U.S. Diplomat Slams U.N. Colleagues for Drunken Debates

I object.. hic!

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STAN HONDA / AFP / Getty Images

The U.N. General Assembly chamber in New York.

This post was corrected at 10:29 p.m. on Wednesday to clarify who made certain remarks.

A senior U.S. diplomat has gone on record chastising his international colleagues at the United Nations for being guilty of D.W.I. — Diplomacy While Intoxicated.

Joseph Torsella, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. for management and reform, has complained that delegates from other countries have been turning up drunk for delicate budget negotiations.

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“As for the conduct of negotiations, we make the modest proposal that the negotiation rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone,” Torsella told a meeting of the U.N. membership’s budget committee, known as the Fifth Committee

“There has always been a good and responsible tradition of a bit of alcohol improving a negotiation, but we’re not talking about a delegate having a nip at the bar,” one anonymous diplomat told Foreign Policy, also recalling one occasion when a diplomat representing a member of the G-77 loose coalition of developing nations became ill from excessive alcohol.

Other witnesses have also provided corroborating evidence to support Torsella’s claims. Another anonymous diplomat was quoted by AFP describing envoys who turned up for sessions “falling down drunk,” while another said how “on one occasion the note-taker who was meant to be recording the talks was so intoxicated he had to be replaced.”

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8 comments
AndreaKerr
AndreaKerr

It is becoming an increasing matter of debate that delegates have been observed as drunk while or during the process of negotiations. While the Foreign Policy has argued that cases of drinking have been for the purposes of recreation, I'm not quite sure the evidence provided has been legitimate. I beg to argue that these isolated cases are being exaggerated. Though the complaints are not unwarranted it is not necessary to create a colossal issue to distract from the negotiation process. One or two isolated cases cannot marr the duties of the delegates. However in the future it is advised that delegates exercise vigilance in their activities so that the overzealous critic can rest awhile.

universal93
universal93

Stop selling liquor in the UN Building..!!

universal93
universal93

The envoys from other countries are on holidaying..!!

cpc65
cpc65

Looking your way, Russia.

Maedhros19
Maedhros19

If he thinks the Fifth Committee is bad, I hope he doesn't sit in on the Handle Committee...

PhilSmith
PhilSmith

American taxpayers pay for most of the booze.

It is in the UN budget.