Monday, April 11, 2005


Formally announced: Clinton gets U.N. position

Bill Clinton's appointment as U.N. special envoy to head tsunami-relief efforts was announced on February 1 with the promise of a formal announcement in March.

There was an immediate flap about the scope of Clinton's assignment. By February 2 the Voice of America was reporting,

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will lead U.N. efforts to promote reconstruction in South Asian countries hit by December's tsunami, but will not play a role in ending conflicts in Indonesia and Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said he misunderstood Mr. Clinton's mandate when he told reporters earlier the former president would also try to make progress in resolving conflicts in those nations.

I don't know why Clinton is so dead set on working with the U.N., but it is clear that that has been one of his goals for some time. Naturally, the Right is hopping mad. Judicial Watch has already demanded to see everything but his underwear—

Judicial Watch is specifically seeking Mr. Clinton’s contract with the UN, memoranda of understanding, commissions, appointments, credentials and expense reports. Once obtained, Judicial Watch will report on the documents and make all of Mr. Clinton’s and the UN’s records available to the public from the Internet site:

But according to their press release, "Mr. Clinton’s appointment was reportedly coordinated and approved by the Bush administration through the State Department."

One thing is clear. Clinton did a lot of politicking for this position, which partly explains all the recent buddy-buddy business between the Bushes and the Clintons.

The AP reports that Clinton

will spend at least two years in his new role as the top U.N. envoy promoting recovery in tsunami-hit countries and demanding accountability for the unprecedented billions of dollars donated by countries and individuals, his deputy said.

Erskine B. Bowles [his deputy and former White House Chief of Staff] said Clinton will also push for the construction of better homes, schools and hospitals in areas devastated by the killer waves and the adoption of new measures to warn against disasters and ensure quick action by governments when they occur.

Why do I have the feeling that there's more to this story?

Related post
This could be fun: Clinton for U.N. Secretary-General

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