[permaculture] US moves to strike "Respect for Nature" from UN "core values" <> Scrap the ideals, Bolton tells UN
Lawrence F. London, Jr.
lfl at intrex.net
Sun Aug 28 04:48:23 EDT 2005
The New Zealand Herald
Scrap the ideals, Bolton tells UN
By David Usborne
America's controversial new ambassador to the United Nations is seeking
to shred an agreement on strengthening the world body and fighting
poverty intended to be the highlight of a 60th anniversary summit next
In an extraordinary intervention, United States appointee John Bolton
has sought to roll back proposed UN commitments on aid to developing
countries, combating global warming and nuclear disarmament.
Ambassador Bolton has demanded no fewer than 750 amendments to the
blueprint restating the ideals of the international body, originally
drafted by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
The amendments are spelled out in a 32-page US version, littered with
deletions and exclusions. Most strikingly, the changes eliminate all
specific reference to the so-called Millennium Development Goals,
accepted by all countries at the last major UN summit in 2000.
The Americans are also seeking to remove virtually all references to the
Kyoto Treaty and the battle against global warming.
They are striking out mention of the disputed International Criminal
Court and drawing a red line through any suggestion that the nuclear
powers should dismantle their arsenals.
Instead, they are seeking to add emphasis to passages on fighting
terrorism and spreading democracy.
Very quickly, Bolton has given the answer to anyone still wondering
whether his long and difficult journey to New York - President George W.
Bush confirmed him to the post after the US Senate was unable to - would
render him coy or cautious.
He seems intent on taking the UN by the collar and saying plainly to its
face what America expects - and does not expect - from it.
To the dismay of many other delegations, the US has even gone so far as
to score out pledges in the text that would have asked nations to
"achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for
official development assistance by no later than 2015". Passages on a
larger role for the General Assembly are gone. A pledge to create a
standing military capacity for UN peacekeeping is rejected.
This show of contempt from Washington and its new envoy comes when Annan
has been severely weakened by allegations of corruption, fraud and nepotism.
The White House is aware that Annan could be further undermined when
investigators into corruption in the oil-for-food programme in Iraq
issue their final report, probably just days before the summit, due to
run September 14-16.
The move by Bolton has thrown preparations for the summit into turmoil,
prompting some to question whether there will be anything for leaders to
put their pens to.
"We can't be entirely surely there will be an agreement," one senior UN
aide admitted yesterday.
Failure to reach an agreement could embarrass British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, who is believed to have given broad backing to Annan's
"It is not great news," said one Western diplomat about the US paper,
which had been distributed only to a select group of UN ambassadors by
yesterday. "What they are proposing is quite radical. If we start
negotiating now the way the Americans want, it is going to make for a
very difficult process."
The President of the General Assembly, Jean Ping of Gambia, must now try
to save the summit from disaster. He will bring together a core group of
20-30 countries in the days ahead to see if the American objections can
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