Bolton Warns UN to Reform or Forget About US Funds
BOLTON WARNS UN TO CLEAN UP IT’S ACT OR FORGET ABOUT US FUNDS,
US Ambassador John Bolton said Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his staff have acknowledged they might not have all the management and other proposals until February.
Although a UN summit document calls on Annan to provide “recommendations to the General Assembly for decision” during the first quarter of 2006, Bolton said this was too late.
“I don’t think we should be in a position of losing the momentum for reform because of the budget process,” he told reporters. “The reform should drive the budget process and not the other way around.”
Bolton said, the UN General Assembly, in charge of the budget, could consider a three or four-month interim budget by December 31, instead of approving the full two-year budget.
“I’ve proposed this three- to four-month interim budget as one possible mechanism to accommodate our desire to get the reforms fully implemented in the longer-term budget,” he said.
“This is a moment of crisis for the United Nations. If we don’t get serious reform, it is going to put us in a very difficult position.” Annan has estimated some $US3.6 billion for the 2006-2007 regular administrative budget, a slight increase over 2004-2005. This excludes peacekeeping, which in 2005 alone amounted to $US3.6 billion.
The European Union rejected on Wednesday a proposal by U.S. Ambassador John Bolton to delay adoption of a two-year U.N. budget until key reforms are approved by the 191-member General Assembly.
In a rare public disagreement with the United States, British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry told reporters the 25 EU members did not believe in linking the budget to reform issues and thereby jeopardizing U.N. operations.
“We are not in favor of holding any individual items or the budget hostage to other issues but we do say very clearly that by the end of this year we need clarity and a determination to tackle a better management for the United Nations,” said Jones Parry, whose country holds the current EU presidency.
Diplomats fear a possible train wreck on the $3.6 billion 2006-2007 administrative budget, which is to be adopted by the end of the year and could involve New Year’s Eve sessions. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said a delay in approving the budget would create a “serious financial crisis.”