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Bolton: U.N. Riddled With 'Bad Management, Sex and Corruption'

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Saturday that the world body is hobbled "by bad management, by sex and corruption" and a lack of confidence in its ability to carry out missions.

John Bolton also criticized the U.N.'s budget, noting that two-thirds of members pay only 20 percent of the cost.

"We find an organization that is deeply troubled by bad management, by sex and corruption and by a growing lack of confidence in its ability to carry out missions that are given to them," Bolton told an audience at a Columbia Law School symposium held by the Federalist Society, a conservative law organization.

Bolton, a longtime critic of the U.N., has been leading U.S. efforts to reform the United Nations after the oil-for-food scandal and sex scandals involving U.N. peacekeepers.

The oil-for-food program, established in 1996 with Iraq's economy crippled by sanctions, allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil in exchange for humanitarian goods meant for his people.

An inquiry by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker found that Saddam sold oil to foreign countries in hopes of getting their support for lifting U.N. sanctions, and enriched himself by $1.8 billion through a kickback scheme. Companies and politicians essentially paid him for the right to do business, circumventing the U.N. program.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday is expected to unveil his major overhaul for management reform for the United Nations.

Bolton on Saturday also described the U.N. as inept for not being able to stop Iran's nuclear development and "devaluing the IAEA," the International Atomic Energy Agency.

"Through all of this, the U.S. has been encouraged by Europe to pursue action through the U.N.," Bolton said, adding that patience of the administration was wearing thin.

Bolton was given a recess appointment by President Bush as ambassador to the United Nations on Aug. 1 after failing to win confirmation in the U.S. Senate. Because of the recess appointment, Bolton's term expires when the current Congress concludes on Jan. 3, 2007.

Bolton — who has a reputation for brilliance, obstinacy and speaking his mind — said in 1994 that it wouldn't make a "bit of difference" if the United Nations lost the top 10 stories from its 39-story headquarters.