Sunday, March 27, 2005
KOFI ANNAN, the United Nations secretary-general, is said to be struggling with depression and considering his future. Colleagues have reported concerns about Annan ahead of an official report this week that will examine his son Kojo’s connection to the controversial Iraqi oil for food scheme.

Depending on the findings of the report, by a team led by the former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, Annan may have to choose between the secretary-generalship and loyalty to his son.

American congressional critics of the UN are already pressing him to resign over the mismanagement of the oil for food programme, and even his supporters have been dismayed by the scandals on his watch, including the sexual abuse of children by UN peacekeepers in Congo.

One close observer at the UN said Annan’s moods were like a “sine curve” and that he appeared near the bottom of the trough.
. . . .

“Kofi Annan is going to find his position increasingly untenable,” said Nile Gardiner, an expert on the UN at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “There is a strong possibility he will resign voluntarily because of his declining credibility.”

We can only hope. Besides the scandals, how ineffective of a leader for the U.N. has Annan been? Since taking over as secretary-general in 1997, has the U.N. had any successes? It seems to me its role and importance in the world has just continued to fade. And with all the scandal it cannot even stand as a symbol in the international community. Seriously, why is there a U.N. anymore - what purpose does it serve? The next secretary-general needs to come up with an answer for that question - a question that Annan helped create.

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