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Annan defends UN as 'vital' despite cloud of oil-for-food scandal

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official biography] defended the UN as being of "vital importance to humanity" as the body struggles to emerge from the cloud of the Oil-for-Food Program [JURIST Hot Topic] scandal. Annan's views were published in a Tuesday op-ed piece [text, subscription required] in the Wall Street Journal, in which he addressed charges of wrongdoing in the oil program in Iraq and charges of sexual crimes committed by UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Annan wrote that some of the charges leveled in a report by the independent commission [JURIST report] investigating the oil-for-food program were "hyperbolic" and untrue, but he hoped to see through management reforms recommended by the panel. Reuters has more.

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