U.N. Office Tries to Save Annan's Job

The U.N. secretary-general's office is mounting a coordinated campaign to try to save Kofi Annan's (search) job.

The two-pronged effort involves coordinating statements of support while Annan himself stays resolutely quiet on the subject of his future.

Annan is in the middle of a controversy surrounding the U.N.'s Oil for Food (search) scandal; several Republican lawmakers have called for his resignation because of allegations of corruption in the program, which allowed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food, medical supplies and other humanitarian items.

Congressional committees are investigating allegations that Saddam manipulated the program to generate illicit income and win influence with foreign officials.

Annan is also in hot water after he overrode claims of sexual harassment against Ruud Lubbers (search), the high commissioner for refugees and a former Dutch prime minister.

An internal investigation into the allegation reportedly supported the complaint, which was made by an American woman. But Annan said he rejected the findings on the basis of legal advice that the charge was unsustainable in court.

At a meeting of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Annan drew a standing ovation from delegates. Those who were in the room say the apparently well-planned applause was led by the French delegation and those of some African nations; the American delegation was among the last to stand.

Later Wednesday afternoon, Annan got a much rougher reception at a meeting with union members who are furious with the way senior management is running the United Nations.

In particular, the employees are angry that Annan has personally dismissed sexual-harassment and favoritism charges against Lubbers and another long-time associate. After the meeting, U.N. managers said it had gone well but the union representatives said it was "bad, very bad."

FOX News has also learned that a petition the United Nations has touted as evidence of support for Annan was not exactly democratic.

An e-mail was sent to all U.N. staff telling them that a campaign was being waged against Annan and asking them to support the secretary-general. Not only was there no confidentiality for staff — many of whom are on short-term contracts — but there was also only one option to choose from: "yes."

There was no way for a staff member to say "no, we don't support Annan." Only one-third of U.N. staffers have signed the petition.

Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Jonathan Hunt.