Waiting for Negroponte
A change in the Senate majority may mean more hearings
on the appointment of John Negroponte as U.S. Ambassador
to the UN. Ranking Democratic Senator Joseph Biden is likely
to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Biden's
overall record is pro-UN, and he has been instrumental in
negotiating a compromise on the US finally paying their
UN arrears. Apparently, some Democrats have questioned Negroponte's
role during his tenure as Ambassador to Nicaragua, specifically
his handling of issues related to the Sandinistas. In brief,
further delay is expected before Bush's nominee arrives
in New York.
Special Draft on HIV/AIDS
A General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS scheduled
for the end of June plans to consider a draft declaration.
Some delegates and staff spent Memorial Day weekend trying
to hammer out a consensus text: They met with little success.
Eventually, two ambassadors took the lead in trying to shape
it. But one of them will be returning home within weeks,
and the other has urgent commitments elsewhere. Will there
be a draft by 24 June? Keep your fingers crossed .
ILO Geneva Assembly
The International Labor Organization will meet in Geneva,
as usual, throughout the month of June. Former Chilean UN
ambassador Juan Somavia will experience the other side of
the delegate's table, as he begins his duties as ILO Director
General. He is certain to sail through with consensus support.
Incidentally, the structure of ILO differs from that of
the UN General Assembly. The ILO is composed of representatives
from three groups: governments, employers, and employees.
And our dynamic communicator from Chile has excellent links
to all three.