Kofi Annan survived the disasters of UN peacekeeping in Srebrenica and Rwanda, the bitter Security Council divisions over the Iraq war and the bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad.

But the man described by some as the “secular Pope” is now more vulnerable than ever, because of growing scandal over his organisation’s mismanagement of sanctions and humanitarian aid to Iraq.

Calls for Mr Annan’s resignation were once restricted to ideologically driven hardline US conservatives. Now diplomats in New York are openly asking whether the secretary-general can remain in office until the end of his term in December 2006.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Well stories like this certainly won’t help:

Peacekeeping troops guarding refugee camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo sexually abused girls as young as 13, giving out scraps of food or money in return for favours, the United Nations admitted yesterday. . . .

Many were orphans from a war that has claimed more lives than any since 1945.

Soldiers continued abusing children even after the onset of an internal UN inquiry.

Read the whole thing. And remind yourself of how much more attention this would get — even from Kofi — if American troops were involved.