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Three ID-ed For UN Oil-For-Food Probe

Three Persons Identified For Probe Of UN Oil-For-Food, Un Spokesman Confirms

Three persons have been identified on the independent panel that will conduct an inquiry into the Oil-for-Food humanitarian relief effort for Iraq, a United Nations spokesperson confirmed today in response to press questions in New York.

Asked to name the members, Marie Okabe said the three persons who have been identified are Paul Volker, former head of the United States Federal Reserve Bank, Mark Pieth of Switzerland, an expert against money-laundering in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Richard Goldstone of South Africa, former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (<"">ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (<"">ICTR).

"They have indicated that a Security Council resolution would be extremely helpful for the work of the inquiry," she said. "Security Council members are discussing the possibility of such a resolution."

No formal announcement will be made before the Security Council members reach a decision on the matter, Ms. Okabe added.

Responding to press allegations of mismanagement, the Secretary-General, on 26 March, informed the Security Council of his intention to establish an independent, high-level inquiry into the matter.

The UN Oil-for-Food programme began operating in 1996. Under its terms, Iraq was allowed to use a portion of its petroleum revenues to purchase humanitarian relief. The effort was monitored by the Security Council "661" committee, which included representatives from all 15 countries on the Council.

Until its termination in November 2003, the programme oversaw the delivery of some $39 billion worth of humanitarian assistance to about 22 million people, many of whom were largely dependent on outside aid to survive since normal economic activity was severely constrained by sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

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