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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 17:31 GMT
UN boss reviews 'difficult year'
Kofi Annan
Annan is about to enter his final year as secretary general

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says 2005 was a "difficult year" - for himself, the UN and the world.

Answering questions at his end-of-year address about the oil-for-food scandal that hit the UN, he acknowledged it had been a tough year for him personally.

He listed crises caused by the tsunami and by events in Lebanon and Darfur and stressed the need to pursue peace and security and fight poverty and disease.

Mr Annan said he hoped 2006 would see a new human rights body created.

He urged member states to agree on the formation of an "effective, impartial human rights council" in the coming year - expected to be his last one as secretary general.


The UN was heavily criticised this year in an investigation into the oil-for-food programme that it operated with Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

The programme enabling sanctions-stricken Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food and humanitarian supplies was riddled with corruption, the report found.

The report criticised the UN - and Kofi Annan personally - for failing to oversee the programme properly.

Security and development

Mr Annan said a 2005 world summit aimed at reforming the UN had made "important strides" but had failed to fulfil all expectations.

The summit, he said, had helped identify key challenges facing the world, including poverty, infectious diseases, armed conflict, organized crime, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

It is impossible, Mr Annan said, "to have development without security, nor security without development".

He added that neither can be achieved without due respect for human rights and the rule of law.

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