Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Kofi Annan Is Disappointed

When I was young, I believed in the good will of an organization called "The United Nations." That belief lasted until the United Nations imposed sanctions on the Iraqi people after Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990. From day one, those sanctions hurt ONLY the people of Iraq. It took us, the Iraqi people, a while to adjust our taste to the dark colored bread made of unknown ingredients. Did those sanctions hurt Saddam or anyone around him? No. It actually helped him make more money as we've all seen by following the Oil-For-Food scandal.

It hurts more when you read of the different parties involved in this scandal. The name that's been appearing in the news lately is Kojo Annan, son of U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan. The Associated Press reported:

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was unaware his son received $30,000 a year for more than five years from a Swiss-based company under investigation in connection with suspected corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.

Annan told reporters Monday that he had been working on the understanding that payments to his son, Kojo Annan, from Cotecna Inspection S.A. stopped in 1998 “and I had not expected that the relationship continued.”

But on Friday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Kojo Annan’s lawyer had informed the independent panel appointed by the secretary-general to investigate allegations of corruption in the oil-for-food program that the younger Annan continued to receive monthly payments through February 2004.


Asked whether he was disappointed and angry with his son for taking the money and not disclosing it, Annan replied: “Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised, yes.”

The United Nations may come up with something to clear Kojo's name. But, damage has already been done to the Iraqi people. The sanctions left millions of Iraqis scarred physically, psychologically and emotionally. The distrust you witness from many of us toward most nations is because we suffered deeply from those sanctions. We were left to think the whole world wanted to punish us for something we didn't commit ourselves.

But, let's forget about the past. So, here are my Christmas wishes this year:
  • I wish to see the United Nations genuinely help the Iraqi people prepare for the upcoming elections in 2005.

  • I wish to see the United Nations act quickly to help African women infected with HIV/AIDS. I wish it can help Princess Kasune Zulu from Africa, who argues that we are failing the African girls.

  • I wish to see the United Nations stop condemning and start acting effectively to protect people of Darfur.

Until my wishes come true, I won't have much faith in this organization.

Post Links:

Annan ‘disappointed’ with son over payments
'Why we are failing African girls'
The Tragedy of Sudan

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