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United Nations Reform: U.S. Policy and - page 27 / 38





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commission to inquire into corruption in the U.N.-led Iraq Oil-for-Food Program.100 The Commission, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, concluded that the failures of the Oil-For-Food Program were evidence of a greater need for “fundamental and wide-ranging administrative reform” in the United Nations.101 The Commission recommended: establishing an Independent Oversight Board to review U.N. auditing, accounting, and budgeting activities; creating the position of Chief Operating Officer to oversee administrative matters such as personnel and planning practices; providing fair compensation to third parties involved in U.N. programs (while ensuring that the compensation does not lead to inappropriate profit); and expanding financial disclosure requirements to cover a variety of U.N. staff, including those working on procurement.

U.S. Institute of Peace U.N. Reform Task Force. In December 2004, Congress directed the U.S. Institute of Peace to create a bipartisan task force to examine ways to improve the United Nations so that it is better-equipped to meet modern-day security and human rights challenges.102 Congress appropriated $1.5 million to the Task Force and required that it submit a report on its findings to the House Committee on Appropriations.103 The Task Force identified improving internal oversight as its single most important reform recommendation. It supported the creation of an independent oversight board to direct the budget and activities of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). It also recommended several management reforms, including establishing the position of Chief Operating Officer, creating a U.N. Ethics Office, and enhancing whistle-blower protection. It supported broadening the U.N. staff financial disclosure policy, and recommended the review of all U.N. mandates five years or older, as well as the incorporation of sunset clauses

100 U.N. document, A/RES/1538, April 21, 2004. The Committee was chaired by Paul Volcker and included Professor Mark Peith of Switzerland, an expert on money laundering from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and Justice Richard Goldstone of South Africa, a former prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The Commission’s final report was released on October 27, 2005. For more detailed information on the functioning of the Iraq Oil-For-Food Program, see CRS Report RL30472, Iraq: Oil For Food Program, Illicit Trade, and Investigations, by Kenneth Katzman.

101 “Briefing by Paul A. Volcker Chairman of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the U.N. Oil-For-Food Program for the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate,” Washington, DC, October 31, 2005.

102 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 (P.L. 108-447, December 8, 2004). In the report accompanying the act, conferees stated that they were “deeply troubled by the inaction of the United Nations on many fronts, especially in regard to the genocide in Darfur, Sudan and the allegations of corruption regarding the United Nations Oil-For-Food Program.” Conferees directed that the task force should include experts from the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Hoover Institution, and the Heritage Foundation.

103 The Task Force was co-chaired by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, and released its first report, American Interests and U.N. Reform in June 2005. Following the 2005 U.N. World Summit in New York, the Task Force released an updated report entitled, The Imperative for Action, in December 2005. The USIP Task Force reports are available at [http://www.usip.org/un/ report/].

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