[Mb-civic] Bolton Voices Opposition to U.N. Proposals - Washington
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Thu Sep 1 04:13:39 PDT 2005
Bolton Voices Opposition to U.N. Proposals
White House Fears Effort Would Inhibit U.S. Authority
By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 1, 2005; Page A23
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 31 -- John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the
United Nations, has voiced firm opposition to U.N. reorganization
measures that the Bush administration fears would inhibit U.S. authority
to use force and place new legal obligations on countries to intervene
where genocide, ethnic cleansing or war crimes were being committed.
Bolton outlined his positions in a series of letters to U.N. delegates
participating in negotiations to draft a 39-page statement to be read by
world leaders at a summit on development and U.N. reform that begins
Sept. 14. The six letters, intended to clarify proposed U.S. amendments
to the draft, constitute the most detailed public picture of Bolton's
thinking on a range of issues since he became ambassador, including on
the fight against poverty and terrorism, the promotion of human rights
and the streamlining of the U.N. bureaucracy.
Together, the letters reflect Bolton's long-held opposition to
international agreements that he considers incursions on U.S.
sovereignty and provide a glimpse at how he is working to influence a
lengthy internal negotiating process that has been dominated by foreign
policy professionals in the State Department.
Bolton argued that the Security Council already had sufficient legal
authority to send foreign troops to halt atrocities in places such as
the Sudanese region of Darfur. He insisted that the U.N. charter "has
never been interpreted as creating a legal obligation for Security
Council members to support enforcement action." He also urged the
deletion of language calling on nations to prevent "incitement" of mass
atrocities, saying it runs counter to the U.S. First Amendment
protections of speech.
Bolton wrote that the United States "stands ready" to intervene in
select cases where governments fail to halt mass killings on their soil.
But he said that world leaders should not "foreclose" the military
option by the United States and other governments "absent authorization
by the Security Council."
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