8/26/2005

U.S. sets last-minute drive to scrap UN reform plan

U.S. sets last-minute drive to scrap UN reform plan

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States has launched a last-minute drive to scrap much of a draft plan for comprehensive U.N. reform just weeks before it is to be adopted at a world summit, Western diplomats said on Wednesday.

One option put forward by Washington would be to return to square one and launch line-by-line negotiations on the document, the diplomats said, insisting on anonymity so as not to anger Washington.

The U.S. effort comes in the final stages of the drafting process, with negotiators last Friday unveiling what they hoped would be a near-final draft. Negotiations resume on Monday.

It also falls two weeks after the arrival at U.N. headquarters of U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, President George W. Bush's contentious choice to press for U.N. reform despite his inability to win U.S. Senate approval for the post.

The aggressive and sometimes abrasive Bolton is a longtime U.N. critic and a sceptic on the value of multilateral action who was accused by Senate Democrats of seeking to twist intelligence findings to advance Bush foreign policy goals.

The U.N. document, intended to serve as a blueprint for bringing the world body into the 21st century, touches on a broad range of issues from U.N. management reform -- a top U.S. priority -- to eliminating poverty, protecting human rights and ending the spread of nuclear arms.

World News Article | Reuters.co.uk: "

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