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NYT: U.N. envoys say Bolton's 'rude' 'combative' ways foil goals

Published: Saturday July 22, 2006

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United Nations envoys complain that US Ambassador John Bolton's ways foil goals, according to article on the front page of Sunday's New York Times.

"But diplomats focus particularly on an area with less evidence of instructions from Washington and more of Mr. Bolton’s personal touch, the mission that he has described as his priority: overhauling the institution’s discredited management," Warren Hoge writes for The Times.

"Envoys say he has in fact endangered that effort by alienating traditional allies," the article continues.

"They say he combatively asserts American leadership, contests procedures at the mannerly, rules-bound United Nations and then shrugs off the organization when it does not follow his lead," writes Hoge.

The Senate will hold hearings on Bolton's nomination next Thursday. Bolton failed to be confirmed by the Senate after his initial appointment by President Bush last year.

Excerpts from the NY Times article:


Six ambassadors separately offered similar accounts of an incident in June that they said captured the situation. All were from nations in Europe, the Pacific and Latin America that consider themselves close allies of the United States, and they asked to speak anonymously in commenting on a fellow envoy.

Mr. Bolton that day burst into a packed committee hall, produced a cordless microphone and began to lecture envoys from developing nations about their weakening of a proposal to tighten management of the United Nations, his chief goal.

Gaveled to silence, he threw up his hands and said, “Well, so much for trying something different.”

It was not merely rude, the ambassadors said. One recalled that moments later, his BlackBerry flashed a message from another envoy working on management change. “He just busted us apart,” it read.


The envoys will not, of course, have any say about whether Mr. Bolton receives the full appointment to the United Nations. But their concerns over his methods extend to issues that the senators will undoubtedly have to weigh: his ability to build coalitions and reach consensus.