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

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.