Questions arise about U.N. earnings form

Sept. 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has not said whether he will voluntarily file a personal financial disclosure with the United Nations.

A spokesman for the secretary-general said Thursday he could not confirm whether Annan has filed the disclosure, or whether he intends to.

Annan was asked about the issue Wednesday, but his response did little to clarify the issue.

"I honor all my obligations to the UN, and I think that is as I have always done," Annan told reporters.

U.N. guidelines require all high-level U.N. staff members, from the director-level and above, to disclose their personal financial records. Since the secretary-general is an elected official, and not a member of the U.N. staff, he has no legal obligation to file.

But in early May, the secretary-general's spokesman indicated Annan would fill out the disclosure form.

"The form will be filled out, I have no doubt," the spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, told reporters.

Even though the secretary-general is not legally bound to file, he would do so "to show an example, to be an example to the rest of the staff who need to fill it out," Dujarric added.

At that point, approximately 80 percent of those required to file the disclosure form had already done so, Dujarric said.

Thursday, the world body's Under-Secretary General for Management, Christopher Burnham, was asked about the secretary-general's intentions.

"I believe we should all fill out financial reports," Burnham said.

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