Bolton to represent the US at the UN

August 2nd, 2005

Well, Bolton is headed to the UN as a recess appointment--he can serve until January 2007. I do wish we Americans had someone more diplomatic for a diplomatic post, but Bolton did help the UN erase the "Zionism is racism" resolution, so perhaps he can help the institution live up to its best ideals, instead of sink to the lowest common denominator. We can hope. The below is an excerpt from the Washington Post. --Wendy

Bolton acknowledged yesterday that he has written critically of the United Nations, saying one highlight of his career was his role in the successful 1991 repeal of the General Assembly 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism, "thus removing the greatest stain on the U.N.'s reputation."

He said he has consistently stressed in his writings that "American leadership is critical to the success of the U.N., an effective U.N., one that is true to the original intent of its charter's framers."

Bolton, 56, served in the administration of George H.W. Bush, father of the current president, as assistant secretary of state for international organizations, and in the Reagan administration as an assistant attorney general. He keeps a mock grenade in his office, labeled "To John Bolton -- World's Greatest Reaganite."

Throughout the current administration's first term, Bolton was often at odds with the United Nations and related institutions.

He spearheaded U.S. opposition to the International Criminal Court, declaring that the day he signed the letter withdrawing the U.S. signature on the treaty was "the happiest moment of my government service." He was the force behind Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative, a coalition designed to halt trade in nuclear materials that bypassed the United Nations. And he pressed the administration's unsuccessful campaign to deny a third term to Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On the eve of six-nation talks over North Korea's nuclear ambitions two years ago, Bolton traveled to Seoul and denounced North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in highly personal terms. He labeled Kim a "tyrannical dictator" who had made North Korea "a hellish nightmare" -- which prompted the North Korean government to call him "human scum and bloodsucker."

Bolton also frequently riled European allies with his uncompromising stands -- and his disdain for their fledging efforts to secure an agreement with Iran to end its nuclear programs.

British diplomats push Annan for a 'no excuses' definition of terrorism

July 27th, 2005


The struggle continues to persuade the UN to do the right thing. Here is the British attempt.

British diplomats are putting heavy pressure on the United Nations finally to make good its promise to devise an unequivocal definition and condemnation of terrorism.

Any guess just which country has to be treated differently from others?

Yet in the run-up to the UN's annual general assembly and the summit, recent debate has stalled on the classification of Palestinian suicide bombers and Israeli action in the West Bank and Gaza, with some countries questioning whether the definition would apply to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now, British diplomats are pushing hard for the absolute condemnation in the belief that with Britain holding the EU presidency they are arguing from a position of strength.

This subject can also be found on this site's Forum, if anyone wishes to discuss it there.

Criticism of Suicide Bombers Censored at the UN

July 27th, 2005


The International Humanist and Ethical Union tried its best, but the UN is too easily held hostage by extremists:

IHEU today attempted to call on the United Nations to condemn killing in the name of religion, but were prevented from doing so by the heavy-handed intervention of Islamic representatives. The IHEU call, at today's meeting of the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, follows moves by Islamic clerics to legitimise the current wave of terror attacks.

At this afternoon's meeting, IHEU representative David Littman attempted to deliver a prepared text in the joint names of three international NGOs: the Association for World Education, the Association of World Citizens, and IHEU, but was prevented from doing so by the intervention of Islamic members of the Sub-Commission. After repeated interruptions he was unable to complete his speech.

The Islamic members of the Sub-Commission objected to the speech as an attack on Islam. The text however(attached) is a report on recent critical comment on Islamist extremism by a number of notable Muslim writers and is a call to the UN Human Rights Commission by the NGOs "to condemn calls to kill, to terrorise or to use violence in the name of God or any religion".

Read the whole document.

More items on the IHEU and the UN here:

Top UN official urges International community to back Israel's withdrawal plan

July 21st, 2005


This is from Kuwaiti news source, which presents the UN official as placing more demands on Israel than the Palestinians.

De Soto voiced his concern for the Jewish settlement activities and said Israel should dismantle the settlements, mainly those built after September 2000.

He said the ongoing construction of the separation wall on the Palestinian territories would fuel tension and affect the lives of Palestinians particularly those living in East Jerusalem.

He called on Israel to honor its international obligations vis-a-vis the wall, which slices Palestinian territories.

The UN security council will, in line with a request by Kuwait, the rotating chairman of the Arab group, hold an extraordinary open meeting to discuss the deterioration of the Palestinian situation.

He shows at least some recognition of Israel's needs, although I'm not quite sure about the accuracy of his description of Palestinian desires. It doesn't explain their lavish use of missiles :

He added that Israel wanted peace and the Palestinians wanted a kind of hope reflecting on their daily lives to pave way to establish a Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace and security.

We'll huff and we'll puff and we'll blow the wall down!

July 21st, 2005


Current news headlines tell us that "Palestinians push UN on Israeli West Bank barrier".

A top U.N. envoy echoed Palestinian U.N. envoy Somaia Barghouti's view, pressing the Jewish state to ''meet its legal obligations'' concerning the West Bank barrier and fulfill its commitments to freeze all settlement activity and dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001.

More pushing: "Arab countries seek new UN push on Israeli barrier"

UNITED NATIONS, Thursday (Reuters) Arab nations launched a new diplomatic offensive against Israel's West Bank barrier at the United Nations, where the Security Council agreed to hold a next-day debate on the Middle East...

...At the same time, Jean Ping of Gabon, president of the 191-nation General Assembly, was weighing an Arab request to convene a special session on the barrier just before a mid-September world summit on U.N. reform, the diplomats said.