News

    UN Reform Talks on Brink of Collapse

    U.N. diplomats are working down to the wire on a document to be adopted at a summit of world leaders beginning Wednesday in New York. The document had been planned as a blueprint for U.N. reform and poverty alleviation. But negotiations on the document have stalled.

    Washington's U.N. Ambassador John Bolton emerged from a marathon negotiating session Monday to say he is still hopeful that talks on reforming the world body could result in an agreement.

    "I'm not giving up. This is not a 60-minute clock like football. We've
    got time. We're going to keep working," Mr. Bolton says.

    That cautious optimism, however, was belied by the comments of other U.S. officials. Spokesman Richard Grenell told reporters early in the day that talks had broken down on at least two of Washington's priority issues.

    The possibility of stalemate cast a pall of gloom over prospects for a successful summit only hours before 150 presidents and prime ministers are to meet in a gala 60th anniversary observance.

    A scheduled final session of the 59th General Assembly, which was to have been addressed by Secretary General Kofi Annan, was postponed late Monday in a swirl of chaos and confusion.  Asked if a summit failure could be averted, outgoing Assembly President Jean Ping of Gabon waved his hands mysteriously. He said he would give negotiators one more night in a last-ditch attempt to find a compromise.

    "Negotiations are going on. Tomorrow we'll meet and close the session," Mr. Ping says.

    The talks have until late Tuesday morning to reach an agreement. That is when Mr. Ping hands over the General Assembly gavel to incoming President Jan Eliasson of Sweden at the ceremonial opening of the 60th General Assembly.

    Despite the late hour, diplomats are still holding out hope of
    compromise.  Germany's U.N. Ambassador Gunter Pleuger called the possibility of failure "unthinkable".

    "We will reach some compromise before the summit because it is
    inconceivable that 150 or more heads of state and government come to New York and have nothing to decide," Mr. Pleuger says.

    Secretary General Annan, who has pushed hard for reform, spent the day Monday in meetings with both incoming and outgoing General Assembly presidents, and consulting with ambassadors and world leaders on negotiating tactics.  His spokesman Stefan Dujarric admitted there is a sense of urgency in the secretary-general's office.

    "The clock continues to tick. The negotiators have left things
    perilously late in light of the date of the summit, which was announced well in advance. He's concerned the work may not be done on time, but he's not giving up," Mr. Dujarric says.

    Diplomats involved in the negotiations say finding agreement on the
    document will likely require cutting it down to bare essentials on which all 191 U.N. member states can agree. That, they say, would turn the declaration into little more than a statement of general principles, and a setback for efforts to reform the badly battered world body as it enters is seventh decade. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora