Annan’s immediate response, however, is exemplary:
Mr Annan said the findings were “deeply embarrassing”.
“The inquiry committee has ripped away the curtain, and shone a harsh light into the most unsightly corners of the organisation.
“None of us – member states, secretariat, agencies, funds and programmes – can be proud of what it has found.”
Annan has also been pushing hard for precisely the kinds of reform that would make another such scandal much less likely.
None of this absolves him of responsibility, of course, but compared to the way certain other world leaders deal with their mistakes — pretending they don’t exist, blaming others, giving medals to those most directly responsible for the biggest disasters, supporting disinformation campaigns — I give Annan high marks.