Mudcat Café message #1551405 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1551405
Posted By: freda underhill
28-Aug-05 - 05:36 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Bush to face fury over UN changes; By Ewen Macaskill; London
August 28, 2005

AN INTERNATIONAL alliance will confront US President George Bush to salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty. The head-to-head in New York tomorrow comes after the revelation that the US Administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago.

A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN's millennium development goals poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN's reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans. But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14-16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters.

The British Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush.
The concern in British and other international circles is that the US objections, if adopted, would severely undermine the UN summit, the biggest gathering of world leaders. At least 175 world leaders have accepted an invitation to attend. The UN said that Mr Bush had confirmed he would be there.

A wide range of organisations, from aid groups to the anti-arms lobby, voiced dismay about Mr Bolton's objections yesterday and expressed concern that the summit may end in failure. The Make Poverty History campaign said there was a danger that the millennium development goals, the original reason for holding the summit, would be reduced to a footnote. A source close to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said it was too early to declare the UN plan dead.

"Bolton wants to knock down the plan and start from scratch," the source said. "He will find that his opinions are not shared by most of the rest of the world."

The president of the UN general assembly, Jean Ping from Gambia, has been working on the draft for the past year, covering issues of poverty, climate change, genocide, small arms, the creation of a permanent UN peacekeeping capability and reform of the UN management structure. A Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday that Britain and the European Union, of which Britain holds the presidency, "are broadly content with the summit draft. It reflects the ambitious agenda thrown up by Kofi Annan."