UN Official Downplays Bolton Fears

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, Barbara Boxer accused John Bolton of having “nothing but disdain for the United Nations.” Her Democratic colleague Joe Biden expressed “grave concern,” arguing that “we don’t need a voice which people may not be inclined to listen to […] and I fear that, knowing your reputation — and your reputation known well at the U.N. — people will be inclined to tune you out.”

Perhaps they should calm down. At least, that’s what Kofi Annan’s chief of staff might advise, based on this Financial Times report:

US Hostility to UN Has Peaked, Says Annan Aide

In a wide-ranging interview in Berlin, where he was attending a conference, [Mark] Malloch Brown played down fears that John Bolton, the outspoken hawk nominated by the US to be ambassador to the UN, would maintain an entirely hostile stance towards the world body.

He said Mr Bolton’s testimony this week to the Senate foreign relations committee in Washington showed that, in the second Bush administration, the US had returned to its traditional approach towards the UN.

“Bolton’s testimony [on Monday] was a reversal to a consistent line [in previous US administrations] of a ‘tough love’ envoy, who is all about bending the UN to being a more useful tool of international policy, rather than destroying it.”

In other words, those who’d actually have to work with Bolton don’t seem as alarmed as the Democrats are.

Of course, Brown could have simply been playing nice. Perhaps he really agrees with Democrats, but thinks Bolton’s appointment is inevitable, so he tried to establish a constructive relationship by invoking “tough love.” There could be a variety of other reasons for that statement. But it’s just interesting that his perspective does not match Democratic rhetoric.

FILED UNDER: Congress, United Nations
Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.


  1. praktike says:

    He thinks the nomination will pass.