signs UN Convention on Terrorism
NATIONS, July 25: India has signed the International Convention
for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism on Tuesday
at the UN Headquarters in New York.
Convention, initially proposed by the Russian Federation,
was adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on April 13,
2005 by a consensus resolution and was opened for signature
at the UN Headquarters from September 14, 2005.
Convention is the first anti-terrorism convention adopted
since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Convention
requires States to make punishable as serious offence under
their domestic law, terrorist acts involving the use of
nuclear materials. States are also required to cooperate
in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of these
offences through information sharing, extradition and mutual
is a Party to the other 12 international terrorism conventions
and protocols and attaches high priority to the formulation
of international legal instruments to combat terrorism.
Terrorism presents the most serious threat to international
peace and security.
has always emphasized that the international community must
adopt zero-tolerance for terrorism anywhere and be ready
to undertake all necessary measures to bring to justice
the perpetrators, organizers, sponsors of these and other
terrorist acts and those who incite terrorists to commit
Convention is an important step forward in multilateral
efforts to strengthen the international legal framework
against terrorism and sends an undeniably clear signal that
the international community will not tolerate those that
threaten or commit terrorist acts involving radioactive
material or nuclear devices.
shares the objective of the International Convention for
the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, which demonstrates
the resolve of international community to deny terrorists
access to nuclear materials and enhances international cooperation
between States in devising and adopting practical measures
for prevention of acts of nuclear terrorism and for the
prosecution and punishment of their perpetrators.
vote on N. Korea sanctions delayed
NATIONS, July 11: Supporters of a Security Council resolution
that would impose sanctions on North
Korea agreed to delay a vote in the hope that China can
pressure Pyongyang to return to talks on nuclear disarmament
and halt missile tests, U.S. officials said Monday.
five veto-wielding nations on the U.N. Security Council
are divided over sanctions. The U.S., Britain and France
support the resolution proposed by Japan after North Korea
test-fired seven missiles on July 5 - one apparently a long-range
type that could potentially reach the United States.
and Russia oppose sanctions and have been pressing for a
weaker presidential statement, which is not legally binding,
instead of a resolution. China introduced a draft presidential
statement on Monday. Beijing's U.N. Ambassador Wang Guangya
said it represented the best compromise and the best way
to get North Korea to return to the six-party talks on nuclear
disarmament which have been stalled since September.
told reporters the resolution "will not calm down the
situation" and urged all parties to send "a unified
message" to the North. And he indicated for the first
time that China might be prepared to consider a weaker resolution.
"If they wish to have a resolution, they should have
a modified one, not this one," he said.
from the five permanent members of the Security Council
met Monday with Japan on the North Korean question while
a Chinese delegation arrived in North Korea pledging friendship
and deeper ties.
terrorism a serious threat: ElBaradei
June 26: The head of the UN's nuclear watchdog warned on
Monday there was a real threat that terrorist groups could
resort to nuclear weapons. "We worry about sub-national
groups, extremist groups acquiring nuclear weapons. It is
a nightmare because they will use it," said Mohamed
ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency
was speaking at a conference on nuclear disarmament in Berlin
organised by the Social Democrats, who are partners in Germany's
ruling coalition. He said that in the aftermath of the September
11 attacks on the United States, extremists had become more
sophisticated and were trying to lay their hands on nuclear
arms. "We have seen the interest of these groups in
acquiring nuclear weapons."
said the nuclear arms race was still being fuelled by the
fact that many nations saw such weapons as a status symbol.
"There is still an aura of power, a status of prestige
that comes with nuclear weapons," he said.
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that the
more governments developed nuclear arms, the greater the
risk would be that terrorist groups could gain access to
But, he said, the primary problem would be an escalation
of the international nuclear arms race over the next decade,
particularly if "the Iranian and North Korean nuclear
crises were not resolved.
backs Tharoor for UN top job
YORK, June 15: India has nominated UN Under-Secretary-General
for Communications and Public Information, Shashi Tharoor,
as the India's candidate for the post of Secretary General
of the world body when the U.N. chief's Kofi Annan second
five-year term expires at the end of this year.
indication to this effect was given on Wednesday by India's
Ambassador to the UN, Nirupam Sen, who said a decision regarding
Tharoor's candidature will be taken in the next few days.
