We’ve been following the proposed United Nations Human Rights Council to take the place of the disgraced and disgraceful United Nations Human Rights Commission. Last week Ambassador Bolton took a leaf from the Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and pronounced the proposed new Council the same as the old Commission. This week Secretary Rice confirmed that the United States opposed the new Council.
Just one problem. The New York Sun reports that Jimmy Carter had personaly promised the ambassadors from Egypt, Pakistan, and Cuba that the Council was a done deal:
The story, as Mr. Carter recalled, began with a recent dinner for 17 he attended in New York, where the guests included the president of the U.N. General Assembly, Jan Eliasson; an unidentified American representative, and other U.N. ambassadors from “powerful” countries at Turtle Bay, of which he mentioned only three: Cuba, Egypt, and Pakistan. The topic was the ongoing negotiations on an attempt to replace the widely discredited Geneva-based Human Rights Commission with a more accountable Human Rights Council.
“One of the things I assured them of was that the United States was not going to dominate all the other nations of the world in the Human Rights Council,” Mr. Carter said. However, on the next day, Mr. Carter said, Mr. Bolton publicly “demanded” that the five permanent members of the Security Council will have permanent seats on the new council as well, “which subverted exactly what I have promised them,” Mr. Carter said.
“So I called Condoleezza Rice and told her about the problem, and she said that that statement by our representative was not going to be honored,” he said. But despite Mr. Carter’s assessment that there are “a lot of people” in Washington who oppose Mr. Bolton on the Human Rights Council, Mr. Bolton’s opposition to the proposed new structure became American policy.
Jimmy Carter seems under the illusion that Ambassador Bolton is acting as a free agent when he speaks in public on questions related to the United Nations. The Sun helpfully adds:
Mr. Bolton’s spokesman, Richard Grenell, told The New York Sun yesterday that it is “naive” to think that Mr. Bolton has “a different position than the rest of the United States government on this issue.”
Jimmy Carter seems to be confusing the Bush administration with his own, in which United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young defied Carter administration policy and got himself fired. Next thing you know, Carter will “fire” Ambassador Bolton.