Wednesday, September 14, 2005
This week’s United Nations World Summit—originally intended to assess governments’ progress on pledges to reduce poverty and promote development by 2015—is in danger of being derailed by the United States. The meeting itself is proceeding with much fanfare, but the United States is working to ensure that its outcome will do little to alleviate the suffering and human rights violations experienced by the world’s poorest people—most of them women and their children.
Two weeks before the Summit, John Bolton—recently appointed by Bush to the post of UN Ambassador despite his notorious hostility to the UN—put forward his own draft of the outcome document for the Summit. Bolton made a whopping 750 changes to the UN draft of the document, which has been under negotiation for more than six months. His revisions block potential progress on issues that are critical to everyone in the world, including development, nuclear disarmament, and global warming. Bolton even deleted all mention of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—the internationally agreed-upon framework for reducing poverty—even though evaluating the MDGs was supposed to be the main purpose of the Summit.