The new coordinator of Iraq's UN oil-for-food program aid on Sunday he hoped to improve the system under which Iraq feeds its people with proceeds from crude oil sales.
"It's to improve what we are already doing to make it even better and I think we should be able to do a proper job in Iraq," Tun Myat, the newly chosen UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, told Reuters Television in Amman before leaving for Baghdad by road.
Myat, 58, of Myanmar and a 22-year veteran of the Rome-based World Food Program (WFP) was appointed last month to the sensitive post after his two predecessors resigned in protest over the impact of UN sanctions, imposed in August 1990 after Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Hans von Sponeck of Germany quit his post last February under strong US pressure over his outspoken criticism of the punishing effects of UN sanctions. His predecessor, Denis Halliday of Ireland, left in 1998 for similar reasons.
Myat shrugged off criticism the oil-for-food scheme was not meeting the minimum needs of Iraq's 22 million people, saying it was functioning as well as it could under its existing terms.
"Under the circumstances and arrangements which the program works, it's meeting the needs as much as it could be expected to meet but there is a lot of room for improvement which is exactly what I hope to find out," he added.
IRAQ SAYS RECORD OIL EXPORTS WILL SURPASS $8.5 BILLION IN CURRENT PHASE
Iraq said Saturday it would export more than $8.5 billion worth of oil in its current six-month phase, a record for its earnings under the UN oil-for-food program.
In forecasting such high revenue for the phase ending late May, Iraq also signaled it was implementing part of the UN Security Council resolution it had rejected.
The announcement was made in a statement by Oil Minister Amer Mohammed Rashid to the official Iraqi News Agency.
The UN program used to limit Iraq to selling $5.2 billion in oil every six months. Iraq was allowed to exceed the limit only with special dispensation.
However, the Security Council passed a resolution in December offering Iraq certain incentives _ such as the abolishment of the $5.2 billion cap _ to encourage it to allow a resumption of disarmament inspections.
The sanctions _ imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 _ can be lifted only when experts report that Iraq is free of has destroyed its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq claims to have done so, and has refused to let arms inspectors in the country – (Agencies).
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