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Today in legal history...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Report concluded that Oil-for-Food head 'seriously undermined' UN integrity
Cody Harding at 12:00 AM ET

On February 3, 2005, the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC) released a report investigating the UN Oil-for-Food program. The program began to exchange Iraqi oil for food and medicine in 1996, despite international sanctions prohibiting such trading. The report concluded that the program's head, Benon Sevan, solicited improper oil deals and "seriously undermined" the integrity of the UN. Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan formally suspended Sevan on February 7, 2005. In August 2005 a more detailed report prompted Sevan to also resign his honorary UN position. The August 2005 report accused Sevan of accepting almost $150,000 in bribes through the program. Ahead of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the program was suspended. But subsequent investigations proved that the program was rife with corruption and implicated numerous international officials and corporations of receiving kickbacks.

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Learn more about the United Nations and the oil-for-food program from the JURIST news archive.

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