Kofi Gets Testy

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 22, 2005 7:34 AM

When asked about the oil-for-food scandal:

His frustration showed when a British journalist, James Bone of the London Times, began questioning him about reports that Annan's son, Kojo, imported a Mercedes-Benz car into Ghana using his father's diplomatic status to avoid taxes.

Annan interrupted the reporter when Bone said, "Your own version of events don't really make sense."

"I think you're being very cheeky," Annan said. "Listen James Bone, you've been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years.

"You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let's move on to a serious subject," Annan added.

But here's my favorite part:

The president of the U.N. Correspondents Association said that Bone had a right to ask a question. Annan said he agreed with that "but I think we also have to understand that we have to treat each other with respect."

The U.N. has to have a Correspondents Association to confirm that reporters at press conferences do indeed have the right to ask questions.

Kofi had to be told that. No wonder the organization has trouble grasping the finer points of human rights on a larger scale.