Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Monday, August 29, 2005

US Shreds UN Document

The U.S. is demanding over 700 changes and deletions in the 'Outcome Document' for the 60th anniversary session of the General Assembly, scheduled to begin on 16 September. After discussion by the heads of state of the 150 nations attending the session, and after negotiation by the assembled delegates the final official Document will set the next decade's agenda for the world organization.

The massive overhaul, prepared under newly-appointed UN ambassador John Bolton slashes the 38 page draft document, negotiated by UN member nations over the past 6 months, down to 3 pages. Bolton eliminates any mention of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty reduction targets. The MDGs were adopted by all countries including the US at the 55th session of the General Assembly in 2000 and contains its blueprint for eliminating poverty within a generation.

The US amendments strike out references to the Kyoto treaty and any efforts to slow global warming. It removes any mention of the International Criminal Court and of nuclear disarmament. Also gone is the statement that donor countries should contribute 0.7% of their gross national product for official development assistance by 2015 (the US gives 0.2%; Norway plans to give 0.95%). The US version rejects the UN's maintaining a standing military peacekeeping capability.

Bolton's attempt to radically redirect the UN could result in failure by the General Assembly to reach an agreement. UN effectiveness and credibility may be undermined further when the final report on the Iraq oil for food corruption investigation is released shortly before the UN's top-level summit.

Currently, most news media worldwide are depicting the US as scuttling UN efforts to alleviate poverty. However, President Bush has stated that reduction of worldwide poverty is essential for combating terrorism. His administration favors free market reform over direct aid. To be sure, funds donated through official channels have more often than not fed corruption rather than hungry mouths, and outside interventions in developing nations have often caused disaster. The Center for Global Development (CGD) presents discussions of ways to help poor countries help themselves that have not been put forward by the US. Many CDG suggestions resonate with WILPF principles and may be worth promoting.

It remains to be seen if the US makes any promising proposals at the forthcoming UN summit to rid the world of poverty or whether its underlying intention is to rid the world of the UN.


  • Thank you, Anita, for this excellent overview. Your summary of the abhorrent "work" of the US Ambassador to the UN is clear and concise. I'm grateful that you're using the blog to communicate with those of us focused on other aspects of WILPF's work.

    By Blogger C.J. Minster, at 8:00 PM  

  • I, too, am grateful. And extremely uneasy. What can we do?

    By Blogger Jeanmarie Simpson, at 8:41 AM  

  • Anita, Thank you for your posting on this latest US assault on the UN. When I read Phyllis Bennis' article "Declaration of War" on Common Dreams this morning I went right to WILPF's websites for commentary and mobilization steps. Lo, and behold! I discovered the blog. Would you post the correct name/titles, etc. and address of the US UN mission in New York so all USers can write immediately?
    Perhaps, if you haven't already, forward your article to Jody or Kate to put on the website, too?

    Here's the URL for the Bennis article: http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0831-29.htm. I'll try to pick up a little html to make live links before my next posting, CJ. Any hints?

    Great! Gillian

    By Blogger Gillian, at 1:54 PM  

  • To create a hyperlink use the <> keys (shift comma and shift period) and between them write

    a href="http://internet address"

    Then type what you want to be hyperlinked

    and then close with /a

    Phyllis Bennis article

    By Blogger C.J. Minster, at 7:55 PM  

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