UNITED NATIONS — Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman, will head a three-person U.N. inquiry into the scandal-ridden, now-defunct "oil-for-food" program in Iraq, the United Nations said Friday.
Volcker and the two other investigators would like the Security Council to adopt a resolution endorsing the inquiry and urging governments to cooperate, a U.N. spokeswoman said, to put the investigation on a sounder political footing.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan supports the idea of a resolution.
But Russia, a leading player in the $67-billion humanitarian program that shut down last year, believes that the resolution is unnecessary, because the council has already written a letter backing the investigation, a Russian diplomat said.
The diplomat said Moscow would not decide whether it would stand in the way of a resolution until it had seen a text.
The other panel members are Judge Richard Goldstone of South Africa, who served as the first chief prosecutor for the U.N. Balkan war crimes tribunal, and Swiss lawyer Mark Pieth, an expert on international bribery and money laundering issues.