If elected, he will be youngest Secretary-General of the
when asked by reporters whether Islamabad will also be fielding
a candidate, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Munir Akarm replied,
"We have also been giving serious consideration to field
a candidate but no decision has yet been taken". The
names of both Akram and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz are being
mentioned in this regard.
Secretary-General is nominated by the 15-member Security Council
and elected by the 191-member General Assembly. Kofi Annan
retires on December 31 this year at the end of second term
and the Council has already initiated the process selection
50 this year, began his U.N. career in 1978 and currently
heads the UN's Department of Public Information. Born in London,
and educated in India and the United States, he is the author
of several books.
which took the presidency of the U.N. Security Council in
April, insists the next U.N. chief should come from Asia.
Others Asians in the running for the post of U.N. secretary-general
include South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-Moon, Thai Deputy
Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and Sri Lankan diplomat
last Asian secretary-general was U Thant of Burma, now called
Myanmar, who served from 1961 to 1971.
won support for his bid from the government after meetings
in April with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Party
leader Sonia Gandhi and National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan.
Nambiar joins Kofi Annan team
NATIONS: Vijay Nambiar, a senior Indian diplomat and former
envoy to the United Nations, has become a member of U.N. Secretary
General Kofi Annan's team of top advisers.
appointment, made effective this week, was announced earlier
this month by Mr. Annan. Mr. Nambiar, whose appointment is
for a period of one year, will represent him at key meetings
and liaise with envoys from member nations.
rank is that of an Under Secretary General, and he is the
second Indian in the UN with that rank. Shashi Tharoor currently
heads the U.N. Communication and Public Information Department
assuming the current position, Mr. Nambiar was India's Deputy
National Security Adviser and head of the National Security
says US should close Gitmo prison
NATIONS, Feb 17: Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday
said the United States should close the prison at Guantanamo
Bay for terror suspects as soon as possible, backing a key
conclusion of a U.N.-appointed independent panel.
House spokesman Scott McClellan rejected the call to shut
the camp, saying the military treats all detainees humanely
and "these are dangerous terrorists that we're talking
panel's report, released Thursday in Geneva, said the United
States must close the detention facility "without further
delay" because it is effectively a torture camp where
prisoners have no access to justice.
Annan told reporters he didn't necessarily agree with everything
in the report, but "the basic premise, that we need to
be careful to have a balance between effective action against
terrorism and individual liberties and civil rights, I think
said he supported the panel's opposition to people being held
"in perpetuity" without being prosecuted in a public
court. This is "something that is common under every
legal system," he said. "I think sooner or later
there will be a need to close the Guantanamo (camp), and I
think it will be up to the government to decide, and hopefully
to do it as soon as is possible," the secretary-general
54-page report summarizing an investigation by five U.N. experts,
accused the United States of practices that "amount to
torture" and demanded detainees be allowed a fair trial
or be freed. The panel, which had sought access to Guantanamo
Bay since 2002, refused a U.S. offer for three experts to
visit the camp in November after being told they could not
interview detainees. Annan said the report by a U.N.-appointed
independent panel was not a U.N. report but one by individual
experts. "So we should see it in that light," he
spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the report will be presented
to the U.N. Commission of Human Rights, which appointed the
panel, when it convenes on March 13 in Geneva. Manfred Nowak,
the U.N. investigator for torture who was one of the panel's
experts, said that the detainees at Guantanamo "should
be released or brought before an independent court."
violated law at Guantanamo: UN report
NATIONS, Feb 14: A UN investigation has concluded that the
United States committed acts amounting to torture at Guantanamo
Bay, according to a draft report obtained today.
torture included force-feeding detainees and subjecting them
to prolonged solitary confinement.
report from five UN human rights experts accused the United
States of violating the detainees' rights to a fair trial,
to freedom of religion and to health. It recommended that
the US close Guantanamo Bay and revoke all special interrogation
techniques authorised by the US Department of Defence.
