Monday, August 29, 2005

Bolton's Weapon of Mass Destruction; The Eraser

A special summit of 175 world leaders will be held in New York starting September 14. The topic will be proposed reforms within the United Nations. John Bolton is recommending 750 changes to the draft reform proposal less than a month before this summit is scheduled to commence. Here is Bolton's amended draft proposal, with the deleted phrases included in the margin (a tip of the biretta to TPM).

One specific change that Bolton is pushing is the elimination of all references to the Millennium Development Goals, a plan to eradicate poverty by 2015. Here is Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold's response to Bolton's energetic use of the eraser;

I am deeply troubled by reports today that the United States has proposed revisions to UN global-poverty-reduction strategies that would undermine international commitments and partnerships already at work in the developing world. The Administration's sudden opposition to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the international target for rich nations to contribute 0.7% of GNP toward poverty reduction places an unwelcome obstacle in the path toward a more stable and secure world.

The world religious community -- which has been engaged in the work of international development for decades -- knows firsthand the vital importance of partnership between governments and institutions in the developed world and their counterparts in poor countries. Such partnership is embodied in the MDGs, and without it, the world is destined to fight a losing battle against the extreme poverty and deadly disease that are destabilizing our planet.

It had been my hope that next month's summit of world leaders at the UN would not only recommit to this sort of partnership by reaffirming the MDGs, but also take additional steps to work toward their fulfillment. I am deeply mindful of the need to use government resources to combat terrorism, but one of the most stinging lessons of our time is that the roots of terrorism and conflict most often can be found in those places where poverty and sickness abound and hope is lost...
Anyone willing to speculate as to why Bolton is so zealously trying to eliminate the MDG? I have my own theories, but I'll refrain from voicing them for the moment. Let's just say that my response is rather "ambiguous," due to the "paradoxical" perspective of Bolton which attempts to erase any mention of poverty issues and focus instead on terrorism, without, apparently, recognizing any link between the two issues.

Episcopalians who desire to support the Millennium Development Goals may find this site helpful;
Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.


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