United Nations -– The new U.S. ambassador
to the United Nations will face an agenda packed with critical
issues looming for the international community in the coming
President George W. Bush announces his nomination of John Bolton, left, as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Monday, Aug. 1, 2005.
John R. Bolton, formerly U.S. under secretary
of state for arms control and international security, was
appointed chief U.S. envoy to the United Nations by President
Bush August 1 without prior Senate confirmation in what
is known as a "recess appointment." Bolton, who
is known for an action-oriented style, succeeds former U.S.
Senator John Danforth, who resigned the U.N. post in January.
Bolton's appointment will end in January 2007.
"We seek a stronger, more effective
organization, true to the ideals of its founders and agile
enough to act in the 21st century," Bolton said at
the White House ceremony.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he
is looking forward to working with the new ambassador "at
a time when we are in the midst of a major reform."
"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,"
"So if one comes with that spirit,
that spirit of give and take, that spirit of listening to
others, that spirit of working with them in a collaborative
manner to seek something that is mutually acceptable, that
ambassador will succeed," the secretary-general said.
The United Nations is preparing for a summit
in mid-September to mark its 60th anniversary. U.N. members
hope to adopt reforms and an agenda that will provide a
blueprint for the world organization in the 21st century.
Over the past month, the United States has
articulated its goals. Above all, the United States wants
a major emphasis placed on administrative and management
reform. It also supports creation of a new human rights
council, a peacebuilding commission and a democracy fund.
Further, it wants to see the body place
more emphasis on economic development, preventing the spread
of weapons of mass destruction, and combating terrorism.
"The U.S. needs the U.N., and the U.N.
needs the U.S. And we have to work together," Annan
said. "In the coming months, it is important that we
work together to achieve the major reforms that are on the
The U.S.-U.N. relationship also needs to
be strengthened, the secretary-general said. "I think
it's frayed a little recently, and we should be able to
get it back again," he said.
Calling Bolton "very able and very
bright," Annan said that he has worked with the ambassador
in the past, especially on the Western Sahara territorial
dispute with U.N. Special Envoy James Baker, a former U.S.
secretary of state. Sovereignty over Western Sahara is contested
by Morocco and the Polisario, an independence movement based
Ambassador Ronaldo Sardenberg of Brazil,
currently a member of the U.N. Security Council, said that
he is looking forward to working with Bolton.
"We do have, here at the United Nations,
a tradition to work together among the [permanent representatives]
and also tradition of Brazil and the United States working
together. It is our hope and expectation that this tradition
will be maintained," Sardenberg said.
In his remarks, President Bush said that
Bolton will "provide clear American leadership for
reform at the United Nations" and will "insist
"I'm sending Ambassador Bolton to New
York with my complete confidence," the president said.
"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 U.N. reform
itself to renew its founding promises for the 21st century."
Bolton will "make it clear that America
values the potential of the United Nations to be a source
of hope and dignity and peace," Bush said.
In Washington, Senate Foreign Relations
Chairman Richard G. Lugar said that it is important for
Bolton to be at U.N. headquarters before the 60th session
of the General Assembly begins in September.
"The president has taken an action
that is fully within his authority, is in concert with a
clear majority of the Senate, and is in the interest of
achieving constructive reform of the United Nations,"
Lugar said in a statement.
Washington File United Nations Correspondent