apparent attempts by the US Administration to reinterpret
certain interrogation techniques as not reaching the threshold
of torture in the framework of the struggle against terrorism
are of utmost concern," the report said. US officials
rejected the report, saying it was riddled with errors and
treated statements from detainees' lawyers as fact. Its most
significant flaw, that officials said, was that it judged
US treatment of detainees according to peacetime human rights
United States contends that it is in a state of conflict and
should be judged according to the laws of war. "Once
you fail to even acknowledge that as the legal basis for what
we're doing, much of the legal analysis that follows just
doesn't hold," a US State Department official said. The
official spoke on condition of anonymity because the United
States has not formulated an official, public response to
the draft. The draft report was delivered to the United States
on January 16. It was first disclosed late Sunday by the Los
toon row - UN for dialogue
Strongly deploring the controversial depictions of Prophet
Muhammad in a cartoon as well as the violence that followed,
three independent UN human rights experts have asked people
to refrain from any form of violence and to avoid fuelling
strongly deplore the depictions of the Prophet Muhammad and
are distressed by the grave offence they have caused to the
members of the Muslim community," UN's Special Rapporteurs
Doudou Diene, Asma Jahangir and Ambeyi Ligabo said in a statement
equal concern about the reactions that followed the publication
of the cartoon, they strongly condemned "death threats
against journalists and intimidation of the media as well
as the loss of lives, threats and other forms of violence
that have occurred over the past few days, often directed
at people with no responsibility for, or control over, the
expression of opinions and ideas, either orally, through the
press or other media, should always be tolerated
The press must enjoy large editorial freedom to promote free
flow of news and information, with and across national borders,
thus providing an arena for debate and dialogue," they
the same time, they emphasized that "the use of stereotypes
and labeling that insult deep-rooted religious feelings do
not contribute to the creation of an environment conducive
to constructive and peaceful dialogue among different communities."
lauds Pakistan-India peace process
Feb 9: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has lauded the efforts
of the leadership of Pakistan and India to promote friendly
relationships between their countries, Online news agency
to newsmen here, Annan said both governments were taking positive
steps to strengthen relationships and they should be given
every possible support in this regard. He also expressed satisfaction
at the peace process between India and Pakistan.
response to a question regarding Iran's nuclear programme,
he expressed hope that Tehran would resume dialogue for a
peaceful solution to the crisis. The UN would get a report
regarding Iran's nuclear programme at the end of this month
from the director general of the International Atomic Energy
Agency, he said.
fears more deaths in Pakistan quake-zone chill
Jan 5: Heavy snow and extreme cold in Pakistan's earthquake zone have increased
the risk of illnesses like pneumonia and could lead to more deaths, the United
Nations said on Thursday.
to 18 people have already died of pneumonia in the quake zone in the past six
weeks, Mohamud Khalif Bile, senior representative in Pakistan of the U.N.'s World
Health Organisation, told a news conference. A long-anticipated cold spell struck
on Saturday and Jan Vandemoortele, who is heading the U.N. relief effort, said
there were fears the number of deaths due to cold would rise.
threat is absolutely there, and that is why we have to be vigilant," he said.
"Our teams have not been able to reach the high altitudes to assess the situation,
but we know that it is likely to be grave.
the temperatures are falling and they are dropping fast, and the cold spell will
bring the spectre of increased pneumonia," he said.
More than two million
people have been forced to camp out in tents or crude shelters patched together
from ruined homes since the Oct. 8 quake, which killed more than 73,000 people
in Pakistani Kashmir and North West Frontier Province.
snow and rain fell on Saturday, blanketing highland areas with snow while drenching,
icy rain flooded makeshift lowland tent camps. Vital helicopter relief flights
were grounded for three days before resuming on Wednesday.
Bile said the
mortality rate had not risen in the past six weeks, and was also not very high
given the conditions. But a child died of pneumonia in Pakistani Kashmir on Wednesday,
a Pakistani army spokesman said, and there was a report of a small measles outbreak
in a tent camp in its capital Muzaffarabad, a U.N. worker said.
bad weather forecast to return by the weekend, many survivors are desperate to
improve their living conditions while they have the chance.
As well as food,
blankets and clothing, aid agencies and the army have been handing out corrugated
iron sheets, plastic and other building materials. But there has been a shortage
of the iron and many people did not get supplies before weather set in.
neighbour India has offered to help with the supply of iron sheeting. As well
as highlighting the need for reinforcement of shelter in the mountains, the bad
weather exposed the vulnerability of people in tent camps in the valleys.
250,000 people are living in registered camps run by the United Nations and other
organisations, but numerous camps have sprung up spontaneously, many run by small
private charities as well as political and religious groups. Many of these camps
are poorly organised and the weather hit them hardest.
Muzaffarabad, 16 private camps, housing about 11,000 people, have decided to register
with the authorities since the bad weather started, meaning they would be get
more regular aid and organisational help, the U.N. refugee agency said.
polls credible: UN
Dec 29: A United Nations official has said that Iraq's recent elections were credible
and there was no justification for a rerun of the vote that gave a strong lead
to the Shiite religious bloc dominating the current government.
