Annan wins support after damaging oil-for-food report

Britain and other European governments were preparing to voice unified support for Kofi Annan last night amid concerns that a report on ties between his son and a firm contracted by the United Nations to work in Iraq may have left him more seriously damaged than expected.

Mr Annan "enjoys the continuing strong support of the British Government," said Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the British ambassador. Tony Blair telephoned Mr Annan on Tuesday night to offer support, as the European Union moved to focus on the secretary general's proposals for fundamental reforms of the UN to be considered at a summit in September.

But some diplomats acknowledged privately that the need to shore up the secretary general had become urgent following the release of the report, prepared by the former US Federal Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker. "He looks worse now than he did before it came out," a senior Western source commented. "A lot of this looks circumstantially very bad."

Making matters worse yesterday were leaks from yet another report, this time by an independent consulting firm, into personnel problems at the UN office for election assistance around the world. It allegedly found evidence of humiliation of staff, sexual harassment and misuse of agency funds.

The consultants said they had concluded that "constant sexual innuendo is part of the 'fabric' of the division". Fred Eckhard, the UN spokesman, said there had not been any decision on possible disciplinary action against the division's managers and its head, Carina Perelli of Uruguay.

Mr Volcker's report, published on Tuesday, forms part of his investigation into corruption in the oil-for-food programme. It focused on Kojo Annan's employment by the Swiss company, Cotecna, which was chosen in late 1998 to inspect humanitarian goods going to Iraq. The report concluded that there was no evidence that the secretary general had influenced the awarding of the contract. But the 94-page document chastised the secretary general for not taking stronger steps to query his son's activities. It included a revelation that his former chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, had ordered significant documents to be shredded.

* The UN Security Council is expected to vote today on a resolution authorising the referral of suspects accused of war crimes in Darfur to the International Criminal Court.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee