THE US called on Monday for a ban on drunk diplomats at budget debates at the UN.
“We make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone,” deputy US ambassador to the UN for management and reform Joseph Torsella told the UN General Assembly’s budget committee.
“While my government is truly grateful for the strategic opportunities presented by some recent past practices, let’s save the champagne for toasting the successful end of the session, and do some credit to the Fifth Committee’s reputation in the process,” Torsella said.
An annual vote and debates of the budget committee, known as the Fifth Committee, on budgetary questions often become heated marathon sessions that run into the early hours of the morning.
Diplomats who participate in sessions said it was not unusual to see delegates showing visible signs of having imbibed heavily.
Torsella called for more discipline from the UN’s 193 member states when discussing UN budgetary issues, which are often divisive for developed and developing nations. He urged delegations against UN procedural games, such as blocking discussions by failing to appear for meetings.
“If… negotiators do not arrive on time for meetings, we must conclude that they do not share a commitment to negotiating in good faith,” he said. – Reuters