United Nations official, Craig Jenness, said at a news conference organised by
the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq that the UN-led international election
assistance team found the elections to be credible and transparent.
was high and the day was largely peaceful, all communities participated."
Jenness's statement and the negotiations between Iraqi factions
come at a critical time, with the United States placing high hopes on forming
a broad-based coalition government.
The government will help
provide stability to the fledgling democracy and would allow American troops to
begin returning home.
Iraqi officials said they had found
some instances of fraud that were enough to cancel the results in that place,
but not to hold a rerun.
There were more than 1,500 complaints
made about the elections, with about 50 of them considered serious enough to possibly
result in the cancellation of results in some places.
signs UN anti-corruption treaty
NATIONS, Dec 9: India's Ambassador to the United Nations, Nirupam Sen, on Friday
signed the United Nations anti-corruption treaty which, among other things, now
makes hiding of illegal gains difficult.
treaty requires signatories to return assets obtained through corruption to the
country from which they were stolen. This had particularly been an important issue
for developing countries where corrupt officials took illicit gains out of the
country and hid them in foreign lands.
covered by the 71-member treaty include bribery, illicit enrichment, misappropriation,
money-laundering, protection of whistle blowers, freezing of assets and cooperation
between states to uncover corruption.
forces fuelling terror in Afghan: India
NATIONS, Nov 30: India has blamed outside forces for fuelling and supporting terrorism
in Afghanistan. Raising the killing of an employee of Border Roads Organisation's
(BRO), MR Kutty, by Taliban militia in Afghanistan at the UN General Assembly
on Tuesday, Mr Nirupam Sen, India's UN Ambassador, said that "there were
clear signs that terror elements continue to receive support and safe haven across
the border from the southern and south-eastern provinces of Afghanistan.
Sen said such "inhuman and barbaric" incidents calls for international
responses against such destabilization were highly essential and could not be
limited to combat operations on the ground. "It
is equally necessary to resolutely attack the financing, the safe haven, the training
camps and networks that support them."
said "Afghanistan today is suffering from a level of insecurity, especially
in the south and parts of the east, not seen since the departure of the Taliban.
The growing influence of non-Afghan elements in the security environment is of
Sen said the recent escalation in violence, illustrated by the deaths of Mr. Kutty
and many other development and humanitarian personnel, underlines the continuing
serious threat to Afghanistan's security and stability posed by the remnants of
the Al-Qaida, Taliban and other terrorist and extremist elements.
blaming the Taliban for the abduction and murder of Kutty who was engaged on the
construction of Zaranj-Delaram road, the Ambassador strongly condemned the "inhuman
and barbaric" killing of an innocent person. "The Taliban and its backers
bear the responsibility for the consequences of this outrageous act," he
told the delegates and expressed the hope that the perpetrator would be swiftly
brought to justice.
out that the Indian organisation is engaged in building a road which is vital
for the development of Afghanistan and for the welfare of the people, he said,
"it is inconceivable that anybody should be opposed to it and threaten those
working on it."
says sonar threatens dolphin, whale survival
Nov 24: Increased naval military manoeuvres and submarine sonars in the world's
oceans are threatening dolphins, whales and porpoises that depend on sound to
survive, a United Nations report said on Wednesday.
to the report, the use of powerful military sonar is harming the ability of some
71 types of cetaceans -- whales, dolphins and porpoises -- to communicate, navigate
and hunt. "While we know about other threats such as over-fishing, hunting
and pollution, a new and emerging threat to cetaceans is that of increased underwater
sonars," Mark Simmonds of the Whale and Dolphin Society said.
low frequency sounds travel vast distances, hundreds if not thousands of kilometres
from the source." In October, a coalition of environmental groups sued the
U.S. Navy over its use of sonar, saying the ear-splitting sounds violated environmental
protection laws. The navy said it was studying the problem but said sonar was
necessary for national defence.
