Obama Finally Names Nominee for U.N. Reform Post, But He Has No U.N. or Diplomatic Experience

November 17, 2010 06:15

The U.S. contributes 22 percent of the U.N.’s regular operating budget and 25 percent of the peacekeeping budget.

By Patrick Goodenough at CNSNews.com


The delay in putting in place a U.S. permanent representative for U.N. management and reform has drawn fire over the past year. Critics said the delay suggested the administration does not prioritize reform of the organization that gets more than one-fifth of its operating budget from the U.S.

Richard Grenell, who served as spokesman for four U.S. ambassadors to the U.N. during the Bush administration, said Tuesday that neither Obama nor current ambassador to the world body Susan Rice had “given the American people one shred of evidence to show they are interested in reforming the U.N.”

Torsella withdrew in May 2009, two weeks after veteran Republican Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties and immediately won Obama’s endorsement.

In an op-ed at the time, former Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton took the administration to task for the delay in filling the management and reform post. “During the Clinton administration, one of the five ambassadorial positions in the U.S. mission was assigned exclusively to U.N. management and budget issues, an arrangement continued during the Bush administration,” he wrote.

“Under Obama, however, no one has been successfully nominated to fill that slot for 20 months and counting. This omission alone tells other U.N. members and the secretariat that good management, sound budgeting, and continuing reform are essentially irrelevant to this administration.”


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