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US handling of UN reform angers developing nations

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-17-06 05:50 PM
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US handling of UN reform angers developing nations
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton's drive to crack down on U.N. fraud and abuse is triggering a backlash from developing nations who fear Washington is trying to wrest control from U.N. members. The simmering conflict between Washington and the developing nations that make up a majority of U.N. members boiled to the surface this week when two U.S. Congressmen said non-aligned states had "worked feverishly in New York to block the efforts ... to clean up the institution."

"We and our colleagues in the House of Representatives have followed, and will continue to follow, your actions very closely, and we intend to hold you accountable for them," Republican Henry Hyde of Illinois and Democrat Tom Lantos of California wrote South African Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo in a letter circulated at the United Nations on Friday. Kumalo is current chairman of the Group of 77, a bloc of 132 developing nations and China.

Diplomats from developing nations said they were enraged by the letter. "There is obviously a lot of tension right now" in the membership, U.N. chief spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Hyde is chairman and Lantos the top Democrat on the U.S. House International Relations Committee. They wrote after Kumalo complained to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan that an internal audit of U.N. procurement fraud had been leaked to the media before the General Assembly, where each of the 191 U.N. member-nations has a seat and no one has a veto.

(snip)
Developing nations have long suspected wealthy nations, and particularly the United States, of seeking reforms after the Iraq oil-for-food scandal to impose their will on small nations while shielding their own actions. Tensions escalated after Bolton, who holds the rotating presidency of the 15-nation Security Council in February, scheduled council meetings next week on procurement fraud and sexual abuse by peacekeepers. Developing nations protested these were General Assembly matters rather than the council's, a stand Annan supported.

http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=14...
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