The Guardian have published an edited version of a speech Hans Blix gave last week at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge. The full text can be found here.

His criticism of the American right is telling:

We also see an intense and large-scale campaign of vilification, depicting the UN as “corrupt” because the oil-for-food programme – instituted and supervised by the security council and its most powerful members, including the US – enabled Iraq, the buyers of Iraqi oil and the sellers of products to Iraq, to siphon off money fraudulently and pass it on illegally to Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The fraud, although widely suspected and estimated at about a billion dollars a year in the media, was not easy for the programme administration to track down and prove. The council and its members saw it with open eyes just as they saw the billions that flowed to Saddam from oil exports to neighbouring states. The programme functioned as a reasonably effective break against the import of weapons and dual-use items, which was its major objective. Today it serves as a campaign platform against the UN. So long as the current climate remains, it is doubtful if any meaningful discussion about UN reform can be pursued.

This all comes around the time of the latest UN report – billed as one of the most important since the founding of the organisation.






3 responses to “”

  1. Peter Nolan avatar

    I’ve just finished Richard Butler’s book – he just saw the Russians and French dismantle the whole system for their own self-interest. Meanwhile, Annan just gave the Iraqis everything they wanted as long as he could play the diplomatic superstar. I’m not inclined to take Blix very seriously.

  2. Gavin avatar

    Why the ad hominem? I actually found Blix’s speech quite good.

  3. Peter Nolan avatar

    Butler was very damning on Kofi Annan; his book is worth a read and puts a strong case for multilateral disarmament for containing nuclear weapons. Blix just wasn’t knowledgeable or tough enough to do the job properly as Butler or Scott Ritter could have. I have a very low opinion af Annan anyway.

    Woodward’s Bush at War, which I’ve not finished, reports that the Americans, having monitored the inspectors, came to believe that Blix was misreporting the findings. More soon…