The Guardian have published an edited version of a speech Hans Blix gave last week at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law at the University of Cambridge. The full text can be found here.
His criticism of the American right is telling:
We also see an intense and large-scale campaign of vilification, depicting the UN as “corrupt” because the oil-for-food programme – instituted and supervised by the security council and its most powerful members, including the US – enabled Iraq, the buyers of Iraqi oil and the sellers of products to Iraq, to siphon off money fraudulently and pass it on illegally to Saddam Hussein’s regime.
The fraud, although widely suspected and estimated at about a billion dollars a year in the media, was not easy for the programme administration to track down and prove. The council and its members saw it with open eyes just as they saw the billions that flowed to Saddam from oil exports to neighbouring states. The programme functioned as a reasonably effective break against the import of weapons and dual-use items, which was its major objective. Today it serves as a campaign platform against the UN. So long as the current climate remains, it is doubtful if any meaningful discussion about UN reform can be pursued.
This all comes around the time of the latest UN report – billed as one of the most important since the founding of the organisation.