-food’ programme
Concerned by allegations regarding the administration and management of the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme, the Security Council this afternoon welcomed the Secretary-General’s appointment of an independent high-level inquiry to investigate the matter.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1538 (2004), the Council also called on the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq and all other Member States, including their national regulatory authorities, to cooperate fully by all appropriate means with the inquiry.
The members of the inquiry are Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve; Mark Pieth of Switzerland, an expert on money-laundering in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and Richard Goldstone of South Africa, former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
Begun in 1996, the United Nations oil-for-food programme allowed Iraq to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief. The effort was monitored by the Security Council’s “661” committee, which included representatives from all 15 Council members.
Until its termination in November 2003, the programme oversaw the delivery of some $39 billion in humanitarian assistance to about 22 million people, many of whom were largely dependent on outside aid to survive since normal economic activity was severely constrained by sanctions imposed after Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
The meeting began at 12:08 p.m. and ended at 12:10 p.m.
Following is the full text of Security Council resolution 1538 (2004):
“The Security Council,
“Expressing the 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, to evade the provisions of resolution 661 (1990) of 6 August 1990 and subsequent relevant resolutions;
“Concerned by public news reports and commentaries that have called into question the administration and management of the Oil-for-food Programme (hereinafter the Programme) established pursuant to resolution 986 (1995) of 14 April 1995 and subsequent relevant resolutions, including allegations of fraud and corruption;
“Affirming 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;
“Emphasizing the importance of full cooperation with the independent high-level inquiry by all United Nations officials and personnel, the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq, and all other MemberStates;
“Affirming the letter of its President of 31 March 2004 welcoming the Secretary-General’s decision to create an independent high-level inquiry to investigate the administration and management of the Programme and taking note of the details relating to its organization and terms of reference;
“1. Welcomes the appointment of the independent high-level inquiry;
“2. Calls upon the Coalition Provisional Authority, Iraq, and all other MemberStates, including their national regulatory authorities, to cooperate fully by all appropriate means with the inquiry;
“3. Looks forward to receiving the inquiry’s final report;
“4. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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