New York Times:
Secretary General Kofi Annan and the members of the Security Council received an 860-page report today excoriating their management of the oil-for-food program and saying the United Nations must be extensively overhauled if it is to earn global credibility and meet its 21st-century obligations.
'The organization requires stronger executive leadership, thoroughgoing administrative reform and more reliable controls and auditing,' the report, compiled by a committee led by Paul A. Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, said.
'At stake is the United Nations' ability to respond promptly and effectively to the responsibilities thrust upon it by the realities of a turbulent, and often violent, world,' said the report, the result of a yearlong, $34 million investigation.
'In the last analysis, that ability rests upon the organization's credibility - on maintaining a widely held perception among member states and their populations of its competence, honesty and accountability.'
Addressing the Security Council today in a special session at which Mr. Volcker presented the report, Mr. Annan said that while it was 'painful for all of us,' he accepted the personal criticism of him and would act urgently on the need for reforming the world organization.
'The findings in today's report must be deeply embarrassing to us all,' he said. 'The inquiry committee has ripped away the curtain, and shone a harsh light into them most unsightly corners of our organization.
He asked, 'Who among us can now claim that U. N. management is not a problem, or is not in need of reform?'
Hasn't John Bolton been saying that for years?