Annan defends UN criticism of US

Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, has refused to disown a speech by his deputy criticising the US government's attitude to the UN.

    Kofi Annan will stand by his deputy's remarks

    The US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, had demanded Kofi Annan should repudiate Mark Malloch Brown's remarks.

    Bolton described Tuesday's speech as a "very, very grave mistake" that could undermine efforts to reform the organisation.

    "Even though the target of the speech was the United States, the victim, I fear, will be the United Nations," Bolton said at the UN on Wednesday after speaking to Annan.

    Annan, however, will stand by his deputy's views, said Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief spokesman.

    "There is no question of any action to be taken against the deputy secretary-general," he said.

    Furious response

    Malloch Brown had said in a speech to a political conference in New York on Tuesday that the US used the UN "almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it against its domestic critics".

    The US government looked for UN support to deal with conflicts around the world while failing to defend it from conservative critics at home, Malloch Brown said.

    "The UN's role is, in effect, a secret in middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world," he said.

    The speech brought an angry response from Bolton, who accused Malloch Brown of employing "a condescending, patronising tone about the American people".

    Brown said later that his remarks were a "constructive critique of US policy towards the UN by a friend and an admirer".

    Malloch Brown was named deputy secretary-general in March after serving as Annan's chief of staff and head of the UN development programme.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.