protection groups have for years lobbied to restrict the use of sonar, saying
the sound blasts disorient the sound-dependent creatures and causes bleeding from
the eyes and ears. Simmonds said in recent years, western governments have developed
stealthier submarines the detection of which requires more powerful, low-frequency
report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Convention on
Migratory Species (CMS) says species like the Beluga whale, Blanville's beaked
whale and the Goosebeak whale are seriously at risk. Researchers found that a
stranding of 12 Goosebeak whales in the Ionian Sea in the 1990s coincided with
NATO tests of an acoustic submarine detection system. Other Goosebeaks were stranded
off of the Bahamas in 2000, and experts link that to military tests.
on the bodies of seven whales that died near Gran Canaria in 2002 found haemorrhages
and inner ear damage, which experts said was caused by high-intensity, low-frequency
sonar used in the area. "This is a hugely serious concern as these animals
need sound to navigate, to find their food, to communicate and to mate,"
are no laws governing noise pollution in the world's oceans, but western governments,
considered largely responsible with their increased military presence in the seas,
say they need more research before taking action.
Galbraith, a senior wildlife advisor to the British government, told Reuters the
report highlighted a potential problem. "But the issue is still in a relatively
grey area in terms of scientific proof and we need to do more research before
the government can review its defence systems," he said.
warns of disaster for UN if budget delayed
By Deepak Arora
NATIONS, Nov 22: The Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, has warned that any delay
in approving a new UN budget because of faltering reform proposals would create
a severe fiscal crisis for the world body.
was speaking to newsmen at the UN on Monday after defending his proposals for
management and other UN reforms to developing nations, many of which have criticized
him for trying to bypass the General Assembly in order to accommodate American
have questioned how much the reforms would cost and whether the biennial budget,
due by January 1, would be adopted or possibly blocked by Washington and others.
to a question, the Secretary General said "you need the budget to be able
to assess the member states and let them pay their contributions. You need the
budget to be able to plan ahead and carry out our work. And if you do not do that...you
may create a serious financial crisis for the organization."
Annan said if some issues were not decided by January 1, the General Assembly
could pass a supplementary budget later. He has estimated some $3.6 billion for
the 2006-2007 regular administrative budget, or about $1.3 billion annually, a
slight increase over 2004-2005. This excludes peacekeeping, which in 2005 alone
amounted to $3.6 billion.
United States has not threatened to block the basic budget, which would be a first
for the United Nations, but leading members of Congress have vowed to cut US dues,
as they did in the late 1990s, if reforms are not passed.
Ambassador John Bolton, in recent interviews, has questioned the usefulness of
the United Nations to the American public as the main international problem solver.
"The UN is one of many competitors in a marketplace of global problem solving,"
he told the Washington Times. That "should be an incentive for the organization
Annan's management proposals, backed largely by the United States and Europeans,
are the creation of an ethics office, an oversight body, enhanced auditing and
investigation and independent external evaluations. He also wants a review of
UN programs he thinks have outlasted their usefulness.
Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing nations, which now has
133 members, has accused Annan of "intervention in the inter-governmental
process" and trying to bypass the General Assembly, whose key committees
have control over the budget and operate by a consensus process.
Stafford Neil of Jamaica, head of the group, in a November 8 letter to the General
Assembly president said some of the supervisory bodies would not strengthen oversight
but overload the UN "with more layers of bureaucratic structures."
Monday's meeting with developing nations, Mr Annan said "I made it quite
clear that there's no attempt at power grab. We accept the General Assembly as
the key deliberative body of the Organization."
added that without their approval, and approval of budgets, nothing can
get done." Nevertheless diplomats predict Annan will have a difficult time
cutting outdated mandates and creating new commissions and bodies, some as a result
of corruption in the $64 billion oil-for-food program for Iraq.
Volcker panel ready to cooperate with India
DELHI, Nov 9: The United Nations and the Volcker panel are willing to cooperate
with India and other national authorities into allegations of illegal payoffs
by individuals and companies named in the Independent Inquiry Committee (IIC)
report on the oil-for- food scam, according to a UN spokesperson.
Committee is a fact-finding body and "cannot make any binding judicial determination
of fact or law,'' she said. Responding to a query from this correspondent, the
office of the UN Secretary General said a number of national authorities have
already commenced or announced their intention to undertake follow-up inquiries
concerning the individuals and companies, based on the information contained in
the final Volcker report. "The Independent Inquiry Commission and UN are
willing to cooperate as appropriate," said the spokesperson.
Indian Government has appointed a former diplomat to investigate the credibility
of the report and also ordered a judicial probe headed by RS Pathak, a former
chief justice of India, to get to the bottom of the controversy. The report has
made controversial references to the Congress party and the former external affairs
Minister, Mr Natwar Singh.
