Thursday, August 25, 2005

US Proposes to Change Focus of 2005 World Summit

Read the full article by Colum Lynch in the Washington Post. (August 25, 2005)

The United States government has only recently proposed more than 750 amendments to the draft agreement to be signed by presidents and prime ministers attending next month's World Summit at the United Nations. The Summit has been planned for years, and more than 170 Heads of State and Government are expected to attend. The 2005 Summit was originally planned as a follow-up to the 2000 Millennium Summit, which produced the Millennium Declaration and which resulted in a global agreement to eradicate poverty with specific Millennium Development Goals, indicators and targets. "The U.S. amendments," according to this article, "call for striking any mention of the Millennium Development Goals, and the (Bush) administration has publicly complained that the document's section on poverty is too long. Instead, the United States has sought to underscore the importance of the Monterrey Consensus, a 2002 summit in Mexico that focused on free-market reforms, and required governments to improve accountability in exchange for aid and debt relief."

"The proposed U.S. amendments, contained in a confidential 36-page document obtained by The Washington Post, have been presented this week to select envoys. The U.N. General Assembly's president, Jean Ping of Gambia, is organizing a core group of 20 to 30 countries, including the United States and other major powers, to engage in an intensive final round of negotiations in an attempt to strike a deal.......Russia, Pakistan and several other developing countries have also introduced plans for changes in the power of some U.N. bodies." The possiblility of successfully negotiating 750 ammendments to an important United Nations declaration in a short period of time seems to me to be remote. According to the article, U.S. Representative to the United Nations, John "Bolton and a spokesman did not respond to requests to comment Wednesday."

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