Bush sneaks Bolton past Senate

US President George W. Bush's surprise announcement overnight that he would unilaterally appoint his controversial nominee, John Bolton, to the post of Ambassador to the United Nations has refocused attention on the reform process at the UN.

President George W. Bush sidestepped the US Senate to appoint Mr Bolton to the high profile post, despite serious concerns voiced by both Republicans and Democrats about Mr Bolton's hardline views and blunt personal style.

Now the new US ambassador will be a key player in what's expected to be an intense debate next month on the sweeping overhaul of the United Nations proposed by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

And as Washington Correspondent Michael Rowland reports, the Bush administration has already expressed its opposition to some of the key changes proposed.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: For George Bush, John Bolton is much more than a simple US ambassador to the United Nations. He's a man with a mission.

GEORGE BUSH: I'm sending Ambassador Bolton to New York with my complete confidence. Ambassador Bolton believes passionately in the goals of the United Nations charter to advance peace and liberty and human rights.

His mission is now to help the UN reform itself, to renew its founding promises for the 21st Century.

MICHAEL ROWLAND: For a man who's been a long time critic of the UN, John Bolton should have little difficulty in pushing for change.

JOHN BOLTON: We seek a stronger, more effective organisation, true to the ideals of its founders, and agile enough to act in the 21st Century. It'll be a distinct privilege to be an advocate for America's values and interests at the UN, and in the words of the UN charter, to help maintain international peace and security, reports The World today.

According to Chicago Tribune, John Bolton presented his credentials Tuesday as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a job that will challenge him to work with diplomats from 190 nations in a place he has called irrelevant.

"Glad to be here," he told UN Secretary General Kofi Annan before handing over his letter of appointment.

The two exchanged greetings and then held a brief private meeting. Bolton entered and left UN headquarters smiling and waving but stayed mum.

The 56-year-old arms control expert arrived just weeks before a summit in which world leaders will seek to adopt sweeping changes at the UN.

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