Congress Party has also sent a letter to the UN Secretary General requesting him
to make available to it all relevant documents on the basis of which adverse references
have been made against it in the Volcker committee report. The letter was sent
on Monday through a reputed law firm Amarchand Mangaldas.
UN spokesperson said the five reports of the Independent Inquiry into the Oil
for Food Programme chaired by Paul Volcker are the culmination of an 18-month
investigation into all aspects of the Programme. "The five public reports
have been issued by the IIC and represent the findings and conclusions of that
independent inquiry, which is a fact-finding body and cannot make any binding
judicial determination of fact or law. This information enables the UN and national
authorities to further investigate and, if appropriate, take action against individuals
or corporations under their jurisdiction."
spokesperson said "a number of national authorities have already commenced
or announced their intention to undertake follow-up inquiries concerning individuals
and companies, based on the information contained in the final report. The IIC
and UN are willing to cooperate as appropriate."
a meeting with the India's Ambassador to the UN, Mr Nirupam Sen, Mr Paul Volcker
assured New Delhi that his panel would fully cooperate and share information with
the country's investigating agencies within the "legal constrains."
the meeting in New York on Tuesday, Mr Sen said his impression from the discussions
is that the former External Affairs Minister, Mr Natwar Singh, was not sent any
notice by the Committee prior to publication of his name as a "non contractual
beneficiary" of the Iraqi oil-for-food programme. He,
however, said the Committee is still examining documents to reach a final conclusion
what exactly is meant by "legal constrains", Ambassador Nirupam Sen
said the evidence had been collected from several witnesses and some of them might
have given it on the understanding that they should not be identified. In those
cases, the Committee would need to get waiver from them before releasing the documents.
about the remarks of Volcker that responses were sought from all those who had
been mentioned in the report, Mr Sen said the report contained those who were
thoroughly investigated and those who were just mentioned on the basis of documents
which the Committee considered authentic.
Mr Natwar Singh's case was not thoroughly investigated by the Committee, he said.
But he cautioned that final judgement would have to await the examination of all
relevant documents by the Committee. Those who were thoroughly investigated were
given the chance to respond.
Sen said the Committee, as a policy, would share information and documents only
with the investigating agencies after they inform it exactly what they are looking
for. But it would be necessary to move quickly as the Committee's mandate ends
in just over a month.
has already sent a letter to the Committee on the information it is seeking but
that would need to be fine-tuned, he added. Asked whether the investigations would
stall if some witnesses refuse to give waiver, Mr Sen said there are other ways
also to get the information. For example, it could be asked bilaterally. "We
shall cross the bridge when we reach there," he remarked. The Ambassador
conveyed to Volcker the Government of India's decision to hold inquiry.
to a question, he said the Committee is aware of the political storm the report
has created in India. Mr Sen said Indian investigators would have to look into
allegations that the names were not given by the Iraqis but by other "vested
interests." That is why India is asking for documents and other information.
a question whether the fact that response from some of the Indian commercial and
non-commercial entities was not sought constituted discrimination, Mr Sen said
that is one way of looking at it.
the Committee investigated only the cases where the wrongdoing was extensive.
So, in case of the entities from which response was not sought, the wrongdoing
would have been comparatively much less.
its report, the Committee had named some 2,200 entities worldwide, including around
135 Indian companies, which paid bribes to get contract for the supply of humanitarian
goods to the Saddam Hussein regime. Natwar Singh, the Congress Party and Panthers
party chief Bhim Singh were mentioned among the "non contractual" beneficiaries
who were allocated oil to win political support. Singh was subsequently divested
of his External Affairs portfolio.
price of sale of oil fixed by Iraq was below the market price and those allocated
oil used front companies to buy oil and then sell it to the regular oil companies
at the market price. The difference between the price the oil was purchased and
sold was the profit the allottees got.
will help any Indian probe: Tharoor
DELHI, Nov 8: The UN will aid any inquiry by India into the irregularities in
Iraq's oil-for-food programme highlighted by the Volcker Committee's report, according
to Shashi Tharoor, Under Secretary General.
who is in charge of communication and public information at the UN, told an Indian
TV channel there was no "presumption of guilt" in the references made
in the report, which were also not the equivalent of legal charges against anyone.
He also said
the UN could not be issued legal notice as it enjoyed certain immunities.