In yesterday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Tony Snow defended U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, saying he has been “highly successful” and “has demonstrated an ability to work effectively with other members and other U.N. delegations”:
And the real question is, what complaint do you have with a man who has been so successful in pushing through vital National Security Council resolutions through the United Nations and has been awfully effective?
Bolton will be leaving a tenure that has been characterized by ineffectiveness and U.S. estrangement from the world community. Some highlights of Bolton’s “highly successful” tenure:
— Isolated the United States from its allies on the Human Rights Council. The United States was one of four nations to oppose the creation of the Council. (170 nations voted for it.) Out of 30 or so negotiating sessions over the creation of the Council, Bolton attended just one. He also argued for permanent membership for China and Russia on the Council.
— Made stopping genocide in Sudan a low priority. In early June, Bolton skipped a U.N. Security Council mission to Sudan for a speaking engagement at the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-wing think tank in London. Most other nations, including the UK, China, and France, sent their top representatives.
— Sought to undermine the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs aimed to convert rhetoric into hard numbers on such issues as reducing global poverty and hunger. Just days after he arrived in New York after his recess appointment, Bolton released over 700 edits to the draft document for the 2005 World Summit Outcome, excising all mentions of the MDGs.