President Bush's naming of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was to see to U.N. reform, much of which is done, The New York Times reports. Aides to Bush have outlined six major objectives for U.N. reform, and the administration has won support for all of them from Secretary-General Kofi Annan and various U.N. members.
"Most of the reforms sought by the United States are well on their way to completion," a senior administration official told the Times. Another said that because so much had already been achieved, there was little concern that Bolton's combative personality would jeopardize the agenda.
Among the reform measures Bush wants is a streamlining of the secretary-general's office, replacing the U.N. Human Rights Commission, setting up a U. N. Democracy Fund, a new treaty opposing terrorism within countries as well as between them, establishing a "peace-building commission," and creating a policy on poverty alleviation, reports United Press International.
According to Washington post, Bolton will be thrust into intense negotiations with diplomats from 190 nations on contentious issues ranging from Security Council reform and poverty alleviation to stepping up the global fight against terrorism and improving U.N. management.
"He will be one of the key players because the United States is the largest contributor and a great power in the Security Council," Germany's U.N. Ambassador Gunter Pleuger said. "There are conflicting views on nearly every issue that is on our plate for the reform, and the largest player in the U.N., of course, plays a key role."
Many U.N. diplomats say Bolton will be judged on his performance here, not on his past, which features sharp criticism of the world body and resistance to his appointment as U.S. ambassador.
"No one should make prejudgments on reputation," said Chile's U.N. Ambassador Heraldo Munoz. "One must do it on the merit of the facts, when we see what happens here."
The fact that Bolton failed twice to win Senate confirmation forcing Bush to appoint him Monday after Congress adjourned for the summer, was also unlikely to have an impact, diplomats said.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan told reporters Monday he looks forward to working with Bolton, in the same way that he works with ambassadors from the other U.N. member states.
Bolton planned to present his credentials to Annan on Tuesday morning.
The Bush administration says a tough-talking Bolton is ideally suited to lead an effort to overhaul the U.N. bureaucracy and make it more accountable. But Annan cautioned that negotiation and compromise are the key to success at the United Nations.
"I think it is all right for one ambassador to come and push, but an ambassador always has to remember that there are 190 others who will have to be convinced, or a vast majority of them, for action to take place," Annan said, informs CBS.