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US proposes last-minute amendments to UN draft agreement

[JURIST] The US has proposed over 750 amendments to the United Nations draft agreement [text, PDF] that 175 countries are expected to sign during a UN General Assembly summit [meeting overview, PDF] on poverty and global security scheduled for next month. US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton [official bio; Wikipedia profile] wrote a confidential letter Wednesday to certain UN envoys calling on the countries to join negotiations over the amendments as soon as possible. The US has expressed concerns over provisions in the current draft document that mandate wealthy countries to deliver 0.7 percent of their gross national product to impoverished countries and language that urges countries to stop nuclear testing. The amendments proposed by the US suggest including more aggressive language on fighting terrorism and spreading democracy. Bolton's letter also reflects US concerns about UN reform [US Mission to the UN materials], including the desire for greater oversight of UN spending and strengthening the UN's human rights office. UN General Assembly president Jean Ping [UN profile] is organizing negotiation meetings for 20-30 core countries in order to attempt a consensus before the summit. Thursday's Washington Post has more.

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