Tags: Annan | Cuts | Short | Vacation | 'Coordinate' | Relief | Effort

Annan Cuts Short Vacation to 'Coordinate' Relief Effort

Wednesday, 29 December 2004 12:00 AM

Annan was in Jackson Hole, WY as the guest of World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn.

Over the last year, the secretary-general has made several notable gaffes on reacting to a major crisis.

In August 2003, Annan was on summer holiday in Scandinavia, visiting relatives of his wife Nane, when the U.N. Baghdad headquarters was attacked.

That attack left 22 dead including his Iraq special rep Segio Vieira de Mello. It took Annan two days to react and three to return to NYC.

Last Christmas, an earthquake killed more than 30,000 in Bam, Iran. The secretary-general, again on "holiday" in Sweden, reacted with a simple brief statement of condolence.

He never did travel to the earthquake scene, though it was one of the U.N.'s largest relief efforts.

This time around, the Asian effort is being touted as the U.N.'s largest effort ever, surpassing the scandal ridden Iraq Oil-for-Food Program.

On Monday, Annan's chief deputy coordinating the aid operation, Jan Egeland, called the U.S. aid "stingy."

That brought a sharp, public rebuke by Sec. of State Colin Powell.

On Tuesday, Egeland insisted that reporters "misinterpreted" his comments. He then added that the U.S. aid "was very generous."

On Wednesday, Annan cuts short his vacation...

It seems he came to the conclusion that to remain in Jackson Hole on "holiday" might have a negative PR impact.

The quaint Wyoming community is also the home to a well-connected Washington politico, Vice-President Dick Cheney... not a fan of the U.N. chief.

Considering the growing "appetite" by the Bush White House to "embarrass" the secretary-general for his critical comments of US policy in Iraq and Afghanistan (confirmed to NewsMax by a U.S. diplomat in NYC)...it became clear to the Annan entourage the tine had come to return to U.N. headquarters.

"He did not want to be seen frolicking in the snow, it wouldn't look good," confided a U.N. official.

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Annan was in Jackson Hole, WY as the guest of World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn. Over the last year, the secretary-general has made several notable gaffes on reacting to a major crisis. In August 2003, Annan was on summer holiday in Scandinavia, visiting ...
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Wednesday, 29 December 2004 12:00 AM
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