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2001 04 20 * UNwire - UNDCP : EU's Prodi Opposes Halting Cooperation With Agency

European Commission President Romano Prodi opposes halting cooperation with theUN International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), as the Netherlands did earlier this month.

Although Prodi said it is not "appropriate" to suspend operations with the agency he added that, "cooperation with this agency and with all other partners must occur under conditions guaranteeing utmost transparency," he said.

Prodi's statements were in response to requests by Maurizio Turco, a member of the European Parliament, to cut funding to the UN drug agency because of the "offhand manner in which it manages human and financial resources" and problems proposing and executing policies.

In response to Prodi's statement, Turco said the European Union continues to be "deaf, dumb and blind" toward the situation in the UNDCP (Agence Europe/Radical Party Web site, 18 Apr).

Turco is urging removal of UNDCP Executive Director Pino Arlacchi, who has been accused of financial and personnel-related management problems. "The presence of Arlacchi at the top of the United Nations is incomprehensible," Turco said. "It is not a matter of putting somebody on trial but of restoring a transparent and efficient management of UNDCP" (Turco, 18 Apr).

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to present a report on alleged abuses within the UNDCP to the General Assembly in coming weeks (Lucy Komisar, Earth Times, 18 Apr).