HL Deb 23 February 2005 vol 669 c201WA
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What representations the United Kingdom permanent representative to the United Nations has made in respect of the report by Paul Volcker on the abuse of the Oil for Food programme in Iraq and the activities of Mr Benon V Sevan; and whether they intend to press for the removal of Mr Sevan from office within the United Nations. [HL1347]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

There have been no formal representations by the United Kingdom permanent representative to the United Nations following the publication on 3 February 2005 of the independent inquiry committee's report. However, the Government have consistently made clear, including in their contacts with UN officials, that they take seriously any allegations of corruption regarding the Iraq Oil for Food programme. The Government note that this is an interim report and that other reports are planned for later in the year.

On the independent inquiry committee's findings relating to Mr Benon Sevan, the Government believe that this is a matter for the United Nations Secretariat and note that disciplinary proceedings have been started. The Government are refraining from making any comment on those findings as they would not want, in any circumstances, to prejudice the proceedings.

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