Press Releases

    30 March 2005

    “Inquiry Has Cleared Me of Any Wrongdoing”, Says Secretary-General as Volcker Committee Issues Second Interim Report

    NEW YORK, 29 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s statement on the second interim report of the Independent Inquiry Committee:

    I have this morning received from Paul Volcker and his colleagues the second interim report of their independent inquiry into allegations concerning the United Nations “oil-for-food” programme in Iraq.  I thank them once again for their investigation.

    As I had always hoped and firmly believed, the Inquiry has cleared me of any wrongdoing.  On the key issue of the award of the contract to inspect humanitarian goods entering Iraq under the oil-for-food programme, the report states clearly that “there is no evidence that the selection of Cotecna in 1998 was subject to any affirmative or improper influence of the Secretary-General in the bidding or selection process”.

    I will meet the press later today to make a fuller statement on the findings contained in the report, and to answer questions.

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