Paul A. Volcker
Independent Inquiry Committee
6 May 2005
The time has come to clear
the air of uncertainties surrounding one aspect of the recent Interim
Report of the Independent Inquiry Committee. It must be done in a
manner responsive to the questions that have been raised. It is
essential that it also protect the integrity and the confidentiality
of the IIC. These are matters common to any investigation of highly
sensitive matters where reputations and national interests – and most
critically – lives of certain witnesses are at stake.
The short attached paper
describes the facts and the questions as we of the Committee
With that background, we
propose three related approaches:
1. That our former
colleague, Robert Parton, be released from his obligation of
confidentiality limited to the specific purpose of an open, public
statement today, tomorrow, or the next day concerning his views of the
part of the Committee Report that appears to be of concern, that is
the part dealing directly with Secretary-General Kofi Annan. [See
attached statement.] Specifically, inferences from the facts and
judgments he has made to the Committee may be included.
2. In that connection,
that the several Congressional Committees concerned withdraw their
subpoenas challenging the immunities and privileges inherent in the UN
and the IIC, immunities long accepted by all member nations, including
the United States.
3. That the IIC files,
that may include confidential interviews and raw staff drafts, be
promptly returned to the IIC, which is the rightful owner. This is
critical to the Committee’s continued work with witnesses, governments
and organizations who have placed their trust in our confidentiality.
Finally, we emphasize the
IIC has its most important work ahead.
It may be both appropriate
and useful that, as mutually convenient in the days ahead, that the
Chairman of the Committee informally inform interested Committees of
the areas to be included in our mid-summer report, discussing with
them both opportunities and challenges we face.
are matters, I know, of great and legitimate interest to the public at
large, in other countries as well as the United States. In the
limited time ahead, our aim remains to provide a full and accurate
story of the management and results of the Oil-for-Food Programme.
That work must not be impeded.