Statement by UNF President Timothy E. Wirth On Interim Volcker Report

Washington, DC – “What we have learned from yesterday’s report from the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) is that Paul Volcker will leave no stone unturned to get to the bottom of the problems with the Oil for Food Program. From Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s response we learned that he will hold UN staff accountable and fix any and all problems Mr. Volcker identifies. The Secretary-General is using the opportunity of this independent evaluation of UN process and procedures to enact serious and wide ranging reforms. It is a testament to his dedication and determination to reform the UN that he is seizing this moment.

“Not only has the Secretary-General ordered immediate initiation of disciplinary action against two UN officials named in the report as having violated the institution’s rules but he has also begun to adopt recommendations that the IIC has made in its two interim reports. These include new management leadership to strengthen the capability and effectiveness of the OIOS [the UN’s Inspector General’s office]; the creation of an Oversight Committee to ensure action is taken when recommendations are made by the Board of Auditors and Joint Inspection Unit; and making internal audits and reports available to member states.”