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UK rejects US proposal to block UN budget in reform bid

[JURIST] Britain has caused a diplomatic stir by rejecting a proposal advanced by US ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile] to block the upcoming UN budget [JURIST report] as a way to press disputed reforms to the beleagured world organization. Bolton suggested last week that the UN push back the two-year budget talks as a means to overcome resistance by the G77 bloc [official website] of developing countries who oppose wide-ranging management reforms because they believe the reforms are driven by American political pressure. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] has said that a delayed budget would create a “serious financial crisis” for the UN. Britain supports the management reform package and British ambassador Emyr Jones Parry has stated that that the package needs to be approved by the end of this year. The management changes were agreed to in the September World Summit [official website; JURIST report] and are less than what both the US and the EU hoped for. If approved, the management reform package will give the secretary-general’s office more power to oversee management, finance and staffing, which are currently handled by the 191-member General Assembly. The London Telegraph has more.

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