|USUN Press Release|
June 30, 2006
Security Council Stakeout: Darfur, Montenegro as the 192nd member of the UN, the selection of the next Secretary General and other matters
Ambassador John R. Bolton, U.S. Representative to the United Nations
Ambassador Bolton: Good Morning. So, as you have probably heard by now the requested consultations on the Middle East will be this afternoon's as we suggested and we have moved some other items on the schedule around but it will be held at 3:00 today. Our expectation is that it will be a debate and a debate only.
Reporter: The Palestinian observer said that they want a resolution that will condemn Israel's oppression and to halt military action and the release of the officials who were kidnapped. Was their any discussion at all? Has anybody seen a piece of paper?
Ambassador Bolton: Nobody has seen a piece of paper. We don't think a resolution would be advisable the debate will take place, we will obviously have an official statement at that point and I'd like to wait until than to address the substance but in terms of what the Council might do at this particularly sensitive time I don't think a resolution would be advisable and in any event, we haven't seen any draft language. It is not at all clear that anyone is ready to present any type of draft today.
Reporter: Wasn't the U.S. view that this meeting wasn't necessary (inaudible)?
Ambassador Bolton: I think it's always important for the United Nations not to be seen as a place of talk and no action. But the meeting was requested by the Representative of Qatar and under the rules of the Council, the meeting will be held. That's what the rules say, and as I say, they had proposed 11 this morning, we had suggested 3, and we are glad that in fact it will take place at 3.
Reporter: On management reform, has there been any progress in the last two days? Is the United States still planning to disassociate itself tonight in the General Assembly?
Ambassador Bolton: We will dissociate from the consensus on the lifting of the expenditure cap we did on the 5th Committee. I don't know the outcome on some of the proposals that are being considered will be but in any event, as I have said before, these will be - even if fully adopted, which I doubt, they will not meet the level of progress that we felt was necessary and we had a meeting this morning with the president of General Assembly - where actually Ambasador Kumalo and I made some proposals jointly on how to proceed and they are being considered now by the G77 and others. We are going to get together again later in the morning with the president of the General Assembly and we will see what the result is.
Reporter: Are these procedural proposals on how to keep everybody (inaudible) on the July 4th weekend?
Ambassador Bolton: As I have said before, you know, if it's all night, its all right, we'll be here, we're not going anywhere. We had a discussion about some of the issues about how to avoid having a long, polarized, endless debate and we actually had some suggestions that we presented together and I think that's a constructive thing. Now some of our friends are now going to have to consider that, if the G77 is considering it as well and we'll see what happens. I'll be able to talk about it later in the day, but I'm just saying, we have been working actively to try and make whatever progress we can but even under the best of circumstances, we will not have made substantive decisions on the mandate review by June 30 nor is it clear that we will have a roadmap to the end of the year. These are things the United States has been saying for 6 months that we needed to have on mandate review, management reform still very much up in the air where things will come out.
Reporter: As the U.S. Ambassador, can you comment on the bill that (inaudible) votes in the General Assembly and also the decision by Congress yesterday (inaudible).
Ambassador Bolton: Yes, well I did read your story on votes yesterday, and I saw that Malloch Brown's speech cost 2 million dollars in the House of Representatives. I have not seen Congressman Hyde's Bill, it sounds similar to the Kassebaum-Solomon legislation of the mid to late 1980's but obviously before we can take a position we'd have to see the legislation. But I think these amendments and others, I understand Congressman Wolf had an amendment the other day in the Appropriations Committee cutting 25 million dollars out of the account called Contributions to International Organizations which funds the accessed budgets of the UN and all the specialized agencies. I think this is reflective of the mood of Congress and I think it's why we have worked so hard for reform here.
Ambassador Bolton: I think one very important thing, whenever the Security Council considers an issue is to mind the Hippocratic Oath provision: do no harm. And in these circumstances, you have to see whether there is anything concrete the Security Council can do rather than just blowing off steam and it's with the basis in mind, that I said that I thought considering a resolution today would be inadvisable.
Reporter : Speaking of observers, the New York Observer says that your personal thoughts have become such an obsession here at the UN that you have become the UN.
Ambassador Bolton: What an accomplishment. I'll have no comment on that. I think that is the only safe course of action. Richard Roth of CNN, and CNN international.
Reporter: What is your latest sense on the candidacy of Venezuela for the Security Council post?
Ambassador Bolton: I don't really have anything new and insightful to offer on that subject today. We are continuing to work for what we think is a more productive candidacy, that of Guatemala. We think this is very important, I remember personally in 1990 and 1991 when Cuba was on the Security Council. It was extremely unhelpful and uncooperative at a time of great pressure for the Council. We expect countries obviously on the Council will speak their minds and nobody expects anything like complete unanimity on our issues but there's a difference between constructive discussion and unconstructive behavior. On that basis, we think Venezuela would not be helpful.
Reporter: President Chavez, as we expect the challenge versus the umpire-the empire. Well I've got my mind on baseball season, the empire. Did I say the empire or the umpire? What is the problem with Venezuela?
Ambassador Bolton: I think that we have no problem whatsoever with the people of Venezuela. I think it is the President and the way he has performed. But we are going to make the case on the merits, we think there is a strong case for Guatemala and the membership will decide.
Ambassador Bolton: They are an emerging democracy that's been through some very difficult times. They are a sincere country, they are from Central America which is underrepresented in Security Council affairs. We think they have got the possibility of very active diplomacy and would provide the kind of representation from the GRULAC region that would be very commendable. Other Central American candidacies in recent years have been defeated and so we think there are a lot of arguments that support Guatemala. I'll just take one or two more, but we'll be around all morning, all afternoon, all-
Reporter: Ambassador, what is the (inaudible) on the U.S. draft resolution on management reform (inaudible)
Ambassador Bolton: We are in discussions now in the 5th Committee, they went until 5:30 this morning, they're back at it at 10:00, if anybody is there, I know they were scheduled to start at 10. Their expectation was they would try to go until about 1:00 today and we'll see how far we can get. There was, I think, agreement during the night and early morning on some issues - and we're glad for that but these were not significant management reform issues. So even if there is further progress, and we're going to continue to work for it, the management and reform resolution will be only a very small step forward and regrettable that we didn't make more progress on management reform. But I think that it just shows how much more work there needs to be done.
Reporter: The open mic between Secretary Rice and Minister Lavrov showed you the transcript of their conversations, any lessons to be learned from it?
Ambassador Bolton: I think direct communication in diplomacy is a positive thing. Thank you, see you later.