Drunk diplomats ruin UN budget negotiations

4b3aun Drunk diplomats ruin UN budget negotiations

Frustrated with his drunk and unproductive colleagues, USambassador for management and reform Joseph Torsella on Mondayaddressed the issue.“There has always been a good and responsible tradition of a bitof alcohol improving a negotiation, but we’re not talking about adelegate having a nip at the bar,” Torsella told his UNcolleagues, describing a recent occasion when one diplomat got sickfrom alcohol poisoning during the negotiations.“While my government is truly grateful for the strategicopportunities presented by some recent past practices, let’s savethe champagne for toasting the successful end of the session, anddo some credit to the Fifth Committee’s reputation in theprocess,” he added.The Fifth Committee, which is the assembly’s budget body, each yearholds the record for the longest negotiations on spending. Lastingfor many days and nights on end, the committee often tries tofinish up its annual spending negotiations before the annual winterholidays in December. The current budget negotiations are likewiseexpected to take many long days and nights as delegates impatientlytry to finish up before the Easter holidays.While some pass the time getting drunk, others are required to pickup the slack of their inebriated counterparts.“On one occasion the note-taker who was meant to be recordingthe talks was so intoxicated he had to be replaced,” a USofficial told AFP while speaking on condition of anonymity.Some UN representatives have been “falling down drunk,”another diplomat said.Angered by the “circus” of the drawn-out UN budget negotiations, USdiplomats have been calling for a ban on drunks, which they believeare responsible for ruining the talks.”It’s all about the last one standing is the winner,” oneSecurity Council diplomat, who has participated in many U.N. budgetnegotiations, told Foreign Policy Magazine. “After three weekstogether and 20 hours a day, people start to get really comfortableenough. But if you are dumb enough to get so drunk you can’tnegotiate, then you deserve [to get out played].”The diplomat described the French bringing wine, Canadians bringingwhiskey and Russians bringing vodka. But while many nationalitiesconsume alcohol at the negotiations, the heaviest drinkers appearto be delegates from the G-77 group of developing countries, whowere frequently skipping out on the meetings.Some diplomats have responded to the accusations angrily, claimingthat not everyone drinks at the negotiations.“It is absolutely not the case that everyone at the talks isdrunk,” a diplomat told AFP. “All the people doing thenegotiating are sober.”But facing sleepless nights and rowdy behavior, the US ambassadoris not amused, and made a vague threat against those who choose tosurpass their drinking limit.”If … negotiators do not arrive on time for meetings scheduledon nights and weekends, or simply refuse to meet on a specific itemin order to run down the clock, we must conclude that they do notshare a commitment to negotiating in good faith, and we willrespond accordingly,” Torsella said.

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Drunk diplomats ruin UN budget negotiations

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