Monday, December 04, 2006

Kofi Annan's retirement package

In wake of John Bolton's resignation, I thought it would be interesting to look at another UN figure who's tenure is about to come to an end.

Kofi Annan will also be leaving the UN in December of this year, after negotiating a stunning retirement package for himself behind closed doors - largely funded by US taxpayers.

For a start, the U.N.'s Kofi Annan will cash in with two pensions, tax free. He will not only collect a life-time pension in excess of $12,000 a month, tax-free, but was also allowed to cash in a second pension valued at more than $1 million — also tax-free — when he became secretary-general in 1996.

This, of course is in addition to Annan's tax free salary, his $12,000 per month
UN paid `rent' on billionaire George Soros' estate, free medical and UN paid chauffer and limosine.

Annan has also made substantial money from speaking engagements and other "outside" activities. These include his share of a Nobel prize worth $100,000 and a $500,000 cash award for the Sayed Prize, donated by the ruler of Dubai. Just as a coincidence, the judges panel on that personal cash award included two senior members of Annan’s staff and one Achim Steiner - who Annan later appointed to a high paying position as director of the UN Environment Program. After several people - including US ambassador John Bolton - were rude enough to question the propriety of a UN Secretry General accepting a cash prize of this nature, Annan later announced he would turn the money over to U.N. relief in Sudan.

Since Annan has consistently refused to release any financial records other than his U.N. salary, there absolutely no evidence this was ever done. As a matter of fact, additional money Annan has received from those speaking engagements or other "outside" activities have never been disclosed at all. Nor has the United Nations ever released a listing of Annan's bank accounts, stocks or any real estate holdings.

Of course, the most egregious `outside activity' of Annan's UN leadership is the Iraq Oil-for-Food program, for which Annan received $1.4 billion in funding meant to help him monitor its integrity. This is still, beyond a doubt the biggest swindle in the history of humanitarian aid.

Annan likes to tell people that UN graft under Oil-for-Food came down to one staff member, Benon Sevan, the man appointed by Annan to run the entire program who was
"found to maybe have taken $150,000". (Sevan, by the way, managed during the investigation of the program to slip out of New York and back to his native Cyprus, beyond reach of US extradition, and on full UN pension....)

In reality, more than $2 billion of that aid money remains unaccounted for.

Even Paul Volcker’s UN-authorized probe, which was mostly a whitewash, revealed rampant budget padding and corruption by various UN agencies. One of Annan’s own former special advisers, French diplomat Jean-Bernard Merimee, has admitted to taking money from Saddam’s oil deals while working directly for Annan. The Volcker probe further found that Annan personally knew about the graft within the Oil-for-Food program at least three years before it ended, but did nothing about it.

And when Annan's former chief of staff, Iqbal Riza was discovered in late 2004 to have shredded reams of U.N. executive-office documents pertaining to the Oil-for-Food investigation, there was no major fuss, and Riza simply retired, on full pension...until Kofi Annan in 2005 approved a special initiative called the Alliance of Civilizations, with funding of several million dollars from a handful of member states who paid for this `Alliance' via one of thos ubiquitous U.N. trust funds. Riza was then brought back to run it, with a promotion to the rank of under-secretary-general.

This is the man who will retire on lavish terms as an honored international civil servant

Simply amazing.


Anonymous said...

Good one, it's in and you're linked, thanks!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
weak world leaders...

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if Kofi Anan did nothing for the UN. This is an unfair and unbalanced review. It smacks of hatred. I reseve any further comments because such comments must be approved by the blog author. This is the "democracy" we pride ourselves with.

Freedom Fighter said...

A few facts..

First of all you're right...Kofi Anan did nothing for anyone except himself.

Second, while I despise him and his actions,(Israel, Darfur, Oil for food, etc)he isn't worth personal hatred on my part. I'm only sorry that my country contributed and continues to contribute to a corrupt, bankrupt haven for dictators like the UN. An dutterly failed apparatchniks like Anan