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Ambassador: US to Cut Dues if UN Fails to Reform
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The United States would consider cutting back on its dues if the United Nations failed to conduct reforms by the end of this year, US Ambassador John Bolton said on Monday.

Bolton made the remarks in response to a question after addressing a symposium on the future of the United Nations sponsored by the Hudson Institute.

"Is good management and lack of corruption too much to ask for?" he asked, saying the world body was "severely challenged from a management and accountability point of view."

Washington, which now pays about a quarter of the UN budget, had set a goal of "complete concentration on the reform process" through the end of 2006, said the ambassador.

"So I think what we need to do is wait until we reach the end of the year and then make an evaluation. And I think our determination and our objectives are very clear to all of the other UN members, and I think they can calculate the stakes if reform does not succeed," he added.

In naming Bolton as his UN ambassador last year, US President George W. Bush asked him to lead a major overhaul of the United Nations following findings of widespread mismanagement and corruption in the oil-for-food program for Iraq.

The oil-for-food operation, which began in December 1996 and ended in 2003, was aimed at easing the impact of UN sanctions on ordinary Iraqis, imposed after Saddam Hussein's troops invaded Kuwait in 1990.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)

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